Home » Who Have You Met Because Of Cars?

Who Have You Met Because Of Cars?

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For many people, cars are just transport. But for us enthusiasts, they’re an important hobby, nay—a way of life! We spend our money and time on car shows, race tickets, and maintaining our fleets. Amidst all this, we often meet some great people along the way! So I ask, who have you met bet because of cars?

I’ve made a lot of friends over the years, but this was formerly predicated on meeting lots of people in the first place. Post-university, and post-working from home, I stopped meeting a lot of people in my day-to-day life. More and more these days, I’m finding new friends by diving into my passions. Cars are a major part of that.

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I’ve made a ton of good friends in the car scene. For me, a lot of that centered around the purchase of my Mazda MX-5. I was 25 and realized I’d never had a project car. Thus, I dropped $3000 for a white shitbox that needed a fuckton of parts. As I hunted for bits and pieces, that Mazda introduced me to a ton of locals in the scene with similar interests.

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Mazda bois loved a good hills run.
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I bought a Volvo so I could fit all my pals in it!

Years later, the MX-5 is gone, but the friendships remain. I still chat with Andrew and Ross on the regular about Formula 1 and their own track builds. I might not buy parts from Ray anymore, but I’m psyched to be going to his wedding tomorrow! Oh, and I won Rookie of the Year from the MX-5 Club, and I still have the trophy. That’s pretty rad.

Track days also helped me make new connections. I met my pal Tien at a skidpad day because I needed to borrow his air compressor. Years later, we still banter about whacky schemes of questionable legality and our project cars. Meanwhile, at a sprint event, my hunt for a turbo wagon introduced me to Jim, who raced a Volvo 242 GT and collected many more besides.

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Alexei (white hat) is the best wrench I know. Jack (purple shirt) suggested we rip the soft top off my car and he was right to do so.

I’ve found it easy to make friends in certain parts of the car scene. At the track, you’re generally sitting around for hours between sessions in close proximity with a ton of other car fans. You’ve already got similar interests and it’s easy to strike up a conversation just by pointing at a bit of their car, or some broken bit on yours. Sharing tools and hot tips is often a great way to connect, too.

These are the ways that cars introduced me to new people; I’m sure you’ve all got your own stories to share, too. So let me know—what wonderful humans did you meet through the wonderful world of cars?

Image credits: Lewin Day

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Col Hathi
Col Hathi
1 month ago

It was May 2007, and I had moved to Atlanta, from India. My favourite driver, Kimi R, was in a heated battle for the F1 World Championship.

So here I was, in Campus housing, too broke to subscribe to Speed TV and watch the rest of the season.

A professor of mine – a serial entrepreneur who drove a Maserati Quattroporte V, gave me the number of this F1 fanatic from Europe who organised F1 watch parties.

Pretty soon, I was a part of this lovely group of F1 fans, who met at a different bar every race-day. The bars would be closed off for us – it was usually early Sunday mornings so this wasn’t an issue – and we’d have this group of 20 catching up over breakfast and beers to watch what was one of the best seasons of F1.

That gang was spectacular, and I couldn’t have wished for a better set of friends to celebrate Kimi’s victory with!

He’s still the last F1 World Champion for Ferrari. I need to call Maranello and request them to pay for another Atlanta beer run for me and the gang, to improve Sainz and Leclerc’s fortunes.

Gnomadd
Gnomadd
1 month ago

Jim Farley-he was driving a pre-production Bronco Sport and we saw the BS go to a gas station, she liked it so we followed, chatted a bit while we were filling up and he let us have a good look. She ended up ordering one. He’s a good salesman. Randy Grubb, the guy who builds those magic cars from metal, through a guy we know who owns the Falconer Dodici. Ian Callum, Aston Martin and Jaguar designer, who we met at the Woodward Dream Cruise while he was showing off the Jaguar I-Pace he had just designed.

Vb9594
Vb9594
1 month ago

My wife. I have owned a ’64 Riviera since I was 16 named Vanessa. At a party in college I saw a cute girl named Vanessa and walked up to her and said “Do you know you have the same name as my car?” Unable to resist a pickup line like that, 26 years and two sons later the rest is history!

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago
Reply to  Vb9594

Great story! And great line to meet her too. Best to you all.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
1 month ago

One story stands out to me.

It was in 2020, I had purchased my 280Z a few months back and hadn’t started the restoration process yet. I was also a mediocre wrench back then.

I went to the Albi track with my Z4 as I was regularly doing back then. That’s when I saw a black 280Z. I was so pumped! Those are really rare in France, so I had to chat with the owner.

