As Lower Standards continues to grow we felt it would be a good idea to do some brief member bios as it can sometimes be difficult to make the rounds and talk to everyone at the summer shows or get togethers.
To kick this off, I pieced together some questions for our club President, Tony. I’ve known him for years now and have taken many photos of some of the cars he’s owned over the years, which you will find within this post as well.
Without further ado…
Q. How did Lower Standards originally come about?
T.M. For me, LS first became an idea when I saw how so many guys didn’t fit into the car scene and maybe weren’t the “popular” or “cool” guys in the area. The established car scene in MKE didn’t ever seem too open and inviting. There were small groups of guys that were closed off to themselves or large groups you could buy into and have no personal experience. The idea of LS was to become a community where everyone young or old could come and feel welcome, hang out, trade stuff, buy or sell with one another where you can trust each other. No matter what type of car you drove, how heavy or lightly modified your car was, people were welcome. Family and workplace friendly, the LS forum on VW Vortex could be viewed by anyone at anytime to share their love and passion for cars. The name itself came from the cars I owned at the time this was established. I just happened to own “standard” beetles that were lower at the time. They were rusty and crusty and scared most people off. You could say I had “Lower Standards” for what was typically “approved” in the car community.
Q. What was your first low car?
T.M. My first “low” car was a Honda Civic. It led me to meet so many guys I still know today.
Q. What was your favorite car you’ve owned and do you regret selling it?
T.M. I’ve enjoyed all the beetles I’ve owned, but i would have to say my favorite car to date was my ’59 beetle. I met so many people owning that car and it was a blast to drive. My only regret regarding selling that car was that I didn’t sell it earlier in my ownership of it.
Q. What’s your favorite thing about driving low cars?
T.M. I just enjoy pushing the limit and hearing the frame smack against the ground and watching sparks fly.
Q. Air or Static?
T.M. For me it depends on the car and its use. Most guys feel strongly either way, I see advantages to both. I’m more for air ride on a daily and static for show car. Probably opposite of everyone else.
Q. Where do you hope to see Lower Standards as a club 5 years from now?
T.M. In 5 years, I hope to still be relevant and pushing the limit and exceeding all expectations. I want to continue to grow and have a show that people look forward to and plan on attending every year, from all over the country. I don’t want to be like any other club or group out there. I’m set on being ourselves and leaving our own legacy.
Q. What are your thoughts on the current euro scene or car scene in general?
T.M. I find the Euro car scene to be extra trendy right now, which makes it easy for growth. What we have to be careful of is not to grow too too much to fast so that when the euro scene dies down, that we don’t get passed up by the next big trend. The car scene itself will always evolve and that’s what keeps it exciting to me. I enjoy everything new and old, rusty and clean, fast and slow, two wheels and four.
Q. What does Lower Standards do for Milwaukee?
T.M. I like ot think LS has a strong presence in MKE. When we travel as a group we represent MKE as well as LS. We are similar as a group to the community we come from. MKE does much more for LS and that’s where we get our personalities and our values. We’re proud of our city and want to show it off. That’s why we have our show downtown. The people, the businesses, and the skyline. What we lack in size we make up for in quality which is what makes LS a part of MKE and MKE a part of LS.
Q. Favorite show to attend and why?
T.M. I enjoy many shows for many different reasons. My favorite show to attend (for more personal reasons than car/club reasons) is/was Euro Hangar in Holland MI. It’s a weekend away with my wife and friends that I don’t often get to see. It’s the city that brings me back every year more so than the show. That’s what makes me feel so good about our own show, LS Brewhaus. We have a strong show and great city. A show venue can’t stand the test of time on its own.
Q. Any current builds your’re working on that we should stay tuned for?
T.M. Not really, nothing exciting or too special. I have more long term goals at this point in my life. I currently have a few MK1 caddys that I’ll work with over winter and hopefully drive next show season. I have a few ultimate goals that you’ll just need to stay tuned for.