by Jake Picken
Driving a Forester fleet car from Subaru of America in southern New Jersey through New York and through the winding roads and small towns of Connecticut sure didn’t prepare me for one of the most interesting car events I have ever experienced. As we pulled up to Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, I didn’t know what to expect of Wicked Big Meet.
We set up the tents and everything we needed to make the day a success. Before I knew it, the number of Subaru vehicles in the parking lot nearly quadrupled, and we almost lost sight of our blue Forester as the lots filled with hundreds of modified Impreza and other Subaru models. By far, the Impreza model was the most popular at the event.
As the event started and the crowds starting pouring in, I couldn’t help but notice distinct similarities between participants. Most of the people there were so passionate about their Subaru vehicles that I had trouble understanding their state of mind at an event such as this. I have always been a motorhead, but I just cannot put myself in the same category as the Subaru enthusiast at Wicked Big Meet. The dedication they put into every aspect of their Subaru was amazing. The only way I can really put this whole event into perspective would be to compare it to going on vacation with your family to experience an activity that you all enjoy.
My family always traveled to Vermont to snowboard and ski. We were passionate about the sport and always purchased the newest equipment and gear for our trips, but Wicked Big Meet was a magnified version of my experience.
Putting my Wicked Big Meet experience into words is difficult. It’s just one of those things that you have to live through to really grasp everything. It is an event where families and friends feed their passion for their Subaru vehicles. I could say that this is a hobby for these Subaru owners, but, in reality, it’s a way of life. These enthusiasts eat, sleep, and breathe Subaru vehicles, and it truly is a passion in their lives.
One couple came up to us to discuss the Badge of Ownership. They asked if there was anything more than the 10-plus badge for the number of Subaru vehicles they had owned. I was thinking they may have about 13 or 14, but the actual number was so mind-blowing that it was hard to understand how a brand could have so much impact on their lives. The couple said that combined they had a little more than 50 Subaru vehicles in their lifetimes. The dedication to the Subaru brand really hit me with that. I have quickly learned about the love for Subaru vehicles, which made the line, “Love, it’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru,” really resonate in my mind.
That is exactly what every single person at this event had for the Subaru brand – love.
There are car shows in which people are passionate about cars in general; there are boat shows in which people are passionate about boats. But to have a Subaru event such as Wicked Big Meet and have hundreds of people come out with the same passion, the same love, and the same way of life revolving around their Subaru vehicles is just simply amazing.
With Subaru, it’s not about the vehicle itself; it’s about the experiences you have with your Subaru that differentiates the brand from other car manufacturers. This event was a clear example of the Subaru experience and the way owners interact with the brand.
For more images, go to www.wickedbigmeet.com.