I know this statement may come as a surprise to some, but anyone who is a car guy, at one point was not. Even if that portion of their life was from birth to age 3, it did exist.
It just so happens, that time period for me was up until about three months ago.
Before July, I had no idea what an E46 was, what naturally aspirated meant, or that the term “stanced” even existed. I was blissfully driving my 2008 Ford Focus, and thinking that movies like The Fast and the Furious were just that… movies.
I arrived in Southern California on July 2nd. The moment I realized my lifestyle was about to undergo a drastic change was about 45 minutes after touching down in LAX when I arrived at my new apartment where my brother’s Ferrari 458 Italia sat peacefully in the garage. I wouldn’t say that this was the car that sparked my interest, but seeing it every day for the past three months definitely fueled the fire.
This thing is seriously beautiful.
Anyhow, I went to work the very next day in CarNinja’s marketing department. I was thinking it would be your average first day at a job. A few awkward handshakes, a quick briefing on the team and objective, and a series of whispers among the rest of the employees. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I walked into a conversation about the new F80 M3, after a few exchanges, one of the debaters turned to me and asked, “Well Shane, what do you think?” In the two seconds before I muttered my answer, I realized a few things. First, this is not your average 9-5 job, second, I had some serious research to do, and lastly, I was about to make a horrible first impression.
I nervously replied, “W-w-… whats an F80?”
Laughter ensued. Then, after the whole team was notified of my ignorance, and all had their laughs and head shakes, they began my BMW crash course. This would be the first of many.
After three months of late night talks, car meet attendance, and a growing passion to learn more, I’m very happy to say that I can speak the language… at least a little.
One of the biggest takeaways I’ve gotten from this initial experience is that the car scene is truly a family. Of course they will bust on you for mixing up your E’s and F’s but at the end of the day, they will take you in with open arms, and make you one of their own. That feeling is extremely humbling, and I’m proud to be involved with such a great group of people.
Now the next step for me is putting my money where my mouth is. Time to go car shopping! Any recommendations are welcome. Interests include, but are not limited to: JDM, and anything from Bavaria. Lets chat cars, I’m always looking to learn something from you guys.
Thanks for reading,