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What Do John and Derek Know? Overcoming the Fear of Imposter Syndrome 253
Episode 25329th May 2023 • No Driving Gloves • John Viviani
00:00:00 00:56:42

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In this episode of No Driving Gloves, hosts John and Derek discuss imposter syndrome and their backgrounds in car knowledge. They also discuss their favorite cars and the importance of experience and controversy in the world of car talk. The hosts are joined by Gary, who gives a unique introduction to the show.

[00:02:21] Imposter syndrome and car knowledge. [00:06:24] Imposter syndrome in cars. [00:09:01] Finding a career-defining moment. [00:13:48] Labeling oneself as "car guy". [00:16:48] Imposter Syndrome in Career. [00:21:01] Pickup truck vs Mustang rivalry. [00:26:22] Being humble in car restoration. [00:29:01] Working on rare cars. [00:33:30] Expensive 1952 Cunningham cars. [00:36:27] Imposter syndrome in restoration. [00:43:00] Hemmings and Lotus Seven. [00:45:39] Professionalism in speaking. [00:50:46] Revamping the podcast. {00:54:22] Falling in love with cars.

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00:00 Derek So, if you wanna talk about cars, Ferrari, GTO, Bentley, CRX, and even death, your great-granddad Spearless, welcome to No Driving Clubs, the Car Talk Authority, where experienced knowledge

00:23 John and controversy share the same seat. Enjoy the ride. Now your hosts, John and Derek. So there's Gary giving us an introduction there, Derek. I like it. You like it? I've had him tweak it a little bit. I think I might have used it in an earlier episode, but we threw the CRX and Pearless in there. Yeah, well, I was waiting because there were a lot of new cars, and I was like, man, where'd the Brassera go? But then he nailed it. And he was referring to me, right, the great-granddad? I mean, I'm just a little old man, so. And I own the Pearless. Yes. You're almost that great-granddad. You're what, 15 years away from it? 20 years away from it? I'd say at least 20. Okay. If I have it my way, at least 30. If I've been a good parent, maybe I should delete that. So we're here to talk cars. Actually, I think we're here to talk car knowledge, aren't we?

01:41 aanoucer I think so. Yeah, car knowledge. I mean, it's what we talk about every week, but I think with the new format that we're going with here on the podcast, you and I have sat down, planned this out. We know what we want to do, but we also have those conversations off the air, John, and you and I are a lot alike, and we both struggle with what everybody, I think everybody knows, is called imposter syndrome.

02:12 John So I think we need to talk about car knowledge, our backgrounds, and imposter syndrome a little bit while we're kicking off this new version of No Driving Gloves. Yeah, I've looked at this version of No Driving Gloves. I didn't change seasons or anything. I started with episode 250 because when I went back through our back catalog during our time off, it turns out we actually were at episode 250. For some reason, I had some duplicate numbers and shows that weren't numbered and things. But when we started this a couple of weeks ago, I did my little narration telling you what's going to happen. That was episode 250, honestly, and this is probably going to be episode 252, maybe 253, since we pre-record them again. Sometimes they get shuffled a little bit in how we release. But I look at this as almost a new podcast, and I want to kind of jump on and say why we think we can do this, why we've been doing it for, is it five years, pushing six years coming up here? Coming up on six years, yeah. We've had some great numbers over time. Like I said in that episode, about a year and a half ago and stuff, I had some changes in my life and I just had to step away for a little bit. We tried all last year to get a groove going again, and we were missing it. I attribute it to the live streaming. I apologize for those that really enjoyed the live streaming. But because of the way our schedules flex, I mean, Derek and I are sitting here at like 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning recording because he's got to get off to shuffle and do some public appearances. I've actually got some things to do working on the new business. So we're here. We're trying. I don't think a lot of people join us at six in the morning for a live stream. So we've cut that out, but the numbers, you know, we could we could start like, you know, no driving gloves and coffee. Everybody just show up with their coffee and warm everybody up for cars and coffee on Saturday mornings. That's an idea. Do your no driving gloves warm up and then go to cars and coffee because if we actually recorded, say, seven to eight or so, the cars and coffee around here starts at eight thirty in the morning here in Birmingham. I don't know where it starts or for you, but it would probably work for a lot of people. They can get up, they could listen to us record, watch us record and we get them all revved up for a Saturday with cars. We might consider that. I like that. VIP club. But let's tell them why they should listen to us. What is our knowledge? What does Derek know? Where does Derek come from? What does he know about cars? What does John know about cars? What what is our past? I mean, we've alluded to it, but some people have said, well, I didn't know you did that.

it all started in January of:

05:58 John So we're yeah, we're doing this now. And we had one of those we had one of those electric car glitches.

