Back to Driving Force, Fall 2017



A Brief Farewell to Uncle Sam

By Colby Martin 

  This immaculate E-type Jaguar coupe was a personal favorite found on my overseas adventure this summer.

For me, vehicles have always perfectly symbolized the idea of freedom to explore unfamiliar territories. My mom still enjoys saying that my “babysitter” as a child was the AutoTrader classifieds. Apparently, I could spend a healthy amount of time in my crib studying the shapes of those now classic cars—the images representing the big world outside of our family home in suburban Los Angeles.

Over the years, a few major auto events, as well as the occasional cruise night, have become treasured family memories. The array of regional tastes and styles found in our hobby continue to fascinate me. While, enthusiast magazines continue to uncover the trends beyond my home town, nothing compares to visiting the range of cities and small towns in person. Traveling the United States with the SEMA Action Network (SAN) has allowed me to obtain a unique perspective. I’ve acquired a sense of what being a “gearhead” in our country is all about. I’ve often wondered what the scene is like internationally and have longed for the chance to discover the answers myself.

My travel dream has now been realized as I recently took my first excursion abroad. What an incredible experience to venture “across the pond” to Europe! It was a sheer joy to discover the rides we consider “imports” on their own turf. Exotic marques like MINI Cooper, Fiat, Citroën and Renault are commonplace. However, I hadn’t expected to see the number of vintage machines I encountered over the two-week stay, most in solid condition. Motorcycles and scooters were abundant as well. I saw several nicely restored two-wheelers as well as the iconic ‘café racer’ style.

As a fan of old-fashioned items in general, there was so much to absorb. Ancient structures brought human history uniquely to life. In Dublin, I enjoyed a pint in a pub built in 1198, more than 800 years ago! While much ground was covered, a vast amount had to wait. I hear the historic Grand Prix races, Goodwood Festival and a slew of others make worthy “bucket list” items. My appetite whetted, I can’t wait to return!


The future of our prized cars and trucks is being threatened! Add your voice to our growing U.S. and Canadian forces united to advance our automotive freedoms. SAN members defend the hobby by responding to timely e-mail updates on vehicle-related legislation and regulations. No fees. No SPAM. No obligations. Great strength comes with great numbers. Can we count on you to help preserve the classics of today and tomorrow?

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