Category Archives: Betty
Nearly 9 years ago she came into my life, a labrador black pearl of awesome.
I sat behind the wheel with 5 kms on the odometer, little did I know what kind of adventures Betty and I would take on in the following ~190,000 kms she had.
To some people, a car is just an appliance.. it got you from point A to point B. To me, my car… Betty, was a force… a spirit, a liberator… she became very much a part of my identity.
Growing up, I’ve maintained that who you are is not defined by who you are with… but I made that exception for Betty. I became “The Lancer Girl” because of her, I learned how to race, I joined car clubs and did car shows with her, and without her I would not be sitting here.. in the beautiful Okanagan Valley with the life that I live now.
Betty started her life simply as a dealer trade from Edmonton, leased by a very excited little Asian girl. She was quickly modified and taken from stock.. to lowered, a small bark.. to a roar.. and as much as that little Asian girl could afford in between. Betty would often get taken to Secret Street where she and her driver would race, and race, and race…
Betty would then find friends of similar make and model through MitsuNation.net, until Betty’s driver found an amazing co-driver… and from then on, Betty would always have a Graphite Grey Pearl friend to sympathize with.
She was often taken to shows, and even won a trophy for her efforts, she was photographed for small magazines and then one day, Betty and her little Asian friend decided to move to BC.
Life wasn’t easy for Betty in BC, she went from show car to commuter car, sadly, she then became the appliance.
… and then that’s where things decided to change, she became tired, not the car she used to be… but still, that little Asian girl carried a smile on her face every time she could corner hard or hit the MIVEC.
I sit here, reflecting on how many things have changed in my life since I turned the key on Betty’s ignition… the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, because that day I decided that I wanted that black Mitsubishi Lancer.
Life didn’t work out the way I thought it would, and so did the demise of my precious car, Betty.
In a split second, everything can change. One second you’re enjoying conversation with a friend and bopping your head to a song that reminds you of someone special… the next, slow.. agonizing second, you realize that there’s a car coming at you and that there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it – time slows down in that moment, and then suddenly time goes fast – airbags deploy.. ears ringing.. the friend you were just talking to – screaming in the passenger seat. You pull yourself together, and manage to get out of the car. Someone’s driven into what was the most important thing to you, the one thing that was constant in your life.
She sits now, in a claims bay at the local insurance appraiser, no longer mine. She’s taken most of the damage, saving me from worlds of hurt. Her front end crumpled, interior all broken – the little black pearl of awesome, now a mangled mess of metal.
I took what I could from her, and walked away – looking back at my car for the very last time today.
She was everything to me, and now she’s gone.
I originally started this entry about 3 years ago, when Fast 4 was hitting theatres, but with the recent passing of F&F star Paul Walker, the reason I started this entry came back into my head.
What not many of my derby friends know about me is that I guess you could say I was raised on the F&F (Fast and the Furious)…
I saw the first trailer for it in grade 10, I was about 15 at the time.. thinking about becoming a pro-wrestler and things other than the automotive world. I honestly, didn’t really think far too much about it… my love for cars had not taken over at that point. I had a learners permit, but that was all.
I finally saw the movie at the end of 2001, and in that 106 minutes of vehicular mayhem … I was hooked. I had fallen in love with the bright green Mitusbishi Eclipse (with 7 gears 😉 ) at the beginning of the movie, and felt pain for it when it was pumped full of bullets… and so began the obsession… which car to buy, what to mod.. how to do this.. I want to go faster.. so on, and so forth.
In 2003, I had finally gotten my full on Driver’s license… and 2Fast2Furious hit the screens. I was working at the movie theatre at the time (hoping to save up for a Honda CRX), and was able to see it for free! I loved Suki’s Character in the movie, she inspired me to continue down the path of designing for the automotive world, and being in the automotive world. That year my brother and I attended the Street Car Challenge at Race City Speedway, and we even created a video of the event, we were so enthralled with drifting and the automotive world.
2006 was the year of The Betty, also the year of Justin Lin’s “Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”
Betty was my first car, and I wanted to make her the most unique Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart to ever hit the streets…. all due in part to… The Fast and The Furious. I don’t think the car community that I lived in would’ve been the same without this franchise. They defined a sub-set of enthusiasts and put them into the spotlight. My brother and I wanted to be part of that world when we were younger, and with Betty.. we worked together and became an integral part of the Mitsubishi enthusiast community in Calgary. We did the shows, we went to track nights.. I drag raced my car. We did a lot of awesome shit because we loved those movies, it was from those movies that it inspired us to be car kids.
“I live my life a quarter mile at a time…”
“Life’s simple, you make choices and you never look back”
“Dude, I almost had you!” – “You almost had me? You never had me? You never had your car!”
“Ask any racer, any real racer.. it don’t matter if win by an inch or a mile, winning’s winning.”
Yeah, I bought into the hype, but within this hype the tuner life led me to some awesome places or experiences, the car community was a great place to be.
Yesterday, the car community lost someone who not only starred in the films that helped define a part of our culture, but also someone who was a true enthusiast of the automotive world. While many news reports can say that he was a victim of speed, deep down we all know that he passed away doing something that he loved, and that was being in a moving, and functional piece of technological art, and pushing that piece of art to the very limits of it’s capacity. It’s definitely strange to have a celebrity death impact me that much, but to me.. it almost feels like a fellow car guy that I would see at a meet just passed away. He was one of us, he loved the scene as much as we did… he helped define the scene to some degree, and I know that the Fast and Furious franchise will never be the same without him.
Rest in peace Paul Walker / Brian O’Conner, we’ll see you up at the quarter mile in the sky.
I’m still not really, entirely sure why I bought a Pinto… and I’m sure a few of my Car Friends are wondering why I’ve strayed from the import world for my go-fast project car. I have to admit, I’m not really sure what I’m getting into.
Who is Betty? Some say that when you rev her engine, an angel gets it’s wings. Others say, that when she passes you… there’s a little asian girl behind the wheel smiling. All we know… is that she’s a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart, and she’s.. mine.