Never Stop Driving #75: 8 Things I’m Grateful For

Cameron Neveu

We don’t need a holiday to be grateful, but since it is that time of year, I thought I’d share a sample from the scroll of things I’m thankful for. Perhaps my list might inspire you to create your own, a reflection that I humbly suggest is always worthwhile. Okay, here goes.

You, the audience

Thank you for reading, watching, and engaging with all of Hagerty Media’s material—we exist to serve you. About a year ago, I started using an old saying to describe myself: a “painter who’s gotta paint.” I have no idea where my passion for cars came from but consider it a gift. I lean into that passion, scratch an acute curiosity itch, and then share what I’ve learned, an often fraught but joyous process. Sharing with like-minded passionate people is invigorating. Thank you for helping us reach more car folks.

New sporty cars

There’s plenty of handwringing that the cars made for people who love driving are being sidelined in favor of autonomous pods. I don’t buy it. For one, we just dropped this video about several current cars that are made for enthusiasts. We’ll also highlight another cluster in an upcoming issue of the Hagerty Drivers Club magazine, which you can get here. Furthermore, millions of existing interesting machines, from across the decades, are still owned and lovingly cared for by the faithful, aka our people. Which leads me to …

Older fun cars

Next month, we’ll debut our seventh annual Bull Market List, a roundup of cars poised to rise in value. We started the list to encourage people to take the plunge: buy a vintage car, enjoy it for a while, and then perhaps resell it for about what you paid or maybe a little more. The automotive landscape is changing and one of the positive changes is that old-car depreciation eventually levels off. More and more cars retain their value, which makes owning them cheaper and more accessible. Fantastic!

New-technology cars

I’ve driven plenty of EVs, like the Tesla Model S, that are far from sterile. Jason Cammisa waxed positively about the thrill of the Lucid Air. EVs are different, sure, but is that bad? Change is the one constant in life. The canvas will evolve, but there are enough passionate people making and driving cars who want more than a boring pod. We will continue to be served by carmakers offering sharp design and engaging driving dynamics.


When I started racing karts decades ago, I recognized that racing, uniquely, provided a huge range of emotions, from absolute elation to crushing disappointment. I also recognized that my hobby was just a hobby that invoked those emotions yet didn’t really affect the rest of my life. That’s a bit of a stretch because my bank account was certainly punished as were my ribs after one wreck, but I haven’t found another activity that’s provided the same richness. I’ve also shared racing with my kids, and we bond not just on the track but also in the garage preparing our machines. That is a lucky thing. If I could go back in time and walk a different career path, I would consider professional motorsports. No one in that industry is there just to have a job—they are there because they love it, and it is wonderful to be around those people.

Mechanics and craftspeople

While my DIY Ferrari restoration is currently more pain than fun, it’s allowed me to learn from the pros. I’m continually impressed with not just the skills and knowledge but also the passion of those professionals who keep our vehicles on the road. To many, the trades were a calling that they’ve dedicated their lives to. As I’ve written before, the ranks are dwindling, and we need more programs like the McPherson College automotive restoration degree. Send your favorite tech a thank you note this holiday season.

Ferrari 1975 Dino 308 GT4
Cameron Neveu

The incinerator smokestack

In July 1993, as a freshly minted mechanical engineer, I was working a job where I had to regularly climb the smokestack of a Baltimore garbage incinerator. That hot summer, the aroma was so pungent I didn’t just smell it, I tasted it. Also, I’m terrified of heights, so my palms oozed sweat, making me even more terrified that I would slip off the ladder and fall to a miserable death. Those Baltimore climbs were the kick in the rear I needed to quit and find a new path. Next, I figured out how to defer student loan payments for a year, which meant I could afford to work for five bucks an hour as a Car and Driver gopher. Getting that lowly job is a long story for another time, but would I be here, gratefully writing to you, without that incinerator gig?


We’re here to build a business that funds our purpose, which is to save driving and car culture for future generations. With that mission, we’ve built a talented team to serve you and it’s an absolute joy to work with these folks. Thanks for being with us.

In the interest of honoring your time, I’ll stop there. If you find yourself with some free time over the holidays, I hope you’ll enjoy our huge volume of articles and videos, all of which we provide for free to help spread the passion. This newsletter will take a pause next week. May you and your families have a warm and joyous holiday.

Never stop driving!


P.S.: Your feedback is very welcome. Comment below!

