As I sit here in my office looking through the tiny window that splits my cage and the front entry of our building I can see the numerous articles, trophies, and awards that adorn our walls. These aren’t so much an homage to all the great work we’ve done (that would be rather narcissistic and self serving) rather, these are reminders of how fortunate we have been over the years to have been selected to build so many great cars. Only through hard work and fortune have we been able to keep the wall art growing.
Part of today’s tasks is booking flights, making sure hotels are ready, and hoping that I can remember to call the kennel for next week while I’m out of town. The Goodguys 3rd Speedway Nationals are less than a week away (for me) and the gypsy life is screaming my name.
Right before a show I always have the same thoughts running through my mind though. I ponder as to the real neccessity of these car shows that we do all over the country. I mean think about it, how many major car shows are held each year? Dozens? Hundreds? Maybe thousands? Heck, just with the Goodguys and NSRA’s schedule alone, I could literally stay on the road for all of 2014 and never see my bed if I wanted to. But, why do we do them? Why does anyone do them?
I think I could articulate a great number of reasons why car shows aren’t exactly all they are cracked up to be, and even the car enthusiast in me could probably forgive myself for the blasphemy that I spit out. Cost of diesel for an 80′ truck and trailer, hotel costs, airline tickets, even rental cars add up. Let’s just say that thousands of dollars are spent before my butt even leaves my office chair, and that’s not even counting the cost of the guys manning the booth and running the shows. Have you priced a good CDL driver lately? I could probably rationalize that the money spent would have a greater ROI is it was put towards advertising, product development, yadda, yadda, yadda…So again, why do we do it?
Why do we live like gypsy’s for 9 months of the year only to wish that we stayed home more? Why do we so meticulously schedule the events so far in advance that there is no way that backing out is even an option? Is there a reason we choose to see the faces of our second families (other vendors, or as I like to call us “carnies”) rather than the faces of our families for most of the year?
We do it for the same reason all of you do it.
This business isn’t for everyone. This business has chewed up and spit out more highly skilled craftsman than I can even count. This business isn’t even a business. Heck, it’s not even a passionate hobby. This business is a lifestyle.
It’s what we do, and it’s what you do.
What makes me drag myself out of bed at 4am just to come to work so I can shuffle paperwork, order parts, and put out some kind of fire, is the same thing that makes all of you wake up at 4am just to get the best spot, polish your rims, wipe off your paint and sit next to your car all day talking to others that did the same.
It’s a passion that drives the lifestyle. Without the passion, it’s just a hobby.
So the weekend after next on Sept. 20-22 you should come out and see us at the Goodguys show in Indy. Come see what we have to offer, but more importantly, just come buy to talk to us about what you drive, want to drive, or use to drive.
Are car shows really necessary? Of course they are. Even during the busy season when we are on the road for 21weeks in a 9 month span, these shows will always be the reason why we do what we do. Without somewhere to show off what we do and love…what would be the point?
Hope to see some of you out there!