An Intro – Gearhead from the Midwest

Here’s the thing,

Growing up in Minnesota has made for a rather unconventional automotive upbringing. Chances are, if a vehicle could not handle a cold start in subzero temps and a jaunt across black ice, snow drifts and potholes, it didn’t last long. I would oogle the occasional Honda S2000 and rare Porsche, but more often than not my automotive enthusiasm went into hibernation.

Hollywood and eventually YouTube provided my lens into the car world. Characters like Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen), Memphis Raines (Nicholas Cage) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) brought to light exquisite cars and I could not get enough. I was able to subdue this passion with a short interest in RC off-road racing and years away at college, however once that first paycheck came I knew it was time to buy a true sportscar.

Two years ago I learned to drive stickshift in a California BART parking lot shortly after purchasing a Scion FR-S. It was the culmination of a long and exhaustive car search, spanning Ford/Chevy muscle cars, 370Zs, S2000s, Miatas, you name it. Ultimately, the FR-S spoke to me because of it’s simplicity, classic looks, factory warranty and vast aftermarket support. I still remember the first time I saw one in person, perched off the back of a transport carrier on Interstate 880. I followed that truck to a local dealer, mesmerized and taken aback. The car looked the business. It was the car, no doubt.

As I sat in the plastic covered driver’s seat, I didn’t notice a whole lot. You see, the FR-S is a barebones type of car, with a button-less steering wheel, 6speed manual, and tachometer slap in front of your face. Everything you need is an arms length away, and not one thing you could do without. Toyota and Subaru engineers took the budget, and spent 99% of it developing a great chassis, suspension, drivetrain and exceptional engine. Anything outside the driver experience, well, that’s fighting for the last dollar in a tight budget.

I have driven it…a lot. To meets, to car shows, up and down the mountain passes, HWY 1, you name it. I now understand why it receives such high accolades for its unfiltered, raw driver to machine connection. FR-S ownership and California car culture has floored the gas pedal on my car addiction so to speak, and I have been consuming automotive content ever since. I hope to share my passion and skewed perspective on the petrol world as my involvement and car experience grows.

-Brent

 

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