...One For All
A major ambition during the past two years working at Honda Tuning has been to get my own column. The idea that I could have one page per month to write about anything appealed to me as an opportunity to write directly to thousands of people that, while I've never met them, are friends through the fellowship that is the Honda scene.
I'll always feel like I've got a place in the world knowing that there will always be friends that are only a meet/race/show/shop away. It isn't hard to make friends. Most people grow up with the same crowd, go to school with them, party with them, and sometimes create meaningful relationships with the people in that crowd they have most in common with. We have them beat. We all share our passion for the H-badge, and the high-powered four cylinders, extraordinary handling, and aesthetic styling that often come with it.
We come stock with something in common. How many times have you found yourself standing in a parking lot way too long, shivering in the elements, but with a smile on your face because you've been talking cars for the last few hours? I'm sure even in the fires of hell, Honda guys would be content to stand around and bullshit. Imagine that conversation: "I don't know man-you think a Backyard Lip with a J's duct would be too much carbon? Damn, is it hot in here?"
There is more to this Honda guy disposition than meets the eye. We, as a group, are ambitious by nature. Our scene came from humble beginnings, and within the past 15 years it's been able to usurp the aftermarket authority that no more than two decades ago was held by a domestic monopoly that had been in place since the inception of the automobile. We are the 20-year-old kids that old businessmen bitch about, just out of college and climbing our way through a company at five times the pace the old men did. It's in our nature. It's who we are.
I don't know how many times I've been to the drag strip and watched opposing teams lend each other parts, tools, or a hand to help get both teams on the track. I've stood on the side of the 15 freeway on the way back from a show in San Diego, for a few hours, in the middle of the night, with a group of 10 people trying to help out one guy who's car didn't make it home. I've dropped an F20 in a CB7 Accord under an Easy-Up in my buddy's driveway enduring torrential rain with six other guys while drinking beers and eating carne asada.
We're the kind of guys who would rather help out the other team than take a default bye pass, the kind of guys that are cool with risking getting hit by traffic to take a front lip off on the side of the freeway so it doesn't get scratched on the flat bed. Most of all, we're the kind of guys that will eat carne asada and drink beer while putting in a buddy's motor, unaffected by the rain until three days later when we're in Japan with walking pneumonia (right Bob?).
While the most obvious benefit of being a Honda guy is the people and experiences inherent to our way of life, there is something to be said for the personal reasons why we do what we do. I'd like to be able to tell you that the life of a tech editor is glamorous and kick-ass all the time. Unfortunately, whether you have a dream job like I do, or work at a burger joint for minimum wage, every human on this planet has ups and downs, and each has their own way of dealing with them. Why does an alcoholic drink? Why does a painter paint? Constructive or not, distraction is sometimes necessary for a modern human to maintain a little sanity. For me, Honda is the best of both worlds.
When I'm down, car-related numbers crunching will usually let me forget about the original annoyance in an instant. Who needs booze? Fluid dynamics, chemistry, physics, geometry, calculus-you can find all of this math in your car. There will never be a point where you've learned everything there is to know. But you can, and should, keep trying for the rest of your life.
On the other hand, when I'm up, my cars are the fastest canvases an artist has ever seen. A painter, writer, or musician expresses themselves with their brush, pen, or instrument. I express myself through my cars (and now through a column).
Striving toward progression-whether that's expanding knowledge, improving your professional/personal life, or even something as miniscule as being able to twirl a pen really well-is one, if not the only, reason we have to be alive. Our scene has never had a shortage of progression. I've never met a Honda guy who lacked ambition. We are an elite few who has the ability to do whatever we set our minds to. If we all keep our minds on making the scene grow and flourish, we're unstoppable.