Saturday, March 21, 2009
What about me? Trying to think what to say about the man, or rather the guy, behind this site instead of the site itself or cars, I found myself quite short on words, at first.
Considering the whole site, the way I write and the subjects I write about should say enough about me, I would stick with some facts and some bio.
I started following the automobile's world in 1994, after Ayrton Senna's death.
The Monday after the accident, I came to school, and while all the other kids were talking about him and what happened, I didn't even know who he was. I've been watching F1 races even before that day, but it was just an entertainment thing. The only thing I knew about F1 was that I liked the black cars, probably the Sauber Mercedes-Benz, I guess.
I didn't start reading and asking more and more about cars because I felt like a poor ignorant after that Monday, but because I discovered I liked cars, racing, and that my interest was more deep than that of the other kids of my age which were just following the F1 races because their fathers did. I was always looking for something more to compare my just born knowledge with.
Fortunately, my father has always been a technical person, and he has quite a good knowledge about cars and engines, so it was a good point to start with. He was also running a small company at that time, manufacturing heavy parts of engines, gearboxes and transmissions in general for cars, tractors and others.
There, at the factory, I was passing my childhood's afternoons, running with the bicycle trough machines and stocks waiting for delivering. Obviously I hurt myself more than once, falling from the bicycle or going where I was not supposed to go, but I was becoming familiar with cast iron's smell, mechanics in general and the complexity that an object like a car, or the machines to produced even just a part of its engine, could stand for.
After we moved and my father sold the company, I compensated the lack of parts to look at with magazines and tv programs.
Growing up, I lost the interest in reading someone else's opinions and reviews, I soon became very critic about them, finding contradictions, not really well hidden ads of a certain brand or another one, and most important, inconclusive articles, reviews I could have done by myself while looking at a car exhibited at the local dealer without even driving it but just reading the brochure.
I started making ideas and opinions of my own, being finally able to know, or kind of, what I can expect from a certain car even if I didn't drive it or even saw it in the flesh, simply considering the information available, as for example, what's the history of the brand, what are the former products released, how is the average customer of such brand, and so on, recreating in a very basic way what could have been the creating process behind that car.
Since I got access to the Internet, I became an avid collector of images, pictures and articles about cars and the world around them. Now I have a pretty big archive of images, which is continuously growing and keeping me busy in try to give it a decent order.
I started studying Mechanical Engineering at Modena's University, after moving from Padua right from that purpose, in order to access, once I will get the first degree, to the specialization in Vehicle Engineering. Some personal happenings, together with my own attitude, resulted in a slightly longer university career then what I previewed just before getting it started.
Still university, or better engineering, is quite different from what I first thought, but possibly it's mainly me to be the different part of the deal.
Generally, I use to refuse things as given facts, as something I should blindly trust just because someone told me it's so. I rather try to confute everything, even if the result would be exactly that one they proposed me at first, but in twice the time if not even more.
And I can't stop thinking, about everything, if there is something that in a way, even marginal, doesn't work in my opinion, I have to think about it, examine it, come out with my own solution which isn't probably going to leave in some way my head, but it surely keeps me busy.
Perhaps that is keeping me too busy, but it also means I usually have my own idea about a lot of arguments, and that, hopefully, it's not going to be the usual opinion heard on the radio the day before. Also, it helps being able to watch to a certain fact with an objective eye, because after all a common path can be seen in every subject, especially when it comes to men's behavior, which highly affects what they create. As cars, for instance.
There aren't specific facts worth to be quoted here that happened during my lifetime.
I participated as a volunteer to the organization of the Italian round of the Formula SAE in 2007, at the Fiorano test track, property of Ferrari, and those has been three days that raised some arguments I later developed, and that could be worth a dedicated post or even more.
I have been to many cars related events, with the possibility, a couple times, to meet interesting personalities. And many other happenings.
All of this contributed to form myself as the person, and enthusiast, I am now. But surely nothing can be as formative as your own personality and ideas.
I hope you will enjoy my thoughts and their disproportioned length.
photo copyright: Damiano Garro