Our Two Cents: Personal moments from last year, for a happy new year

Kyle Smith

Last month, we asked members of Hagerty Media about their wish list for Santa. While it woulda been fun to see who was naughty and who was nice, perhaps discretion is the better part of valor. So instead, we’ll ring in the new year with some of our favorite moments from last year.

Who knows, maybe these picks will inspire us (or you) to seek new inspiration in 2023, or perhaps to dip back into the well that’s been so good to us in the past.

Cars and Coffee with the Family

First drive in our first classic car. Matt Fink

Matthew Fink, our Branded Content Writer, said his favorite moment was when he took his Dad and son to their first Cars and Coffee with other classic car owners. He said it was an easy choice, and that moment “made all the cost and struggles to get a car and keep it running worth it.” More to the point, Matt wished he did this years ago!

Cars and Buildings

Hyundai Ioniq 5 architecture
Columbus’ AT&T Switching Center with the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5. Cameron Neveu

Mine was pretty easy, as I had watched the movie Columbus and always wondered what car could turn that little Indiana town into a story for automobile enthusiasts. More specifically, enthusiasts who also have an appreciation for great architecture. It took years to find the right car for that city, but luckily I found the right rolling sculpture in the Minecraft-like Hyundai Ioniq 5.

What resulted was an installment in Hagerty’s Great Reads. I am beyond proud of the hard work that went into making this happen. So if you like buildings with your cars, check this out.

Staying in the Moment

Sam Smith

Sam Smith, our Editor-at-Large, remembered how a snapshot of an Audi race car “set off a cascade of memories that reminded me everything is forever on its way to somewhere else” and subsequently gave us a fantastic chapter in his In The Moment series.

Radical old with radical new

2021 Tesla Model 3 Performance and Citroen DS nose to nose
Cameron Neveu

Eric Weiner, our Executive Editor, chose his contribution to 2022’s installment of our Great Reads where he drove a Tesla Model 3 and a Citroën DS together for a story idea that’s been simmering “for about eight years.” You can experience Eric’s Great Read here.

Barracudas and Boats

USS Nimitz aerial view
U.S. Navy

Aaron Robinson, another of our Editors-at-Large, was thrilled to work on the brakes of Mr. Bean’s Plymouth Barracuda but his time with the USS Nimitz might have been even cooler. You know, even if the Nimitz‘s connection to automobiles is, as Aaron put it, rather “tangential.”

Racing and Spectating

Senior Editor Eddy Eckart chose two moments in motorsports. What a modest guy, as his C8 Corvette Z06 review was a banger!

Anyway, Eddy loved his time as a driver, when he went karting at Nelson Ledges in 2022. While he didn’t win, he noted that “I sharpened my skills and got deeper into one of the purest forms of motorsport out there.” But Eddy went further, referencing Colton Herta’s amazing save at Indy, as seen in the video above. Wow, that was a moment to savor.

Six Ways and a Wedding

keys in front of Model A
Kyle Smith

Editor Kyle Smith was actually conflicted on our question, because two of his articles “represented big shifts in my life.” The wrap-up of the Six Ways to Sunday project and the tale of Driving the Model A to his wedding were moments in time that he will hold “close to my heart for many years for a variety of reasons.”

Demolition Man

Chris Stark

Editor and Photographer Cameron Neveu raced in his first demolition derby this summer. Cam drove a “Dodge Caravan painted like a Minion from Despicable Me. I finished second. The crowd loved me!”

Therapy behind the wheel

1972 BMW 3.0 CSL
Grace Houghton

Grace Houghton, Associate Managing Editor, had the privilege of escaping “the glamorous hustle of Monterey Car Week’s auctions and press events” to get some quality time with a special BMW. Grace says this was a “refreshing reminder of how therapeutic driving can be, and how a moment can find you.”

Becoming Dad of the year

Cameron Neveu

Ben Woodworth, Senior Video Lead, never fails to impress me in his replies for Our Two Cents. This time he gave us a true gem:

“Mine is pretty simple: Doing donuts in the snow in an empty parking lot in my crappy car with my kids giggling in the back seat.”

California Dreamin’

Cameron Neveu

Joe DeMatio, Senior Manager of Content, remembered a wonderful trip in a wonderful car:

“This photo was taken near Willow Springs, but the previous Saturday morning I crossed the Oregon-California border, southbound. The section on Interstate 5 that took me up to Mt. Shasta and through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest was spectacular, traffic was light, I was behind the wheel of my newly-purchased 2019 VW Golf Alltrack, and I was headed to San Francisco, one of my favorite places.”

R/C cars and minivans

Brandan Gillogly

Associate Editor Nathan Petroelje said his moment was a “toss-up between overlanding in a minivan” and exploring the world of R/C vehicles in Florida. He put this community’s enthusiasm in proper perspective when he said:

“The passion that I discovered there draws from the same pool that full-size automotive enthusiasm does, but the attention to detail and the creativity that these folks put on display is truly incredible. They’re crazy fun to wheel through the forest, too!”

Read next Up next: Legendary “Black Ghost” Challenger up for sale by original family


    I had a fun car-related personal moment just before Halloween. I’d never before participated in a trunk-or-treat event, despite decades of being in shows, cruises, parades, and such. Halloween was always such a fun time around our place that I just never thought much of dedicating time to handing out candy in some chilly parking lot somewhere. But I suddenly thought, “Why not try it?”, and participated for the first time. I decorated the trunk of the Pontiac with pelts and bones (I live on a ranch, used to be a hunter, and a brother-in-law was a taxidermist), a propane burner and pots, and created a sign to advertise “The Roadkill Cafe”. A mannequin we bought years ago was dressed (to kill) as a zombie waitress, and I was the short-order cook. I included two of our great-nephews and alongside a handful of other brave rodders, we greeted the onslaught of kids that showed up on a blustery afternoon. Several trips to the grocery to restock candy supplies later (thanks to the great-nephews!), it finally wound down.
    I had such a great time that I will repeat the experience again in a heartbeat. Got a few fantastic pictures – the best being a darling little Princess fist-bumping me after I let her touch a fox pelt. Wish I could post that one here – it’s a charmer, for sure.

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