Corvettes, Integras, and Blazers. Oh My!

Here’s the thing,

I was born in a small town into a GM family. Growing up, the first two cars I remember were my dad’s Bonneville and my mom’s two-door Blazer. The first memories I have of speed were of asking my dad to go faster down this hilly side road near the house because it “made my tummy feel funny”. We had no idea then, but that experience was the clear sign of car junkie in the making.

Being raised in a GM family, my Holy grail growing up was the Corvette. My parents often joke that Corvette was my first word. And it’s a love that has carried over into my adult life, so much so that I now sport a “Jake” tattoo on my left calf. For those of you that don’t know, Jake is the Corvette Racing Team mascot. Yeah, it runs that deep for me.

close up finish

However, my true car ‘aha’ moment didn’t come until I was about 15 years old. My brother had gone away to college. And in an attempt to show my dad how independent he had become, he bought a 1989 Acura Integra RS for $700. My father, being the good American car buyer that he was, called it my brother’s “700 dollar mistake”. But I loved the thing. Even with more than 200,000 miles and a clutch that had seen much better days, I loved driving it even just up and down the driveway. And after watching my brother put it through constant trips up and down the highway to school, running a paper route every night, and just the all around abuse a car receives from a 21 year old owner, it earned my father’s respect too. Needless to say, I ended up with a 1994 Integra GS-R of my own a few years later. I’m still addicted to 8000 rpm redlines.

The second big car move for me was taking a porter job at a local car lot at 21. It was the second job I ever had, but after throwing freight at a local pet store for 5 years, I was in heaven. For those that don’t know, a porter’s job is to drive cars. There’s other stuff too, like cleaning them or assisting the sales team with presentation, but at the end of the day we drive cars. Thanks to my borderline OCD and constant need for organization, I was assigned lot organization duties. Most days were spent on the lot with a box of keys driving every car we had in stock from one spot to another. Like I said, heaven. My secondary responsibility was as a DX Driver, or doing dealer exchanges. It was through this function that I got a chance to drive my first real sports car, a 2013 Chevy Camaro ZL1. For those that don’t know, that car is everything they say it is. It’s brash, angry, raw, and most importantly, face-metlingly face. Why they let me drive it, I still to this day have no idea.

Meandcar

And that pretty much brings us to today. I’m no longer working at a car lot, though I wish I was, and I’m currently daily driving a 2008 Civic Si. For those of you that don’t know, it’s the grandson of that poor Integra I tortured through my first 3 driving years. The Civic has the same 8000 rpm redline and can-do attitude, albeit with a better working air conditioner. Most of you know my writing style by now, and you’ve seen some of my opinions on the different facets of the industry, but I hope this gives you a little bit better insight into your Editor-In-Chief. I’m excited for the things we have in store, and I can’t wait to get the wheels turning the way I always knew HTTA could.

And that, that’s the thing.
– Shawn

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