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Mauricio (Argentina)

photo credits: Michelle A. Soper Maure

Mauricio is a car and motorbike aficionado. He currently lives in Chicago, USA
Mauricio, what would be the car of your dreams?

An Enzo Ferrari or a Ford Mustang GT.

How old were you when you learnt to drive and what car did you practice driving with?

The first time I drove I was eleven years old. My friend Diego Garcia stole his dad’s ‘78 C10 Chevrolet and he took me out to drive in it. I started driving on my own when I was 15 years old, and even when I was old enough to get my license when I was 18 I kept driving without one. I got so many fines for driving without a license. In the end, I got my license but I never paid my fines because I moved to Spain and by the time I went back to Argentina the fines had expired!

Can you tell us about one of your most memorable adventures on wheels?

When my wife and I decided to move to the States, we also decided to take our two puppies. They had to take a flight from Buenos Aires, so we borrowed a pickup with a closed bed and drove 12 hours straight from Mendoza to Buenos Aires. It was a very interesting trip, taking out the dogs at the gas stations and making sure they were safe in the back with all our luggage. They slept most of the trip, or so we think. We couldn’t see into the back of the truck, but we couldn’t hear them and they didn’t destroy the luggage, so we assume they slept. When we were about halfway there, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw a big white head looking out the back of the pickup! They had unzipped the back and who knows how long they had been watching the scenery as we drove.

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photo credits: Michelle A. Soper Maure

Do you enjoy going to vehicle fairs? Which ones did you particularly like?

Of course I like going to car shows. It’s interesting being able to see cars you normally wouldn’t see, cars with interesting details and designs. You can also meet people who have similar interests. I especially like going to shows with old cars, from the 50s through the 70s. Mustang shows are also my favorites.

You have lived in three very different countries, on three continents: do you feel people have different relationships with their cars in Spain, Argentina and the United States?

In Argentina, cars are a necessity. I come from a small agricultural town. Most people have pickups- white with tinted windows in order to reflect the strong sun. There is a lot of distance between everything, and people need cars to get around. You can also see a lot of much older cars because the laws about pollution aren’t as strict. In Spain, in the city where I lived, people didn’t use their cars on a daily basis because they could get around on the public transport and on their own two feet. People tended to have small cars in order to park on the narrow, crowded streets. In the United States, it’s the exact opposite. Everyone has cars, and all the cars are huge. Most of the cars run on gas, while in Argentina the cars use diesel or GNC. Here it’s so cold in the winter that diesel would freeze. Cars are not a luxury here. They are much more affordable and more people have them. Gas is also much cheaper in the States compared to in Spain and Argentina. I think that the cars are a good reflection of the economy and the way of life in each place where I have lived.

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