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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Open Diff: Has a Car Community Ever Influenced Your Perception of a Particular Car?

Posted December 05, 2022 7:53 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: car culture

Even though we, as old-car enthusiasts, often toil late into the night alone in our own garages, with nothing but our own voices and the zip-zip-zip of the ratchet in our ears, this is a social endeavor. We take our vehicles to car shows and to race meets. We seek out like-minded enthusiasts to swap parts and advice and to sometimes lend a hand during an engine swap. No man is an island, as they say.

But to what extent do car communities actually inform our automotive likes and dislikes? Has there ever been a club, a forum, or just a group of guys hanging out in a neighborhood garage on Friday nights that has influenced you to appreciate or to utterly avoid a certain type of vehicle, regardless of that vehicle's attributes? Perhaps you even bought a vehicle not out of peer pressure from that community but because the community members' levels of enthusiasm and approachability (or, alternately, sold a vehicle because you were disgusted by that community's collective temperament)?

I included the photo above of several members-in-good-standing of the Crosley Automobile Club because they're the ones — along with the rest of the Crosley community — that keep me interested in the diminutive cars. Sure, it doesn't hurt that the cars come from Ohio or that they appeal to my sense of efficiency and thrift, but I don't think I'd take as much of an interest in them if it weren't for the members of that club. Admittedly, I'm not a member, I haven't taken the opportunity to travel to Wauseon for one of the club's annual meets, and I've not yet owned a Crosley (not counting the ragged, floorless body of a CC sedan that never progressed under my watch or the multiple Crosley engines, including the tin block still on my desk) but I still make it a point to scan the club's website for photos of the meet, I'm still subscribed to the club's mailing list, and the club members' dedication to research and display of Crosley historical materials has informed many an article I've written about the cars. I appreciate what the club does so much, in fact, that I ended up donating that CC body for the club's first youth project.

How about you? Have you ever owned or even ogled a vehicle primarily because of the other people interested in it? Did you ever find your interest in a car soured because you just didn't want to be associated with that group of enthusiasts? No need to name names, but tell us your stories of associative automotive preferences in the comments.

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Re: Open Diff: Has a Car Community Ever Influenced Your Perception of a Particular Car?

12/05/2022 12:59 PM

A brief period of participation in SCCA autocross events back in the eighties gave me insight into a number of different vehicles and how they would handle in tight maneuvering situations. It was also fun without spending a ton of money and relatively little risk to my daily driver at the time.

I didn't have much money back then while in college, but it certainly gave me a number of fun driving vehicles to dream about owning. Fiat Spider, X1/9, MGB's, 914's, 911's and other cars that might need frequent attention.

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