Car club races to popularity

Car club meeting in south garage

By Zachary Nelson
Marc Studer photos
Daniel Gonzalez, who is president of the recently formed UW Bothell Car Club and a mechanical engineering student, is in high spirits. He’s in a good mood because students from across around campus are taking notice of the new club — and every meet has grown in size.

“We got five friends together who are all passionate about cars and decided to form a club where people could come together over their love of cars. UW Bothell even funded us so we were able to have the parking spaces we needed covered by the club council,” said Gonzalez, left. “It is so cool that we were able to turn something we dreamed of doing into reality.”

Daniel Gonzalez

Last school year, at the first meet, there were about 10 cars. At the second meet this year, the count was up to more than 30. Sonny Ho, club treasurer and a mechanical engineering student, is excited about the growing interest.

“If anybody has a slight interest in cars, come to one of our events. This is for any level of car enthusiast,” he said. “If you don’t know anything about cars, this is the perfect place to be welcomed into the community. No matter what kind of car you may have, bring it and have a good time.”

The club event coordinator, Camille Tiotuico, is also a mechanical engineering student, but she emphasizes that the club is open to students of any major. “I didn’t know anything about cars when I joined — I don’t even have a license. I joined because people in the club and at the meets are all passionate about the projects they are working on and the cars they drive,” she said.

Ishmael Firat, a media and communications studies student, loves being a member of the car club. “The thing about cars,” he said, “is there’s always something to be worked on and the project is never done, which can lead to endless collaboration among peers.”

Gonzalez also points to the camaraderie that comes with working on cars. “It’s nice to interact with others who have the same interests and yet diverse backgrounds,” he said. “I love seeing people bonding over cars and then later connecting online and in person around campus. It really is a good way to make friends going to one of these events, and whenever people have the same car they almost always end up becoming friends. It’s just fun.”

Car club members and car

But, yes, being a member has practical advantages, too, Firat said. “Some things about cars —replacing broken brakes and changing a tire — everyone should know how to do and, if you join car club, we can teach you how.”

More information about the club can be found on Facebook.

More photos on Flickr.

car club members and cars

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