Like hundreds of millions of people on this planet, I have become part of many social media communities. Each seems to serve a different purpose. If you want to get into a political argument, join Twitter and Facebook. If you want to make business friends, there’s LinkedIn. To keep an eye on your children and meet a bunch of millennials, there is Instagram. If you want to meet nobody at all, go back to MySpace.
Most of the millennial marketing types I know refer to Facebook as “the nursing home.” That might be a fair assumption as the lion’s share of my friends on there are over 40. But that is not necessarily a bad thing.
One of the features of the platform I enjoy most is Facebook Groups. Those groups tend to individually cover a specific topic, whether you are an alum of a school, in a specific profession or have an obsessive hobby. There seems to be a group for just about any type of interest. Naturally, most people know my primary interest: automobiles, automotive history and motorsport.
I have racked up membership in hundreds of groups during my time on Facebook. Many have come from invitations, yet many more were just appealing in the subject matter.
Here are my 10 favorites, for your visiting pleasure during these shut-in times:
Ghost Tracks and Circuits: Love racing history? Care to meet people who ran the hallowed ground that once hosted the cars and stars of a different era? Ghost Tracks and Circuits is a place where people share first-hand memories of great circuits from the Brooklands to Reims to Meadowdale to Riverside to Bridgehampton to the Monza Banking – and many more. For the folks who never saw these tracks in person, it is an education in the history of motorsport like no other. It should be noted I personally started this group and it has grown exponentially to more than 1,000 engaged enthusiasts.
Air Cooled Porsche 911 & 912: Many who know me understand my lifelong love of Porsche. Porsche snobs will tell you “Air-cooled or nothing.” Want to look at some really cool Teutonic iron? This is one of the places to be. Water not included.
PURIST Group (Private): This particular group requires permission to join, however once past the “exclusivity vetting” you will find that the folks in here are as regular as you and me. Purist Group is a unique collection of people – and a little different from other car groups you might encounter on the Internet. Many of the members in this group are well-known drivers, journalists, tuners, car collectors and overall car geeks. All are solid and respectful gearheads. Purist does wonderful charity car meets and at its very core is amongst the best car people I know.
Automotive Books and Periodicals: Do you still read books? Then what are you doing here? Oh, that’s right! Paying my salary. In all seriousness, if you are like me, you have an extensive library of your favorite automotive books and magazines. This group is a great resource for finding the topics, articles and “go look it up” expertise all things automotive. People share great signed first editions and many authors and journalists visit regularly.
Porsche Enthusiasts Buy Sell Events Club Worldwide LADismantler Sarah: My friend Sarah heads up LAPD – no not a cop. Her yard may be one of the best resources for used Porsche parts. It makes one wonder how many times a day a Porsche gets crashed (gasp!). It’s fun to browse the availability, save a couple bucks and know what’s going on in the Stuttgart marque’s world.
Team Shelby Club – Official Group: Do you love Cobras? GT40s? Daytona Coupes? Shelby Mustangs? The Los Angeles-based club are a fun bunch to hang around – and they are quite active. This is their home base on Facebook. Want to learn about Shelby History? Find out where they gather? Track days? Just got a Shelby product and don’t want to re-invent the wheel? The Shelby Club is one of the best resources. The admins are all former Shelby employees who certainly know their way around the cars and the people that make this so fun.
Bonneville and El Mirage: Hallowed ground in both places for sure. This is where the go-fast hot-rodders hang out. Great history and updates on current Speed Weeks (great news: Bonneville speed week is ON for 2020!) Also, much on the activities of the preservation of the eroding salt flats. If you can’t be at Speed Weeks, this is the best alternative.
Facebook Motorsports: There are many, many racing groups on Facebook – far too many to list here. But this general group has a big enough following and a passion for all things that roll and go vroom that it is a great place to start on your Facebook racing groups journey. You will see posts about everything from F1 to sprint cars to MotoGP.
Chaparral cars: Jim Hall might have been one of the most brilliant constructors/drivers in racing history. An early tuner, his cars brought him wins in just about every kind of motorsport. His secret? Aerodynamics. His often bizarre, yet beautiful cars set the bar for just about everyone else to catch up. It didn’t hurt that he had engine builder Franz Weiss putting the power down that required downforce. Ever wonder where race car wings came from? Look no further.
The Golden Age of Sports Cars: Until the Corvette, the United States was more of a sedan kind of culture. But after World War II, when the victorious yanks came back from Europe, they brought home nimble, lightweight, small displacement cars that were not fast, but “quick.” They cornered and stopped and generally only had seating for two. This group celebrates that time with some of the most-gracious cars from a much-simpler era.
There are gazillions more groups. There are new friends to be made. Debates to be had. If you can’t go to an automotive event at the moment, this could be the next best thing. What are your favorites?