I've spent a little bit over two years as a car enthusiast, and that's been a long enough time to get myself situated within some forums. Turbo bricks, Facebook groups, and here on the Hagerty Forums, I'd consider myself a part of the community. However, like any community, I've had some pretty good, and pretty negative encounters, so I'd like to talk about them.
The Facebook forums have easily been the best to me. The Corvair Owners group have been especially nice to me. Last night when I couldn't sleep, I made a post asking about how much one can realistically expect to pay and maintain an old Corvair. I woke this morning to nearly 20 responses, with all of the responses being very helpful and positive. Everyone who had commented had something helpful to say, and it was definitely a highlight of my day.
Another great forum is Turbobricks. I made a post back in August of last year asking about 240s and what not, and all of the responses were either helpful or just tongue-in-cheek jokes about hippies. It definitely felt less like a forum and more like a group of 240 owners sitting around a table shooting the stuff.
Finally, the best forum of course has been this one. While it's definitely smaller than the FB groups or Turbobricks, the people here on the Hagerty Forums have been very nice to me. So to everyone, thank you!
Car Tiktok is it's own breed entirely. I've probably had the funniest, most pathetic slap fights on Car Tiktok. It's like trying to box a fourth grader. Sure, you may win, but you also just beat the pulp out of a 10 year. Doesn't exactly look the best. Also doesn't help the fact that most people on Car tiktok are immature, so it just ends in 50 shades of cuss words.
Honestly, that's really it. I've had some great experiences in the car community, and as I get older and older, I look forward to have more good and less bad experiences
Well said! I mostly agree with your thoughts, except I hate FB Groups for the wasted effort as the data isn't library-ed(?) like a traditional forum. It's unfortunate that traditional forums have been gutted because of social media, but then again, that's the march of progress we get as technology moves forward.
I have only been on Car TikTok for a few minutes, to watch that Ford Ranger guy (who uses the F-bomb) so I can mimic him when I'm cruising around in my Ranger. The platform HAS potential, but I can see how it will wind down into pointlessness without content moderation. I feel the same way about Car Twitter, perhaps even more so as it turns into a dumpster fire far too quickly.
I will say that Instagram has been a joy for me, but maybe that's because I don't read the comments, I just follow hashtags I like. Instagram has a lot of cool stuff.
I find there's always (in car groups) a percentage of others who have joined for the exclusive purpose of lording their "knowledge" over others. They'll either post "hit it with your handbag! lololol" or some terrible, possibly damaging advice and then get sulky and abusive when you don't take it.
You really have to curate your groups for the type of environment they promote/tolerate.
I have been a car enthusiast for almost 60 years (if you count building hot rod models well before I could legally drive). I have NEVER been a part of any forums, groups, etc. - except in-person get-togethers of other enthusiasts - until I finally decided to jump in with the Hagerty Community. I'm not a FaceBooker, Instagrammer, or other social media participant (and TikTok to me is just the sound my old windup clock makes).
So I obviously can't comment on other platforms, but I will say that the Hagerty experience, for me, has been very positive. Darned glad I joined in. However, as fun as it is, it still doesn't replace the good old, bull-shootin' sessions with others. Whether over an engine bay in someone's garage, sippin' java in a shop or at someone's kitchen table, at a show 'n' shine, out at the strip or at a swap meet - whatever the reason for gathering, I have learned more, been given more positive encouragement, been offered more help, and simply cemented more friendships while yakking it up with real, live, people than I could ever imagine happening over a keyboard.
Now some will likely comment that the internet gives me a much further reach, and promises the ability to communicate with folks from New Zealand to Sweden and all sorts of other interest groups. To which I'll readily agree: my personal contacts regarding "automotive interests" are pretty much limited to a circle about 200 miles across. But I'm not trying to claim where I might gather the most info or get the most "followers" - I'm trying to state where I get the most personal satisfaction and enjoyment. And hands-down, that's eye-to-eye and voice-to-ears.
Last summer, I was wiping down my rod after a "bath" in preparation to go on a rod run. A single mom with a small son was in a wash bay near me. The kid was excited about my shiny car, and I invited her to let him sit in it. She demurred, saying he was quite a handful, but I insisted. The lad twisted every knob, pushed every button, switched every switch, and left so many fingerprints all over I had to wipe the car down all over again. But the giggles and excitement from the 5 or 6 year-old, the sincere "thank you" from the young mother, and the tremendous smile I had on my face the entire time while I was putting everything back "right" again re-enforced that being a car guy or gal, and sharing your passion with other people - in person - is still the best way to communicate.
And you now what? No once did that kid (or his mom) drop any "F-Bombs" on me... 😆
Forgot to mention the long-gone episodes of bench-racing over the counter of a local Speed Shop. Really not many of those around here anymore. Talking with those counter guys and other customers probably got me hooked on the car hobby as much as anything back in the day...