06:04 aanoucer Somebody forgot to plug. Yeah, somebody forgot to plug. This is why I don't own an electric car. But, you know, it gave me time to think about it. Actually, I saw an article get posted shortly after we we had attempted that episode and about imposter syndrome. And I honestly I think it was from one of the car magazines, Car and Driver, one of those. And it just it's given me time to think about it. And, you know, it's it's interesting. I think a lot of it plays into our personality. And, you know, I'm I'm not someone who, you know, my personality isn't to go out there and and tell everybody what I know. And, you know, oh, I'm the greatest there is.

06:55 John And this, that the other thing. And so, you know, I tend to kind of fall to the background sometimes unless, you know, there's some talk that I have to give or, you know, go drive a car and talk about it. And it's history and stuff like that. Then I'm kind of upfront and, you know, center stage, whatever you want to call it. But in my personal life outside of things, I tend to be reserved and not feel like, you know, again, going back to that imposter syndrome where, you know, I'm just like, you know what? I'm going to step back. I, you know, maybe I don't know as much as I think I do. Well, I think we fall into the same thing. We've talked about it maybe on a couple of episodes. We've definitely talked about it off air is our careers have kind of required us to do that at points. But again, I'm the guy that even I've alluded to some of the stuff I've done in high school and that when I would go to parties, I'd get invited to parties because of the people I knew and I could bring these people and I could have a decent conversation. But I wasn't the center of the party. I wasn't the life of the party. But I have no problem public speaking. I have no problem getting on this microphone every week and talking about stuff. I've got I've got various podcasts out there and I've got podcasts out there that I do that I don't do as far as the public's concerned. And I talk about a lot of a lot of things and I'm not afraid to talk about myself. I'm not afraid to talk about my experiences. I'm not afraid to do part of that imposter syndrome. I sit here and I think, boy, this guy had this story and this guy did that and this guy did that. Boy, I really want to get to that point. And I wake up in the morning and go, I'm 50 years old. I'm the age of these people that used to tell me these stories. Where the hell are my stories? And I've alluded once or twice in the past. Somebody asked me one day at a car club event. We're sitting around having lunch like we used to do pre-COVID. And he said, what's the most exciting or what's the most spectacular thing you've ever done in your car career? Because everybody thinks I have this fabulous life around cars. And I thought about it and I couldn't come up with anything. Oh, wow. I've restored this. I restored that. You know, it's great to do, you know, you know, you know, I've done some notable stuff. I've done conservation of Saturn V rocket. I've done conservation work on the Titanic. I've done, you know, a Cunningham C3 before they were the end car. I've restored dozens of Lotus race cars that very, you know, I do some very low production stuff. A lot of my career was restoring cars they made fewer than 20 of. And I think in one episode I said to you, you've actually worked on cars that fewer than 20 people have driven. But I just get to this. I don't know the story. And after a week of thinking about it, I sat down at lunch the following week with that guy and I said, hey, I figured out my story. And that's my Mario Andretti story, you know, Lotus and a racetrack and driving instructions and almost crashing. And you know what? I think the way that story I repeat quite often. And I've said it on the podcast before. That's a pretty cool story. People really grasp onto that and go, hey, wait, maybe, you know, that's part of this getting over imposter syndrome. Wait, I've got this story. What other things have I done that to me is just normal life that other people would, you know, give their right arm literally to do? And it's it's been a very exciting career. But as we've talked before, Derek, you and I have been in. Conservation and museums were a lot of stuff you can't talk about publicly. I mean, when I work for a non-par, excuse me, for a for-profit museum conservation company, I couldn't go home and not that social media was huge at the time. I couldn't go home and post to MySpace or, you know, the Facebook because it was that early on that I'm hey, I'm restoring these statues or I'm doing this. Or today I was, you know, at the former Chrysler mansion, which is now the Belgian. I couldn't or Belgian embassy. I couldn't do that stuff because you have to be secretive and the stuff you're doing. You don't know what the end client's going to do or the museum can't do or you can't. We're going to get into an episode. I think we're going to talk a little bit of behind the scenes museum life and some things that are we both you and I feel go against the museum code in the future. And that's going to be a touchy episode. There's things in the museum world that you can't talk about either fear for hurting the nonprofit you're working for alienating people that support the nonprofit you're working for and things like that. That's why it's kind of, you know, will always had that freedom that he could say whatever the hell he wanted because it was him he damaged. And when I left the museum, where I world, I find I got to a point where I can say some of that stuff. But there's a part of me that may want to re enter that world. So I have to be careful. I mean, if all this business stuff doesn't work out the way I plan it to. And so far it's been doing, you know, last four years have been pretty good to me, even though I, you know, have I've re entered a different phase of my career with computers. But I still do a lot of the business stuff that I was creating.

