(from Issue 28) Our bodies don’t seem to be naturally designed to operate at extremes. Think about it: If something is too dark, we cannot see it clearly. But if it’s too bright, we get blinded or stunned. If something is too fast, we miss it. But too slow? And we can’t even detect it as motion as all (grass growing). If it’s too quiet, we can’t hear it. But if it’s too loud, it makes our ears ring and/or can even deafen us. If it’s too hot, we can’t touch it. And if it’s too cold – we can’t touch it either. We are creatures, by design, who operate in the mild end of the spectrum… not the extremes. Funny then – since the automotive culture it all about taking things to very extreme points. Maybe – we get into this scene because we are trying to push our limits… trying to exercise our senses. Trying to draw a line in the sand, and separate ‘us’ from ‘them’. We are trying to see just how far we can take something… before it’s officially past the limit. The masses want to live their lives right there in the middle of all those extremes, where it’s comfortable… far from the edges where things get rocky. And it shows, in the products that they consume. The mass-market wants to drive a car/SUV that does nothing remarkably… but does everything pretty alright. Toyota Camrys, Nissan Pathfinders. They like to be ‘sort of’ ready for anything… and completely ready & prepped for or nothing. If you look at automotive consumer buying trends as proof of what people actually want… that seems to be the sweet-spot over and over again. Right there in the boring, safe, conservative middle. Whereas we, (those of us who consider ourselves to be enthusiasts), want a vehicle pushing the outermost edge of ALL the spectrums – light, sound, speed. Right there at that point where it’s too far gone to be okay any more. Right at that point of going blind… or deaf… or being so quick that we miss it in a flash. Unlike the masses, we want a car that does 1 thing supremely well… and we’re willing to let it cost us everything else. Sacrifice anything to get the 1 thing. We will strip a car of every creature comfort, convenience, and luxury… and we throw it all straight in the trash… just to shave a few pounds and get an edge off the line or off a corner. We give up a comfortable suspension that suits everyday driving conditions & multi-tasking. And we replace it with something so low, so race-ready, & so tightly sprung… that it becomes nothing short of punishment to drive on the daily. We put custom-color, unmatchable paint jobs on cars that sit a half inch off the ground. But we do it all with a smile on our face, just waiting for that one stretch of road – where it’s our shining chance for redemption.
And this doesn’t just apply to imports. This is across the board for all cars guys – domestics, off-roaders, hot-rodders, racers, show-offs, etc. It’s a mentality amongst us… and it surpasses cars completely. The cars are just one outlet that satisfies the itch. I’d be willing to bet, that if we all look at other hobbies and/or occupations in our lives, they follow the same limit-testing exercise too. We all push the threshold of practicality within our own sub-culture. And we do it because – that’s where we find our own peace & identity… in the outer, extreme ends of the spectrum. That’s home for us. Pushing the limits; it’s how we’re built. Our subconscious likes to make things harder for ourselves… because our spirit gets more reward from it that way. We have to face the fact that we are unlike a lot of the other people in this country… who look for peace & comfort in the middle of the spectrum. The Camrys, the Tahoes, the Banana Republics. We are not comfortable in The Middle, nor are we at peace in The Middle. We feel boxed in there – trapped, leashed, grounded, and faceless. That’s why the world gave us an economical, reliable Civic, and we turned them into little missiles of chaos and threw it back at ‘em. So – do yourself a favor, and stop trying to restrict your mind’s desire to push the limits. That’s your instinct leading – follow it, Dreamer, and see where it takes you.

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