Los Angeles – A visit to Petrolicious.

We made a quick trip out west to Los Angeles a few weeks ago. This is the first in a series of stories about our experiences in the city. 

In the last four years or so, Petrolicious has arguably become the leading proponent of the classic car lifestyle. Growing from a small little known website into the classic car world’s unofficial online newspaper is no mean feat. By highlighting the stories behind the classic cars that they feature, they ensure that readers never forget the human element that is all too often lost in articles about classic cars. Their videos have often been responsible for transporting me back to a different place, making for many an evening’s viewing.

Spending a few days in Los Angeles, it was par for the course that I would have to stop by their offices to get a peek into the lives of the people who run the esteemed classic car website. Reaching late in the afternoon, I found myself standing in front of a set of iron bars, behind which I could just about make out an Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. Smiling to myself, I walked to the door and after knocking, let myself in.

My smile only widened. A number of classic Alfas, in addition to the 8C, were parked inside the medium sized space, which was enclosed by red brick walls. A sense of nostalgia washed over me, as the pleasant fragrance of motor oil and Italian metal wafted through what was supposed to be a workspace.

I was brought back to reality by the sound of scampering. The source of the noise turned out to be an excited puppy named Newt, who proceeded to give me a friendly greeting before going to stand guard at the iron bars.

Looking past the cars, I noticed that there were people at work behind their desks. After introducing myself to Petrolista-in-chief, Afshin Behnia, I started snapping away, trying to capture different angles of the beautiful Italian machines.

The sound of a flat-six motor a few minutes later signalled the arrival of Ted Gushue, the Executive Editor of Petrolicious. After receiving a greeting from Newt, he introduced himself and we got talking.

While Petrolicious may be headquartered in Los Angeles, they cover classic car stories from all around the world. Europe, the Middle East and even East Asia are not off limits for them. A Concours here, a classic car race there and a workshop somewhere else, it all ends up on the website’s homepage. The more I thought about it, the more I began to appreciate how far and wide the Petrolicious brand has reached.

While it may be easy to just watch their videos and approve of them, after getting a quick peak into what life is behind the scenes for ladies and gents who ‘Drive Tastefully’ I can appreciate what they do that much more.

Furthermore, I owe a considerable amount of my own classic car knowledge to them. I was first introduced to the Ferrari 250 GT Lusso in one of their videos, allowing me to fully grasp the implications of the car when I saw it in the flesh.

As I headed for the door, I could only think of how these classic car enthusiasts had managed to capture some of the most important aspects of being part of the petrolhead community. In essence we form bonds with the machines that we use on a daily basis. A sensible explanation cannot be found for these attachments between man and machine. Yet, as I have said before, not everything in life is sensible.

So, in closing, I’d like to raise my hat to the good people at Petrolicious who have gone one step further and managed to capture on video the way we feel about classic cars and their lifestyle. The classic car fraternity would certainly be worse off without you.

A big thank you to Afshin Behnia, Ted Gushue, Florence Walker and the rest of the team at Petrolicious for their hospitality and time. 

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