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View Poll Results: Do you have to be a "Grease-Monkey" to be an Enthusiast?
Yes, you can't be an Enthusiast any other way. 8 21.05%
No. You don't need to know that much to be an Enthusiast. 30 78.95%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-22-2008, 11:26 PM   #1
Mr. Wyndham
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What's it take to be an Enthusiast?

This isn't for me, as much as it's for one of my dear friends...
We got into a little 'discussion' yesterday about what it takes to be a Camaro or Mustang Enthusiast.

He also believed the recent Mustangs have all but destroyed the Mustang enthusiast, and the "cool car" factor about the cars as well. His reasoning was that they were "too affordable", so punk kids can get their hands on them too easily, and that has ruined the car, because they don't know what the car does, or how it works etc, etc. Basically - he felt there should be a lot more exclusivity to Pony Cars than there currently is.

Naturally, I argued with him, telling him that the whole point to these cars was to sell to the masses. That the cars evoke a passion that is difficult to explain. It's something that goes beyond knowing what a crankshaft is, or how AFM works. I told him that the cars actually "make" the enthusiast, they create the spark in these 'punk kids' that eventually turns most of them into grease-monkey's later on in life....

He wouldn't buy it. So here's a thread I'm going to show him, I want to ask the enthusiast community what they believe it takes to be an Enthusiast. So please take the poll, and then add more detailed comments in a post, if you would.
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:31 PM   #2
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All you have to do is love this car above no other...Dosen't matter is you know how to change a tire or not.

If you love it...that makes you an Enthusiast!
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:47 AM   #3
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I agree with Noodles and to take it a step further...

You have people who drive the hell out of a car, don't know much about it, and don't respect it. I think that's who your friend is referring to Dragon. I would agree they dilute the image somewhat.

But, there's also the people who love, respect, and enjoy (say a Mustang or Camaro), but don't know how it works or why. These are definitely enthusiasts. My 18 year old son really doesn't want to get his hands dirty, and thats alright. He still loves cars.

Then there's us motorhead enthusiasts - We're alive and well, just check out the enthusiasm here at Camaro5!

We know why and how, we love, respect and enjoy our "fun" cars. We talk about them, write about them, dream about them, speculate about future possibilities.

So there's all types, and frankly the economic facts are if you have the money or credit, Chevy wants and needs to earn your business.

So Dragon, show your friend the enthusiasts right here on Camaro5. And if he absolutely needs to there are plenty of Mustang forums he could check out too. Don't let a few "punks" spoil your fun


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Old 05-23-2008, 02:25 AM   #4
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I think there's different levels of being an enthusiast.

You guys have all hit on the areas I would like to have commented on.
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:37 AM   #5
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Gonna have to go with no since I could be categorzied as one of those punk kids at 23, lol. But with the new Camaro my dormant car enthusiast was awakened so that once I get it I will learn every inch of that car to make it last until I'm an old man.
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:40 AM   #6
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I agree that you don't have to be a grease-monkey to be an enthusiast. But if you are an enthusiast, you will more often than not turn into one. You talk to other enthusiast about what they have done to their cars and get ideas about what you want to do to yours. Before you know it you know every bolt on your car and how everything works. Working on your own car is half the fun. Some enthusiasts have bigger pockets and choose to always take their car to the dealer and have them do all the work, but not most of us.
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Old 05-23-2008, 04:52 AM   #7
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I believe anyone can, I mean I've always liked Camaros as a child, my Dad had one and I always promised my Dad I'd find him one again after he sold his. I found our 69 Camaro through my auto shop friends in highschool. As I started to get more into the automotive field and becoming more knowledgeable about automobiles and how they work, the more I became interested in pursuing a career/hobby in working with cars.

What kind of influence we have to future Camaro enthusiasts is important I think.
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:24 AM   #8
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For me, if someone can recite important information about their car then I say they are in the enthusiast realm. I've been to more than a few car shows where the car owner knows nothing about the car. But can tell me who built it and how much each piece on the car costs. To me, he's less of an enthusiast then the 18 year old who washes a faded 20 year old Gen3 with a V6 every weekend, and can tell you everything you want to know about the car. And has memorized his wish list.

Like you guys have said, it's how much you love the car, not the car itself. Just cus you own a Camaro, doesn't make you an enthusiast.

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Old 05-23-2008, 09:30 AM   #9
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If you need to be a grease monkey to be an enthusiast, then I'm not an enthusiast. Call me crazy on this, but to be an enthusiast the only requirement should technically be that you are enthusiastic about the car.

I don't know what your friend was thinking about the cars needing to me more exclusive. How much of an enthusiast can he be if he does not understand the need for kids to buy these cars? Someone concerned about exclusivity sounds more like a collector, who is another type of enthusiast of course, but they're love and passion for cars is of a different type than that of those 'punk kids'. Collector types (you can have a collection of 1) tend to enjoy a car for what it represents. Average enthusiasts like the car for what it is. Thats my mental distinction anyway.
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by gtahvit View Post
To me, he's less of an enthusiast then then 18 year old who washes a faded 20 year old Gen3 with a V6 every weekend, and can tell you everything you want to know about the car. And has memorized his wish list.

Like you guys have said, it's how much you love the car, not the car itself. Just cus you own a Camaro, doesn't make you an enthusiast.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:14 AM   #11
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I think that if you're a real enthusiast, your love of the car and desire to know what makes it tick will, eventually, lead you to getting your hands dirty... I guess you can be an enthusiast until you become a car guy... and I know alot of people will argue with me on this, but you're not a car guy unless you've taken an engine apart at least once... until you've broken some skin and shed a little blood on the block... or headers... or suspension parts... there's a certain amount of bonding with a machine that happens when you take things apart and repair them yourself... or upgrade... or take what is there and make it different by means of welding, cutting or reshaping... and once you've ever done these things, you'll know what I mean.

so I guess I would have to change me initial reaction vote of "no" to "yes"... because I think you can be an enthusiast and just know alot about cars... but to be a real car guy, you're going to have to get your hands dirty... or bloody.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by SilverTurtle View Post
so I guess I would have to change me initial reaction vote of "no" to "yes"... because I think you can be an enthusiast and just know alot about cars... but to be a real car guy, you're going to have to get your hands dirty... or bloody.
Like you said, I think i'm an enthusiast right now because i dont know much about cars. But i'm working on becoming a car guy. Four years from now I'll be damn good car guy.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:22 AM   #13
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I love cars; how they operate, how to operate them, how you can swap som thing to get varing performance charateristics (high end HP, low end torque, smooth power band etc). However, I couldn't spin a wrench if my life depended on it. Well maybe just a little bit. But changing your own oil and other fluids doesn't make you a grease monkey. I simply don't have the technical expertise to work on a car newer than probably 1950ish.

But, I definitely consider myself an enthusiast.

Maybe Im a theoretical Mechanic
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:27 PM   #14
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Two small comments:

1. "Punks" are defined by disrespect and bad attitudes in my book, not age.

2. Grease Monkey is an outdated term. I went to college for years to master automotive tecnology. A great Technician is a brain surgeon operating on cars. Maybe the weekend enthusiasts can refer to themselves as grease monkeys, but don't ever call a real Technician one or you're going down.

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