Perspective from Another IMW Wife, by Dustie Spradlin

Team Illuminati Motor Works: so much more than I ever envisioned myself witnessing, let alone watching my husband be a part of. I have to admit, when I first learned of the project – I had my doubts. The idea of building a car was huge enough in itself. Add to that one minute detail: it has to get 100 mpg. The talk was big, the ideas were dream-worthy, the action was set into place one weekend at a time. From chalk lines on concrete to a steel-welded frame that actually resembles what this car is going to look like…what it’s going to be, it is indeed coming together. Watching the journey these men have been on has been a pleasure. They proved my first impression of the “project” wrong, as well as the opinions of many others, I’m sure. I have never seen something transform in front of my own eyes like this – and that, let me tell you, shatters any doubt I may have had. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe these men had it in them to pull it off, it just seemed astronomical.

The journey of life is different for each person. What each person makes of their life is a unique experience. Sometimes we are inspired by others to dig a little deeper – to try a little harder. We win some, we lose some. It’s not always about winning the prize, but the journey that gets us to the end. It is up to each one of us to make what we want out of our lives. Some sit back and watch life pass by, while others take action and make things happen. Some are afraid to lose, others are just along for the ride. Team IMW is the perfect example of making the most out of what they have – creating the journey – one car part at a time. They have had many bends and bumps in their roads, but they keep truckin’ along no matter if their engines are puttin’ along or revving at full speed. They are competing against numerous other teams – teams that have funding, sponsorships, and support. They are the “underdogs” of this competition – yet, not once have I seen any one of the team members tuck their tail. They have kept their heads together and held high. Obstacles have been aplenty for this team and yet they carry on. They have been in the media spotlight time and time again, but for some reason sponsorship funding has been very minimal. This is possibly the biggest feat this team has faced…financing a project that carries a lot of “what ifs’. This, however, is not enough to put a halt on production. A sponsorship from Hyundai, combined with a large credit card balance is how this project is continuing to this finish line. If they get nothing more out of this competition than a credit card balance and a pat on the back, they are still winners. Winners because they have not quit. They have had so many hoops to jump through they could become their own circus – yet they keep going.

Why? Why do you suppose they haven’t called it quits? My opinion is because they have already won. This “journey” they are on is very personal. During the hundreds of hours they have spent between those garage walls they built to house this project, their friendships have seasoned. They have bonded. Each of them has grown in one way or another. They each give something to this team… to this friendship. When one is pessimistic , the other is optimistic. When one has an idea, the other builds on it until it’s perfected. Together they are making this happen. There have been many weekends that I wish I could have been a fly on the wall….like the days when one of them caught their pant leg on fire or when tools went haywire. I would have liked to hear the many conversations that have taken place between the team – the contemplating of different avenues, different visions, the make shift ideas bounced off each other that grew into a reality. I have nothing but admiration for this team and what is coming together of it – confidence. Confidence that even if the award goes to another team, they will have a working car before they are finished. They refuse to give up. In my opinion, this team represents life. Life brings battles, trials and with a dream and some elbow grease comes success. Nothing is free. Nothing comes easy.

So at the end of the day when their faces are filthy, their jeans are singed and they are beat down, they close the shop door and go home to their families. They go home to the ones who look at them with respect and admiration for what they are doing.

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