It was Ludovic, a guy about my age (30ish back then), and I shit you not, he was the nicest person I’d ever met. We chatted for hours, talked about his Datsun and mine. I learned that he was a professional mechanic, working in a shop specialized in old Ferraris and Jaguars.

Phone numbers were exchanged and that kicked off a beautiful friendship. He helped my rebuild my 5-speed gearbox, I gave him parts I didn’t need for my Z. He gave me a treasure trove of advice, and everytime we’re on the phone, I block more than an hour because talking to each other is such a treat.

He’s also a role model of mine. The guy’s fleet is amazing:
– Datsun 280Z turned into a track car
– OG Mini he fixed up for his girlfriend, who is also amazing!
– He just sold an AE86 he spent years restoring to buy a Caterham Seven
– He’s fixing up a Renault Formula he bought for cheap off a racing school to enter a one-seater championship

I’m really happy to count this dude among my friends. One day I’ll be half as cool as he is.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago

That is such a wholesome story <3

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
1 month ago

It is, too bad we’re now living half a country away. I plan on visiting him once my Datsun is back on the road!

Ross Ewing
Ross Ewing
1 month ago

I have met various “real” celebrities and been completely unfazed; but I am not too proud to admit that I was briefly short circuited and star struck when I rounded the corner of DTs former home for wayward jeep parts (which I thought was empty) and was greeted by Jason Torchinsky. Flying across the country on a whim to attend David’s moving party was probably one of the crazier ways I’ve met car folks, but far from the only time.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
1 month ago

If this question was asked 10 years ago I’d have an incredibly long list of car buddies I could name, but these days I’ve mostly left the car scene. One foot in, one foot out at the moment.

With that said, one of my best friends is someone I met via cars. It’s a pretty funny story, and admittedly, we probably would have met regardless because we ran in the same circles but here it goes.

Way back in high school, 2008/2009, I was friends with this cute girl who was into cars, skating, biking etc. She always mentioned this friend that she wanted to introduce me to, but he didn’t go to our school and it never happened. She mentioned this dude multiple times during our high school years. Fast forward to summer 2011, she’s planning to buy a car and she wanted a manual. Her friend had a modified 96 Civic coupe for sale, and I offered to teach her how to drive stick on my S13 so she could buy it. At this point, I hadn’t met him.

Fast forward again to Nov 2011. I’m at a Gamestop midnight launch party for CoD MW3 waiting in line to try the game. We knew the manager and he let us try the game out ahead of time. While standing in line, I overheard a random group of guys behind me talking about Honda S2000’s. They were debating on who would win in a race if both cars were stock.

I rarely, if ever, jump into random conversations, but that night I did because I knew exactly what they were talking about. I turned around and joined in. We talked for a few minutes and after a little bit of time went by, they start asking me how I knew so much about cars and what I drove. I point to my lowered SR swapped S13 a few spots away from where we were standing and one of the guys gave me this puzzling look.

He goes “Are you Krystal’s John?”

I was a little perplexed because I hadn’t introduced myself yet but I quickly I realized what was happening and I asked “Are you Krystal’s Jeff”

It turns out she had told both of us a lot about one another and he knew my car, or, of it, and just guessed at who I was.

13 years later, I’m still best friends with both of them.

*Disclaimer, I wrote this quickly in a meeting, sorry for the terrible grammar.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
1 month ago

Awesome story!

755_SoCalRally
755_SoCalRally
1 month ago

The US rally drivers/co-drivers I’ve met have, to a person, have been an incredible and approachable group of car nuts. Since it’s a niche motorsport the community really supports each other and it’s fantastic.

Pneumatic Tool
Pneumatic Tool
1 month ago

I wound up meeting Mr. Regular (Brian) and The Roman when they reviewed our Grand Cherokee last year. They’re pretty much the same IRL as they are in their vids – very cool and relatable guys. It was a trip being behind the scenes and actively participating in doing a thing that you watch regularly (sic).

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
1 month ago

The Fiat community is amazing for this. Several years ago, a few of us coalesced into a little “Fiat fam,” and any time any of us were near each other, we would meet up for dinner or whatever. We always talked about going to Vegas as a group when our “son” (the youngest of the group) turned 21. Sure enough, the month he turned 21, we got a bunch of us together for a weekend in Vegas. Over time, we’ve all met up either as a group or individually many times, the last time was for a wedding last summer. It truly is a little family!
Outside of that group, there was a certain notorious Northern Irish Fiat lunatic who happened to be driving a Panda all over the US. I drove a couple hours south to meet up with him and drive his Panda in the wilds of Buhl, Idaho. Now I’m paying him a visit next fall in the UK to buy one of his cars!

