Open Road

The non-denominational car guy

"My name is Bob and I am a car guy."

It feels like I should be standing up in a group in a church basement with other addicts, admitting that I have a problem, but my 'problem' is different in that I wouldn't know which group of car guys to meet with. I'm a car guy who doesn't fit into any specific group. I love the brute creases on the Toyota Tacoma in the same way that I love the slippery surfaces of the Alfa 4C or the ridiculously giant wing on a '70 Superbird. I enjoy numerous online forum memberships and still chat with guys on topics relating to cars I no longer own (and have no intention of ever owning again). I show up at car shows and events in vehicles that don't even remotely belong there and then discuss how the car that I used to have was similar or different to the cars on display. Most of these conversations usually include the individual I am speaking with making a comment along the lines of "And now you have THAT?!?! How did that happen?!?!?" In just the last 10 years alone, the 3rd stall of my garage has held an '85.5 Porsche 944, a '67 Mercury Cougar, an '02 Audi TT, a '12 Mustang, an '05 Mazda RX-8, a '99 Jeep Wrangler and now holds a '73 Triumph Spitfire. Each with its own charms and reasoning for having held down that position of honor at our house, and every time those charms were clearly different from the others.

Being a car guy with no laser focus has been 'my story' since my earliest memories. As a kid, my mother was the bookkeeper at the local Ford dealer, and I remember staring at the brand new '79 Mustang Pace Car on the show room floor with its orange trim and horses running along the side, knowing at that moment that I was hooked. I was always the one looking out the car window on family trips identifying every make and model as it went by. I had a Lamborghini Countach clock and a vintage Model-A print hanging on my wall. I lived for the General Lee, KITT, Magnum's Ferrari and the A-Team's Van; each very different from the others, yet all as cool as can be. Even back then my Hot Wheels collection was a miniature version of Jay Leno's garage with everything from Corvettes to police cars and pickup trucks.

As an adult, I'm still that little kid who bounces around local car shows and I have been known to pull a quick U-turn after passing a random car lot to check out something that caught my eye. The difference now is that I can afford to get excited about a certain make or model, research the heck out of it, buy one, spend a small fortune building or restoring it to my exact specifications and then turn around and find something on the opposite end of the spectrum and start all over. It's a beautiful thing and in my view one of the most wonderful 'problems' in the world to have, but by this point most people have zeroed in on whatever make, model or at least which genre turns their crank.

Not me. I get giddy seeing different events pop up on my calendar from 'Cars & Coffee' and 'Back to the 50's' to the local overland club meetings. I absolutely love being able to have intelligent conversations with the owners of everything from a 2015 GranTurismo to a 1955 Mercury Hardtop to a 1993 Cherokee on 35s. It absolutely boggles my mind that people pigeonhole themselves into being just interested in Mustangs or Wranglers or 911s. Why wouldn't you allow yourself to appreciate a Camaro, a Land Rover or a 928 just because it's different from your favorite?

It is said that variety is the spice of life, and when it comes to the automotive world and this writer, truer words have never been stated. My inner 8-year old is alive and well with an undying passion and love for cars and I hope that never changes. How about you? I'd love to read your comments in the below section and hear you share why you are similarly afflicted or subscribe to a different line of thinking and why.

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