What's Your Favorite Car Topic To Nerd Out Over With Poor, Unsuspecting Souls?

Photo credits: Mark Thompson (top left), Sarah Crabill (bottom left, top right), Jonathan Ferrey (bottom right)/Getty Images
Photo credits: Mark Thompson (top left), Sarah Crabill (bottom left, top right), Jonathan Ferrey (bottom right)/Getty Images

Most of the time, the extent of my talking about cars with casual friends is, “Yes, I travel places and drive cars for a job.” Outside of your little circle of enthusiast friends, people often get bored when you get too into talking about your passions. That’s an unfortunate thing.


I usually try not to overwhelm people with my redneck left turns and fondness of E30s, because, well, they aren’t the most riveting topics for non-car folks.

But a friend asked how I got into racing. I told her, and she immediately asked all sorts of questions about how racing worked, the different levels, and everything—I broke down stock-car and open-wheel developmental ladders, racing budgets, the differences between Formula One and the Verizon IndyCar Series, what manufacturer-backed teams are and why ones that aren’t are unique in a lot of ways, and the physical toll it takes to drive a race car.

And, about every five minutes, I would ask if she was bored and wanted me to stop. She wasn’t, and she kept asking questions. Having that kind of freedom to drone on and on about my favorite thing, racing, was a great feeling, and it’s not one I get to experience often—nerding out about some topic a group is unfamiliar with isn’t really the best way to keep that group around.

Having that thought in the back of my mind made me slightly self conscious about geeking out and talking for probably 45 minutes, but it felt great that someone was genuinely interested enough to not walk away after five.

So, given that kind of rare situation—or not, since we all tend to geek out far more than we intend to sometimes—what ultra-niche automotive topic would you talk about forever and ever? What’s your preferred method of chasing people off, never to be seen again?

Staff writer, Jalopnik


Kaiser Khan

Two stroke tuning. Even car enthusiasts are like, “Oh cool, ok. I’m going to get another beer, alright? You want anything?”