24th Mar2015

The Problem with Meets

by Michael Chandler

EDITORIAL Problem With Meets Michael CHandler CAMautoMag

Words and photos by Michael Chandler


There was a long, long period of time where I didn’t go to many of the local meets or get togethers.  Mostly it was because the usual group of guys I would see at these had moved on to bigger and better things (marriage, children, moving out of a house with 7 dudes sharing 3 bedrooms and into their own house, careers), but it was also because I kept seeing more and more idiots at these meets.

What do I mean by “idiot”? Well take the winners in the picture above for example.  This was at the Utah Japanese Classic Car barbecue.  It was a mellow day, where everyone was just hanging out when suddenly we heard something approaching from over the horizon.  It was the Forester, which sounded like it was in first gear for the sheer sake of being in first gear, with the Impreza in tow.  They pulled in and did a couple of laps against the flow of traffic, in first gear the whole way.  After stopping to hop out and talk to someone who was leaving (which blocked traffic by the way), they took another lap.  Unable to find two parking spots next to each other, and unwilling to be separated, they did douchiest thing I’ve seen this year: they parked behind two cars parked in the handicap stalls and got out.

They parked behind two cars that were parked legally in the handicap stalls.  The intrepid Subaru owners just made their own spots by blocking in two cars, and made their way off to peruse the classic J tin.

Now, I used to own an Integra and I was pretty cool about it for the most part.  I didn’t try and race everything on the road, I didn’t do burnouts or rev my engine at meets, nor did I have any sort of body kit on the car, but people still looked down their nose at me because I was in a Honda.  Why? Because there were plenty of idiots in Hondas who were more than willing to reinforce the “ricer” stereotype.  It’s been many years since I’ve owned my little Integra, but there are still plenty of people who are more than willing to reinforce the stereotypes of old.  Unfortunately they’ve changed their flagship make.

I was in high school when Subaru gave the US its first WRX.  During our senior year Trent (the co-founder of this site) picked himself up a brand new to us all STi.  That was over ten years ago, and now these cars are cheap enough for today’s youth to snatch up.  And they have been in droves.  It pains me to say this, but the Subaru kids are the new Honda kids.  They come to meets and do painfully stupid things, they try and race everything they see, and they’re more than willing to jump on whatever trendy bandwagon that pops up.  And the situation remains the same: for everyone cool owner like David (Gumball WRS) there are hoards of people who want to slam their cars and show off the fact that they spun their $600 coilovers all the way down.

Maybe I’m getting old.  Well, old compared to the latest crop.  I’m pushing 30, and it seems everyone I talk to at these things is 25 and under.  Most of the problem folks look all of 16 to me, but anyone under the age of 20 looks like a 12 year old.  I might be getting old, but I still remember what it’s like to have that first awesome car that has honest to God aftermarket support.  The excitement to install fresh parts and to show them off, but a wise man once said “Discretion is the better part of valor”.  Yes, you’re low and you have an exhaust.  Guess what?  You came to a meet to show off your hard work, or easy work, or the previous owner’s work.  You don’t need to lap the parking lot, just park!  Can’t park next to your friend?  That happens, but I have some terrific news for you: you’re still at the same meet!  It’s not like one of you is in Layton, and the other in Herriman.  Even at the big meets and shows (ISS, Slammed Saturdays) you’re never more than a two minute walk away from your buddy.  And in the case of ISS, if you both paid for spots you’re always within eyesight of each other.

I like going to meets and seeing the new builds from people I’ve never met, and seeing old builds I remember from way back when that have been tucked away for years.  I like talking to people about them, and setting up cruises and get togethers.  I like encouraging people to come out to the track, and at the very least watch a few sessions.  It’s hard though, when you run across people who care about themselves and their friends more than anyone else at the meet.  Meets are wonderful things, it’s a chance for people to get out from behind their computers and see what everyone has been working on, but when you act like an idiot and like you are the center of the meet, you kill it for the rest of us.

TL;DR: Don’t be an idiot, be cool

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

16 Responses to “The Problem with Meets”

  • I feel the same way. I attend 2-3 car shows each week, most being classic car shows. On the rarer occasion that these time of meets/shows come up, I always try to go. However, I feel if I show up in anything other than a Subaru, there is instant judgement. Because I promote car shows, I take the opportunity to take a lot of pictures and talk to a lot of people and companies. Quite often do I pass by a group of guys, around a Subaru, and overhear them putting down other brands and builds, almost like there is no respect whatsoever.

