“Why do you like cars so much?” “What is it about cars?” “They just take you from A to B…they’re nothing but objects”. Those are three things petrol heads like ourselves hear ad nauseam. Cars. You either get and understand them or you don’t. There is no in between and that’s the way it’s always been and how it’ll remain. And that’s a good thing.
You see, defining one’s affinity with cars is ludicrously difficult as all petrol heads have a myriad of reasons beyond their passion. You could be a budding mechanic who started tinkering with cars in the company of your parents or extended family or you could be someone who was simply born with a bit of petrol pumping through your veins. Or you could be a car lover because of a million other reasons.
Me personally? It’s simply in my nature but that’s far from the entire story. Considering my first ever memory is of riding (and crashing!) a mini quad-bike, it’s little surprise why anything involving internal combustion revs my engine. Yes, pun very much intended. After spending the following years attending motor shows as a little kid all whilst writing down the license plates of as many cars as possible and rolling down the car window at the petrol station to smell some sweet 98 octane, cars are in my blood. And inevitably some toxic fumes from all the petrol fumes I’ve inhaled…
There’s just something about cars. Ask why a musician loves music so much and they’ll tell you it’s about personal expression and something intertwined in one’s DNA. It’s the same for automotive enthusiasts. Cars represent freedom, passion and drive. Our own cars reflect our personality and the modifications we do to them, is the petrol head’s way of showing the world their style, taste and preferences.
Despite what some would have you believe, the automotive community really is that, a community. Not only that, but it is truly global. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what you look like, what you believe in or what you drive, cars have an extraordinary way of uniting us. At any one time, there’ll be an endless array of car related events taking place on every continent (Antarctica included…well…maybe not, but you get the idea).
As we speak, Austria’s annual Worthesee meeting is underway. Originally created as a small gathering among modified VW Golf GTI enthusiasts, the festival now stretches for the better part of a month. It has even prompted the Volkswagen Group to continually release boldly aggressive and fast concepts year in, year out. That perfectly demonstrates the strength of the automotive community.
Elsewhere, it’s the subtle nods of approval you give and receive when seeing or driving a nice car. It’s the quick bursts of acceleration you do in traffic in the midst of other respectable performance cars. It’s the sense that cars will always be a fundamental pillar in one’s life and when nothing else seems to be going right, they keep us sane in their own individual ways.
To most, cars are no more notable or head-turning than the latest dishwasher to hit the market or the clothes your wear. They’re viewed as nothing more than a convenience. After all, most are essentially metal capsules with engines that make our lives easier. To automotive enthusiasts however, they represent so much more.
Every car has its own unique personality and traits distinguishing it from all others. Drive two “identical” cars and chances are, they’ll be subtly different and that’s only something the most attuned petrol heads can recognise. Just like people, cars are incredibly diverse and for many enthusiasts, play an absolutely pivotal role in our existence.
While many are predicting the death of cars as we know them due to the growth of autonomous technologies, petrol heads will ensure they survive.
What do cars mean to you? Let us know in the comments!