No one questions that auto sports in their entirety, composed of various categories, is a male dominated pass time. It isn’t really a mystery why, when you take a step back and view society as a whole; men like to build things, get dirty, be triumphant in their mechanical conquests; they love speed and handling and cornering and generally anything that could be considered at least mildly dangerous. Women, in comparison, are softer and gentler and prefer to have their nails done and decimate the bank account balance with shopping adventures.
Which isn’t entirely true…there are men and women who have traded places to find a true passion in a lifestyle more individually suited to their specific self as opposed to fitting that self into a pre-defined place in society. I am one of those women. I’ve probably had my nails done half a dozen times in my 32 years.
This oddly placed interest started when I was perhaps 11 or 12. My dad brought me home a model, a 30th Anniversary Trans Am. And I sat at the table and assembled it into a three dimensional representation of a car, albeit poorly. But it was at this point in my life when something was sparked within and a curiosity began to grow. I started to look at cars as something more than just mobility, I began to see them as works of art. With souls, even. My first car was nothing special, a 1991 Grand Prix sedan chosen for me by my mother (don’t think that by her choosing the car I was exempt from paying for it, because I was NOT) but it was mine and we had many adventures together. The first car I chose for myself was a 2000 Grand Prix GTP coupe, and consequently it was the first car I actually modified.
From there, I’ve had varying interests. A 2001 Sonoma Highrider that did not disappoint at Silver Lake Sand Dunes. An ’88 IROC-Z28 Camaro that was probably the biggest hunk of garbage I’ve ever had the misfortune to own but also ranks somewhere at the top of the Most Fun To Drive list. A 2011 Camaro SS. And now a 2012 BMW 335xi. There were more in between, sure: various boring economy cars, other trucks, etc etc. But the here and now is what really matters.
You probably think I’m going to talk about the bimmer, since that’s what I’m currently driving. But as I have finally settled into a niche that I find exhilarating and promising, I have also chosen a project for myself. The IROC doesn’t count, despite the ridiculous amount of money that I sunk into it before giving up and sawzall-ing it into Monday morning’s trash in a fit of rage. Yes, that actually happened. The bimmer is my daily.
The 2000 Chevy S10 that I intend to build with a forged turbo 4.3 V6, Monster built 4L60e and beefed up rear axle is the dominating force in my life.
Most women don’t talk like this. A lot of them wouldn’t have any idea what that sentence even means. But every now and again, one comes along with an actual passion for the car life. It can be hard to differentiate between the real female enthusiasts and the tag-along car girls. There’s no definitive equation for separating the two. Both will be found at events, meets, shows, cruises, etc. Generally, enthusiasts are more knowledgeable. Women with a working knowledge of the hobby are probably genuine. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with being a “car girl”.
But there is something oh so right with being a female enthusiast.
Do me a favor, if you’re going to be out and about, mingling with the other slaves to the sheet metal and internal combustion Gods this coming season: Try not to dismiss every female you come across as some hang on there to look pretty for her boyfriend. There may in fact be some real, passionate enthusiasts among them. And trust me, we want to build things and get dirty too. Nails be damned.