    Consequently, I think this has created a separation in a community that should be joined. In the classic car community, it’s not a big deal if the same make or a group of friends park by each other. If it’s not available, they’ll just bring their lawn chairs over to one area. And they respect the other cars there. I don’t sense any community feeling at these local meets or get together. Because of this, you rarely see brands mix together. Instead, it’s only meets amongst like cars. I’m a part of one and enjoy talking about my car specifically and learning things, but I also enjoy learning about the other hundreds of cars out there.

    I hope in the future I can help promote and list more of these kinds of meets on my site (www.utahcarczar.com). There are so many good builds and so many creative people, but attitudes need to change.

    • We, as people who have a certain amount of say and sway within the community, have to do what we can to promote inclusion. For every group of kids that put down everything that isn’t in their circle, there are one or two who are generally interested and appreciative of the other builds and makes they see at meets and shows. Unfortunately, the downers seem to outnumber the the positive attitude people. Hopefully as they grow they’ll become more appreciative and positive about other builds, makes and people in the community.

  • Cars & Coffee SLC

    Pretty spot-on opinion, Micheal. As you are aware, our very own Cars & Coffee Saturday meets were recently affected by much of what you speak of. The meets were gaining popularity and when the small group of inconsiderates appeared, their inconsiderate behavior brought attention to the group. We may have been okay continuing had it not been for those select few that apparently could not act like adults. It ruined much a great thing for Saturday mornings.

    • It will never cease to amaze me how an inconsiderate few can ruin an amazing thing for so many. I was amazed at how huge Cars & Coffee had become, and I was hoping it would continue on and draw out some rare, breathtaking vehicles like C&C Irvine did. But alas, it was not to be and now everyone seems to be throwing their own Saturday morning meet that may create more divisions within the community.

      It also amazed me that so many people would just drive through Cars & Coffee and park close enough to the group while remaining outside of it. People don’t seem to understand that this is a community. WE are all in this together, and when a minority of us act like idiots the rest of us get branded as such. And that minority doesn’t seem to care, and (bafflingly) even wear that branding with pride.

    • Les Beardos

      What we need is a mutual form of public shaming. Somebody buy bulk dildos on alibaba. act like a dick at meets? Your car is getting covered in dicks. The suction cup kind.

    • We just need someone to roll around and do their best Sheriff Beaufort T Justice impression. Fresh pop culture references like that will sway the hearts and minds of the people!

  • I’m in my mid 20’s and I’m already over the parking lot meets. There’s way too many ungrateful kids that were just handed their cars from their parents, and have absolutely no respect for the scene. I started the car group “Salt Scrapers” in 2012. It started as a large group, 100+ members. It was one of the first online groups, locally, to my knowledge, that brought the stance enthusiasts together. It quickly got out of hand. Shit talking began, nut swinging was rampant, and I was losing the passion. I made an executive decision to disband the large group, and create a small, close-knit group, with the people I enjoyed the most. What spawned from that was amazing friendships. I’m thankful for cars because sharing that passion has brought me amazing friends that I may have not met otherwise. I have absolutely no desire to attend parking lot meets, cruises, C&C, or anything to that nature. I just hate being around the kids that are arguing about who has the most instagram followers, or who takes the better automotive pictures. It drives me absolutely crazy, and I refuse to be around it. I get excited for organized meets. Well organized meets, that is. ISS is a great local meet that provides a positive atmosphere, and doesn’t tolerate bullshit. Salt Scrapers “ScrapeFest” was a success last year, and it’s looking like it’s going to be double as large this year. We have a strong enthusiast scene. Extremely strong for our population. Some states would kill for the activity that we have. Lets not let the jackass kids ruin it. I have no qualms against telling someone to fuck off, and unfortunately more people with that mentality might be what this scene needs to keep things in check.

    • I’m glad you didn’t lose the passion entirely. It can be rough when something you start turns toxic, but you changed it into something good for you and everyone else. We’re all here for the same reason, we’re passionate and want to connect with like minded enthusiasts who share the passion. I’m looking forward to both meets, ISS and ScrapeFest. I remember ScrapeFest last year, and I was amazed at how large the turnout was.

      Keeping people in check is imperative to keeping things like Cars & Coffee, ScrapeFest and ISS around. If the community, as a whole, is viewed as a group of ungrateful and disrespectful people then all the venues will disappear. We must be as firm as an Oak with our rules, but as supple as a reed and remember that they don’t have the years of experience that we have when it comes to meets, shows and cruises.

