There are two kinds of people in this world.
There are people who drink coffee. Then there are people who think 3-in-1 tastes like piss and have to order monkey-picked beans and roast them in their very own coffee laboratory.
There are people who check their email, surf the web and occasionally press the ‘like’ button on Facebook. Then there are people who build their PCs piece by literal piece with only the finest components available. And they do it every year.
There are people who like snapping pretty pictures. Then there are people who spend hundreds of thousands of pesos on a single lens for their digital camera just for that perfect shot.
There are people who like listening to music. Then there are people who spend millions on their audio system just to hear every word and note.
There are people who write letters. Then there are people who have taken hours of calligraphy training, spent money on the finest inks and only buy paper with the exact luxurious feel and weight for the occasion.
There are people who doodle. Then there are people who have row after row of art pencils with almost imperceptible differences in lead hardness.
There are people who drive cars. Then there are people who love cars.
Whatever the interest, whatever the activity, people will always look at them from two sides: one that looks on with distance and disinterest, and the other with borderline obsession. You can neither condone nor respect each point of view—both represent the very same truth. It does, however, reflect the way we make our choices and why we make them.
The first group sees cars purely as a means of transport: getting to work, to school, to Friday night outings, to the occasional road trips out of town. Whatever the destination, these people open their door, get in, drive off, reach their destination, get out and don’t even look back. Their idea of car maintenance is to vacuum their car once a week and on occasion, bring it into the casa and then picking it up without even bothering to check what was done.
Meanwhile, the second group looks at cars as an object of desire—as something worth their time and effort. They tend to be picky with their driving position, no matter how near their destination is. They care more about the drive than the destination making sure they pick the appropriate music for the occasion. They have the tendency to be weekender DIY-ers (Do It Yourself) and if not, they pamper their cars with monthly (or is it weekly) trips to the car spa for some detailing work. Scratches, no matter how invisible can be seen. From space. And when they hear about a new ‘it’ place, the first thing they ask is, “how’s the parking?”
Contrary to popular belief, the type of car you drive doesn’t even matter. You can be in a Ferrari and not have a care. As long as your car’s running, you don’t care about the occasional dent or its dirty condition. On the other hand, you can be in a Hyundai and know each nook and cranny of your car. You know its quirks and how to drive around them. And it’s spic and span—both inside and out.
I, for one, consider myself part of the second group. My obsessive compulsive nature with cars tends to make people think I’m crazy. It drives my wife absolutely nuts. Maybe it’s because mechanical inclination runs in the family (my dad’s a mechanical engineer) or maybe I’ve been into cars since I was a small kid. Whatever the reason, I love cars. I’m crazy about them. I’m a self-confessed petrol head to the core.
And that’s the reason I write about cars: I want to impart a bit of myself, my knowledge to you, the reader. I’m not a blue-blooded journalist—I didn’t go through journalism school or have the credentials to boast as much. I’m not a super car guy who has the time and benefit of trying out the most exotic metal on planet earth just for the heck of it. I write about cars because I want to connect with people, with buyers.
My self-proclaimed love for the automotive means that each time I drive a car, any car for a day or the week, I don’t do it for the free gas. I don’t do it to look cool. I’ve never thought about it that way and never will. I treat them with the same love and respect as if they were my own—as if I plopped down my hard-earned money for it. I refuel it when I can. Clean and wash it when weather permits. I never had it over to the valet, or to anyone else I don’t trust. And I always drive it within the limits of the road, the car and myself.
I will never understand people who look at cars in any other way, and I will never make an attempt to. People who just drive cars will never understand people who love them. I write about cars from my personal viewpoint and how I like or dislike them. I don’t consider them to be the final answer or the absolute, validated truth. Nor will I market myself attempting to do the same.
If you’re reading this, then thank you. Perhaps we do share something in common. Perhaps we’re kindred spirits, attached by the string of fate known as the “love for the automobile.”