At times I started to feet a bit isolated, like a bit of a loner even. So many of my friends come from such influencial automotive backgrounds; their first memory sitting in the back of Dad’s Holden or helping their Uncle fix up his old pick-up. But me? I just don’t have any of that, and it started to make me feel a little bit left out. Being an automotive enthusiast just seems to be something that is generally ‘passed down’ through generations, so maybe I was just the odd one out?
But here is where things all change. I was recently told a very interesting story, a story that until now I had never heard before. Let’s take it back a few decades to the late 70’s, a time of innapropriately short shorts, sweatbands and crazy facial hair (shudder)...
This young man was your typical troublemaking teen, and when he wasn't at the dragstrip, he and his friends would spend every free moment of their time in a small basement workshop somewhere in South Auckland, building and taking apart engines. Part of the fun was experimenting with methanol fuel, with the boys often returning home with only half a moustache or hair on only one of their arms. Needless to say, this was what they did for fun, and it was a huge part of their lives. Fuel ran through their blood!
Long story short, the girl got the guy in the end. Despite the fond memories they both had of chasing eachother at the dragstrip, neither one of them ever returned there.
What has this got to do with me you might ask? I sat there smiling as I had a wine with my dad as he told me the story of how he met my mother. Yes, that troublemaking young man (with the sweet hair-style and brown-tinted aviators) was none other than my own father.
|Dad's first generation Ford Transit panel van|
|Complete with velvet interior|
Finally, things made sense! I wasn’t weird (or adopted) – I was a Croucher. With my new found sense of belonging comes a new meaning to my passion, fresh motivation and most important of all; drive. So after all that, it turns out I’m not an odd-ball.
Fuel just runs though my blood too.