I miss speed shops. Most of them here in Metro Atlanta have folded. Amazingly enough, in my home town of Danville, IL, as depressed as that town is economically still has Faegan's (I mis-spelled it on purpose as it was seen as a slur). That place has been there for longer than I have been alive. And, it's still a great speed shop.
I'm with you on the over the counter bench racing. I also miss going to the local Harley dealer in Danville and having free coffee. Gutteridge's Harley Davidson was an institution. It ended up being a victim of that economy which is a shame. Mike did a lot for that community, and when the chips were down, they did nothing in return.
Our local Harley dealer is, thankfully, still going strong and still serving free coffee.
Now, I'm going to use that opening to tell a story that illustrates that the biker community can be every bit as wonderful as the car community.
Each spring, the dealership holds a "Spring Fever" ride in February. In 2013, I leathered up and rode over there about 9:30 a.m. to sip some java before kickstands up at 11:00. I had got a little chilled, and there was a large crowd inside, so the showroom was rather warm - especially around the coffee bar, where it was elbow-to-elbow. I started to feel a little light-headed and stepped outside, unzipping my jacket to get some fresh air and a little "cool" inside my leathers. I didn't get to finish that free coffee.
Within seconds, I was experiencing a major heart-attack, and was nearly driven to my knees in pain. I was sweating profusely, and barely able to move. The event coordinator, an employee of the dealership, got me into a chair, and - as he knew many of the riders there - found me another participant that was a medico. They got some baby aspirin under my tongue and had called 9-1-1. There is a major medical center almost within site of the Harley shop here, and I was in an ambulance almost before I knew it. Obviously, they did a good job at the hospital, 'cause I'm writing this today.
But back at H-D, they had a ride to get started. I was told that before they left, they took my bike inside and stashed it in a storage area upstairs. They gathered up the leathers they'd taken off of me, and stored them also. They all gathered together (well over a hundred of them) and said a prayer to send positive vibes my way. I got cards and emails from many of them (and from the dealership itself) for weeks afterward, and when I was finally able to go pick up my motorcycle, I got an ovation from the staff and a hug from the event coordinator. All this, and my bike was not even a Harley!
It's hard to think what might have happened if the attack had waited until we were on the ride, 20 miles out on some county road. The worst that happened was the brand new sweatshirt that was cut off me in the ambulance. 😂 But I'm forever grateful that it happened at High Desert Harley-Davidson, In Meridian, Idaho, and that the people who were around me were alert, aware, and ready to take action when I was in distress. 👍
The truth is you will have idiots in every group. I keep off face book, never tried Tiktok and all that. I did join forms and clubs.
For the most part you find most car people are good people but like with any large crowd there will be idiots and fools. We lost a really good club due to one.
I have one forum where I have a guy who likes to shadow me and trash me. He has been banned till he lays low and starts over again. Haters are just going to hate and you just need to let it go.
Then there are many other types but generally we all get along as long as people try to be civil.
Being in a Corvair group is much like my crowd with Fiero’s. I experienced my car since new. At first I was a celebrity, then I became the fool of buying one. Today it is again cool to own one with most and only a few negative people.
I think today the loss of many clubs and youth in the car culture is horrible. It teaches you how to deal with many different people and how to make life time connections.
Heck my career is from helping on a stock car and learning at 11 years old. I owe much in my life to my car friends and auto hobby.
We may have colored outside the lines now and then with a high speed run or like jumping an Alpine Sunbeam through an intersection but we were never arrested and tried to use some sense not to disrupt society much. Today these actions are behind us, no one died and the statute of limitations is past. This gives us the stories we tell today like the racers shared with us when we were kids.
Bench racing is alive you just need to know where to go,
Of course the big elephant in the thread is that you really know nothing of the “car community”. You’re a 14 year old adolescent who hasn’t worked and sacrificed for a car. You don’t own a car. You haven’t driven a car and you haven’t repaired and maintained a car. In my opinion being a real part of the community requires one or more of the above. Being enthusiastic isn’t enough.
I suspect that if you really did experience hostility in those other platforms of social media that it was as a result of this lack of any real experience.
Like computer gaming, you’re confusing reality again...which is really sad.
I guess this puts me in the “bad” category, but I can guarantee you won’t beat up a 10 year old.
My opinion is that there is no "elephant in the thread". None of us were born having owned. driven, worked for or sacrificed for a car, so that doesn't make sense as a complaint. Enthusiasm at an age when one does not have the means - and experience with the culture is what combines to create the motivation to drive/purchase/build that first car.