Please share this newsletter with your car-obsessed friends and encourage them to sign up for the free weekly email. The easy-to-complete form is here. And if you’d like to support the efforts of Hagerty Media, please consider joining the Hagerty Drivers Club

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    Good Morning Larry. I look forward to reading your column. For me it’s interesting and I can always learn something that I didn’t know. My husband and I own 2 1955 Chevy’s. Being insured with Hagarty is the best move we made. Thank you for all the work you put into writing the column. Have a great Thanksgiving to both you and your family.

    Larry great article on your 8 thoughts!
    It’s great to hear the things in life that we share!
    Stay away from smokestacks

    Larry, as much as I agree with the “car related” things to be thankful for, I’d coalesce it further and simply say the friends I’ve made over the years, and the new friends that I’ll make in the future. Yes, cars are the hobby that we all chose, but it could have been horses, cycling any number of other hobbies/activities. What makes any hobby truly worthwhile are the people we meet and the friends we make. That is what I’m thankful for.

    Hey Larry, After a 50 year subscription to Car and Drivel, I can remember your early endeavors, and appreciate your passion and contribution to all things automotive; we are thankful for you, too! Happy Thanksgiving! Rich

    I grew up in upstate NY one mile from Lebanon Valley Dragstrip and 1/2 mile high banked dirt track. My Dad drag raced a 69 SC/Rambler when I was a pre-teen. Those years with him were so precious (I was his “pit” team, even had the red, white, and blue AMC Jacket, still have it). After the SC went to one of my brothers, my Dad and I later bracket raced each other on occasion when he was home from trucking. He in the family 401 73 Ambassador and me in of all things a 6 cylinder, 3 speed, Gremlin. We won many rounds together. He passed away, way too young in 1979. I have a picture of him in his Red, White, and Blue shirt and Captain America Helmet next to the SC/Rambler. I cry every time I look up at that little jacket with my name stitched on it by my Mom. So grateful for those times albeit very fleeting.

    What’s this in my inbox? Larry’s Newsletter? Oh, I guess it’s Friday already.

    I enjoy your writings. I’d love to read about your Car and Driver start. I’m jealous of that – less so of the incinerator smokestack.


    Thanks Larry. I always enjoy your articles and look forward to them each week. We’re you taking air samples from that stack? I used to do that as part of my job as a state regulator.

    Bring on the early Car and Driver stories ! Would love to read about your experiences with D.E.D. Jr. and Brock Yates. Keep up the great work at Hagerty. Mark

    This morning we ran into town to pick up a few last minute things for our Thanksgiving dinner as well as some Christmas gag gifts to ship out to remote family members. We ended up at a Dollar Store looking for some garland to help decorate the old Pontiac for an upcoming Holiday Parade. A gentleman in the aisle commented on my “patch jacket”, first asking, “Are you a car guy?” After I replied in the affirmative, he then pointed at a sleeve and said, “Oh, you’re a Vietnam Vet?” I gave another affirmative answer, but then added, “I like being a car guy better” – which elicited grins and chuckles from all in the vicinity. I mean, yeah, that should be obvious, but the truth is, almost nothing I could compare it to won’t come out second place to being part of the car enthusiast community (love, marriage, fatherhood and family being the few exceptions). I’ve had way more than a few “hobbies”, but all of the things I’ve dabbled in that include motorized vehicles outshine everything else – by far. Even today, sitting here by the fire on a chill day, I’m engaging in a “car guy” thing: reading and enjoying the Hagerty Media pages and participating along with authors, editors, and other readers. So, no matter what patch that fellow could have pointed to and asked about, my answer of “I like being a car guy better” would likely be the same!

    Larry-I’ve been following you since the old R&T days. That rag had been moribund until you took over. I no longer follow or subscribe to any other automobile magazine.

    You have the pulse of the enthusiast community and I love that you have brought that to Hagerty. Keep it up.

    Larry – Enjoy your letter every week. I cringed when I read your smokestack story. As a mechanical engineering student I scored an internship at Pontiac Motor Division Product Development and spent the next 38 years in automotive product development. If I had ended up climbing smokestacks out of college, not sure where I would have ended up today. I also am not a fan of heights. Congratulations on escaping the smokestack. Happy Thanksgiving.

    Thank you. I wanted a job in the auto industry but the Big Three only interviewed students with 3.5 or greater GPAs. Mine was, umm, much lower, lol

    Larry I love your work and your passion for cars and driving just for the fun of it. I share my HDC magazine with any and all car lovers I meet. Keep up the good work. I’m thankful for you guys.

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