Daily DRVN #4

Origins of a Car Enthusiast, Storing your Classic Car for the winter, and more...

Here we are again, DRVRs. Edition #4 of the Daily DRVN newsletter. It’s still early days here, but I am proud to say the newsletter has remained truly daily.
Speaking of early days. Car lovers such as you and me all have an origin story. There was at least one moment that got us hooked.

I’d like to tell you mine. It’s made me who I am today, and I suspect many of you will relate.

However, this publication is certainly not all about me. In fact, my hope is to eventually make it all about YOU, the readers. I’ll soon start featuring readers, their rides, and their unique stories as a regular column in this publication. If you want to be featured, just reply to this post, or send a message [email protected] and we’ll make it happen!

Not an actual photo of me racing my GLI. But close enough.

Now, for the Rex origin story. My real name is actually Alexander. I just go by Rex online (it’s a twitter thing). It may sound cliche, but I was born with cars in my DNA. My family worked for Mercedes-Benz since the turn of the century (1900, not 2000), myself included for a short time. My father was there for something like 40 years and was an amateur race car driver in the 70’s. First-gen RX-7s if memory serves.

I was that kid with a large collection of Matchbox & Hot Wheels, and car magazine clippings on my walls. Some of my best childhood memories are from the times I went to Indy Car races with my family, complete with the full Mercedes-Benz treatment.

It was when I was approaching 15 that I hit the point of no return. With my driver’s license within arms reach, I spent increasingly more time with my nose in parts catalogs building my dream cars in my mind. Then, shortly before my 16th birthday may dad asked “Do you wanna go racing?” My answer was obvious. So my official homework was hitting those catalogs and building an Autocross car in real life.

At the time I was all about the German cars. Naturally, they were what I was surrounded by. Ideally it would be a Porsche 911 but I’d settle for a 914. That was most definitely not in the cards as an overly enthusiastic teenager’s first car. Especially considering I had to foot most of the bill (There was a little extra budget for affording more than a shitbox and the necessary mods. Thanks dad!). My sights were realistically set on a VW Corrado or a GTI.

One summer morning my parents returned from an out-of-town trip, and inexplicably at the very same time, a red 1990 Jetta GLI was parked in my driveway. The GTI’s slightly less attractive sibling. “I found the car!” My dad said with pride! This was such a surprise… I was just… so… disappointed. Ok, I was still pretty stoked, but it was certainly not what I wanted. When he said he was looking at a car while he was away I wasn’t expecting him to bring it back.

But you know what? That car grew on me. It had Recaro seats, BBS wheels, a 5-speed and the same peppy 16v 2 liter 4 banger from the GTI. Soon it also had a fully upgraded suspension package and a number of other go-fast bits. Intake, cat back, short shifter, a chip, and a second set of wheels wrapped in race tires. Man, it was sweet. The only thing wrong with it was it was red, and it had a trunk.

I’ll tell you boy, that car killed it on the autocross course. It of course killed many many cones in the process, but I picked it up right quick. In just a few races I was giving the two top drivers in my class a run for their money (Not to mention, my dad). One drove a VW Scirocco and the other, an E30. And both of them had 20+ years on me. I chalk most of it up to being an indestructible teenager, and above all else, having a great teacher. Pops.

This experience. Waking up at 4:30 am. Walking the track. Meticulously monitoring and adjusting tire pressures and damper settings. Having endless discussions of everywhere I could squeeze a little more speed out of the car. All of it. This whole experience was my origin point, and why I will never get cars out of my blood.

We did Solo racing together for a couple of years until it was time for me to prepare to take off to college. So I sold the GLI to a friend and got into a Dodge Stealth. Not a bad cruiser for a college kid. There was only one problem with it. It was red… and the base model, and it had “custom” upholstery that looked like a couch from 1987. Ok, three problems. But it was clean!

I’ll share the rest of my car journey in future editions. I can’t wait to hear yours.

You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

Zig Ziglar

No matter what you drive or what your goals are for your automotive journey, you too can be great, as long as you start. It may not seem like it but even your $1,500 Civic will eventually get you to that car show trophy, the start/finish line of the race track, or the magazine cover you seek. Start and stay the course.

Winter is coming. Is your car ready for the long night?

Dive into our comprehensive guide, 'The Ultimate Guide to Storing Your Classic Car for Winter,' and become the ruler of winterization. Learn the royal secrets to preserving your ride's noble charm through the frosty months, so when the thaw comes, you'll be ready to claim the roads. Don't let winter claim the throne; read our article and prepare your chariot for victory!

Watch this!

(Oh, those famous last words)

It’s SEMA season and chances are, like me, you missed it. So sit back and take in the sights and sounds of what SEMA 2023 threw down.

Drip, drip, drip

We’re not talking about your oil leak (you should really look into that). In Gen-Z slang “drip” means fashion or clothing. And there is a lot of great automotive lifestyle “drip” out there. Here’s one brand that’s recently caught my eye. Renegade Motorsport.

Nothing but the cleanest apparel and accessories for you and your ride.

For Sale Gawking

All-Weather Edition

Motorsport Meme of the Day

Too true…

That will do it for this edition of the Daily DRVN newsletter. If you’re not already, please subscribe!

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Until next time, work hard so you can drive hard!

—Rex Tracer


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