Check out the photo above and tell me you wouldn’t kill to be there. That shot was taken at a recent car meet in Sydney, Australia, organised by a guy called Justin Fox, who runs Zen Garage. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Justin in Gothenburg last week, and the more we chatted the more I realised this is a guy who gets it. Over the past few years he has helped organise and host monthly car meets, and as you can see, they’re ridiculously popular.
Across the planet, petrolheads are being targeted. Whether it’s having the fun sucked out of cars by emissions regulations, or safety campaigners wagging their fingers at ‘anti-social behaviour’, our lifestyle is constantly under scrutiny. That’s perhaps most true in Australia, where cops don’t hide the fact they’re deliberately picking out so-called ‘hoons’, and car guys are always fighting to keep their passion alive.
So for meets such as these to thrive despite concerted efforts to stifle them is to be applauded. The sheer variety of cars on display is impressive - hit the link above to check out the awesome gallery. They have Italian exotics, JDM heroes and gorgeous retro rides all mingling with one another. But despite what society thinks, these are not a bunch of naughty children out to cause trouble, these are people with a heart and a conscience.
Justin has been working closely with a friend who runs Cars for Hope, an organisation that raises awareness of mental health issues and is working to eradicate the stigma surrounding the variety of associated illnesses, and handed the keys over to them to host the event while he was consulting in Sweden.
Anyone who has spent any time in the car community knows it is one of the most inclusive, friendly places to hang out. Sure, there can be a lot of keyboard warriors bitching at each other online, but out in the real world most people are welcoming and more than happy to help each other. It’s great to see that love being spread to those who need it. Often, one of the most powerful ways to help people suffering mental health issues is to offer a caring hand to get them through the day, and I can’t think of a better community to promote that.
So next time you see car guys getting bad press, just remember what’s going on in Australia, and know that no matter what the world thinks, we know we’re good people!