Car Guys, more than often the first thought that would spring to mind is a person who likes to modify their car and meet up with their friends late in the evening to compare cars. I’ve always felt a little out of place. I have no idea what a car guy is supposed to be. Ever since a young age, I’ve had a passion for cars, except I’ve never really known all there is to know. Often, I’ve avoided conversation with other enthusiasts because, at the end of it, there’s very little I know. I don’t have much of an interesting story when it comes to how I even got into liking them.

But that’s the thing, do you really need a story? I’ve seen plenty of people talk about how their parents owned a Porsche or a Mercedes or something incredibly flashy. Be that as it may, that’s their parent’s story. No, I think a story is something developed through time.

For example; the first memory I have of any car was my father’s Vauxhall Astra. It was bright red, fading rapidly, and quite frankly, had seen better days. My fondest memories would be going out for trips with my family in the car. I think this is where my passion for cars came from, their stories.

TVR's parked up at a car show in Sully.

To me, a car has never just been about what it is, how powerful it is, or how fast you can go. It’s always been about the owner, how much they cherish it, and where they’ve gone. Identically, these are also what I think are traits of the typical car guy.

So in that case…

What Even Is A Car Guy?

There’s a weird mixture of what people believe to be a “car guy” on the internet, amongst the more popular suggestions on Urban Dictionary:

A super hero who’s super power is knowing all about cars. [They] even like to drive them. [Their] arch nemesis is motorcycle man. By day [they] run errands for [their] mom but by night [they are]…The Car Guy.

Urban Dictionary on “Car Guys”

I’ve taken the liberty of changing some of the wording here because car enthusiasts are not just limited to men. I guess the right term, for that matter, would be a “car person”. Or even better yet, a petrolhead. Either way, they all fall under the same branch:

Car enthusiasts.

A car guy, person, petrolhead, gear-freak, whatever you want to call it is an enthusiast. Someone who’s developed a passion and has a keen interest in that particular subject. I am a car enthusiast. A car guy.

But still, I find myself lacking the same interest in topics as most other enthusiasts. If car culture was like politics and split into separate wings then it’d be like so: The right being those who modify their cars, partake in illegal activities and in truth, make the roads more of a dangerous place to be. Then we have the left being those who prefer car museums and long drives in a normal day-to-day car. If this were the case, then I’d be leaning towards the left.

This is a rather conflicting reality.

What’s My Problem?

I’ve often thought there’s a time and a place for certain things. Whether that be proposing to your partner, or telling your parents you’re expecting a child. I don’t think there’s ever a time and a place for racing or dangerous driving on public highways, private or public car parks.

But there will always be someone that defends the notion to drive dangerously. And that’s just appalling. My problem is that these so-called enthusiasts make it a much more frightful place for others.

Car park meet-ups. They are among the worst of them all. It’s like a bad re-enactment of a Fast & Furious film. You’ll find groups of people charging their way up and down the parking lot. The occasional attempting to burnout and skid around whilst others just sit there with music blaring and engines revving. It seems to appeal to those with the mindset of a ten-year-old.

There’s one scene that depicted the foul nature of the regular nightly meet-up madness in Spytty, Newport. I originally found this posted on Facebook but it’s since been removed. Nevertheless, you can find the story on the South Wales Argus.

A typical page when searching for “car meets” on YouTube.

But there’s a common trend amongst these car guys; they seem to think that everyone is out to get them. They have to prove that we’re wrong. We’re made to believe the law is “waging” war against them.

But is there actually a war between police and ill-mannered drivers? No, that would be nonsense. Naturally, the police have to enforce this, to stop accidents. Let’s just remember the recent Stevenage incident:

I Get It

We all have our individual tastes and habits. I was recently invited to a speed awareness course after I was caught speeding on a dual carriageway. We’ll often do things and not think of the consequences. I, for one, certainly didn’t realise until it was too late.

The thing is, I feel like I’ve learned from what feels like an honest mistake. It doesn’t take long to change your habits. And the one thing I find me reminding myself is that I’m a father. If I were to be involved in an accident, I know my family would worry about me dearly.

It’s Not All Doom & Gloom

I think that some car communities probably have some of the most conversive of them all. They also certainly know what they’re talking about. I believe that’s what makes a great community.

And for some, it may be a comfort thing. Being around friends who appreciate your hard work. And for the most part, I’m sure that’s what most of these car meets are about.

A car guy's message to another car guy. The message reads: "Yo! Awesome Miata bro! I have one also a '91 Miata! There will be a car meet today if you want to join us!"
Finding car guy friends may be a little easier than it seems. It just depends on what you drive. Image sourced from the Miatas With Threatening Auras Facebook page.

I think a lot of the time about whether it’s just general appreciation or recklessness. Either way, professionally organised events are always a lot more appealing. There’s some degree of law in place to prevent recklessness and injuries.

But my point still stands; the public highways need to be kept safe. Race tracks are for racing.

What Would I Do?

At the end of it, this is all just opinions. But, out of preference I have always preferred going to car shows and museums. True, there is not as much as an atmosphere, there’s no massive crowds and loud music. But, there is instead a much more civilised approach to enthusiasm.

If you read my report on cars I enjoyed at the London Motor Show, you’ll more than likely recognise where I’m coming from.

The interior of a Roll's Royce at the Haynes Motor Museum. Taken from a car guy's perspective.

But to be honest, it’s really not about what I do. Because I know for a fact for as many people there are that hang out at car meets, there’ll also be just as many with the same preference as myself.

At the end of it, you’ll just be asking yourself, “what even is a car guy?”. I think that’s a story you’ll have to figure out.

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