It’s been over five weeks since the stay-at-home order here in Los Angeles. Taking a break from the 24 hour, politically charged news cycle, Sung wanted to find a couple gearheads in Wuhan to talk cars, the CoronaVirus, and how to stay positive in a time like this.
THE MUSTANG CLUB
The two car enthusiasts, David and Chris, met in a Mustang Club in Wuhan, China. Yes, you read that right. The Club has 400 members that hang out and share the love they have for that diehard American muscle. Most of the Mustangs are on the newer side, 2015 was the first year they were exported to China.
David grew up in China, but went to college in the states. He returned home in 2016 and was excited to discover Wuhan’s Mustang Club. Six months ago he bought a 2003 Volkswagen Golf, named it “Juicy” and heavily modified it.
This thing has a brand new custom interior, Sahara Yellow paint, and two secret switches that turn on rear-facing lights in case someone’s got their high beams on. James Bond kind of stuff. There are very few 2003 Golfs in China, because they were only imported as prototypes.
Chris shares with Sung his 2015 Challenger that looks like it belongs in a MAD MAX movie. Black, heavily tinted windows, a wide body kit, demon hood, 20 inch wheels with Brembo brakes.
He even supercharged the V6, goingfrom 300 horsepower to 500. Some of Chris’ inspiration in wanting this car came directly from the FAST & FURIOUS franchise. So it was an honor to have Sung give his car a name: “I think his name is Luther. Like Luther Vandross!”
GENERATIONAL CAR CULTURE
Here in the States, many people learn the tricks of the trade in the family garage. Knowledge gets passed down from fathers and grandfathers. It’s not the same in China. David explained that even as recent as the 1990’s, cars were very expensive, and most normal people couldn’t afford them.
For him, the first car his family bought was in 1990 but he was never even allowed to drive it. One thing’s for sure, times are changing fast. So maybe this new generation will be the first to share the culture of cars to their kids?
Right now we’re in the middle of the lockdown, and no one really knows what the future looks like. But one thing’s for certain, Wuhan has experienced this pandemic longer than anywhere else, so Sung was desperate to hear David’s and Chris’ stories about their experience and what life looks like now.
David talks about how in late 2019, he started reading in WeChat groups about a new virus similar to SARS. They said everyone should wear masks, but a lot of people didn’t take it too seriously. He went to visit his parents who live in a small town, and right after he left, the Wuhan lockdown happened. A two day trip turned into two months. And here’s where David saw a silver lining: “this disaster gave me a chance to stay with my mom and dad for two months, I think that’s great, we cooked together we watched TV together.” Now, David is back in Wuhan and has returned to work. In the office they wear masks and disinfect everything multiple times a day, but the great news is that he now feels safe.
Chris has been in Wuhan since the beginning. He remembers how in January there was a warning about a bad flu going around. Two weeks later the city of Wuhan was on lockdown. This virus was different from SARS because the only way you could spread SARS is when you have the symptoms. But the CoronaVirus can spread from people that have no idea they’re even sick. So for two months, Chris stayed home and barely left except picking up food once in a while. But now, things are better. With a mask, people can freely leave their homes. And they do.
Sung brought up the rise in racism some Asian Americans are feeling since the pandemic: “…some Americans look at us and think that we’re the reason they’re suffering…”
Chris replied with sage advice: “First of all, we’re all humans right? And the virus is our common enemy.” He goes on to say that blaming each other won’t help and we should fight together to conquer this. “Through this I learned people should never give up. We have to fight. Nothing is unbeatable…and everything is gonna be okay.”
Sung echoed his statement: “Spreading negativity is not gonna cure this.”
David took a more philosophical approach. While there’s no denying that the CoronaVirus is horrible, we as human beings are like a virus because we take so much from the Earth’s resources: oil, trees, air, etc. We have to respect nature and think about consequences…or nature will pay us back.
Thank You For Reading!
From everyone at Sung’s Garage we wish you strength, courage, and good health.
As always, we send our love and prayers to everyone in the medical profession – doctors, nurses, and first-responders – the boots on the ground fighting this pandemic head-on: THANK YOU.