There is no rule about what constitutes "car community" beyond a bunch of people who like, wrench on, or trade knowledge on cars. It doesn't even make sense to try to claim that the social media version of the community is some kind of outlier separate from the "real community". Plenty of in-person groups full of varied age groups and colorful builds also have online presences on social media - and in my experience, while there are absolutely loud idiots lacking experience in those environments, there are also a lot of "well as a mechanic for over 30 years..." loudmouths who just want to call other people idiots while offering very little value.
I agree that we don't want to discourage anyone who is interested in cars (really, any type of cars applies here). Regardless of age or experience level, interest is interest and likely benefits us to have the "newbies" showing that interest in new ways. I'm not a /social media/techie-guy, but that doesn't mean that someone who is has any less right to love cars and claim a seat in my "community". One of the great things about cars is that there are so many ways to feel a connection to them. Ownership of a set of end wrenches not required!
So I don't care if a youngster - or an oldster for that matter - just collects vintage Hot Wheels; or builds Revell kits; or just likes thumbing through car pics (in mags or virtually); or if they become the next Wayne Carini or Chip Foose or John Force, I'm happy that they have some version of the bug that has been in my blood since the late '50s. They belong!
I'm going to have to disagree with you. You were a 14 year old boy without a car but with a love for them, yes? I can understand that I've never stayed up late with a wrench in one hand and a haynes manual in another, but I seriously don't think that should discredit my experiences. I'm in a fortunate enough position to have attended many car shows, met many car owners, and have enough research on many different types of cars. I'd say that makes me a car enthusiast.
And I think you're hung up on the video games stuff. I don't have a license, so driving around in a virtual space is the best it's gonna get til August of 22', for me at least. I don't think Forza Horizon is a replacement for actual driving, because it isn't, and I'd be a fool for thinking it is. However, not only is it fantastic exposure to cars, but it's a fun way to learn about them.
“None of us were born having owned. driven, worked for or sacrificed for a car, so that doesn't make sense as a complaint. Enthusiasm at an age when one does not have the means - and experience with the culture is what combines to create the motivation to drive/purchase/build that first car.”
So by your definition the 4 year old neighbor boy who is “enthusiastic” about cars and likes to ride a battery operated corvette up and down the driveway is part of the “car culture” or “community”? Nope.
You can be enthusiastic about being a Chef, but until you sweat hours over a stove, burnt your finger on a hot pan, created your own recipe or added your own twist to an old recipe ...your not part of the culinary culture or community,
Seems most are bending backwards to be kind to a adolescent boy...to encourage him with his interest. That’s fine, until he starts confusing reality. Despite lacking ANY semblance of experience do I recall him seeking guidance or opinion. Instead he authoritatively shares his opinions and perceptions gathered from in front of his laptop. If it continues, if he’s not corrected, I see REAL disappointment...and a comfort animal in his future.
JimR - you have some strong opinions (or, using your measurement, a strong sense of "reality" - whatever), to which you are certainly entitled, but there is no need to get nasty... 👎
Again, you’re trying to be gentle. I have a strong opinion that I don’t believe gentle is beneficial. I believe honesty and frankness is the better medicine...even when it doesn’t get me likes.
And some things I said were for illustration, but nothing was “nasty”. 😇
Despite lacking ANY semblance of experience do I recall him seeking guidance or opinion. Instead he authoritatively shares his opinions and perceptions gathered from in front of his laptop. If it continues, if he’s not corrected, I see REAL disappointment...and a comfort animal in his future.
This is dramatic nonsense. He logged into a bunch of online communities and shared his opinions of those communities That's it. I'm not sure what disappointment you're saving him from by telling him his opinion isn't valid because he doesn't meet your criteria of "part of the community".
You don't need any knowledge of the subject matter to be able to identify the jackasses in a group, but worse than that as has been illustrated by the other posters in this thread he was correct. We've all experienced exactly what he's talking about. It's a truism of every single group of people organized around a particular interest, so I'm not sure why exactly he has to wait till some arbitrary set of credentials are met to state his findings.
I mean holy crap, his post basically boils down to I "joined a bunch of social media car groups on various platforms, and some of the people in them are jerks" and you're in here all worked up about his age and experience and flexing muscle about how he can't beat you up because you're no 10 year old.
You don't have his best interests at heart and you're not trying to set him straight with honesty and frankness. There's nothing to set straight since he's, you know right. You're trying your level best to make sure he "knows his place" and "pays his dues" which is frankly ridiculous and unnecessary. It'd be a different thing if he didn't know what he was talking about Then it would make some kind of sense to go off on a tangent about his age and experience.
lol @ "gentle"
Jim, being nasty isn't helpful towards any proper discussion. I understand where you are coming from. No, I don't own a car. No, I've never really done much of any mechanical work. I understand that in that sense, I'm not a proper car guy. However, my experiences loving cars for the better half of 3 years means I have some experience from not only the community. I've posted on r/cars, the hagerty forums, turbo bricks, and many, many facebook groups. I'd say I have experience with in the car community, enough of it to make a post like this highlighting my experiences.
