Journal: Who’s Been Your Greatest Teacher?

Who’s Been Your Greatest Teacher?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
May 24, 2016
5 comments

I thought that this week’s film on Sarah Lahalih was pretty special, and after watching the final cut I was inspired to turn this Vintage Friday into one about teaching. Great teachers are required to keep this passion of ours alive, and it doesn’t matter if that teacher is learned about apexes, great “patina,” or rebuilding carburetors—knowledge is power, right?

My mother was a teacher, and her stories about her profession helped me to understand the impact that any type of teaching can have. So whether it was a driving instructor during a track day or my editor in the heady days of the Wheels section, listening for only a few moments can provide a lasting impact. I still mumble to myself, “Eyes up…” as I start the engine, remember how to wash a car correctly, and can tell you that by inserting a small fuse can turn many all-wheel-drive Subarus into front-wheel-drive machines. (More fun, though, is pulling the “NPP fuse” in some GM products.)

All of the people who do awesome work today have had great teachers. We talk about it all the time: Chip Foose and Rod Emory learning from their fathers, or even when designer Bill Mitchell learned from being owned in a drag race that Larry Shinoda should really be working on the Corvette.

Who—or what—has been your greatest teacher?

Photography by: Afshin Behnia, Amikam Gilad, David Marvier

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Michael Howatt
Michael Howatt

I got my license in 1971. Car mags were my first teachers. Then my cars, my motorcycle, the roads, even the police–learning to avoid them. None of my relatives ever cared much about cars, and I always knew more and cared more about cars than my friends. So teachers don’t have to be people.

Darel Matthews
Darel Matthews

Wish I had one. I’d have to say the Internet (which was barely getting off its’ feet when I started working on cars). No one in my family even knows how to change the oil in their cars. I have no idea where I got it from but I started out building Revell model kits when I was six and just moved up from there. Once I started working on real cars in the early ’90s I would just haunt internet message boards until I found the answer I needed. Diagnosing problems took weeks. But, each bit of knowledge became… Read more »

Peter Lukáč
Peter Lukáč

Honestly, I really don’t know…. My father, who like cars, but don’t know, if really loves? My grandfather, who had drived propably every street car available in Czecholovakia, was professional driver and military vehicles mechanic? Who says, I can’t take car of our old Škoda? Or my driving school teachers, who learned me how to drive, but can’t learn me how to Drive? No, I really don’t know anybody personally… But there were people who inspired me – racers, constructeurs, journalists – and the one I aprreciate most is Ferruccio Lamborghini, man, who known everything is best when you do… Read more »

Wayne Mattson
Wayne Mattson

This is an easy one: my father. Not only has he taught me much of what I know about maintaining and repairing cars (and boats) but now he is also teaching my sons. The most important lesson he taught me was patience. Heck, he is still teaching me this lesson at 73 years old.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

My two great uncles … both WWII vets … one a Corsair ace with a body shop … the other a decorated Marine with an engine and machining shop both having served on the Pacific front … along with Mr Blum in Jr High .

FYI’ I’ll take serious issue with your opinion son last Tuesday’s video Banovsky … serious issue indeed !