For a long time I used to think that I was one of a few people I knew that was impartial to car brands. From Hyundai to BMW, Honda to Porsche, each made a car that should be respected in some form or another. I was never the waxer type, so my judgment of a car always started when I opened the driver's side door and stepped into the cabin. My judgment would end after a spirited drive, or better yet, a track session. Under the guise of an "instructor," I was able to drive a fair number of cars at an obscene speed. Some of these cars were epic failures, barely held together by zip ties, and others were the cars you see on posters in a 10 year old boys room. No matter what car I drove, I could always find something positive about it, as well as something negative. No car was perfect, and no car was useless. Each could tell you something about yourself while you are behind the wheel.
Ok, so enough of that waxing philosophical stuff. I know what a fanboi looks like when I see one, and you do too. You've seen the guys at a car meet wearing their Mugen hats and "K20 powah" shirts standing next to their stanced Del Sol. This guy only loves Honda and, no matter what crapcan they make next, they still love the brand and what it stands for. This person owns every piece of Honda memorabilia produced, and despite what you say, Hondas are still the best cars on the road. While I use Honda here, true fanbois can be found for every make and model.
I thought for years that I could never be this person. After all, I had driven and owned a wide variety of cars, all of which fell within the "performance" category of automobiles, save for a few trucks used to tow things. However, the first car I ever bought was always in the back of my mind. Maybe, just maybe, this very car is the reason I am a fanboi. No matter what driver's seat I nestled into, I was always a comparing it to this car. From the feel of the leather wrapped wheel to the reach for the gear shifter, this car was always my yardstick. Sure there were some downsides, and I'd be the first person to point them out, but none of them were deal breakers. I ended up driving an hour to buy the car new as dealer inventories were growing smaller. I had the pleasure of owning the car for several years and then bought a house. We've all heard that sad song of someone needing cash to put down on a home, and I was no different. I ended up selling the car to afford the house. I sold it on a car forum, and I remember the sight of the car being moved up into the hauler for its trip cross country.
Over the years, I owned other cars, e36's to SN95's and just about everything in between. For a brief moment, I had an LS swapped 240sx, which was a complete hoonmobile for the street. Each car was a lot of fun, but each had some deal breaker that meant the thought of selling it was never a problem. When that day came, I handed over the keys willingly to the new owner.
As years went by, I'd see posts on the forum about my car, how he just took it to the track, or put on some new tires. I eventually received a call from the new owner asking if I wanted to buy the car back. The timing could not have been worse, and I had to decline. I started kicking myself almost immediately for letting it go again. It sold shortly after that conversation and dissipated off that forum into the abyss. Friends would remind me about that car, and we'd reminisce about the good and the bad times we all had with it. I'd make remarks about owning another one someday knowing full well it would never happen. I'd even stare at them on the road, so much so that my significant other thought for a while only attractive women drove them.
Fast forward a few more years, a cross country move, and general life things. As all gearheads do, I was looking over craigslist and other for sale ads. I managed to think of that fateful forum, and with a few keystrokes, I was transported there. I could not believe my eyes for a moment when I opened the first ad. At first I was skeptical, thought that someone had cloned my car, and I read further. By the end of the post, I had realized this was my car! Again, I could never afford the asking price, but I bookmarked the post for future reading. I'd stop by once a week to see if the car sold, but it hadn't, and the price kept dropping. A few months went by and the car was now in "amazing deal" territory. I spoke with my significant other, and after agreeing on a dollar amount she convinced me to buy it back. Minutes later a message was sent, and I waited eagerly for the reply. It was nearing Christmas, and I was transported back to being 5 years old, waiting for Santa to deliver me a car with a big red bow!
After a few texts and explaining that I was the original owner, we agreed to the price and we met that weekend. I heard the car from a mile away, but other than the loud exhaust, nothing on the exterior had changed. We went out for a drive, and he gave it some gas. While the exterior had not changed the motor had be rebuilt with forged internals and was running like a top. We put pen to paper and I drove the car home grinning all the way. Today that car remains parked outside, driven on a regular basis and other than needing some things replaced (has 100k on it now), it still makes me smile.
It was only after all of this did I realize I was a fanboi. Logically, I know there are other great cars out there, but this one checks nearly everything off my list, and I'm extremely happy with it. So yes, I'm a closet fanboi, and I only own a few shirts about my car.
(First person to guess what the car is gets a cookie... and I'll post the second part in a week or so).