Photos and Story by Brandon Deuster
Being a car enthusiast in today’s world is a very interesting experience to say the least. There are so many types of cars, with every single one having a club to choose from. There are the die-hard owners, and the occasional Sunday drivers. While some scoff at the idea of being a fan of a certain car, for some it is a way of life. Out of all the people I’ve met in my life, car enthusiasts are the most passionate of them all. They build, tweak, modify, and tune. As a photographer, I’ve seen just about every aspect of the car scene. I had the wonderful experience of being invited to go to MOD this year. MOD stands for Mitsubishi Owners Day, and it was the 10th anniversary of this show. Although this was the 10th anniversary, it was unfortunately the last show to be put on by Mitsubishi America. The show is located in Normal, Illinois, at the Mitsubishi production plant. Because of several economic reasons, the production plant is closing its doors later this year. They have been in production since the 1980s, employing thousands of people and producing several million cars over the lifetime of the plant.
I had never thought I would have to wake up at 2:30am for anything at all. If I was asked a year ago that I would have to wake up almost four hours before sunrise to get to a car show, I would have called that person crazy. I am by no means a morning person, and to see me awake before 6:30am on any given day would be like seeing a unicorn. To my surprise, I was able to crawl out of the bed with ease and jump into the shower. After the quick shower, I grabbed a pop tart and enough caffeinated drinks to keep someone wired for days.
After we had all got into the appropriate cars, we met up with the Wisconsin Evo Owners group, a sizable group of at least 15 cars, mostly all Evolutions and some Eclipses. After a quick bite to eat, we all set our GPS devices and set off.
The miles rolled by, and everything blurred together partially because of how tired we were. We were all amazed at the sight of twenty of the same car rolling down the Illinois highways in one giant group. Along the way I was snapping pictures of literally everything that caught my eye.
We stopped to refuel and to regroup. The plan was to meet up with the Illinois Evos and roll into the show together.
I would like to extend a personal thank you for all of the people from WEO for allowing me to join in on this incredibly fun day. Even though everyone was tired, we all were happy. Even myself, someone who hasn’t owned a Mitsubishi or ever been to this show before, was absolutely blown away by the experience. The entire show had a welcoming feel, everyone was treated like family. The car scene today is full of hate and negativity, and to be at a show where everyone welcomed each other and treated them with respect was awe-inspiring. I would say that I want to go back next year, but unfortunately, there is no next year. I had managed to keep myself awake for 20 hours, and enjoy the company of a new group of friends. What an awesome way to spend a Saturday.