I once read that when a car enthusiast explains their love of cars to a “normal” person, it sounds the same as someone who really loved washing machines explaining their passion. If you envision someone going on about the perfect vintage Maytag, it does seem a touch tedious.
But that’s not really fair, is it? A washing machine doesn’t harness the power of explosions to take you to triple digit speeds. It doesn’t take you around corners at mind-bending G-forces. A washing machine’s design hasn’t been painstakingly molded from clay by a group of talented designers and put through a wind tunnel to make it as aerodynamic as possible. Most importantly, a washing machine doesn’t give you the freedom to go wherever the hell you want to go.
But don’t just take it from me, a writer in his twenties who spends 10 hours a day behind a desk, and is forced to get home at night via a series of tubes in the ground. I spoke with five professionals — a photographer, a journalist, a designer of watches inspired by cars, a proprietor of fast cars and the Stig (yes, that Stig) — who have made a living rooted in a passion for cars and driving. And, when I asked them what exactly it is that makes them love the damn things so much, this is what they had to say.
Ben Collins, 41
Occupation: “I’m harder to pin down these days because I’m doing a blend of racing, stunt driving for movies, book writing and TV presenting, but on a recent phone call about an upcoming job, the guy hiring me referred to me as a “wheel man.” I think that’s fairly apt because when I think “wheel man” it reminds me of Fred Flintstone pedaling his chariot as fast as his feet could make it go, which just about sums me up.”
Cars: 1998 Land Rover “Wolf” Defender, 4WD VW Transporter
Why He Loves Cars: “I love driving more than I love cars. I love the pure freedom you get when you disconnect from the confines of the human body and get to explore the speeds and sensations that you can only experience in a car. When a car gives you an unfiltered connection to that experience and really talks to you, it bends perfectly to your will so that you become almost unaware that you’re driving a car — and that’s when I fall in love with it.”
Matt DeLorenzo, 62
Occupation: Managing Editor, News at Kelley Blue Book
Cars: 2001 Isuzu VehiCross, 2004 Toyota Prius
Why He Loves Cars: “Freedom. Freedom to travel, freedom to express oneself, freedom to dream.”
Amy Shore, 25
Occupation: “I’m an automotive photographer that works in a journalistic style, focusing mainly on car lifestyle, events, and road trips.”
Cars: 1984 Austin Mini Mayfair, 2000 Ford Puma
Why She Loves Cars: “I mainly love cars for the people they attract. Yes, cars are some of the most beautiful machines to ever roam the planet (then again, I wouldn’t be against the Fiat Multipla going extinct.) But in all honesty, it’s the collectors, the mechanics, the race drivers that all seem to have a love and a lust for life, and they are the kind of people I want to surround myself with. And if I can surround myself with those people and have great fun in gorgeous cars at the same time, then I’m going to jump at the chance!”
Michael Prichinello, 40
Occupation: Co-Founder, Classic Car Club Manhattan
Cars: 2015 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ, Spec Miata Race Car, 1974 Euro Spec 911 Porsche
Why He Loves Cars: “Ultimately I love cars — any and every car — because they’re like people. They have a personality. Some are great at some things and terrible at others. Some are a cheap date that give a great thrill. Others are difficult and rebellious. They all have a voice. This is what I love. I have no interest in fixing, restoring or collecting. I just want to have a relationship with a car from my driver perspective. When you find what a car likes to do — maybe it loves to oversteer in corners, maybe it loves to put the power down on exit, maybe it likes to get all four cheap little wheels off the ground on bumps — whatever it is, I like to find what that car is interested in and have a go. I like to find the mechanical side of a car and drive it properly. I like to bring a car to the edge of its ability — that’s when it shows you its personality. That’s when a car gives you a wink.”
Bradley Price, 36
Occupation: Founder of Autodromo Watches
Cars: 2000 BMW M Coupe, 1976 Ferrari Dino 208 GT4, 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce
Why He Loves Cars: “A beautiful car is one of the few mechanical creations that engenders a deep emotional response in people. There’s something about a car that is alive. To me, that is what makes a vintage car exciting — the sounds, the smells and the feeling of being a part of the machine as you are driving it. It’s a completely engaging sensory experience, like no other.”