Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Sad to report that my home away from home, FIZZ AUTOSPORTS will be closing it's doors by the end of 2010. Due to economic collapse of 2008 affecting international markets + currency; plus essentially the dissolution of disposable income, FIZZ will be no more.
Where men all over the world would meet on Saturday mornings at the baseball diamond or the golf course, we had a small parking lot in Bayside, Queens off Northern Blvd to call our home. A place to meet up with friends, to talk about current events, sports and of course, cars.
We had Dunkin Donuts across the street, a great Korean BBQ on speed dial, and a steady flow of customers coming in asking about modifications to their Japanese cars, or picking up parts most often ordered 6-8 months in advance. We would often gladly help the customer install the parts right in the parking lot; knowing it would help build the business & customer base and also get us a free lunch.
A big part of the FIZZ legacy was the car shows. For many years, we would tour the circuit from Chicago to Miami representing the FIZZ brand and the products sold under the umbrella. I was gracious to have been sponsored for many years receiving free tires, oil, and car care products. Big thanks to Dunlop, Valvoline, and Eagle One for their generous support.
It was fun planning last minute modifications just before a big show, sweating through a 6-7 hour detail on Thursday, and skipping responsibilities from Friday am through Sunday.
It was always an incredibly fun time waking up early early Friday morning, racing to our destination, planning our line up, assembling the booth, doing a last minute detail for the judges; then off to checking into the local Doubletree then heading out to see whatever the city we were in had to offer. It was fun to hit up Philly, Boston, DC and many other places weekend after weekend, year after year.
The majority of the next day was spent fucking around, checking out the other cars in the "scene", and talking to current and potential sponsors. It was sometimes hell being stuck at shows for 15 hour days, but I wouldn't take back one minute of it. There were always enough distractions.
The drive back was also fun as we would race home, stopping at various rest stops for McNugget re-ups and some last minute photo-ops.
But sadly as all things come to an end. With the economic collapse, corporate sponsors pulled out of the show scene resulting in the end of the national tour and as a result ending a showcase for modified cars. Yes, there are small shows, but no more can you drive to Virginia, meet other car enthusiasts from the area, possibly get your car in a magazine, and drive home with a trophy. As the motivation to show a modded car lessened as did the desire to build a modded car. Why spend thousands of dollars to park your car in the garage? This is the dilemna as just a few years ago, it wasn't uncommon to buy and sell sets of $3K sets of wheels every three months just to be ahead of the trends and compete at the weekend events.
I myself still own the car I built over the years, because I loved the "art" of doing so. But my car has essentially been "done" for many years now. My show car has turned into my only car as I sold my daily driver and the only showcase I go to now is the parking lot at Pathmark.
And unfortunately, most of the guys I met 10 years ago have sold their cars and moved on to SUVs and BMWs. I have met guys from the several generations since, but it can never match the first group of guys who helped build the FIZZ brand.
It is, as they say, the end of an era. Goodbye FIZZ and Rob, good luck with your future endeavors. You will be sorely missed by us all.
Posted by AL