Enthusiast Spotlight: European Car Fan and YouTuber Kyle Hoffman
My name is Kyle. I have been around cars since I can remember. I believe the turning point from “around” to “enthusiast” occurred at 15 years of age when my older brother bought a 1984 E30 318i.
I’m also the host of the YouTube show Depreciation Nation.
What was your first car?
1974 BMW 2002
What kind of cars do you enjoy most?
My memories don’t revolve around motorsports or race cars… the one that sticks out was a manual conversion on an E36 325i. The first time that car moved under its own power was incredible.
I enjoy inexpensive European cars. Right now, early to mid-2000s BMWs, Porsche, Saab, and Mercedes.
How did you get into cars?
I have craved speed from an early age. At almost 40… not much has changed. My need for speed was filled with performance horses early on and transitioned to automobiles right around the time my brother bought that E30. We didn’t have the efficiencies that come standard on cars these days. We had relatively mundane cars growing up. A Chevy Celebrity and Mercury Topaz come to mind. The dynamics of that E30 were a game changer for me.
What is your favorite thing you’ve done behind the wheel?
I enjoy spectator track days at Road Atlanta more than just about anything else.
I’ve honestly had many memorable moments. My memories don’t revolve around motorsports or race cars… the one that sticks out was a manual conversion on an E36 325i. The first time that car moved under its own power was incredible.
Do you work on your car yourself?
Always… I have a number of skills that enable me to complete tasks such as steering wheel refurbishment, seat repair/ redye, paint correction, ceramic coating, top end rebuilds, clutch replacements, motor replacements, etc.
I buy my cars very inexpensively and I am able to rehab them just as inexpensively. I currently have an E46, E83, and Saab 9-3 Aero all of which were purchased for a few hundred each.
This led me to the creation of a fresh YouTube product called Depreciation Nation which documents these projects and the processes that go into them. We also litter fun content such as new car content, Caffeine and Octane, and other various content.
What’s the biggest regret regarding a car I’ve owned?
I have two of them.
1) 1984 Audi 4000S Quattro grey market import. I sold the car to buy a home. The car was in very good condition and the price fetched was reasonable. However, it’s one of those cars I cannot replace no matter how hard I try. Weekends consist of craigslist, Market Place, Autotempest, and Autotrader searches for that car.
2) 1995 BMW M3. This car had been massaged in all of the right places. Bone stock on the outside, a little done under the hood without any non-sense that would stress reliability. The car was pristine. This car also went to purchase the same aforementioned home. I sold the car at the bottom of the market. It was a top tier car. The car would easily bring 25K in today’s market.
Favorite events to participate in?
I enjoy spectator track days at Road Atlanta more than just about anything else. Spec club races are also enjoyable.
What’s In Your Garage If You Have Unlimited Money and 5 Bays?
- 997 911 GT3
- Roundie BMW 2002
- E46 M3
- Ferrari F40
- Ferrari 360 Modena Manual
Advice for people getting into cars?
Car culture is so much different now than it was 20 years ago. Social Media has transformed the culture into something where it’s more entertaining to look at pictures of people pretending to be car people than people who are actually car people. It’s all fake. None of it is based in reality.
My advice is to never stop learning and don’t be afraid to get dirty. I get more satisfaction from a properly running M54 inline 6 than I do from the latest super car. I still find super cars fascinating but I get more joy out of rebuilding motors or a steering wheel refurb than I do lusting after the folks who pretend to be car people with their pictures.
Is there anything else I’d like people to know about me?
I’m relatively simple. You’ll find me working on something most days. I hope you’ll check out Depreciation Nation. There’s something there for everyone. You can see our latest episode below.