This I Believe

Amy - Abita Springs, Louisiana
Entered on November 29, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Clear the Track; I’m Coming

I believe every girl should have a fast car. My brother, who is three years older than me, is a car fanatic. Since he and I are so close, I guess it is no surprise that his passion for fast cars rubbed off on me. It all pretty much started when he was four and I was one. My mom and dad gave him a Power Wheels truck for his birthday, and since that day he has been driving some sort of vehicle.

Our interest in cars started with a battery operated toy but has since progressed to much nicer, more expensive “toys.” My brother bought a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLI. It is VR6 2.8 liter with a six speed manual transmission. It was fast straight from the dealer, but of course we made some major modifications. We started by installing a cold air intake, then a Borla exhaust system. From there we went on to add polyurethane bushings and Neuspeed sway bars. Our most recent addition is a supercharger that lowered our quarter-mile time from a 16.2 to a 13.1.

My brother is in the Navy and is stationed in Gait, Italy. He is only home for maybe one month out of the year, so when he is gone, it is up to me to maintain the Jetta. I drive it to keep it in top condition and I change the oil and air filters when it is needed. He is in the process of teaching me everything he knows about cars, and I am doing my best to learn it all. I try to take it to the track as much as I can to break in the supercharger and get in some extra driving practice, but boys at the track are not as welcoming to a female driver as you would think.

The Jetta has very dark tinted windows, so a car that pulls up next to me on a drag strip has no way to see that there is a girl inside. A car pulled up next to me one night at a traffic light and revved up the engine as if asking to race. I am not one to turn down a good race, so I revved mine back. As the light turned green we were off, and I pulled ahead. After beating him to the next light, I rolled down my windows to ask if he wanted to go again but when he realized I was a girl, he got mad. He and his friends started yelling about how girls should not have fast cars, and that we are bad drivers.

That is not the only time I have experienced prejudicial comments about being a girl who likes to race. Almost every time I get out of my car at a track, someone says something about how the Jetta cannot really be my car. Apparently, they believe it is impossible for a girl to know about how cars work. They think girls could never own and know how to drive a fast car. Well I believe girls have just as much potential if not more than guys for becoming the next best race car drivers.

I believe that my love for fast cars should not be taken any less seriously than my brother’s simply because I am a female. I believe every girl deserves a fast car and should show every boy that we can and do know how to drive just as well as they do.