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July 2005 - Jason (JDawg)



au-to-mo-tive adj. Moving by itself; self-propelling or self-propelled. enthusiasm n. - Great excitement for or interest in a subject or cause.

Like all things in life, the evolution of my automotive enthusiasm has been very progressive, a source of entertainment, joy, and disappointment. Because of my inquisitive nature and blind faith that I can learn anything, my enthusiasm has grown to more of an automotive insanity.

This all started when I was 11 and my parents allowed me to buy a mini-motorcycle that didnt run, and needed work. They never expected me to fix the engine and turn a piece of scrap into a usable mini-rocket, and didnt imagine that I would spend my hard earned money on brake upgrades, engine modifications (it was a single cylinder 4 stroke that made 5 HP) and crash it into my neighbors garage. From there, it was my Jeep Cherokee at age 16, the Ford Mustang at age 17, the Dodge Ram 1500 at age 18, and finally the VW Jetta at age 19.

Ever since I was old enough to really think about what type of car I should drive, I also had an affinity for VWs. In particular the VW bugs that stuck in my mind after watching Herby. My family always expected that when I turned 16, my 4-wheel choice would be a 1967 VW Bug. However, when it came down to it the 1987 Jeep Cherokee became my first ride, and the first vehicle I would start modifying. What do you do in a Jeep? Climb rocks, but in a Cherokee you need to make some changes before you can have some fun. That is when I installed the Rancho lift kit, big beefy tires, limited slip differential, lower profile front and rear bumpers, and had a blast seeing how close to the edge I could go, and how steep of a hill or big of a rock I could mount. I believe it was when I decided to take my father with me on a Jeeping trip that he decided I should get something different, so I didnt kill myself. Of course following up with the Mustang was not any better, and it took me a couple years to find my true machine of choice, a German driving machine.

German engineering seems to be something equal to black magic. There are not really any obvious differences to the layman, and as my brother once pointed out you drive a VW, not a BMW However, to us we see and feel the difference. Its like a private show that only the VIPs can watch. To this day I still remember my first taste of German driving pleasure on my first test drive of a 2001 Jetta. From that point forward, driving a car was no longer about big stereos, big tires, big engines, but actually driving. Until that point I had never felt anything so responsive, so communicative, and so inspiring to drive. What a feeling, the knowledge that you can communicate with the road and feel the response back through the feel of a steering wheel, the modulation of your brake pedal, the forces on your body as you turn. It is simply exhilaration and a desire that is seemingly only quenched by a German machine for me.

Today my travels are mostly business related which spawned my need for a luxury medium-sized sedan. I purchased the 2003 W8 6-Speed back in November of 2003 after several months of search for the 6-speed W8. Never would I have thought that a purchase of something so refined and commanding would lead me down a path of personal conquest and betterment, but it truly has evoked just that. From my continued desire for modification from my previous vehicles, I searched the internet for information about the W8, and how to get more power. I stumbled upon RMCB5, after seeing a series of posts from Winston and others on I knew that for me, RMCB5 was immediately more than just a forum, it was a group of friends. I threw myself into the activities and GTGs that came up, and loved every minute of it.

It is really difficult to ascertain when my enthusiasm changed to insanity, but I am fairly sure it was the first time I took the W8 to Second Creek and drove it a few laps around the track. Something clicked in my head that made me realize I was meant to drive cars, and the track was the only safe place for me to do that at the edge, and learn. I drove thorough many sets of tires, brakes and some accidental off-roading occasionally before it became painfully obvious I needed to get something designed for that use. Something I could modify and not void a warranty, not costing thousands to custom design one-off parts and not feel too badly if I decided to pull out the interior and strip it down.

The 1995 BMW M3 fell into my lap when Pat found an advertisement on AudiWorld. I knew after a few short minutes of looking that the information and pictures of the car that my new performance German machine would be an alpine white 1995 M3. I looked at it that evening, and signed the bill of sale the following day after having the M3 inspected and tested for condition.

Every time I walk out into my garage I am reminded by the 16 wheels and tires, the two German automotive masterpieces, and the vast assortment of tools and reading material just how enthusiastic I am about automobiles. Today, it is a conquest to become the best driver I can possibly be, on the track and on the street. I have learned and matured over the past several years and realize that driving like you do on the track on a street is not only illegal, it is inconsiderate. While I dont know where the path is taking me next, I do know that I will enjoy every minute of it, every hairpin turn, and every high-speed extreme g corner. It is driving and modifying my cars that give me an escape from everything the world throws at me, and the more I do it, the happier I become. So on with the automotive insanity!


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