Every day all around the world gear heads purchase vehicles, whether they are old or new, and secretly dedicate them to their hero. It may be their first car or they may have a vision that reminds them of their hero or their mentor or it may actually be the vehicle their mentor owned, and here's a chance to relive that perfect childhood vision. They finally have set out on their own and they want to make that person proud.
Now imagine they drive up to the first meet and the criticisms fly. It's not fast or it just doesn't make the grade or it's just a rusty old shitbox and those slinging the insults don't understand what they're saying is taking a toll that they don't realize. They're not calling that car a "shit box" they're calling that person's dreams, their memories, their vision, the dedication, they're calling that mentor a piece of shit.
What will this person do? Will they get callous and just hate everyone else like they were hated? Will they take their vision and hide it away in a garage somewhere to just disappear? Will they blast back by becoming even more flamboyant and just get negative attention because that's all the attention they can get and yell back just as hard? Nobody really knows. It's up to the person that receives the jeer as to how they'll deal with it, but you can be assured it won't be good.
For people like me who live the car world and really don't have the option to give it up we tend to become passive about the community, experiencing it from the outside instead of being a part of it. It took me awhile to realize that the criticism is just part of the gig that is fame and you take the good with the bad. Thankfully I met people that were genuine and appreciate me, my vehicle, and were genuinely interested in the history that got me to purchase a slow old car.
I get it though, you can't like every car at the car show. You never will and it's unfair to ask you to. What I am asking is you find something to appreciate. One good thing to focus on. Get to know the owner and hear the history of what got them where they are and you'll always find there's someone, just like you, that got them into cars and they'll undoubtedly want to know your story too, which is what this is all about. It's why they're taking time out of their schedule to sit and share a parking lot with you and all they ask is you be cordial and hopefully friendly. If you can't do that then just say, "those cars aren't for me" and remove the derogatory comment you're considering and move along. The character you save just may be your own.