Calling all car enthusiasts

By: Akim Burke

From the thundering roar of a V8 engine to its various lines and curves, a car is more than a machine. It’s also an outlet to unleash individual freedom. This sense of freedom is evident in a number of ways, from that “first car” feeling, to a father and son rebuilding a classic Mustang.

The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive Concept is where man and machine ultimately become one, with facebook and twitter capabilities to add to the equation.

Cars can reflect an owner’s personality, serve as a confidence booster, or, even, win a young man’s heart after he finally picks a name for his “ride.” They take their drivers to another place physically, mentally and sometimes, even spiritually.

From its birth, the automobile was built to hasten getting from one place to another. Much faster than horses, it would eventually be even sleeker in style, at least for a while. Style gradually became a mandatory component of a vehicle, much like the power of the engine and the exhilaration of the drive.

By some definitions, a “car enthusiast” is a person who has a preoccupation with a specific vehicle, or several vehicles.

My love for cars started with my uncle’s 1992 Chevy 1500 and only grew in the next 20-years. I have watched practically every kilometer roll through the speedometer, up to its current 600k status.

A Car Enthusiast's dream brought to life, with history made modern with the 2012 100th Edition Chevrolet Corvette.

The best early memory I have of that truck is the sheer feeling of “coolness” and the extra bounce it put in my step whenever we would go for a drive. I’ve never lost that feeling. Even now, it still feels like a part of my identity.

I say identity because if my personality were to be a character in the next Cars movie, that truck would play my role.

Christopher Ma, a Ryerson University student is a member of this specific automobile fraternity. His Acura CSX is his pride and joy, and also his “expensive hobby.”

Ma was first introduced to the car enthusiast culture by his father as they worked together on the latter’s vehicle. Ma’s father has also taken him to the Mecca for car lovers – the Canadian International AutoShow – every year since he was a kid. Today, it has become a family tradition.

Ma says he sees vehicles as more than just machines.

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“Cars are an art form for me because I like being different,” he says. “It’s my chance to express my own creativity into something I can show off everywhere I go.”

Ma started with a basic car, and customized it into his own masterpiece. The tweaks he has made to it shows his creativity and imagination. From his collection of different coloured rims, to having it ride-low, he is always looking for a new way to make it unique.

“People always talk about how low my car is, but my prize part of the car would be my rims and exhaust, as they are one of a kind,” he says.

It’s this emotional connection that separates the authentic car fanatic from the average driver. For us, cars are more than shiny pieces of metal; they are places in which many of us write our life’s best chapters.

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