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About that time my father brought home a calendar from work. It was a car calendar. Aside from Hot Wheels and Matchbox die cast vehicles I had a collection of, I wasn't all that interested in cars at this point. That is,... until I flipped through the calendar and saw the gorgeous lines of a black 1963 Corvette Sting Ray with a split window in the rear.
The curves of that car drew me in. I read the caption and discovered what it was that I was looking at. Then I went back and looked at it again, and again. I was fascinated in the craftsmanship of the hood bulge, flared fenders, and that incredible design feature known as the split window in the rear.
From that moment on, I was hooked on anything related to the automobile industry. I would spend my spare time drawing vehicles of all sorts, studying the industry, reading car magazines, dreaming about going to my first car show. I immersed myself in anything automotive. I was in love.
Fast forward to my college years. That's when I discovered that my astronomical intentions were a little too farfetched for my academic abilities. Studying engineering on campus had shown me clearly that I was not cut out to be an Engineer that could design reliable structures. My grades even showed the lack of retention of the important concepts discussed in class. In short, I wouldn't want to cross my own bridges for fear that I calculated forces and vectors properly.
At that time, the thought of going to an automotive design school popped in my head. However, my past academic grades and experience was one hurdle to that avenue. The second and biggest hurdle was that respected automotive design schools were nowhere near my home and prohibitively expensive.
During this time I was still becoming a "Car Nut". I was learning about automotive legends like Lee Ioccoca, John Delorean, pony car wars, Corvettes, Pintos, Corvairs, Ferraris, NASCAR, Route 66, and anything else I could get my hands on. I was obsessed. My mind was all over the place in the auto industry and I couldn't focus. How could I work all this love into a profession and make a living? Car sales, auto body, detailing?
That love has continued to grow. I'm more focused now. I can't do everything in the automotive world but with the internet I can read about it, watch it, or listen to it. In fact, it's safe to say that I spend hours daily fueling my automotive passion by researching on the internet and networking with automotive professionals, clubs, and organizations. I've even started writing about the automotive world.
For the time being, I'm still go to car shows, stop on roadsides to grab pictures of a peculiar vehicle in the wild, and read online profusely about the newest auto tech, or thingy. I also continue to work and try to save funds so that when retirement comes I can hit the ground running with automotive projects and insightful knowledge (I hope). Wait... I'm not sure I can wait to retirement. Maybe I'll start building a car this weekend.
That's how a black 1963 Corvette Sting Ray with red interior ignited a passion in me. A passion that has become a part of my being. That picture on the calendar of the Corvette opened the doors to a whole new world for my future. For that, I'm grateful. I've learned a lot, seen a lot, and met some great people. I've even grown a few fans that actually read what I write. Go figure!
If there was an "Car Nut" election committee, I would throw my hat in the ring because, I'm a "Car Nut" and I approve this message!