Enthusiast Spotlights

Enthusiasts Spotlight: Exocet Builder and Miata Racer Taylor Perkins

Introduce Yourself

I’m Taylor! I’ve lived in Atlanta my whole life, and love it here. I’ve been in the car scene since 2011, when I got my first car. I’m a Georgia Bulldog through and through, and I’m so excited to be featured in such an amazing local group! I’m currently documenting my Exocet build, and if you want to follow along I’m @summer_del_sol on instagram, and can be found on youtube at “Summer delSol”.

What was your first car?

I still have my Honda Civic del Sol, and plan to keep it forever. I call her “Summer” which is a nickname my Grandfather always called me growing up. Eventually the car will end up in a Honda museum somewhere with my ashes in the gas tank.

What kind of cars do you enjoy most?

I have a major affinity for nineties two seaters, much to my friends’ chagrin, as I’m never a viable carpool option for road trips.

How did you get into cars?

Back when I got my first car, I was in college, and mega broke. At one point, my brakes went soft (in Athens, no less, chock full of hills), and it was revealed that my master cylinder had croaked.  Up until that point, I had just enjoyed the car for the fun ride that it was, but now I had to make the repair myself, as I couldn’t afford the (egregious) bill “Just Brakes” quoted me.  I realized it wasn’t quite as monumental of a task as I’d assumed it would be, and quickly caught the DIY bug from there.

What is your favorite thing you’ve ever done behind the wheel?

I’m really loving my time in autocross. I haven’t been active this year with my weekends being dedicated to my ongoing car projects, but I’m very much looking forward to getting back there soon! Once I get some good car control down, I plan to better set up my NB Miata for HPDEs as well.

Do you work on your car yourself?

Every chance I get! Even with the constant cursing, beer spilling, and knuckle bashing, I love tinkering and (mostly)  fixing things along the way.

What’s the biggest regret you have regarding a car you’ve owned?

I’m fine with it now, but something tells me in the long run  I’m going to regret tearing down my NA Miata instead of my NB Miata for my Exocet build….I already miss my pop-ups…

What do you wish was different about car culture?

The sexism is rough sometimes. I’ve been inappropriately touched, commented about, etc. and those are just my experiences. Thankfully I’ve seen great strides being made, and I’m very fortunate that the groups I run in are exceptional (like this one, for example).   I’ve always been treated like any other enthusiast by those I know personally, and in the niche areas,  but unfortunately in the larger scene it’s still incredibly common.

What are your favorite types of events to participate in?

I love car shows, HPDEs (High Performance Driving Events), autocross, and  watching races.

If you had unlimited money and 5 garage bays- what would you buy to fill them up?

  • Gordan Murray T50
  • Spyker C8 Aileron
  • Zenvo TSR-S
  • Lucid Air
  • Getting to fully restore Summer (Front and center display!)

What advice do you have for someone who’s wanting to get more into cars?

Dive in, and don’t stress so much about breaking things. I knew nothing about cars when I first started working on mine, and the biggest hurdle was self doubt, and worrying I’d just mess something up more by tinkering. While I’m no pro, I’m now building an Exocet on my own, and absolutely still learning as I go. Youtube is a great resource for learning, just check your sources/comments on each video along the way.

Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?

That I’m so appreciative of those who have helped me learn and grow in this industry, along with the automotive friends I’ve made within each community that I’m a part of. I’m better for knowing you all.

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