  • Alex wallis

    I own the forester. I have had to tell this to multiple pages along with back up mine and the other drivers reputation, so there for I will gladly do it again. Here’s the part of the story that isn’t told in this dishonorable article. Me and a friend, where out for a typical drive around sugar house park. The speed limit threw that park is 15mph, that’s a first gear speed in my opinion, I in no way will apologize for the loudness of my car, and never will, for that is my choice and that is my personal desire for my car. We came across a group of other cars all meetingand greeting, me being a very enthusiastic member of the car community got extremely excited to see such beautiful cars all in one spot, so of coarse like most car guys would do, I proceeded to turn in to the place they were parked. As I did so I personally never saw a sign that said one way threw the parking lot, I can honestly say I have never heard of such thing. I went around the parking lot at amazement of what cars were there, and proceded to look for a spot to park, there was a parking lot next to it, but it had kids playing and the typical every day mini vans parked in it. Not wanting to stay we quickly parked for roughly two to three minutes, as we quickly got out and looked at a car that really caught my eye and I asked a few questions about it then proceded to go back to my car and leave saying goodbye to someone not “blocking” any traffic in a practically motionless parking lot, doing as most car guys do these days I waved and said hello while leaving. In no way or form did I EVER Intend to apparently cause such a huge scene. After that we left the parking lot and carried on our way threw the rest of the park and left. Now! To who ever it may concern, taking the time to write this and put me and another car driver on blast is extremely rude on your part. I would never do such a thing, I personally would go up to them and kindly talk to them and ask them to kindly move or something to that effect. Also it is quite disrespectful to write this only having one side to the story, I get you are trying to prove a universal point, but there is no need to put me and someone else out for the hole Internet to see, and to write a one sided story. I strongly agree with what you are saying and have never intentionally tried to be that “idiot” that ruins meets and causes a scene. We were just out for a drive, saw some nice cars and quickly stopped in to see them. It is not like we were parked in front of those cars for an hour with someone waiting to leave, as well as there being no visible person in the area going to there cars to pull out. As I have learned, even when your innocent, there will still be someone to find something that you have done wrong, or that they don’t like. Full respect intended. – Alex.

    • I’m glad that you read through, and agree with the point of the article. All I intended with it was for people to recognize that the perception of our entire community is more often based on the actions (whether intentionally malicious or an honest lapse of judgement) of a few, and that there is always a subgroup that draws the scorn.

    • Travis

      Dear Alex, why is it considered rude for somebody to post your shityiness to the world, yet you clearly have no problem being rude yourself? I’m gonna let you in on a little secret, something a lot of people don’t know. ready for it? you may want to sit down for this. the secret is, you are not the only person on this planet… boom! i know shocking isn’t it. we are all on this planet together, we all have to make sacrifices to work together.

      So its funny to me, that you are willing to say ” I in no way will apologize for the loudness of my car, and never will, for that is my choice and that is my personal desire for my car” but yet complain that this article is bothering you. yet you bother 100s of people a day with you obnoxiously loud car. your shitty choice has an effect on many other people then yourself. I know i just love hearing shitty ricers scream past my house, especially when its late and im trying to sleep.
      anyways i have seen your car around, and thought it was quite nice, its shame about the owner tho.

    • Tyler Grosskopf

      ……when you just can’t be a big enough man and admit you were wrong……. I actually didn’t care enough to comment until I read your stupid ass defensive comment. Be a man, admit when you were wrong and live on, no one cares about why you did what you did, just own up, be a man (for once) and just say Im sorry, hell you dont even have to be sorry….. subaru kids……….

      “I in no way will apologize for the loudness of my car, and never will, for that is my choice and that is my personal desire for my car.” this was hands down the douchiest thing I’ve ever read.

      and yet he wonders why he is being put on “blast” hilarious

    • Jeffrey Eldredge

      You’d think the entire local car community being against you would be enough to justify some personal introspection.

      Your post reads like a little kid throwing a tantrum after someone (rightly) called him out for acting like a shithead.

      I’m reading a lot of your excuses and reading none of your accountability.

      Get wise, kid.

  • David

    Alex, the issue lies in the fact that you still parked like an ass hat when that really wasn’t necessary. Whether it was for a second or a week you and your friend did a very douchey thing and deserved to be called out. CAM didn’t mention any names so you outed yourself as an idiot and have nobody to blame but yourself. You were called out on the internet. If you don’t want to be called out, don’t do stupid shit.

