The Green-Eyed Monster
We've been receiving an increasing amount of correspondence from disgruntled readers commenting on the number of $80,000 feature cars owned by people who describe themselves as students. The writers suggest these people are either spending parents' money or getting their funds from "other" sources. This has led to some very interesting debate.
The first thing I'd like to say is it does smack of envy. Yes, there's purity in earning money to spend on parts and fitting them yourself, but how does this make you better than somebody who doesn't? This sort of elitist thinking is unhealthy, particularly in the Euro scene that inevitably attracts a wealthier crowd by the nature of the vehicles we love.
One reader suggested these people don't have the same dedication and perseverance as somebody who pieces a car together over a period of years on a tight budget. I agree with the sentiment but let's not doubt the passion of the richer individual. We all start somewhere and who among us wouldn't like to start a little higher up the ladder? Who wouldn't like the money to be able to realize all their dreams at once, while working with the best companies and suppliers? Being unable to do so doesn't make us better people. And being born with a silver spoon in your mouth doesn't make you either a bad person or less of an enthusiast. We all share a passion and it should unite us. We really don't need these rifts.
After all, who among us wouldn't swap a few skinned knuckles in a freezing garage for the money to pay somebody to do the difficult jobs? Yes, there's satisfaction in getting the job done yourself, and doing it just right. But not everybody has the skill or patience.
At eurotuner we select a car based on its individual merit. Having done so, we only discover the owner's circumstances when we come to interview them. This process will not change. We won't discriminate on any grounds, and certainly won't be asking an owner if he's privileged.
However, we will continue to promote the work of owners who have sweated blood, working two jobs and living on noodles to afford the car of their dreams they built by the side of the road outside their parents' house. We all admire these guys who are the core of the scene, pushing us to strive harder. There is an honor in what they do, and nobody is denying that.
At the same time, we shouldn't assume that because somebody's a student with an expensive car, they didn't also work two jobs and skin knuckles. We don't ask anybody how they afford the modifications, and it's wrong to assume the worse. We're all enthusiasts and that's what matters.
Please email me if you disagree but remember it's a debate and everybody's entitled to an opinion, so be polite.
If you want to be rude about somebody, what about having a pop at the Lexus and Chrysler design teams? These guys clearly have access to a photocopier and very little imagination.
While Chris Bangle was defending his controversial work at BMW, Lexus was busy transferring his ideas to the new LS460. They've given it the world's first eight-speed automatic, as if it'll distract us from their deception. And now Chrysler has built a concept car that looks like a Rolls Royce Phantom shrunk in the wash. Where's the original thinking? I learned copying was wrong as a five year-old.
Admittedly the Jetta looks like a Camry from the back, but that was just a mistake.
I need to lie down.