I like cars because of tradition. I enjoy participating in the history of a vehicle. You never truly own a car, you’re just a custodian adding your own polish to the steering wheel every time you take a turn. I turned the third CRX I owned into a race car and during the build it was named “Bubba”. That name lives on today, even though it’s three owners past me, along with many of the other small things that I added during my ownership. I hope to own the car again some day but even if I don’t I hope he’s always known as “Bubba”.
There’s another aspect to tradition though: the kind that get formed around cars, in parallel with them. It’s these traditions that fed my enthusiasm. When my father and I first heard about the Amelia Island Concours, we knew we had to go. We made it to the third event and have been every year since then. Regardless of what else happens in the year, we’ll always have one weekend where we can completely immerse ourselves in the enthusiasm that we’ve shared for almost thirty years. We get up before sunrise and stand outside in the brisk morning air to watch racers with crackling V-12s file in alongside luxurious straight eights and sixes. As all of the cars we’re excited about, and some that we didn’t even know we were excited about, roll by I have the same thought that I do every year. “We are here again. I love the sounds. I love the smells. I love being here. We are here again.”
I can’t imagine not standing there with my father every single year. It’s a tradition that’s become a part of us and a part of our family. We’ve had many other traditions – waking up on Sundays to watch Formula One, spectating at every event Road Atlanta we could attend, going to the Canadian Grand Prix for a while – but Amelia Island sticks for us. Every year feeds our enthusiasm and ensures that we’ll be back next time.
So here’s the question: what are your car traditions? What feeds your enthusiasm year after year? What traditions would be worth starting that you haven’t prioritized before? Think it over. Invite someone else into your world. Start something new. If you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it.
[Source: Bill Bounds; photo: Dirk de Jager]