George Wilson
George Wilson
1 month ago

More cops than I really wanted to…

Tarragon
Tarragon
1 month ago

I don’t have a great story for myself but I do have an interesting story.

My mother met my father on a Vincent owners club ride from LA to Death Valley. The guy she rode there with got drunk and she refused to ride back with him. She got a ride with a different guy and they hit it off. I have a magazine from that era with a picture of her in front of a (non-Vincent) bike.

In LA my father worked for Rollie Free in a garage. I’m told I was introduced to him when I was an infant.

When we moved out of state my father left a Vincent Lightning in Rollie’s care. He was not able to go back and pick it up before Rollie passed and never saw the bike again.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  Tarragon

Great story – Rollie Free AND Vincents. Wow.

Jminer
Jminer
1 month ago

Definitely! I wouldn’t be a part of Oppo without cars and I’ve met probably 25 people from there and it’s awesome!

BoneBrothOutback
BoneBrothOutback
1 month ago

A group of very nice folks who let me borrow an impact driver when my previously mentioned V-10 USGS-issued Dodge Ram let a tire go in spectacular fashion, directly in front of them having a cookout in their front yard. The resultant damage destroyed the little crank to lower the spare wheel and we needed to take it off to get the spare off but didn’t have the technology in the truck to get it off despite carrying 60k dollars worth of surveying equipment. They also offered us beers and it was really hard to say no afterwards.

MP81
MP81
1 month ago

I remember Mark Steilow showed up in the Red Devil (LS9-powered pro-touring ’69 Camaro) to a casual meetup we had of F-Bodies on a early-for-the-season Friday night on Woodward (it was mid-late March).

ExAutoJourno
ExAutoJourno
1 month ago

Let’s see…if you count the people I’ve met because I wrote about cars (which I did because of liking cars and innate laziness), the list would include Erik Carlsson, Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney, Carroll Shelby, Peter Brock, Juan Fangio II, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Ernie Irvan, Rusty Wallace and a bunch of familiar names in the car biz.

The drivers were all great people, and I enjoyed every second I was able to spend with them. Messrs. Carlsson and Moss really stand out in that list; a ride a ride with Erik in the Saab Museum’s Monte Carlo Rally 96 was, in a word, unforgettable.

Actually, there’s not one, whether driver, designer, engineer or executive or P.R. person I wouldn’t love to hang out with again.

Some of the cars were nice, too.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 month ago

So many people. I consider our own Mercedes to be a great friend. I met her when she only owned ONE car! One of my best friends in the world, is a guy I met through Opposite-Lock.com. We didn’t even initially meet in person to do a car thing. We met so I could buy a cheap netbook off of him. I never did a damn thing with that netbook, but we ended up becoming great friends!

Auto Guy
Auto Guy
1 month ago

My parents. Dad was a major car fan long before I was born, so when I was born, I joined a wonderful home. The “odd child” was a 1960 VW Beetle. A blended family, as it were.

Andrew Daisuke
Andrew Daisuke
1 month ago

I met Beau at SEMA ’09. Seemed like a nice guy, we were in line for beers at some shitty concession stall. I made fun of him for pimp my ride.

Matt H
Matt H
1 month ago

Friends! So many friends, but one cool example: a guy posted a picture of my C4 ‘Vette at Radwood, I reached out, and I met a whole crew of cool peeps from that.

Girlfriend! Well, this had more to do with motorcycles than cars, but we met on a group ride and now I have a whole new community of like-minded cool people through her.

Celebrities! It’s easier to do this living here in SoCal, but lots of celebrities are also car obsessed and show up to gatherings. And they’ve all been pretty nice and chill.

S13 Sedan
S13 Sedan
1 month ago

Literally my entire local friend group. I moved here from out of state and didn’t know anyone here. My coworkers were all nice but they also aren’t the type of people I’d hang out with outside of work. I was a early 20s guy with no kids and most of them had families and kids and spent their free time with them and when they weren’t, they were the only going hunting/fishing/up north kind of people.

So instead, I’d go to cars and coffees and any sort of car event I could go to because let’s be honest, I was going to do that anyway. Through going through those events, eventually you start to talk to people about cars. Then you see those people at the next event and you talk to them again. Then eventually those people become your friends. Now it’s at a point where any event I go to, I fully expect to run into at least one of my friends there and it makes it all worthwhile.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 month ago

“Who Have You Met Because Of Cars?”

A whole lot of cops.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago

Forgot this. My wife (RIP), and her piece of crap 1981 Impala.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

🙁

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