Crammond Automotive Specialities

"Specializing in the repair and conservation of European Cars"

Club Articles

A True Enthusiast? - Thoughts from a "Carguy"

Posted on September 27, 2010 at 12:40 AM



“A single marque enthusiast is not a true car enthusiast”

I cannot remember where I first heard it, but I do remember my first reaction. At the time I was a diehard Porsche guy and did not see the reasoning behind the thought – “they guy does not know what he is talking about” was my response. In retrospect, I can see the wisdom behind this statement. By working on different makes and models, we begin to understand where the engineers and design teams were going, we begin to appreciate cars by differences, not their similarities. The skills and processes required to work on the Lotus are applicable to other cars, though the technique and thought radically differ. Specialist shops rely on building expertise on one make or model. As a hobbyist you do not have to worry about how quickly or efficiently (profitably) something can be done, you can simply relax and enjoy the experience. In having a small collection I try to ensure that each car allows for a different driving and mechanical experience, this is best done by having different makes of cars.

Being the car guy at work, I am always asked “what should I get”? The answer is simple, something different! Why is it that some want to have variety in what they eat, but will line up to buy a 2008 Civic to replace their 1996 Civic? I do understand biases, and realize that people do like to operate within their comfort zones. It is possible for a comfort zone to become stifling. In running a Porsche club for three years I was able to have some great experiences but at the end I had lost any passion for the marque. It took some two to three years for me to renew my interest.

It could be said that people are drawn to cars which have a history or “look” that they feel represent them, I disagree. How can I “look” like a MGB owner? Does that mean I look out of place in my daily driver? If I owned a Ferrari would that suddenly endow me with long black hair, and a Sicilian accent? Would women case me in droves down the street? We all know the answer is no, but childhood fantasies do have a great influence when buying a “toy car”. Perhaps, we have to remember that there was a time we would open a car magazine and be enthralled by anything that had a sporty look. We all have a car that we would like to buy but common sense and the fear of ridicule keep us from that purchase (does anyone know of a FIAT 850 spider for sale?). Perhaps the above statement should be amended to read:

“True car enthusiasts do not allow themselves to be “pigeon holed” or fall into comfort zones, the explore everything available to them”

So go ahead and test drive that car you have always looked at from a far – you may just like it!

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