A rainy afternoon did not stop car enthusiasts from attending the 2nd UNH Car Club meet this past Saturday, Oct. 22. Car owners and spectators came together in UNH’s Lot A to connect over their interest in vehicles.
UNH junior and Car Club Creator Marco Caparrotta said that cars have been a life-long passion for him. He said that spending time and money on his Jetta Volkswagen makes him happy and he loves when it makes others happy.
“When I’m driving down the street and see a little kid’s face light up, they point at my car and give me a thumbs up, right there every dollar I’ve spent is worth it,” Caparrotta said.
Caparrotta’s passion for cars and his goal to end negative stigma surrounding them is what prompted his idea to create the UNH Car Club his freshman year. After a submission on Wildcat Link, followed by a few meetings and emails, the UNH Car Club prevailed six months later.
The club has only had one other meet so far, which was at the start of the fall 2016 semester and was a huge success, with 150 cars, 50 motorcycles and an estimated 400 spectators in attendance.
Caparrotta said that the Car Club’s strongest quality is its diversity.
“If you look around at our meets, you’re not really [going to] see two of the same thing,” Caparotta said.
The rain this weekend did not help with the second meet’s attendance, but there was still a decent turnout of cars and spectators, with an estimated total of 30 vehicles and 50 regular attendees. The event even had its own UNH Car Club Snapchat geo-filter.
Sophomore car enthusiast Matt Kuba helped Caparrotta create the Car Club.
“[The Car Club] lets me meet new people that share the same interest as me,” Kuba said.
Not only is the Car Club for UNH students, but it also welcomes car enthusiasts from all over. Caparrotta said that drivers from upstate New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maryland have attended the car meets. Sharing the events on Facebook is key to spreading the word and getting a range of owners and spectators.
Massachusetts resident Devin Lerer said that he heard about the UNH Car Club meet when the event was shared on a Facebook car show page.
“Some of the local scenes back home are dry, so I grabbed some of my buddies to see what UNH’s [meets] are like,” Lerer said. “So far it’s pretty good.”
With car show season coming to an end due to winter, the Car Club hopes to meet at least two more times this fall. Planning for a larger meet is in the works. Club members are discussing the possibility of renting Boulder Field, giving out awards, hiring DJs and getting food trucks. Also in discussion is the option to make the car meet a charity event by charging admission and donating proceeds to a worthy cause.
During the winter Caparrotta said that he plans on having official meetings and electing an executive board for the club.
For the future of the club itself, Caparrotta said he hopes to change the way people look at the automotive community.
“Car enthusiasts are associated with street racing in residential areas, burnouts and running from police. We are here to prove all of those wrong,” Caparrotta said. “We still have a lot to learn, but within the next year big things are in store.”
For the date and time of the next meet check the UNH Car Club’s Wildcat Link or Facebook page.