I try not to get nasty with internet arguments, because I understand that a teenager getting into a slapfight with some random over stupid comments is immature at best. However, I don't take nasty arguments on the chin without a proper response. Sure, I may be young, but don't let that fool you.
Yes, someone who can cook pasta and scramble eggs doesn't make a chef. But you can't compare cooking and being a car guy because being a chef has is a genuine title, not something you refer to yourself. Being a car guy is a self defined trait. I'd call myself a car guy because I've done as much of the "car guy experience" as a teenager without a license can.
And no, I'm not "confusing reality". I made a short post documenting my experiences in this hobby.
"Seems most are bending backwards to be kind to a adolescent boy...to encourage him with his interest... despite lacking any semblance of experience I do recall him seeking guidance or opinion. Instead he authoritatively shares his opinions and perceptions gathered from in front of his laptop. If it continues, if he's not correct, I see REAL disappointment... and a comfort animal in his future"
Sir, take a step away from your PC and read what you wrote. Yes, I made a post asking for guidance a couple months back. That's because I was willing to really get into the community and see how it is. How am I authoritatively sharing my opinions and how I perceive things? I'm making posts demonstrating how I fit into the community, as someone who can't drive. I'm not treating my anecdotal experiences as facts, because they aren't. I've noticed your habit of reading far too deep into random stuff.
And who are you to tell me I know nothing of the community? When did you become the arbiter of the car community? I'm not an idiotic little boy who thinks he's a car guy because he's played some video games. I'm a car guy because I've interacted with the community on a grand scale, have attended many car shows, gotten to know many owners, spent hours upon hours looking, researching, and dedicating time to my hobby. That in my opinion, makes me a car guy.
Wow! I'm not for coddling you. I am also not for jumping on you unnecessarily. I will, however give you an "atta boy" for not taking it.
I got jumped on as a kid your age from a few of the more experienced. I learned from it in more than one way. I learned to not let someone talk down to me no matter how much older or bigger they were. I also learned to get some knowledge on things I didn't know about before speaking if I didn't want to get called out.
That being said, I have NOT found any of your comments to go beyond your knowledge as someone who doesn't drive or own a car. In fact, I have found your attitude to be quite the opposite. I see you as frequenting this forum to try and gain some knowledge, and bond with other people who are as passionate as you are. I also found your response to be rather mature for someone of your age. Even though I got my first car at a very young age by losing someone very close to me who I would have given the car up for in a heartbeat if I could have had them back, I considered myself a car guy from the day that I told my Dad's friend he was about to put a clutch in backwards. I was 7 at the time. I didn't have a car. I didn't have a driver's license. But I loved cars. Particularly, I wanted to LIVE in my Dad's '69 Superbee.
No, young man. You ARE car guy. Now make those plans you talk about a reality. And don't let any of us discourage you. I can have sharp elbows sometimes, so my apologies in advance.
Another late night / early morning for me yall. Kinda wish I hadn't checked my mail. Lots of good comments and some not so good. I for one am impressed that Sam has reached out for advice and conversation. I'm also one that will not get into a pissin contest on who's car or opinion is better. Lets treat one another with respect. Everyone didn't get the chance to lay in the dirt with their old man at night, holding the flashlight, chasing after tools, nut n bolts just tryin to get the car running before morning so he could get back to work the next morning. That's how I began and the funny thing about it is I fell in love with it. Not only did I get to stay up past bed time but I learned so much. This aint the only forum I visit but agree with Sam it's at the top of my list.
I am not going to coddle anyone on this topic. I think this young man is just trying to get some advice and experience and maybe stand on the shoulders of us older guys in the hobby. I did the same thing once upon a time. And a couple of times I got shut down by the more experienced when I started commenting on things I didn't have any knowledge of. You know, that actually made me more eager to learn than anything. The fact that I got told I was wrong. And...it was told to me under no uncertain terms. Do you know what we called it back then? We called it being guys. And it was how you came back that either put you in or out of the club. We didn't call it being nasty. It was just guys being guys. Heck, what most of my friends and I said back and forth to one another when I was growing up would be considered terroristic threats today. And sometimes we got into fist fights over it. Someone won. Someone lost. And anywhere from 5 minutes to a week later, it was like nothing ever happened. Now, personally I'm not going to jump on him, but a few snarky comments I don't see as that big a deal.
In fact, I would go a little further and say that my failures in life taught me more than any successes that I may have had.