For the love of cars

A community forms around those who don’t see vehicles as just a means of transportation, but rather as a lifelong passion worth the hours spent in the garage.

On a cold winter weekend, breath visible indoors and out, the jet heater roars to life as it starts pumping out vital heat. The seemingly-abandoned, seafoam green, four-bay garage slowly fills up with heat. Cars and car parts litter the area—enough to make a junkyard proud.

They represent the blood, sweat, and sometimes even tears that go into a hobby and a passion.

As the morning turns into day, more people show up to the garage to get started on their projects. Soon the room is filled with the smell of cigarette smoke and e-vapor, the roar of the jet heater, background music, and the rhythmic sound of ratchets and tools at work. 

When that much time and effort go into something, people feel they put a piece of themselves into it.

The Foundation

Drake Dillard is a senior at Ball State University. His weekends are not filled with homework or partying, but instead with greasy hands, busted knuckles, and a sense of accomplishment and pride. 

The 2018 drift and car season started on March 4.

Meets are like show-and-tell for cars. Drifting is a motorsport in which people try to make the back end of a rear-wheel driven car slip and lose traction while going around a curve, resulting in the car being oversteered, but the driver still has control over it. The car will go sideways through a corner when done correctly. 

He isn’t alone in this; other car fanatics are getting ready for the 2018 season of racing and car meets. There are a variety of groups and communities dedicated to cars on Facebook alone. Just looking up “Muncie Cars” on Facebook will show there are 759 people who either follow or are a part of a group or community that is involved with cars.

Muncie used to be a center of car parts production. It drove the economy forward and supplied much of the growth that fueled the expansion of the middle class in Muncie and the expansion of the city, says James Connolly, director of the Center for Middletown Studies at Ball State.

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