Gear Change

Grant Jones

The world of car enthusiasts coming together to display their own cars and swap stories with other car owners is on display at both highly organized events in approved locations and at more ‘underground’ events, promoted and sustained through social media. Coming together in a supermarket car park or at a local garage, these gatherings offer an opportunity to show off cars or watch speeding, revving and manoeuvres.
 
As a car enthusiast myself and a member of a local group, I have an insider’s view of this world and know first-hand how the car enables the building of friendship groups and support networks. I have attempted here to contrast both an insider’s investment in the activity with that of an outsider’s less participatory view. In focusing on the action taking place, the atmosphere, and the social environment, there is a sense of expectation in waiting for what might happen next but imbued with the risks involved.

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