ilt Cup race car that won the:

I've talked about it before.:

25:40 aanoucer Basically the original minivan. I walked by and worked with that car for three years, three and a half years until it went away. And there's just, that's a significant piece of automotive history. Well, and I think it's also, you know, not to cut you off, John, but I think it's also, I guess the way I look at it, I feel like sometimes it's dangerous to think that you know more than you do. Right. And, and I think that's a significant piece of automotive history. Sometimes it's dangerous to think that you know more than you do. Right. And, and in some ways, I guess the word, you know, being humble, you know, just being humble about who you are and what you know, because I always, and maybe it's the type of vehicles that you and I have worked on in our careers that are extremely rare, one of a kinds or one of, you know, 20 or whatever that it was. They were very minimally produced because they're not your mass produced Chevelles, GTOs, Mustangs, Cudas, you know, things like that, where, okay, if, if I work on, pretty much if I work on one or two 69 Chevelles, I pretty much know everything there is to know about how a Chevelle was built, how it needs to be restored. So on and so forth. But to me, if I get to a point, and this is the way I look at my career and the way I kind of grow and learn, if I get to a point where I think I know everything there is to know, and man, I'm just the best there is out there, I'm just the best there is out there. Then I'm no longer open to learning about new vehicles and new things that are out there, right? Because every, and I'm not saying that I'm not going to be able to learn about new things, but I'm going to be able to learn about new things that are out there. And if I get to a point where I think I know everything there is to know and man, I'm just the best there is out there, then I'm no longer open to learning about new vehicles and new things that are out there, right? I mean, I work at a museum now that has probably one of the largest one of a kind collections there are. We have, I believe it's over 40 one of a kind automobiles in our collection that have been built throughout history.

, they only built like:

30:32 aanoucer But it was when I was doing that restoration, 18 of these cars in the country, I could only find one other that was undergoing a restoration and I could only find one other C3 in the country because they were forgotten cars. And the other C3 I found was Briggs Cunningham's grandson had one. And I went and visited it and honestly, it's not that far from you if it's still there. Yes, they live up in Northern Kentucky, not far from here. And that was the research I did. And then that car came out and it was weird because I knew it. I was one of the foremost experts on Cunningham C3 Continental Coupes at the time. And that car came out three, four years later. Every Cunningham C3 in the country was under restoration, except one. And our barn find hunter, former guest Tom Cotter, eventually came across that car and he drives it. It's an unrestored Cunningham C3. Maybe I can get him back on the show and we can talk C3s. But here's the funny thing, John, you know, imposter syndrome. I'm sitting back here not saying anything, but breaking that imposter syndrome. I've driven Tom's Cunningham. It is incredible. It is a fantastic car to drive. And I enjoyed every single moment of it.

ct, I think he passed away in:

the, you know, up until about:

41:01 John You kind of know what was the common practice, but you don't know the exact details until you do the research and really find out. That makes sense to you, John. Oh, makes definite sense. But it also really highlights a little bit of us and some of our problems, maybe with the podcast, in that we get that deep into a car. You're worried about grain and material and actual construction processes. And it's we're so exacting because of the museum background. We want to make sure absolutely everything's perfect. Everything is original.

41:42 aanoucer And nothing is different. And sometimes that gets a little dry and boring. No offense to you, Derek, but oh, no, believe me, I know I'm dry and boring. Believe me, I've actually you know, getting into that. Sorry. I told your thought, John. Hold it. Hold on to it. Don't let it go. I'm very used to being the person who gets attacked and questioned. And well, who do you think you are? I've been involved in a number of articles. There's a very well, I don't know, very well known to me article in Hemings because I was interviewed for an article in Hemings and was one of the one of the times that I got literally attacked on social media and Hemings website for my comments, which are fine because that's what I believe.

