With all the talk, stereotypes, and misconceptions surrounding car enthusiasts, people can be quick to judge just because we pour money into modifying cars. Much unlike that kid who thinks guys with cheap cars shouldn’t be called car enthusiasts, we ought to make an example of ourselves by instead trying to become the best individuals we can be. In this case, we want to highlight the ideal qualities of a true car enthusiast just to clear the air about what it truly means to be one.
Let’s face it, if we want to properly interact with a community of likeminded folks we should always maintain a certain level of respect and conduct when talking to other people. It’s already bad enough that most people think having a car equates to being arrogant, and it doesn’t help when some guys with fancy cars reinforce this impression altogether. That said, the price of your car nor the sum of its parts do not dictate your quality as a human being – money can never buy manners, afterall.
As it is with many facets of life, being a decent person in general goes a long way with this hobby. Everything from meeting new friends to getting good prices on parts will just become a byproduct if you’re an overall good guy.
The one thing many car enthusiasts lack these days is the initiative to do their own research and study their car. Default solutions will entail bringing it to the shop if something’s broken or a quick consultation with the hordes of Facebook mechanics to attempt to reach a solution to a problem – and perhaps even make it worse. That said, making proper use of the internet and doing research on forums and specialist webpages ought to yield towards a proper solution. Consulting a local expert with proper credentials won’t hurt either. Sure, this is perhaps one of the more boring aspects of being an enthusiast, but then in order to enjoy the car it has to be properly built – and only you will know what will work for your car. Besides, if you truly are enthusiastic about cars, studying them wouldn’t even be much of a chore at all since you would absorb information like a sponge anyway.
Tasteful and Original
Building a car is one thing, but building it with purpose and direction is an entirely different ball game. Ironically enough, cars that look like they’ve had everything thrown at it just look like a melting pot of random parts and nothing more. Installing parts is more than just a bolt on affair, and usually any diligent enthusiast will do a lot of research and contemplation before deciding on spending for a big part. In terms of aesthetics, direction and proper planning will either make your car stand out or just blend in with the next guy’s car. Anyone can buy a part and call it a day, but it takes someone with imagination and creativity to build a car they can call their very own.
Open Minded (No, not the coffee shop inviting kind)
When seeing another car built with a different approach, it’s really all about appreciating and figuring out why its owner decided to do so. Bashing someone else for what they’ve built will just burn a bridge you may need to cross, so why not just try to figure out for yourself why certain styles exist? Pick the owner’s brain, ask about the car and how it drives, you just might make a new friend. Remember that the automotive community does not revolve around you nor your tastes, and it’s never healthy to shove your preferences down others’ throats. Cars are just as diverse as their owners, and it’s always healthy to keep an open mind about someone else’s build.
The last thing one should think about oneself is that they are perfect beyond correction. Being part of the car community means we can all pick up a thing or two from one another when it comes to our hobby. Part of having an open mind includes listening to what others have to say – and being humble enough to accept differences in opinion. And while debates and rivalries will naturally occur between people in the community, most of these feuds will never be worth severing ties for. Take it from us, there will always be someone with a different opinion, so it’s best just to take it all in and learn from others instead.
Of course, these qualities are never cut and dried when it comes to dealing with various circumstances. The traits we’ve outlined above can only serve so much as pointers for being a responsible member of the car community. At the end of the day, it’s always up to you to step up to the plate and make yourself a better person.
Check out our other Etiquette Series features: Your Guide to Car Meets