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article details
Author Shawn Church
Categories Off Topic, All Honda/Acura
Create Date July 29, 2002 22:12
Last Update November 08, 2002 15:36
Becoming a true enthusiast
I consider myself a car enthusiast first and a Honda enthusiast second. Fortunately for me Honda tends to produce cars that meet my needs better than anyone else in my price range. But as a car enthusiast, I pride myself on trying to keep an open mind (see my recent G35 vs. TL-S comparo post). And in order to keep an open mind, you must stay informed on what's happening in your area of interest.

To keep myself informed I tend to spend a lot of time at the magazine rack of my local newsstand. The employees there know me pretty well (I recently advised one on the purchase of a new car) and they let me read through just about anything I want. I purchase a few magazines each month to make sure they stay in business. I try to read as much as I possibly can, even picking up the foreign rags that I can't fully translate (although I've picked up a fair amount of German and French in my years).

Every now and then, when chewing my way through the shelves, a particular headline catches my eye. Good editorial and graphic design work I guess. Recently, I spotted a bold tag that said something along the lines of "Import Killer - 780 hp from 7.4 liters!". The headline was, of course, attached to a magazine which focuses on aftermarket development of domestic cars. I, of course, read the article and was impressed to find that an engine developer had put together a turbocharged 7.4 liter V8 pushrod engine pumping out nearly 800 hp on the engine dyno. That's quite an accomplishment, especially if its designed for daily driving with off-the-shelf parts (can't say whether or not that's the case).

But, marring the significant accomplishment of the engine developer was the pervasive "anti-import" sentiment expressed throughout the article by the writer. Discussions of how "import" guys brag about 100 hp/liter and how this engine beat that with pushrods and 2-valves. I felt this sort of writing was unnecessary for several reasons. First of all, it has nothing to do with the engine or the accomplishments of its builder. Isn't 800 hp on pump gas a significant enough premise for an article? Second of all, the writer was either ignorant in his comparison, or deliberately neglected to include a simple fact - the import guys are getting 100 hp/liter naturally aspirated, from production engines - not from a turbo'd aftermarket engine (which in most cases now are approaching an easy 150-200 hp/liter in street trim). Never mind that hp/liter is pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, whether you like imports or domestics. Hp/liter doesn't make you go, power to weight does.

But, I'm not here to pick on this particular magazine or the writer of the article. I just used them as an example of an attitude that I see more and more in the automotive enthusiast world - and that includes import/compact focused sources too. Rivalries certainly aren't new. Ford vs. Chevy seems to have been an issue for time immemorial. And similar rivalries, although to a lesser extent, exist all around the world. But I feel that, in recent years, the enthusiast media has helped to perpetuate the "versus" attitude that has simply gone all out of control.

And why do the media put such provocative attitudes on display in their media vehicles? Simply put, it sells. Controversy usually does, but it's the easy way out. I know it turns me off to see it artificially created or overhyped, and I know I'm not alone. But there are plenty of people who seem to firmly embrace the "my car rules and everyone else's sucks" attitude. You see it all the time in posts that describe a competitive car as a "POS", or some other witty adjective. Sure, its human nature to defend your decisions as correct, but too often we seem to do this by seeking fault in the choices of others.

So, what are we to do? I don't have all the answers, as the problem is bigger than any of us. But, we can do a few things. First, start with your own attitude. When you criticize someone else's car, what is your basis? Have you driven it? When you say another car is slow, what's the criteria? Is it 0.2 seconds slower to 60 mph than your car? Is that really slow? Next, don't encourage mis-informed behavior from others. Don't give into the mob mentality. I know its tough, and we've all been guilty of it one time or another. And finally, support the magazines that try to take an unbiased viewpoint. There are a few out there that do a pretty good job. Hot Rod magazine on the domestic side does a pretty good job, even if they get ripped by their readers for giving the imports any credit at all. On the import/compact side, Sport Compact Car is pretty reasonable too.

I've met a lot of true car enthusiasts over the years. You can find them everywhere, but I usually find them at the track, or maybe on the dyno. They're on the Internet, but they seem to keep a lower profile to avoid the rampant immaturity that seems to pervade enthusiast sites. Here's to hoping that we can all bring out the true enthusiast in ourselves without having to resort to name calling and meaningless generalizations.