42:41 John And, you know, it's just I know I'm dry and very matter of fact. And everything has to be right in my world, I guess. So, you know, hey, I'm used to it. Sorry. Go ahead, John. Oh, I again, I totally understand what you mean. I actually I at one point Hemings sent me a preliminary copy of one of their magazines before they introduced it. And I think it was the best magazine Hemings ever made. And of course, they have canceled the subscription. I think we talked about it on the podcast. Actually, it was sports and exotics. And they sent me one of the early issues and they had a huge article on Lotus seven in it. And I tore it to pieces. The article never came out in the real magazine because I'm assuming it was wrong and it was wrong in a lot of different ways. And thinking back and I came across the magazine the other day, you know, for what the general public wanted to know, it was perfect. For what the Lotus seven connoisseur wanted to know, it was absolutely horrendous. And it conveyed the message and it probably, you know, it's a lot of the marketing I've learned in the last five or six years on the side. If I would have looked at it as an advertising piece to increase the popularity of the car, it was perfect. If I looked at it as a scientific piece to discuss the car to somebody restoring it, it was absolutely horrible. And I've tried to learn and find a happy medium between the two. I haven't got there yet. The podcast has helped me. Some of the business stuff that I'm doing is helping me. But hanging out with Eric and I always throw Will into this because, you know, Will spent 200 episodes with us and that's 200 hours plus all the additional time in the background. Learned a little bit. I mean, Will even yelled at me at a car show once because I was critiquing something and he said, he took me off to say, we don't do that here. We've got to be nice because we never know how, again, what I said earlier, you never know who's the guy behind you listening. If it's somebody related to that shop, that car owner or whatever, it could hurt his business in the future. So even though I say Will had this carefree, I'm going to tell it like it freaking is attitude, he always had it in the back of his mind. And this big bearded man with this TV show and Backwoods Alabama, he knows what he's talking about. And when you first meet him, you think, oh, Backwoods Alabama, to be honest, he's the easiest person I've ever edited on a podcast because he's taken professional speaking courses. He doesn't use crutch words a lot. He knows exactly what to say and when to say it. He knows marketing and he's as honest as the day is long. It's kind of how he does some of his business for me coming from D.C. and Chicago area and that. No way in hell we would ever do business like Will does. But it's the honesty and the thing about him. But again, it's I don't know, it's just. We haven't talked a lot about us today, Derek, but that's kind of where we're coming from.

46:29 aanoucer There is a lot of knowledge in this head and your head and our surroundings. I think we did talk about our backgrounds and our knowledge. It's just little nuggets that are dropped into the conversation that you got to kind of listen for.

46:42 John You know, you were saying earlier about your. Or us not being able to talk about ourselves, my biggest proponent over my career, especially after moving to Birmingham, was one of my girlfriends 10, 12 years ago. She was all about what I did and had all these little things she would describe. And some of them were sexual and whenever relating back to my relationship and my restoration career. And one of the biggest consulting jobs I ever got ended up being a little disappointed in the end because business friendship overlapped a little bit and. Was gotten because this gentleman said, hey, I'm thinking about doing this. I need to find somebody who can help me with it. And this third party said, well, why don't you ask John? This is what he does. And so he did. And we sat down in our first meeting and I said, you need to do this, this, this, this and this. And you need to send me every single email. And I didn't think he sent me every single email, but I'm cleaning up email. I got a ton of emails over the build of this car. Unfortunately, he didn't do this, this, this and this and this that I told him in the first meeting. And by the end and when the car was delivered, it wasn't quite right. I tried to go do some tweaking to it and he. By the time the car was delivered, it wasn't quite right. And he got frustrated with it, shipped it back to the builder and said, fix these things. And while it was at the builder decided hell with it, I don't want it back. You know, sell it for me. So it was just absolutely cool. It was a replica that was not Bradley GT kit car. This was a three hundred, four hundred thousand dollar replica of a car. And there were just certain things wrong with it. And if you would have listened to what I said in the beginning, it would have been right. But I don't think he realized in the beginning of the conversation, because I'm always so quiet. And this is what I do. And he didn't trust me in the beginning. By the end, he trusted me. And when it's sitting in his garage and I'm looking at it and going, this is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong. This is unsafe. We tried to fix something and it created a whole nother problem somewhere else. This car is a little piece together. And that's why he I think in the end, he decided to sell it is I had found so many things in 30 minutes with the car. He didn't know what we were going to find if we spent an hour with the car. So it's it's a buildup. We've been doing this for almost six years now. June will be our sixth anniversary, two hundred and fifty shows. If you really want to know what Derek and I are about. Go back and listen to the episodes. A lot of our fans have commented. We know a hell of a lot more than we let on. And some of them that have met us personally and hung out. You really know a lot more. So you can go back if you don't trust us. Listen to that stuff. If you have questions, send them in. Produce Excuse me, producer at no driving gloves dot com.

50:06 aanoucer You have questions, send them in producer at no driving gloves dot com. And we'll try to answer for you. We'll try to get him answered. But I think. Why, this is a very uncomfortable episode for us to do because we're talking about ourselves and we feel like we're just sitting here bragging, bragging, bragging. I hope we presented it in a. Very friendly manner. A humble manner, as I like to say. Yeah, yeah, humble. And as John said, the new version of no driving gloves, we're going to bring out some different mini episodes. Different topics, things like that. And hopefully that will also help reveal who we are and why we do what we do and why we wanted to do this podcast.

and my introduction back from:

house, you know, there was a: