You don’t have to attend an elite club or have your head perpetually under the hood to be part of a car culture. Enthusiasts across the world hold events big and small to celebrate car ownership. Whether it’s weekly meet-ups in restaurants across the U.S. or monthly cocktail parties for the discussion of vintage cars in India, people will go to great lengths to celebrate their favorite vehicles.
The following five examples of car culture will give you a taste for just how interesting these groups can be.
1. Jeepney Culture
Jeepney, the main form of transportation in the Philippines, is a unique combination of a Jeep and a jitney. These funky hop-on, hop-off buses are hand-decorated with wild paintings and tricked out with lights, horns, chrome, symbols and bells. Originally built using U.S. military jeeps remaining from World War II, Jeepneys are a significant part of the colorful art and culture of the Philippines.
In fact, Jeepneys have become such a rich tradition that, during a recent visit to the Philippines, Pope Francis rode in a Jeepney-inspired Pope mobile to greet the 6 million admirers lining the streets of Manila.
2. The Mini Club of Ireland
If you’ve driven a Mini in Ireland, on the left side of the street with the gears on the left, you probably found some of the most enthusiastic owners in the world. They describe themselves as “…the only MINI/Mini club in Ireland that welcomes all cars, Mokes, Classics, Midas, Marcos, Rileys, GTM, Wolseley. If it’s to do with MINI, we want you with us.”
The club hosts monthly events and supports the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club, a commendable cause for a fun, family company.
3. Rallye Aïche des Gazelles
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is the toughest and longest all-female sporting event on the planet. This rally is a grueling test of driving skill and navigation that traverses southern Morocco’s most difficult mountains, dunes and deserts.
Without the help of GPS, communications and service crews, the two-person teams must find the shortest distance between a number of checkpoints across the nine-day competition. The teams are supplied with a compass, plotters and outdated maps from the 1950s. The nonprofit that sponsors the event, Heart of Gazelles, provides aid to Moroccan women.
4. SVT Cobra Mustang Club
Sometimes, being an enthusiast of a car brand isn’t enough. In the case of the SVT Cobra Mustang Club, a particular vehicle make and model is enough to bring people together across the globe in common cause and general love of the ‘Stang.
Owners come together to exhibit technical modifications they’ve made to their rigs, show off custom paint jobs or just to pay tribute to all things SVT Cobra Mustang.
5. The Vintage Classic Car Club of India (VCCCI)
Originally know as the Vintage Car Club of Bombay (VCCB), this truly unique organization was founded by Roni Khurshedcher Khan in 1963 when he traversed India to invite owners to join and find new homes for failing classic cars. Now referred to by its present name, the VCCCI gathers collectors from all around to hold vintage car shows and rallies to this day.
These are just a few of the crazy car cultures out there. Though they all celebrate different vehicles, they are all united in their love of cars and car communities.
Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on car culture around the world, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Image courtesy of Holly Reich
Holly Reich writes about cars, culture, travel, health, beauty and more.Her work has appeared in Fortune, Parents, NY Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Redbook, NY Observer and dozens more. Holly, a recipient of several writing awards, has also reported on media outlets including: Fox, Lifetime TV, The Discovery Channel, AutoLab and AutoWorld radio. She is a voting member of WWCOTY (Women's World Car of the Year), TAWA (Texas Auto Writers Association) and Citizens NYC. Holly's passions include, cooking, swimming, Pilates, gardening and hanging with her family in NYC.