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Date Thread Starter Thread
09-09-2002 15:14
True enthusiasts agree!   (Score: 1, Normal)
92civicVX
08-18-2002 17:45
Lets Talk About NASCAR   (Score: 1, Normal)
ZeAliOuS
08-18-2002 22:06
NASCRAP   (Score: 1, Normal)
TonyEX
09-01-2002 13:41
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
09-01-2002 21:46
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR and clear up some ignorant points made   (Score: 1, Normal)
gilbert
09-02-2002 20:07
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR and clear up some ignorant points made   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
09-03-2002 11:00
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR and clear up some ignorant points made   (Score: 1, Normal)
def
09-03-2002 13:44
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR and clear up some ignorant points made   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
09-03-2002 16:21
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR and clear up some ignorant points made   (Score: 1, Normal)
def
09-04-2002 00:27
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR and clear up some ignorant points made   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
09-04-2002 10:16
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR and clear up some ignorant points made   (Score: 1, Normal)
def
09-04-2002 20:43
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR and clear up some ignorant points made   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
09-04-2002 20:37
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR and clear up some ignorant points made   (Score: 1, Normal)
gilbert
09-04-2002 21:30
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR and clear up some ignorant points made   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
09-04-2002 22:15
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR and clear up some ignorant points made   (Score: 1, Normal)
gilbert
09-05-2002 14:22
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR and clear up some ignorant points made   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
09-03-2002 18:14
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR and clear up some ignorant points made   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
09-06-2002 19:36
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR   (Score: 1, Normal)
Type R-Positive
09-06-2002 23:09
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
09-07-2002 08:16
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR   (Score: 1, Normal)
Type R-Positive
09-07-2002 16:33
Re: Lets Talk About NASCAR   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
09-06-2002 01:41
Toyota & GM   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
07-31-2002 11:53
Us vs. Them   (Score: 1, Normal)
Mr-914
09-01-2002 14:16
Re: Us vs. Them   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
09-04-2002 14:55
Re: Us vs. Them   (Score: 1, Normal)
floundericiousMI
09-04-2002 20:56
Re: Us vs. Them   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
07-30-2002 19:13
A true enthusiast   (Score: 1, Normal)
TonyEX
07-31-2002 13:45
Re: A true enthusiast   (Score: 1, Normal)
floundericiousMI
07-31-2002 14:24
Re: A true enthusiast   (Score: 1, Normal)
TonyEX
07-31-2002 16:29
Re: A true enthusiast   (Score: 1, Normal)
notyper
07-31-2002 17:17
Re: A true enthusiast   (Score: 1, Normal)
Brillo
09-04-2002 12:41
Re: A true enthusiast   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
07-31-2002 16:50
Re: A true enthusiast   (Score: 1, Normal)
floundericiousMI
07-31-2002 21:13
Re: A true enthusiast   (Score: 1, Normal)
TonyEX
08-13-2002 09:03
Re: A true enthusiast   (Score: 1, Normal)
HondaCRX
08-14-2002 13:27
Re: A true enthusiast   (Score: 1, Normal)
TonyEX
08-18-2002 23:53
Re: A true enthusiast   (Score: 1, Normal)
HondaCRX
08-19-2002 17:09
Re: A true enthusiast   (Score: 1, Normal)
TonyEX
08-03-2002 16:07
7.4L 780hp TURBO is NOT a great feat (n/t)   (Score: 1, Normal)
iNteGRaz92
09-04-2002 00:42
Re: 7.4L 780hp TURBO is NOT a great feat (n/t)   (Score: 1, Normal)
abc
08-26-2002 16:34
People are tribal and unaware of it...   (Score: 1, Normal)
quadlamp
08-09-2002 07:30
The Joy of Driving...   (Score: 1, Normal)
LeadFoot
08-21-2002 02:27
Re: The Joy of Driving...   (Score: 1, Normal)
Civic Racer
08-08-2002 09:05
I just wanna thank you for wrinting articles like this one.   (Score: 1, Normal)
danielgr
08-08-2002 13:04
Re: I just wanna thank you for wrinting articles like this one.   (Score: 1, Normal)
TonyEX
08-08-2002 18:13
Re: Wow, that was a serious stream of consciousness   (Score: 1, Normal)
notyper
08-04-2002 02:40
Very true   (Score: 1, Normal)
shy_hilo_guy31
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