I consider myself a hardcore driving enthusiast. When it comes to my car I am willing to tolerate more than just about anybody in the name of performance and driving enjoyment. Function over form is taken to an extreme in the pursuit of performance. My daily driver and only car is extreme to the point that people around me classify it as a racecar. I only say this because I fall into the category I'm about to describe:
I browse through TCL almost daily and see threads upon threads of bickering and one upping and arguing over why x is better than y or why z is stupid because he did so and so and one fact is becoming more and more clear.
The automotive scene in general is a tiny minority out of the general population. The fact is all forms of car enthusiasts are "weird". I don't mean weird in a bad way, what I mean is the "weirdness" is what makes the automotive scene diverse and exciting.
Here is my definition of car enthusiast from an "outsiders" view
One who harbors an inexplicable fascination with a relatively mundane mechanical device that goes beyond appreciation of its intended purpose and basic functionality, in some cases bordering on obsession.
Some of us like the sounds, the smells, the textures and the style. Some enjoy the pleasant emotions involved with travelling in a car: freedom, power, and always an opportunity for adventure. Others like the physical sensation of driving; the G-forces, the vibrations, and the feeling of being one with a machine. Still others are into the art of creating, the metalwork, engine building, fabrication and painting. Some are happy never to drive the object of their attention just building it/owning it/looking at it is all they need.
No one way is correct, and the diversity of appreciation for all facets of "The Car" are as varied as the tastes of individuals. We all appreciate different aspects of "The Car" in our own way and with the skills, budgets, creativity, and passion that is available to us.
This method of thought has opened my eyes and my mind to appreciate things from perspectives I never considered before. Instead of seeing a bagged/stance big rig being "stupid because its too low to drive" I think about it from the perspective of the builder and instead see a piece of mechanical art that an inordinate number of highly skilled man-hours went into.
Will HIS truck beat MY car around a racetrack? Will it still haul a trailer across the country? Should it be lower?
If everybody liked the same things the same way what a boring world this would be.
I think that is perspective we can all drink to