Driving While Awesome is a podcast starring experts in automotive opinion; Lane Skelton, Warren Madsen, Bryan McQueen and Art Cervantes. Long time friends discuss cars and random topics of all types from our podcast studio at The Old Wrigley Building on the West Side of Santa Cruz, California. Focused on inexpensive sports cars with a strong “sense of occasion” from the 80's and 90’s. After 500 episodes, we thought it was about time for a talk with Art Cervantes, one of the founders of the Podcast.
Art, how did you get into the automotive space that you’re in now?
It was a bit of a long road. I started out my career at GoPro, the now famous action camera company. I was employee number 12 when I started at GoPro. Things really kicked off in 2010, when I decided to team up with famous Pikes Peak racer, “Monster” Tajima. We launched his car at the Tokyo auto show and in 2011, he set a new record with it. At the time, GoPro was small company so there was a lot of flexibility and I would regularly give a camera to race car drivers for them to experiment with, and I got really into racing myself. At the time I was already really passionate about cars of the 80s and 90s and I was lucky enough to be driving a Porsche 993. I participated in the ‘24 hours of Lemons’, a 24-hour race for really cheap and fun cars. That’s where I met Brian who started the Driving While Awesome podcast and things took off from there. I quickly met the rest of the group and it turns out we all grew up in pretty much the same area and shared a love for the modern classic cars of the 80s and 90s. After I’d been on the podcast a few times, they asked me if I was interested in coming on regularly, twice a week, and now here we are. (laughs)
Why are 80s and 90s cars so appealing to you?
Well for me it’s kind of an automotive sweet spot, especially from a technical and mechanical standpoint. Cars of that era don’t mess about with carburettors and all that, but nor do they use fancy electronics. These cars were the last real analogue cars, without being overly complicated.
Is it safe to say that people’s taste in classic cars reflects what they knew from when they were kids?
Absolutely. You see that a lot. Ten years ago, you would see a big passion for everything 60s and 70s. Now we’re moving forwards. Obviously, there is still a lot of love for pre-80s classic cars, but car culture is starting to gravitate away from them. What you grew up seeing as a kid is instrumental to your interest in classic cars when you are in between your twenties and forties. My first memory was sitting in the back of a Porsche 928 that belonged to a friend of my father. It was the coolest thing in the world.
What’s the idea behind Radwood?
We basically wanted to start a culture around the cars of that era, a little along the lines of the Goodwood Revival. It’s more about the lifestyle than just the cars. Of course, the cars are one of the main points of interest but we encourage people to attend “in period” and it’s amazing to see how much effort people put in their outfits. The super flashy T-shirts and the shoes that characterised that era are being brought back out of the closet. It gives people the perfect excuse to wear them. That’s what makes the event so unique.
You are very active on new media such as podcasts and Instagram. Do you think that these tools help diversify the automotive cultural landscape?
One hundred percent. In the past, if you were a car guy, you just got into whatever was in front of you. If your brother, uncle or neighbour was into hot rodding, chances are you would be too, because that was all you knew. Now it’s much easier to discover what you like and get involved in that, and social media has been instrumental in that shift.
Check out the Podcast here: http://www.drivingwhileawesome.com/podcast