From the crazy fanatic to the burgeoning car enthusiast, there is a wide spectrum of enthusiasm for the cars that get us from A to B. If you’ve ever wondered what qualifies those who join the ranks of automotive fandom, here are some defining features to look out for.
For those of you who are relatively new to this topic, we can lay some groundwork first.
An individual that appreciates anything to do with automobiles and their inner workings. Typically, it’s one who can talk at length about cars without getting tired of it. These people tend to be very active in the community and engage in meets, TV shows, blogs, forums, games, magazines, etc. While working on vehicles is typical, it’s not a prerequisite to be considered a fan. In general, these enthusiasts tend to be drawn to the details of automobiles and enjoy engaging with the rest of the community at large.
If you already know you’re a car enthusiast, congrats! Maybe you should check out this article on how to find a car meet near you!
While this definition can be helpful at a quick glance, you can clearly see how things can get a bit convoluted here. There are so many different types of auto enthusiasts that it’s tough to put a clear label on them. In a way, the only real way to truly identify one is to ask a person if they believe they are. Even so, I’ll attempt to add some color by highlighting some key traits that most enthusiasts tend to have.
One of the habits that bugs my friends the most is that I can never stay focused looking at them whenever we’re talking. Unless we’re in a soundproof bunker I’m like a kid in a candy store getting distracted by every minor exhaust note I hear. Almost always it’s a plain jane Civic with a fart pipe, but I still get excited. This constant hope in the midst of so much disappointment may mean you’re an auto enthusiast.
Are you often able to recite a list of your 10 favorite cars that you saw on the drive to get a gallon of milk? Or better yet, do you recognize neighbors and people based on what they drive? When I had a commute, I was pretty predictable on my leaving time and had a whole host of random people that I recognized solely based on their cars. I’m not talking just the nice ones either. Everyone can notice the Ferrari, a real fan keeps track of that Chevy nova that keeps cutting you off every Monday. If this sounds like you, sorry mate, you’re probably on the spectrum.
You know all those people you meet at the mixer for the kid’s school event or that work holiday party. They might be around enough to where you have to recognize them but don’t spend a lot of time with them. If you ask “is that the one with the M3” to determine who is who, you’re probably a auto nut.
Do you incessantly take photos of cars for no reason? As in, it’s not your profession and you rarely actually do anything with them but you still like taking them? You know what I’m going to say here, but that might be an indicator. Any auto show you go to will have tons of these non-professional photo takers who just enjoy getting the shots, even if they never see the light of day.
Trying to improve your photography game? See these tips on car photoshoots.
This one is a bit of a freebie if you ask me. Unless you happen to work at a tire or mechanic shop and just do it for the paycheck, anyone who is regularly working on their vehicles is likely to be an enthusiast. Changing the oil when necessary to save money probably doesn’t quite hit the requirement of regularly, but anything more involved than that is likely being done for fun.
My first ride was a 2006 Mazda 3 Hatchback and I somehow - don’t ask me - burned through the clutch at 23k miles. I soon learned from my Dad that that is very unusual and maybe it had something to do with my incredibly aggressive driving style. Regardless, I decided to change the clutch on the front wheel drive engine in the driveway with no lifts. Taking on projects that should probably be done in a shop might indicate a predisposition to cars.
The typical car enthusiast may have a niche that they really love, but normally keeps up with the industry as a whole. They also tend to go through their vehicles faster than others and therefore have more experience in the process. As such, they often end up the designated family resource for anytime anyone is in the market for a new one. If you get hit up by your extended family members to help them quote an option or pick the right model…. I think you guessed it but you are probably an enthusiast.
Most car fans these days will have frequented a wide variety of auto events around them as it's a great way to check out other brands as well as meet new people! These are a piece of the foundation of what it means to be interested in this industry and you likely aren't too interested if you've never been to one. Hell, even my sisters have been to one and they hate talking about the industry.
If you want to check out whats going on near you or browse the car shows virtually before attending in person, check out Topmarq events.
Thought of more traits of auto fans?? Comment below and maybe we’ll add them!