I think I’ve been in denial about this for a while. I used to be all about waking up at 6am on a Saturday and driving 40 miles to the local Boston Cars and Coffee. I spent a solid year and a half volunteering at them because I felt it was the right thing to do. For two summers I lent my time to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum to help them put on the annual Tutto Italiano show in the middle of summer. I would drive to random corners of New England just to sit around with some friends at whatever random show was going on that day. I hate it.
I didn’t used to hate it. Early on it was actually exciting to see new and cool cars, meet new people, and talk crap about terrible cars that showed up. It was a chance to catch up on the latest gossip from local shops, car groups, and general BS. We’d droll over the same dozen cars that came to each show and got VIP parking, while eventually ignoring everything else. And for a while I really did enjoy myself.
For the last year I’ve been less and less excited about each show. I’d tell myself I was going to see friends and who cares about the cars. Even that started to fail in its motivation. The conversations were always the same, the cars were the same, the stupid drama was always the same.
I don’t think I’m going to car shows anymore. I’m over it. Standing around watching dick measuring contests, owners rubbing down cars that see 500 miles a year. Elitists complaining about the teenage VW owners, teenage VW owners complaining about not being allowed to park next to Ferraris, One car club bashing on another (even if I used to be all about jumping on the bashing bandwagon). I’d much rather be driving.
Standing around a parking lot brings me no joy. Carving down a wooded road, the sun flickering through the treetops with the windows down and exhaust howling, that’s where I want to be. Talking about the merits of a car you’ll never afford will never be better than chasing taillights up a mountain at sunset. Arguing RWD vs AWD will never be better than actually going out and putting it to use.
Strap me into a car I built and let me loose on the local track chasing down dozens of other similar minded madmen. Bench racing can never compare to the thrill of reaching the checkered flag in a car you build and piloted. Bragging about the 150mph highway pull on the way to the show will never excite me as much as pulling off a 3-wide pass.
Put a wrench in my hand and let me lose hours and days to a project. Arguing over who has the worst repair bills will never be better than the joy of seeing an engine that you assembled yourself fire up for the first time. I’d so much rather be in my dingy garage slowly making progress on my own project than stand around looking at cars that the owners have never laid a tool to.
Maybe I’m just sick of the whole “scene”. Maybe I just need a break. Whatever the problem really is, you can bet the next time I’m up at the crack of dawn on a day off, it will be because I’m headed off on some adventure, and not heading towards some parking lot to stand around.
I refuse to improve my photography skills.