I usually park in this parking garage, 5th floor, right next to the elevator. Along with me, is always this guy (mid 20s) in a 07(?) Mustang Shelby. He sees my car (09 Lancer), and today on the train, I was just standing there, and he approached me, asked If I owned the lancer, to which I replied, yeah. Eventually, he asked if I was just one of those kids (I shaved this morning, and immediatly lost 3 years. Apparently, I look like im 17 when I shaved) who are into cars to impress girls and stuff, to which I replied nope. I told him I was an enthusiast. He said he himself was an enthusaist. He then asked if I modified my car, to which I replied no (I actually want to keep my car relativly stock, and I don't have money for teh mawds),
He then told me I'm not an enthusaist because of 3 things. I have a DSG (twin clutch), I didn't do any work to my car, and the "modifications" (which he considered to be the mudflaps, the 2 inch drop, and the black wheels, which I painted) were non functional, and served no purpose. We then got into a friendly debate as to what an "enthusaist" was.
He told me, it was someone who worked on their car, and built it up to what it was. Someone who knows their stuff about cars, and prefers function over form. Someone who spends their time at the track, and sips 93 octane like it's water.
I told him that I agreed to what he said, but then, I told him, that my version was much more broad, and that if you are to simply, define an enthusiast to what he just said, then you limit car culture and sort of make enthusiasim for cars somewhat limited and elitist. I told him that the car is esentially a canvas, for everything both form and function. I told him that a true enthusiast doesn't just go "LOL YEAH JDM ALL THE DAY, US SUX," but rather, appreciates the each car for what they are. Each market has their strong points. Then I did what I felt was weird. I defended ricers, hellaflushers, and basically everyone who modifies their car in a non functional way. I told him that we are all enthusiasts, because we all have a same goal: have fun with our cars.
I got of the train, and I thanked the man. It was a while since I've been able to have a discussion that didn't divulge into fanboyism of how 1 car company is better than another.
Then I thought about it. We bash kids for "hellaflushing" their cars, because of how nonfunctional it is but esentially, don't they strive for something that we too strive for? Having fun with their cars?
Anyone else have any thoughts about this?
I guess I had to get this off my chest. Thanks for reading, no matter how long this was. For your time, heres my car (2009 Lancer Ralliart via, my flickr)