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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Gator Greasers rev their engines in holiday charity drive

The car show was planned for a fundraiser to donate to children
Michaela Mateo
A line-up of cars brought in by the Gator Greasers Automotive Club for their first car show on SF State campus in support of Toys for Tots on Dec. 1 , 2023. (Michaela Mateo / Golden Gate Xpress)

Vroom! Vroom!

The Gator Greasers held a fundraiser featuring auto vehicles displayed outside the Humanities building on Friday afternoon.

President of the Gator Greasers Automotive Club, Kevin Vekaria, explained their first on-campus event.

Ian Feliciano (Mango) poses on his Toyota GR86 at the Gator Greasers Automotive Club car show on Dec. 1, 2023. (Michaela Mateo / Golden Gate Xpress)

“The fundraiser today is for Toys for Tots. It is going to be to raise unopened, unwrapped toys and books for the less fortunate kids in need during this holiday season,” Vekaria said.

Gator Greasers was established in 2020 by Gabe Allen –– a former SFSU student –– to bring car-enjoyers together. The group, which organizes frequent meetings around the Bay Area, currently has almost 300 members on their Discord channel.

The process for this event has been a long time coming, but Vekaria was glad to be able to hold the event finally.

“We have been trying to get an on-campus event going for our club for well over a year and a half at this point. Just the fact that we weren’t big or had many connections to those in the university that kind of delayed that,” Vekaria said. “When we finally were able to meet with the right people, we were like, ‘Let’s go for this right away,’ and this is something we definitely want to do.”

Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Chevy, BMW and Toyota were displayed outside, playing music as the San Francisco State University community peeked at the exteriors. The creativity of the owners of the vehicles was in full force, as they were seen putting up the hoods of their cars for bypassers to watch.

“What drew me into cars, actually, was as a kid getting lots of LEGO sets,” said Massimo Sciaroni, a club member and owner of a BMW M4 displayed. “I would always get them for Christmas and my birthday, and I was building things. Eventually, I grew older, so I actually watched Adam LZ on his BMX days and he transferred into cars and then I was like, ‘I kind of like cars now’ and got into cars.”

The hard work put into these cars has not been overshadowed. Another club member, Ibrahim Hussein, expressed all the hands-on work done on the Chevy II Nova.

Vasav Junthani posing with his Toyota Supra at the Gator Greasers Automotive Club car show on Dec. 1, 2023. (Michaela Mateo / Golden Gate Xpress)

“For the most part, it has been built from the ground up. It started out as a junker, pretty much, and growing up, I kind of built it slowly. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into it,” Hussein said. “Half the things I do to this car, nobody notices. I do it for myself.”

A long grind was required to get the car built. Hussein explained the amount of time that was invested.

“It took me a long time to build, but it’s not like I just sat down and built it. I’m building this car piece by piece, and it’s not like I have the whole plan out right in the beginning,” Hussein said. “It’s hard to say how long because it was done throughout many years but I want to say in total, four years, maybe five, which is pretty short. There’s people who work on their cars for 10 years and they’re not even done.”

The student organization brings together dedication as students showcase their vehicles and love for automobiles. Their passion comes from personal experience or generations passing down their traditions.

Massimo Sciaroni posing with his BMW at the Gator Greasers Automotive Club car show on Dec. 1, 2023. (Michaela Mateo / Golden Gate Xpress)

“It’s a lot of different reasons for everyone but the main thing is either we grew up with it, our parents were a motivator in getting into cars, or we were just really mechanically oriented when we were little, and we played video games, grew up with Fast and Furious,” Vekaria said. “It’s kind of like the pop culture influences sort of influenced everything, and then we learn more about the cars and it goes from there.”

This is one of many events that Gator Greasers hope to organize. They also hope to start having motorcycle meet-ups to connect with more automotive enthusiasts –– especially more on the SFSU campus.

“We are planning to do more in the future, probably around the beginning of each semester and at the end of each semester as well,” Vekaria said. “We do have great relationships with the university now, knowing some great people, so we’re hoping to make this a consistent event in the future.”

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About the Contributors
Arman Archouniani, Sports Editor
Arman Archouniani (he/him) is the sports editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in media literacy. He was born and raised in Daly City and enjoys living in the area. As a kid, his dream was to become a professional athlete. Arman loves his local sports teams such as the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco 49ers, and the San Francisco Giants. He was previously the sports editor for The Skyline View at Skyline College. His dream now is to become a sports analyst for a major sports media company.
Michaela Mateo, Visuals Editor
Michaela Gutierrez Mateo (She/Her) is the Golden Gate Xpress Visuals Editor for Fall 2023. Her nickname is Micha, is a 4th year Photojournalism major and an Asian American Studies minor. She is a transfer student from Chabot College, Hayward where she had her first experience as a reporter for The Spectator. Her passion is photography and film but most of all she is a Kdrama and Kpop addict.

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