    I couldn’t agree with what has been said any more. It’s truly unfortunate that those of us who have respect for others property can’t have nice things because of the few tools that don’t know how to act their age and clean up after themselves and acting like total children. I’ve seen it happen too many times. There’s good reason that I have moved away from the cheap ass kids and to a group of enthusiasts that actually care about the scene as a whole. Unfortunately there will be those few in every group no matter what you drive whether it be Hondas, Hot Rods, or Exotics that give the scene a bad name in general. Unfortunately there isn’t an IQ test to being able to attend meets or get your driver’s license. Nobody is impressed with your burnouts, your engine revs, or your show boating. The best part is that all these tools do is complain they got a ticket for speeding off in a residential area, driving without insurance, or just being a fucktard in general. “Damn pigs! Didn’t they know that I’m the shit and normal rules and laws don’t apply to me?”

  • Joey

    Alex, what you (and frankly, this article) failed to mention was that on your approach down the hill, on your way to the meet, you blipped the throttle every few feet, for reasons unbeknownst to anyone. One would think, if you needed more gas to get down a hill, second gear might be a valid consideration. This also has the added benefit of being more quiet.

    Futhermore, upon arrival and during your laps around the lot, you continued to blip the throttle as if that was the only way your Forester could keep momentum. And that’s weird, because every standard trans car I’ve ever driven had the ability to cruise in first, at idle, with absolutely zero throttle input. This includes my Camry, which had all the torque of a newborn, and all the firebreathing grunt of a freshly shaven Pomeranian.

    Every car I’ve owned has been loud. Really loud. And take it from me, it is quite possible to drive them quietly. In fact, there were quite a few loud cars at that meet, and the large majority left relatively noise-free.

    From there, you parked behind two handicapped stalls, as if you were entitled to that space, because “I was only going to be there for two or three minutes” and “the lot with spaces in it had minivans and kids”

    A. What if you had been there for longer than ‘two or three minutes’? No, scratch that. Let’s say in the window of time that you provided us, the owner of one of those cars wanted to leave. What then? You make a handicapped person walk around a parking lot and find you? Then they have to approach and ask everyone at the meet until they find you and get you to move your car.

    And what if they can’t track you down? You make them wait for you? Why? Because you’re an enthusiastic car guy who can’t wait to go park at the meet?

    B. There were minivans (and other non-involved vehicles) parked in both lots, with the occasional family passing through. This was not a car show, the lot was not ours. We were sharing it. It would have made no difference if you parked at the lot by the basketball courts or not. And luckily, there’s also roadside parking along virtually the entire road that circles the interior of that park.

    If you had no intention of causing issues, and didn’t care where you parked, then you would not have parked there. It’s clear that you were trying to make a statement and be noticed, a point that was clearly driven home when you left.

    But as someone who’s been ‘that guy’ a more than a few times, I think the collective car culture would join me in saying ‘just don’t, and it’s okay’. It sucks that you had to be the latest in a long line of these issues, and the one that caused someone to publicly express themselves. But moving forward: just don’t. You car’s nice, I’m sure you’re chill, but everyone would appreciate it if you could help represent our culture a little bit better.

  • German Missile


    A. It is unlawful for any person to drive or move or for the owner to cause or knowingly permit to be driven or moved either a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles at any time in such a manner as to exceed the following noise limits for the category of motor vehicle shown in subsections A1 and A2 of this section. Noise shall be measured at a distance of twenty five feet (25′) (7.5 m) from the near side of the nearest lane being monitored and at a height of at least four feet (4′) (1.2 m).

    1. Any motor vehicle with a manufacturer GVW rating of ten thousand (10,000) pounds or more or any combination of vehicle towed by such motor vehicles shall not emit a sound pressure level to exceed eighty eight (88) dB(A).

    2. Any motor vehicle with a manufacturer GVW rating of ten thousand (10,000) pounds or less or any combination of motor vehicles towed by such motor vehicles shall not emit a sound pressure level to exceed eighty (80) dBA.

    3. Subsections A1 and A2 of this section shall apply only to vehicles traveling on streets with a posted speed of forty (40) miles per hour or less.

    B. This section applies to the total noise from a vehicle or combination of vehicles, and shall not be construed as limiting or precluding the enforcement of any other provisions of this title relating to motor vehicle mufflers for noise control.

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