Firing UP – Cultural Diversity

By Nick Licata

Living in Orange County, California, I’m exposed to a good amount of cultural diversity. On my street alone, you’ll find a couple of imports and a few domestics. Yep, there is quite an automotive mix in my neighborhood, and I’m proud to be part of it.

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Ronnie up the street has a very cool ’55 Chevy Bel Air restomod. It’s got a small-block, 15-inch American Torq Thrust wheels and a nice-sounding exhaust. It’s not his daily driver, but between he and his wife, it gets driven quite a bit. I know because every time I hear a V-8-powered car go by my house, I instinctively jump up and look out the window to see what it is. It’s a habit I just can’t break and one I’m sure many of you can relate.

Eddie, a few houses to my left, has a ’64 Chevy Impala convertible lowrider. It’s a superclean cruiser with bright red paint and Dayton wire wheels. He’s currently working on a ’66 Chevy in the garage, also being built as a lowrider, that looks like it will be magazine feature-worthy once it’s done. He has two boys in their early twenties who are into imports. I’m not well-versed in those type of cars, but one appears to be an early ’90s Nissan 240SX and the other is an early ’00s Mitsubishi Eclipse. Both appear to have mild modifications with aftermarket wheels and exhaust from what I can tell. It’s good to see the younger generation getting involved in the car hobby, regardless of brand. Oh, and those Nissans are getting good money these days.

Kevin lives a few houses to the right of me and drives a ’32 Ford roadster with a small-block Chevy for power. He’s had it for at least 20 years and is one of those guys who gets up super early on weekends to head out with his roadster club buddies. I know because of my heightened awareness to the sound of a V-8 firing up even at 5:30 in the morning when I’m half asleep. It’s weird, I know.

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A few blocks away there is Chip who owns a cool Chevy C10. It’s got a nice stance and 18-inch American five-spoke wheels. There are some primer spots here and there, but it still looks cool. With no immediate plans on painting the truck, he recently freshened it up with a rebuilt small-block that sounds pretty stout. I’ve run into him at a few Sunday morning coffee cruises; he also uses it as his daily.

The guy who lives in the house behind mine drives a Lamborghini. Strangely, I’ve only seen it in the wild one time, but he gets it out just about every weekend. I know because that thing is pretty loud when he fires it up and backs out of his driveway. He attempts to keep the rpm low as he slowly crawls down the street, but that’s close to impossible with a high-compression, naturally aspirated V-12 engine.

Just up the street, there is a nice house with a two-car garage for sale. So, if you want to move into a cool neighborhood with a diverse car culture, come check it out. Import or domestic; bring your hot rod and you’ll fit right in.

Do you live in a car culture neighborhood? If so, I want to hear about it. Email me at You in? See All My “Firing Up” Series Here>>>

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