My name is Joe and I’m a car-a-holic. I’m like many other ‘gearheads’ (‘petrolheads’ in Europe) who is absolutely obsessed with anything shiny, loud and fast (hence the name). My goal is to document my adventure through life as an automotive enthusiast. At first, I will share about my experiences up till this point in life and hopefully share what is currently unfolding with my obsession.
My first order of business is discussing where car guys come from. What never ceases to amaze me is that when I meet car guys we can talk for hours (much to the chagrin of my wife). The bond isn't our shared jargon, it’s more, it’s that we appreciate the same things about our hobby (it’s actually a lifestyle). What is even more interesting is when you learn that, other then the passion for all things mechanical, you can have nothing else in common. How do you come from completely different social and/or economic backgrounds and still end up in the same place?
So how did I get to be the way I am? All I know is by 4 years old I had the bug. I loved anything related to cars and planes.
Most kids first exposure to the car culture is via toys, the most common being Matchbox and Hot Wheels die cast cars. At 4, I adored my Fiat 131 Abarth Matchbox car in Alitalia racing livery (I’m also Italian) and did severe damage to the finish on my mother’s precious coffee table turning lap after lap with it.
But I also remember being absolutely infatuated with the fact that my godfather's Chevy Monte Carlo had TWO exhaust pipes coming out the rear valence. I remember the exhilaration of going along with my teenage cousin as he blasted around in his Opel Manta.
By age 5 I was drawing/designing fighter planes and jets at a prolific rate, which eventually translated into pursuing engineering in college.
You may think I inherited my obsession from my father, but the fact of the matter is he was (and still is) the antithesis of a car guy. He actually hated our (my older brother and I) infatuation with cars. He never took a hands-on approach to maintaining his own vehicles (let alone building them) and never understood why we would modify something that was already working. The only reason he tolerated it was he viewed us wasting our teenage years wrenching away in the driveway as a better (and safer) alternative to what our peers were up to.
So where do car guys come from? I can't speak for everyone, but I’m pretty sure I was born this way.