What is a petrolhead? Before you picture a petrol pump attached to a body, this is how Collins Dictionary defines it:
However, the question here is what constitutes a true petrolhead? How to define a petrolhead among a myriad of car lovers?
Consider these examples:
Exhibit A. Gillian has loved cars since the tender age of five. Now at eighteen, she buys all sorts of car magazines to satisfy her thirst for motoring knowledge. She is currently driving a 2002 Proton Wira given by her father for her transportation needs. She plans to use some of her savings for a new set of tyres and rims. If her waitress job pays well, a CD player and a subwoofer is in the pipeline.
Exhibit B. Gillian’s elder brother, Benny, is a self-proclaimed petrolhead too. Since college, he has been watching a lot of “Best Motoring” and “Hot Version” episodes. He joined the IT industry as a software programmer after graduation. Being sensible, he bought a new Perodua Myvi with a manual transmission instead of a used sports car. Although the Myvi is not his first choice of wheels, he is saving up hoping to buy the car of his dreams, the Toyota 86.
He plans to swap the stock suspension with aftermarket coil-overs once he receives his annual bonus.
Exhibit C. Ahmad, a colleague of Benny, is also a family man with two young kids and a proud owner of a customized Perodua Alza. Like Benny, he loves his car too, but style and poise are more of his thing. To date, he has spent over RM50,000 on aesthetics alone, ranging from customized bodykits, flashy accessories, oversized rims and ICE. An avid participant in autoshows, last week he was the runner-up in the small MPV Category in an autoshow in Kajang.
Once he receives his annual bonus, he plans to “hellaflush” his Alza, much to the irritation of his wife.
Exhibit D. Ahmad and Benny reports to Roshan, a senior manager who is also a petrolhead. He is an old-school guy, and in his garage lies an immaculate 1999 Alfa Romeo 156 with a V6-engine. Most classic car lovers in Subang knows Roshan and his red “Rosso”. Although he drives a new BMW 3-Series F30 to work, he never does not fancy electronics and will keep his beloved “Rosso” as long as he breathes.
His favourite day of the week is Sunday, where he wakes up at 7:00 am to bring “Rosso” to Ulu Yam for a drive. He gained notoriety among the staff for spending most of his annual leaves in the workshop to fix “Rosso”. With the upcoming annual bonus, he intends to treat “Rosso” to the best car care products money can buy.
Exhibit E. Saul is a wealthy CEO of the company where Benny, Ahmad and Roshan work. Just like his subordinates, he is a certified petrolhead; despite he is chauffeured to work with his Mercedes-Benz S-Class. On the weekends, he drives a Porsche Cayenne GTS with his family to various places.
Saul has always jibed at Roshan for his love of classic cars, when he thinks that new cars perform better and are more reliable. As a CEO, time is money and it is too valuable to be wasted at workshops. He shuns manual transmissions and he cannot fathom Benny’s preference for 3 pedals.
This week, he will be announcing that there will be no annual bonus due to the challenging economy. Despite that, he has just placed an order of an Audi RS7 secretly.
With these given examples, who do you think is a true petrolhead? Actually, there is no right and wrong on this one, similarly there is no right answer to whose father is the best in the world. You may ask, how could this make any sense?
Picture this: You decide to go for an early Sunday morning drive. Instead of reaching your destination faster by paying tolls, you turn into the road less travelled where traffic is minimal.
As you select your favourite track on the stereo, your grip on the steering tightens. To you, the road represents the journey in life, it goes up and down; when a series of sharp corners are conquered, you smile with sheer satisfaction. The straights can be enjoyed fast if you are in the mood for a thrill, or slow if you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Afterall, it is the journey that matters, not the destination. Be it a jalopy, a soulless B-segment hatch, or a fiery Italian coupe; if driving excites your mood the way a kid receives his first Hot Wheels toy car, you are indeed a certified petrolhead.
*This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Autofreaks.com