What Kind of Gearhead am I?

I have a family history of the “car bug” so I was born with a natural interest in automobiles. I will drool over any car built between the years 1929-1985, see European cars as works of art, and think vans are cool. I do not consider myself a brand loyalist but I do play favorites and those are: Mopar, GMC, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Buick, and Mazda. (I know, but Mazda has been my first car and first brand new car, plus they are just plain fun to drive). My least favorite being Honda and Toyota, and I see hybrid cars as the annoying younger sibling, of automotive world, that your parents force you to bring along when you go out with your friends.

                I love reading about racing history and I will defend it with my last breathe when somebody says, “Racing isn’t a sport”, but I do not follow any kind of motorsports currently. That being said, I do dream of getting a chance to proof myself on a racetrack someday and follow a dream. Like most Gear-heads I turn into a show-off once I get behind the wheel and I love doing burnouts, speeding, power slides, bootlegger turns, reverse 180’s, but after going through a new set of tires in less than ten months I have since calmed down and reserved it for the occasional rainy day. I believe everyone should learn car control, and I constantly day dream about being on a race track.

                I do not hate cops, and this is coming from a Gear-head who has been stopped by five-O since he was 15 for a total of 28 times. (This number may increase by the time you read this). To me they are just doing their job, and many are fellow Gear-heads so a good attitude is always helpful when bullshiting your way out of a ticket. The occasional drag race at a street light is harmless showing off but street racing in general gives Gearheads a bad reputation, take it to a track.

                My favorite car movie is a tie between Christine and The Blues Brothers and I think the title of best car chase belongs to The French Connection because it was filmed on public roads without permission. I think F&F movies are trying to break the Dukes of Harzzard’s record for most Chargers destroyed so I do not like them at all. The best movie car is Kowalski’s white Dodge Challenger, because who hasn’t thought of running across country in a supercharged Mopar while listening to 70’s rock.

I do not believe that in order to be a Gear-head you need to be a master mechanic, but you do need to know the bare basics: tire change, checking oil levels, know how to drive a stick, change an air filter, how to jump-start a car battery. I myself am not a master mechanic, but everything I have learned about wrenching on cars have been on a need-to-know bases, as in my GMC truck has left me on the side of road I need to know what’s wrong. A break-down lane or gas station parking lot is the second home to any Gearhead who drives anything vintage or custom.

I am the type of Gearhead who names their cars, and will refer to a car as a he or she. I believe that cars have personality and I am convinced that cars can develop a soul from his/her owner. What I find most interesting about this hobby/lifestyle is that two Gearheads who have never met before can talk for hours to each other about engines, cars, etc. and all it takes is the phrase “nice car man”. That’s the kind of Gearhead I am.

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