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Spoiler Alert 1

Spoiler Alert 1


By: RJ Lane

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The automotive sub culture is one populated with people that have slightly askew views. For the idle layman just out to enjoy a car show, identifying the brand of car show regular he is dealing with is as important as avoiding the proverbial land mine.

The typical car show goer is someone who possesses a minor understanding of at least one model of car and an appreciation of cars in a much broader sense. They may even watch an automotive TV show on the odd occasion. If they see a car of some notable rarity, they will look affectionately at it and even have the where-with-all to ask a poignant question or two. Now, the fact that the owner of said car has heard this question 3867 times is not the point, it goes with the showing off of one’s car. Finding other true enthusiast is one of the reasons we as show car owners keep going back to the shows and answering the same questions over and over again. You never know where that next great conversation and or friendship will be found. All of this is the good.  However, the bad is sifting through the many varieties of car show enthusiast that make conversation more tedious and painful than a trip to the dentist. To truly enjoy a car show without the car show dribble, be on the lookout for the following types of car show characters:

1)      Front Wheel Drive Crowd:  These “gene puddle children” (actual age does not play in the definition of this word) can test the patience of even the most Zen-like of this notable hot tempered culture.  You can NOT drift. Please for the love of everything Holy, stop talking about how you keep needing to replace tires and the proper use of the Scandinavian flick. If your name isn’t Markus Grundholme you should not be explaining an advanced rallying technique to anyone. Especially someone who has seen Top Gear as well…schmuck! I will admit that I may step on the throttle a little more than necessary when parking and leaving a show, but there is no need to rev your car every 20 minutes to display your peacock plumage. If you,  as a car show goer, seem to get into a conversation with this super enthusiast please beware. You will receive so much BS that you could fertilize the state of Nebraska for the next decade. For your sake, I hope you can walk on by this nincompoop safely. Oh, and if BS is what you are looking for then I am your man! I can spin a tale about blinker fluid, spark relay modulators, and the oh-so-coveted flux capacitor.

2)      Hot Rod Geezers: These are the older chaps that form that uninviting circle around the hot rod and or muscle cars. They bought these cars when they were new and can tell you a story about every bolt and how it has cost them 3 wives. Not everyone in this group is old by any means, but they have an old view of the world. Technology is something to fight because it worked great the first time.
Living in the past is great for museums and historians, but in the 50 plus years that have passed some things have gotten better than stock. There is a trend in this genre to embrace the new; however this group is met with a certain level of disdain.

3)      Pony Car Crew: The pony car crew is another problem area if you don’t speak fake Italian or have a gold chain collection. There are two schools of thought behind this group of individuals: build the car to go in a straight line for the drag strip, or build your car to go in a straight line for street racing.  Nitrous party to this group has a totally different connotation. Pony cars are not muscle cars and please don’t make that mistake as it will offend many people.

4)      The exotic Car owner: The exotic cars are amazingly pricy and the whole time the owners worry that their car costing more than a house might get dust on it, or someone will ask them what kind of millage they get…SERIOUSLY!?! This crowd is so aloof that if you don’t have an exotic car then you are not welcome. The main thing to take away from this group is the fact that you get to say you saw (insert crazy cool car) in person.

5)      Classic VW Crowd: The classic V-Dub crowd is typically cool if they are in the right frame of mind. If you know what I mean, hippie. They are very loyal to their brand and really know there stuff when it comes to these cars. You would too if you had to fix them as often as they do to keep them on the road. They are so very iconic and the stories are usually quite entertaining.

6)      Big ass diesel trucks: Welcome to country thunder meets Glamis status. During the late 90’s and into today the big 3 had a horsepower war with the diesel truck market, this has spawned a modified scene for this market as well. The prerequisite for this scene is a huge lifted truck that has dual 6 inch smoke stacks bellowing huge clouds of black toxic smoke. And when I say “lifted”  you need, at the very least, a step stool to reach the bottom of the running board. More often than not the Nepolions  driving these trucks should have a 6 foot ladder. The most classy aspect of this group is the fake set of testicles they hang from the tow hitch…WHY!?!

7)      Tuners:  Last but not least are the tuners. This is a group mostly of Japanese car people. This is where the most land mines lay in the battle to avoid stupidity. There are a lot of inexpensive cars to be made into “race cars” by children (age is a factor here). Most of these people have no idea how their cars work. When something goes wrong they pop the hood, check to make sure the wizard in the little metal thing is happy,  and then try to start the car again. They also usually have about twice the vehicle’s value invested in the stereo that you heard from 3 blocks away. This group can be tolerated if you keep the “they are just kids” mantra in mind.


All that being said, I should own the fact that I have a pony car and a tuner car now.  Plus, I had the old muscle car when I was the kid, that you should avoid at all times. If you can make it out to a show and ask a question that we have heard many, many times before; don’t sweat it. After all, we did bring our cars out to a show.

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