What car thing am I most thankful for? The community.
Being a “car guy/gal” is more than just a common interest. It’s a sort of brotherhood, an ancient fraternal order of those who believe that some machines have a soul, and we bond our own souls to those machines, making both stronger.
It’s a dwindling community, endangered by the rise of a generation that is coming to view the car as appliance, an extension of “app culture “. Where thirty years ago a car commercial might show the latest model powersliding through the desert in slow motion, today’s car ad touts internet connectivity, and social media integration. People today want cars that practically, and literally drive themselves.
But not us. We’ll take the keys, thank you. And while our numbers may wither, our passion is as strong as ever.
On the weekends we migrate to the garage, at times thrashing on a serious project, at times just tinkering. By application of blood and sweat, we make our cars better, and they heal the internal wounds that the week has wrought, and man and machine emerge into the light healed. Then we take our machines to the car meets, various shows, or organized drives in our area.
If religion is built on the bonds of fellowship, then Cars and Coffee, the JCCS, the club meet, these are our temples. The general public might see an old Toyota, but the car guy sees a dream realized, long nights and scraped knuckles. And if one of us should need help, the car guy/gal come together in a way that others seldom do. We donate time, money, parts and wisdom freely to each other, and sometimes all of the above, before we even learn our new friend’s full names, (ex:Dave with the Honda 600, or James with that white RX7, you know the guy). I’ve made some of my closest friendships over cars.
A friend of mine once typed in a car forum that sometimes he wishes he wasn’t a car guy, that if he could just look at any car as transportation, his marriage would be better, and he would have more money. In that way being a car guy/gal is like a disease. And maybe knowing that others suffer the same affliction, that makes our bond fast and strong. We all know the late night Craigslist hunts, we all know the tight lump in the throat, and the way your voice catches when the trailer drives off with your baby loaded on it, and that burning desire to replace it with a new obsession as soon as possible…so you can feel whole again.
Having a community that understands all that, knowing I’m not alone, well I’m truly thankful for that, and having great forums like this to bring us all together.