Automotive enthusiasts around the world, especially in rural areas, tend to be a little blind to the culture around them. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, most of us have other things to pay attention to throughout the day: jobs, family, financial planning……. electrical problems for some of us German car owners.) But being the car-infatuated beings that we are, it is our DUTY to contribute to the pool of same-minded peers in our local areas. WE MUST SHARE OUR LOVE OF THREAD LOCK AND SHINY FORGED PIECES OF METAL WITH OTHER PEOPLE TO AVOID THE LACK OF AUTO ACTIVITIES IN OUR PARKING LOTS! No really, despite repeatedly seeing Prius-infested freeways by day, there is hope. Car events exist in some of the most deceiving of places, and the tips listed below can turn your week into a night-after-night car culture extravaganza (Yes, after the sun goes down). So if you enjoy those motorized things with wheels and being part of a like-minded community of people that don’t do burnouts in parking lots, potentially jeopardizing the likelihood of a meet happening ever again, you’re in luck. Read my tips below for getting involved with the car culture around you:
Look for Local Facebook Events
Can you REALLY say you’re contributing to the car culture around you without going to car-related events? Meh. Unless you’ve created the next new thing in carbon nanotube technology, the answer is probably no. So the first step to integrating yourself into the automotive body is to see wassappenin around town, and the best way to do that is to rummage around your automotive enthusiast friends’ Facebook accounts to see what they’re up to. If they are like you and don’t know wassappenin, then simply type the words “Car Meet” in the search feature and filter by distance from you within the list of events that shows up. There’s bound to be something substantial happening every week in the car scene within arm’s reach.
Have you ever seen professional imagery of a shiny, shiny car that’s made you wish you had taken it? If you own a decent point-and-shoot or a dslr and have some photography experience, don’t be afraid to jump in and ask somebody on social media if you could hold a shoot with their car. The fact that somebody would actually want to capture what they’ve built into a still picture not only flatters them, but it can also make you some money on the side while spreading somebody’s ride to the rest of the interested individuals out there within the social media solar system.
Instagram is the medium of choice for most automotive related pictures because enthusiasts tend to want to look at pretty, fast things and scroll along to the next pretty, fast thing because, to us, cars are cars, and you can’t have enough cars. They are beautiful. We want to touch them, lick them, modify them, make them faster, slower, less convenient, more trackable, anything to change them and make them our own. So yes, photos of nice cars are, well….. nice.
Becoming a member on a well-known automotive forum can mean you are one of three people; a help-seeker, an expert, or an observer that likes to chime in and fact check anyone that has made any sort of error, even in the smallest degree. Don’t be the last one….. those people get banned or badmouthed until they decide to leave out of their own free will anyway. Forums offer a wealth of technical knowledge and advice that can be searched and contributed to if you are a more mechanically and aesthetically savvy person in the automotive realm. Contributing, or even asking questions, can provide answers that other people are not comfortable enough to ask in a group thread format. This gives you credibility and plenty of information to satisfy your own automotive needs that can be implemented into your own rides.
4. Visit Manufacturers
Going to an aftermarket part manufacturer’s headquarters helps you create relationships with people that are the cream of the crop in the industry and aids you in making decisions for your own performance and aesthetics needs. It also doesn’t hurt to know people that may be able to get you free tickets to big events or discounts on parts that you are seriously considering purchasing for your build.
5. Rep Your Project Car
Have a car worth looking at and writing about? Well why not spread the word??? Maybe you did something that was unique to your car that makes it stand out. Or you’re stuck on a certain step of the process to complete your dream build, but you need some answers. Utilize Instagram, post on forums, and create a dedicated blog post about your car with all the juicy details so that onlookers that may have the same car or are considering doing a build with the same car get confirmation about limitations, potential, and realistic expectations about certain aspects of the car’s overall strengths and weaknesses. Being able to articulate your build process and methods not only makes you relatable within many other enthusiasts’ slice of pie, but it gives you notoriety and an identity that people will remember and tell other people about if they run into similar problems, want similar parts, or are just curious about a certain automotive platform.
To sum this up, this is only a rudimentary list of things you can do to raise your awareness and contribution to car culture within your area. No matter where you are, there are people wrenching on cars and bloodying their knuckles, looking for technical installation answers, wanting photographic push to gain sponsorship for their builds, representing brands that you and many other people may be interested in, and just looking for a good time to hang out with other auto-addicted homo sapiens within their area. So go out there! Do the things! Turn the bolts! Talk with peeps who know your peeps! Binge on the forums! Press black buttons and click those shutters! Share your car! Share other people’s cars! Remember to eat and wash behind your ears! But most importantly, just be a decent car person and let other car people know you’re there.
Thanks for reading!
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