We hunt down stories every week during the car show season.
We spend countless hours in pursuit of a story that has enough appeal to capture our readers’ interest and are able find a great story at every show.
There are several ways to find a worthwhile story at a show.
The process is not always based upon a visual angle because some of our best stories extend from less glamorous vehicles that have an interesting history.
The owner’s personal connection to the vehicle is always our main angle and some of the owners’ stories are pretty amazing.
Many owners will put the vehicle’s history on a display board in front of a vehicle and we can gain enough background information from these boards to determine whether we want to pursue the story with the owner.
Our next step is to locate the owner and have them fill in the blanks about their ride. A search to find the owner is the most difficult part of the process and we spend a lot of time trying to connect with the person before the end of the show.
Sometimes we get lucky and find the owner relaxing in a lawn chair near their rides. Occasionally they are already in a conversation with somebody and we will simply listen to the flow of the dialogue and take notes if the story captures our interest.
The conversation between the owner and a curious stranger can go either way, depending upon the two people. Most owners are more than happy to discuss their cars but the other person in the conversation may hijack the conversation and swing the spotlight onto them.
The other person will focus on their own vague memory of a car owned by a relative which was “just like this one”-except for the year, make and model in most cases. The long rambling history of somebody else’s long departed vehicle brings the conversation to a complete standstill, so we will introduce ourselves and end the owner’s misery.
We steer the conversation back to the owner’s vehicle and get them to explain the history of their vehicle. We also attempt to establish their future intentions with the vehicle and hope they do not include a For Sale sign in the windshield.
For this reason, we shy away from checkbook owners because their vehicles are simply an ego-driven and temporary component of their investment portfolio. There is little or no heart and soul to the connection between car and owner so we walk right by them at shows.
For us, it’s a case of “move along-nothing to see here folks” (or write about) for MSCC.
The ideal story has an owner with blood in the game. The blood angle may be either an ancestral link to the vehicle or in a literal sense from a hands-on restoration mishap. Either way, he or she is a committed owner with an emotional connection to the vehicle.
These stories are the gold standard for us at MyStar and we are able to find them at every show because there is always a story behind every vehicle.
Some are just much better than others.
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