In the summer of 2001, a friend and I went to see the movie “The Fast and the Furious”. Afterwards, I was talking with my friend about some of the cars in the film and he began to enthusiastically describe what he would like to do to his ride. Suddenly my friend had begun taking a keen interest in custom autos. I found this interesting that a movie could influence what I could not for the past ten years, that is, the passion for custom autos. My friend has never called himself an enthusiast, but has become more aware of custom autos.

With that said, I began to wonder about those who saw the movie and maybe began to refer to themselves as “enthusiasts”. Then I thought about it a little longer and asked myself, “What defines a custom auto enthusiast?” After a few months of thinking about it, reading countless articles about the custom auto industry, and observing people at auto shows, I came up with my own conclusions and opinions. I have concluded that there are three types of custom auto enthusiasts:

Mild Enthusiast

Moderate Enthusiast

Hard Core Enthusiast

The first type of custom auto enthusiast is the mild enthusiast. That is, the mild enthusiast is defined as those who actually do not necessarily own a custom auto, but have somewhat of subtle interest in the scene. This type of enthusiast likes the way custom autos look, but would probably never undertake a task of lowering a truck or juicing the engine of an import. Usually this type of enthusiast sticks to the simplicity of a set of wheels, tinted windows, and maybe an aftermarket stereo system.

The second type of custom auto enthusiasts is the class that most enthusiasts fall into, the moderate enthusiast. A moderate enthusiast has a pretty good handle on the scene and has a knowledgeable interest in all things custom auto. This type of enthusiast may currently own a custom auto or at least one time did. They usually subscribe to all sorts of custom auto magazines and think of autos as more than a means of transportation. This type of enthusiast is all about lowering/raising and juicing the engine, but to build a custom auto from the ground up is a little bit out of range. An Escalade front clip on a Silverado with Caddy taillights, an air ride suspension, and just about anything else that could be bolted on with minor fabrication would be right up this type of enthusiast’s alley.

The last enthusiast is the hard core enthusiast and the custom auto hobby is his/her life. This type of enthusiast has every bit of knowledge that the moderate enthusiast has, and then some! No doubt this guy/gal has a subscription to every custom auto magazine available on the market. This type of enthusiast is also the epitome of fabrication. Bolt on products don’t really do anything for this custom auto enthusiast. If there aren’t at least a half a dozen serious body fabrications, then it isn’t custom enough! This type of enthusiast is the type of enthusiast that lays the frame work for products that haven’t been developed yet. This is the guy/gal who was probably the first person on the block to have an adjustable suspension that would lay the frame flat on the ground. Not to mention this type of enthusiast probably rubs elbows with the best and the brightest in the custom auto scene today. In a word, this enthusiast talks, eats, breathes, and dreams about custom autos… 24-7.

Well, there you have it, my observation about what defines a custom auto enthusiast. Most of us fit in the second category, but regardless of your position in the custom auto scene, everyone has one thing in common, an interest in custom autos.

Until next time… keep it legal and keep it safe.

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February 2021