I joined Hooniverse about a year after it started. I had my own website up to that point and coming to Hooniverse was sort of a merging of the two. Not everyone liked this idea. Some people view any change as bad, but whatever. That original website of mine, which predated Hooniverse, was an expression of my automotive passion that I continued to share here on Hooniverse. And my first post was simply titled “I like cars”
It all started early for me. Being a little kid in communist Poland, Motor was the only automotive magazine available to the people. I’d spend hours reading every issue with my father. So much that my mother got pissed off at my father because I knew all the cars on the road but didn’t know a horse from a cow as indicated by a road trip into the country.
It wouldn’t be unfair to say that my reading of Motor Trend, Road & Track, and Car and Driver once I was arrived America contributed to my learning English. Twain, Hemingway, Steinbeck? Nah, I had Peter Egan, Csaba Csere, and Patrick Bedard. In my early teenage years I wanted nothing more than to become an automotive journalist.
Goals and aspirations are sometimes held up by the realities of life. I got my engineering degree but for many reasons couldn’t leave the New York City area. My career went into the transportation industry, with a brief stint as Automotive Test Engineer for a Tier 3 supplier, but my passion for cars only grew. I spent years commenting on various automotive forums when it hit me – I could just start writing about cars.
Applying for an extremely competitive, entry-level position at any of the established automotive magazine and taking a significant pay cut wasn’t an option. But then the timing was perfect as the era of Web 2.0 and the blogs have come upon us. I chose to start my own damn blog, with commie cars and station wagons!
The last ten years has been an amazing ongoing experience for me. Writing, and Hooniverse, has allowed me to do some amazing things. I drove some amazing and interesting cars. I recall auto-crossing the Mustang Laguna Seca in Dearborn. I had the Challenger Hellcat up to some ridiculous speed, I want to say near 160MPH, on a former Formula 1 circuit. I drove a Prius C in Palm Beach. I off-roaded a ridiculously expensive Range Rover. I attended a NASCAR drivers’ meeting. I walked the pits at midnight during the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. I hooned a Fiat Cinqueciento around Warsaw. An added bonus is that along to the way I have met some amazing people, and a few assholes.
It was not all fun and games. This writing side-gig sure does take up a lot of my time. It’s time that I could otherwise spend progressing my career and perfecting my retirement portfolio. But then, what would that life be if I had this unfulfilled automotive void, an abandoned passion? I would just be another empty soul filled with daily tasks of an average forty year old. Hooniverse may not be Motor Trend or Car and Driver, but in many ways it’s a lot more than that for me. Here’s to another ten years.