Our Rides: Representing Car Culture To the Fullest

Photo by Randy Stern
Photo by Randy Stern

Diversity is what makes our community what it is. And, that diversity comes in many ways imaginable.

When it comes to our love for the automobile, we also have varied interests. We can be found in the car scene somewhere with a vehicle that will destroy your stereotypes.

You probably think that we’re all Lambda Car Club International members who have classic vehicles that we polish every day and store during the winter. Or, that we have a very special luxury-branded vehicle that is highly coveted towards conquering the Tail of The Dragon someday.

What you will surprising is how well we are represented in parts of the car culture. Parts where you will find a lot of energy that may not be welcoming to us.

One such representative of that car culture is John Krueger. You will find him with one of his vehicles from his trio of heavily customized Japanese machinery: A VIP Styled Infiniti Q45t sedan, a 1992 Honda Civic track car, and a 1990 Mazda Miata show car. “Both the Infiniti and Miata are show pieces,” said Krueger, “but [they] do get driven.  The Civic is a build I’ve wanted to revisit since I had them in college and can now afford to build one the way I want to.”

Getting to these three rides was a longtime journey for Krueger. “My Dad took me to a hobby store when I was maybe 4-5-years old as he was into model trains,” he said. “I waddled/crawled over to the model car section and my eyes lit up.  He bought me a model car and helped me put it together when I was a kid and that’s what started my fascination with cars.”

Krueger’s fleet of cars indicate the level of enthusiasm he has for the type of vehicles that he owns, “I like cars that invoke feeling,” said Krueger. “I like anything that makes me feel good when I drive.  I refer to this as the car sharing its story with me.  In a styling sense, I definitely gravitate towards 90s Japanese cars, but the dream car is a Porsche GT3.”

He is not alone. Beyond just Krueger and husband of twelve years is a diverse community of LGBTQ automotive enthusiasts. Their interest is varied from tuner rides to the classics and vintage automobiles. Krueger represents one level of automotive enthusiasm he is proud to participate in. It I also driven by social media connectivity, as well as participating in the general car community here and beyond Minnesota.

As a side note, Krueger states that he met his husband “because of cars.”

What about being LGBTQ is some of these enthusiast spaces? “Ever since I came out as gay,” Krueger explained, “I never hid it anywhere in my life.  When I started photographing and writing for various publications, I never hid the fact that I was gay.  I was open about it because I was proud to be who I was and figured there were others in the automotive community that felt they needed to hide it.  I figured if I could be out, anyone should be comfortable being who they are in the car community.”

In turn, being visible and representative has been a positive for Krueger. “[A] lot of people have connected with me over social media or in person,” said Krueger, “because I was always out about my sexuality in the car world, so it made them comfortable to come out and be themselves as well.  It’s been comforting to be a voice and face of not only a POC in the car community, but a voice and face of a LGBTQ person in the car community.”

In many automotive spaces, we all try to find our niche as we find our tribe. As part of Krueger’s automotive journey, he said that “I don’t know if it’s distinct, but I made it my career, so I think that’s pretty cool.  I’ve been able to do a lot of cool things in life because of my love for cars.”

When you explore your enthusiasm for the automobile, you might find John Krueger, his husband, and their fleet of tuner rides among the crowd. When you do, know that you’re represented. Know your enthusiasm of the automobile is shared in their space.

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