On June 18, 2011, more than 2,300 Subaru enthusiasts in more than 1,300 Subaru vehicles met at Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, Connecticut. However, numbers aren’t everything. Here’s a look at that event from the points of view of two young men who are new to Subaru.
by Kevin Walsh
I had a great time traveling to this year’s Wicked Big Meet. For those unfamiliar with the event, Wicked Big Meet is the largest Subaru-driven enthusiast festival in America. A guy with a WRX logo shaved on his head and a stretch Tribeca limo were some of the day’s unique sights, not to mention, the countless custom WRX and STI models on display.
Going into the interview process recently for my job at Subaru of America, I had read numerous testimonials of the close-knit community shared by Subaru owners. Picture this: Two complete strangers exchange waves as they drive past one another.
Why did they wave? In doing so, they acknowledged the fact that they are linked by the same automobile brand. I read in a blog post that it is common for Subaru owners to share this encounter of waving at fellow Subies. Hearing of this affectionate bond really stuck with me. Truthfully, it was a main selling point of why I wanted to work for Subaru.
Still, this brief exchange was foreign for me and difficult to comprehend at first. In talking with my colleague, Jake Picken, we both would never consider waving to a passing driver in the car models we drive. It was interesting to see these generosities firsthand at the Wicked Big Meet. These random acts of Subieness (which I like to label them), are a testament to Subaru and its efforts.
Of course, we pride ourselves here at Subaru in producing high-quality and durable All-Wheel Drive vehicles. That is understood. Yet after interacting at the event, I noticed something that hadn’t dawned on me before. More important than the product itself, the Subaru brand attracts a high-quality owner to drive our products.
What do I mean by “high-quality owners”? This is how I would describe a Subaru owner after attending the Wicked Big Meet: Our owners possess a welcoming/outgoing personality and passionate drive like no other. They are heavily involved in their own hobbies and are always seeking the thrill of adventure. Whether it is camping in the backwoods or tinkering with their performance WRX/STI models, our owners are always busy doing what they love. Moreover, Subaru drivers are emotionally invested in their vehicles – so much so that some owners even talk about their cars as if they are living and breathing entities within themselves.
For example, Jake and I met one couple whose Subaru passion seemed unmatched. We were discussing with them the Badge of Ownership program at the time. When asked to name a number, they had lost count of how many Subaru vehicles they have owned through the years. They counted around 15 model names effortlessly on the spot, so Jake and I knew they were legitimate. Nevertheless, when all four of us ran out of fingers and toes to count with, they replied, “We have owned probably like 50+ Subies.”
To me this was astonishing! It was great to hear the excited tone in their voices. They talked about Subies as if the vehicles were living parts of their relationship, almost like another family member. It was great to hear their enthusiasm for the cars!