Top Cars on Campus
By Will Sigmund
The parking lot at Novato High School is chalked full of all types of cars, and it doesn’t take much searching to find someone with passion for their ride. The more people you talk to, the more you understand the culture going on here and the community created by car lovers. There really are a lot of interesting cars and drivers on the NHS campus.
There are plenty of debates about whether to own a foreign or domestic car, and there are lots of cars on campus to support both sides of the argument.
Senior Nick Flores makes a claim for U.S. made cars with his 1995 Ford Mustang. With a small block 5.0 liter V8, his ride packs a punch and is pretty easy to hear coming down the street.
“My favorite part about it is that it’s fast and it’s a manual,” said Flores.
He would take it over an automatic transmission any day.
Being a student in high school, money isn’t always something you have a lot of, and many take to buying and installing their own parts on custom cars. Senior Jesus Maldonado enjoys working on his 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX.
His favorite thing about his ride has to be his exhaust he installed.
“I’m slowly adding parts to it. When I bought it, it was a wreck. There’s still lots of maintenance though, then comes the modifications,” explains Maldonado
Senior Joran Sneath often likes to personalize his own German-made Volkswagen Passat. The 2007 model sedan is pristine and drives like it were brand new. Sneath even installed a custom exhaust on it to give it a signature tone.
“It’s an exhaust cut-out so I have a switch in my car that can either make the exhaust come out right after the resonator and be really loud or I can close that up and have it be really quiet running through the whole exhaust system,” said Sneath.
Sneath enjoys the process as much as the reward, having just as much fun working on his car as he does driving it. “Whenever I’ve gotten to do something on my car, I get all my friends there and we check it out and just have fun with it,” Sneath added.
Surprisingly, the off-road presence on campus is evident just as much as any other car infatuation. Harrison White and Matt Foley often take their rides to nearby off-roading trails, as well as on road trips to coveted overland destinations. Foley drives his 1984 Ford Bronco, while White drives his 2006 Jeep Wrangler. They go out often, off-roading every week.
Harrison says his car is quite a chick magnet, claiming that the ride acquires “mad amounts of broads.”
Both rides are lifted beasts that can make it through almost any obstacle. Foley frequently takes his 2003 Mazda MPV out to the trails as well, a priceless classic of a vehicle. He enjoys driving it locally but the car really shines out on the open road, having driven it as far as Arizona.
There are always certain cars that are perennially popular, like the Chevy Stingray Corvette. Senior Adam Frey owns a 1975 model with lots of character, and is easily recognizable on campus. His uncle and grandfather had owned one, so when he was 16-years old, he knew he needed one himself.
“It’s America’s sports car,” Frey said. By far, his favorite part about it is the speed. “I love the sound of the engine when you’re barreling down the backroads.”
Frey’s car is a real sight to see, as is senior Julia Stengel’s brand new 2018 model of the Stingray. The car actually belongs to her parents, yet nevertheless she loves driving it.
“I love the heads-up display,” said Stengel, when asked about her favorite aspect of the car. Stengel says the interior is amazing and the perfectly-crafted seats keep you in on those tight corners.
As you can see, there is no shortage of enthusiasm from motorheads on campus, and the car culture is alive and thriving on Novato’s campus. These students are showing that something you drive every day can be a form of artistic expression and passion.