What makes a Petrol Head?

People have an overwhelming fascination with labels; labelling other people, labelling themselves, labelling the things they’re obsessed with. We’re all labelled as either geeks, foodies, gamers, or bookworms and all these societal factions come with a silly-seeming obsession that defines its members.
Car enthusiasts seem to be the most fanatic about their fandom, they are a separate species of human that may as well run on petrol themselves.
They are the modern cowboy, running the streets to show off their collections, modifications, and most significantly, have their babies ogled at. The lifestyle is so popular that young and old, male and female alike will “trick out” their rides in what may be a reflection of their own souls.
Can you hear that menacing roar coming down the street? They’re everywhere!
“Being an enthusiast means there is always so much to love and learn,” one tells me as he lovingly eyes the gleaming silver of his silver VW Polo Vivo.
Some fanatics often scoff at any car that doesn’t use a four-barrel carburettor, they’re part of the old school; enthusiasts who ride in vintage masterpieces that attract attention wherever they go.
You find others who go wild for muscle cars: loud American machines like the Mustang or Camaro, owners of which are usually at loggerheads over which brand dominates.
VW lovers will often tout the German brand as the height of cool with their sleek beasts dropped so low they almost sit right on the street. It seems more of an art than a mere mode of transport.
On the other hand, you may only have eyes for the Japanese made road warriors such as the Honda, Mitsubishi, or Subaru. A different taste, but one that is respected all the same.
People like these are actually kind of snobby about their passion, but this is not a bad thing. No, how can something that brings so much pride to so many people be bad?
I have had personal experience with this slippery slope of a culture; my brother is a petrol head. He belongs to the new wave of enthusiasts who make it a point to keep their trophies up to date. A new era in the pop culture of our hoods.
It all comes down to a shared passion, together with the desire to learn all you can about your car — from the shiny exterior, everything that happens under the bonnet, to its lush interior (that always seems to smell like a new car). This passion comes down to more than a shiny badge.
A petrol head’s head may be constantly buried in the hood of a VW Beetle, tuning it so that it sounds as sweet and as smooth as honey. This may seem dull to you but it suits them just fine.
Every enthusiast starts somewhere and the best of the best know that to try something new is to truly experience motoring. From the obnoxious and loud, to a car with its steering wheel on the wrong side. Nothing cultivates appreciation like experience does.
Drivers all over will join conversations where their superior knowledge is tested or to defend their preferred brand. Often getting into heated arguments over cars they think suck and why their own don’t.
And it all boils down to an obsession that at the end of the day unites a large part of our hoods: fresh rides.
Sibusiso Sloane Soweto Sunrise News

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