As a kid, I always considered myself to be somewhat of an outcast.

I kept to my own and often wondered how other kids could so easily find hobbies and make friends who shared their passions. I was so willing to socialize, but I never knew what I cared about that much to socialize over.

Sports? Not for me. Woodshop? Eh. Girls? Okay that was for me but that’s not necessarily a hobby.

As I grew older, it weighed a little more heavy on me that I could never quite find my niche.. Where could a guy like me fit in?

Every new hobby I tried out did nothing for me and as I was walking home from school one day, it finally struck me. I mean, literally – it struck me. All of a sudden, I was laying on the ground about ten feet away from a car that had just hit me and knocked me out cold. I stumbled up off the ground with barely a scratch as this guy rushed towards me asking if I was okay.

He looked familiar at first and I realized that he was actually my teenage neighbor from down the street.

I assured him I was fine and I’ll never forget what he said after that.

“Good, now let me see what you did to my hood.”

At the time, I didn’t even realize how comical this was. I mean, you just hit me with your car.. Who did the damage again!? How could a car even mean that much to someone?

As we neared the vehicle, the details of the car started to pop out to me. Aside from the striking red color of the vehicle, nothing was more stunning to me than the shine of the silver accents covering it. The shape of the car was stunning, and the sun hit the shine of the finish just ever so perfectly – it was almost a religious experience. I had to wonder if I was only seeing stars because of the accident.

I started to ask my neighbor about a thousand questions. Nothing was more interesting to me in the world than this car that had knocked me out only moments sooner.

He offered me a ride home so we could discuss the car and ever since that day, he started picking me up on my walk home so we could go back to his garage to work on that car – that beautiful, crisp, 1953 Chrysler New Yorker – and I knew I had found my hobby. This was it.

From that point on, working on cars, attending classic car shows and parades and anything of the like – I couldn’t get enough of it. Making friends had never been easier and it was indescribably cool to find like-minded people who loved nothing more than to talk about a shared interest.

I owe my great passion for automobiles all to my neighbor and his 1953 Chrysler New Yorker. A stunning vehicle… that knocked me out cold.

What a happy little accident.