Auto Enthusiast Day [with GALLERY]
Just getting out to Auto Club Speedway was a challenge, with the rain coming down very hard as I hit freeway speed on the 91. Luckily, I was in the FJ Cruiser Trail Teams – giving me a little “security” via 4WD and an elevated view of the freeway. I thought to myself, the turnout can’t be that good, how many “enthusiasts” are going to brave this weather? If I had a stanced out or show quality car, would I bring it out in this? Probably not, most people wouldn’t – but then again, auto enthusiasts aren't "most people”. When I arrived, I was surprised…well, shocked at how many people were onsite for Nitto Tire's Auto Enthusiast Day. Perhaps these people got here before the rain got crazy – but still, this was a much better turnout than I was expecting given the weather. I found a place to park and started to gather my gear, strategically getting everything in one bag along with my umbrella to prepare to exit the truck. As I was going thru my backpack, I noticed a man holding an umbrella, along with his wife and kid sort of “waiting” outside the car…I didn’t think much of it, finished up and began to open my door and stick my umbrella out. The guy actually started to approach me until I gave him the “slow your roll” look. He started to ask about the FJ – “this is the Trail Teams right?” “What do you think?” “Mine is over there, it’s a normal FJ, but it’s a 2014”. I’m barely getting out of the car and this guy is telling me how I should lower my tire pressure when I 4X4 in Azusa…meanwhile, his poor wife and kid look cold, irritated (the wife at least) and I’m just trying to get my gear out of the car without it getting wet. I answered some questions about my FJ (and I had to be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about the truck) – I explained how it was my daily driver and I really wanted the color, which is why I got stuck buying the Trail Teams. It dawned on me quickly after we parted ways. This is what Auto Enthusiast Day is about. It’s about meeting fellow enthusiasts, sharing knowledge and this passion we have for vehicles. Rain wasn’t going to stop these hardcore enthusiasts. Who said Ferrari owners are afraid to get their cars wet? Maybe STOCK Ferrari owners ;) LTMW Liberty Walk E92 ///M3 on revised splatter paint BBS LM’s. Rocket Bunny BRZ on machined LM’s. Same car I drove up…but this one is fully built! Savini brought out a great fleet of vehicles – all white everything. Nothing like keeping it old school – AE86 HachiRoku action. A touching tribute to Paul Walker – be sure to checkout Driving Line's feature, Paul Walker Tribute. Despite a very stormy day, over 400 cars braved the weather, 30 vendors displayed their products and the Nitto Tire Drift showcase “slid” on in the rain – did I mention it was all FREE? The inaugural Auto Enthusiast Day was a huge success...because car guys aren't normal people.