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Ep. 125 Breaking Barriers: Tesla, Classics and Being Too Young

by | Smart AF Show

Breaking Barriers

Breaking Barriers: Tesla, Classics and Being Too Young

The world is full of stereotypes and assumptions. What you drive, what job you have, and apparently what you “deserve” are all assumed based on your age, location, political leaning, and even your looks.

In this episode, Torie Mathis and her cohost Sean talk about how important it is for us to stand up against these assumptions and bridge the gaps our society makes. Whether it’s what you drive or what business you’re in, it’s time to reach across the aisle and create new experiences and opportunities.

Listen or watch the full episode below:


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(transcription is auto-generated)

SAF 125

[00:00:00] Torie: And the words that were used were so just not nice. They, we were told that we didn’t deserve that car because we were young.

Hey, what’s up it’s Torie Mathis, your host. And I am here with the one and only Sean Mathis, founder of Miles Through Time Automotive Museum.

[00:00:25] Sean: That’s me. What’s going on? 

[00:00:26] Torie: So you know, Riley and I were meeting a dog family in our neighborhood that Riley is going to be dog sitting for. We have been getting him quite a few dog sitting jobs, and we were over there and we went in the Tesla and they were, you know, we were just kind of shooting the shit kind of thing, getting to know each other and mentioned that we had an automotive museum and that it started off with Sean’s grandpa’s 59 Cadillac. And the guy was like, looked at me kind of crazy and was like automotive museum Cadillacs, Tesla. That doesn’t really go together. But that, I think that, that that’s like one of the super cool things that we’re doing is that we have this thing. 

[00:01:09] Sean: You know, and not only. Is that like I get where he was, you know, Teslas and cars, classic cars. Like you don’t really put those two together in any kind of category. But even just the automotive museum thing, I think I told you it was two weeks ago now. I actually had a guy come up to me while we were at the gym. And he’s like, yeah, I see you in here all the time.

What is it you do for a living? You know? And so I tell him I work for you, you, I do whatever Torie tells me to. And then I was like, and you know, I got to an automotive museum. And he’s blown away by that. And it happens quite often where it’s just, it’s not one of those common, I guess you could say career fields, jobs, business type.

[00:01:57] Torie: I don’t think we fit the demo for that. Like they expect somebody that’s like, you know, 65, 70 years old. It’s different. 

[00:02:07] Sean: And that’s even in the museum, you know, I’ll get a. 

[00:02:10] Torie: Oh, I got that all the time at the desk. 

[00:02:14] Sean: And you know, I don’t go in there going, yeah. I started the shit. 

[00:02:19] Torie: When I would work the door. I’d be like, no, my husband, no, not really. I’m going to want to do because people are like they kind of like when they come in with look down a little bit, because we look young and I mean, we are a young. Comparatively to the automotive industry, at least the automotive museum industry. So I could see. 

[00:02:38] Sean: But I think that’s where like breaking down that mold and your perception of what you think something should be or what you think you should do. None of that shit’s relevant. 

[00:02:48] Torie: But people seem to think it’s so relevant. People have these it’s really stereotypes. If you think about it, like there is this what you would see as somebody that owns a classic car, and then there’s some, there’s what you would see as somebody that owns a Tesla and you most likely wouldn’t put those two together.

And I don’t know if it’s because of stereotypes or what it is, but I like that even like the Teslas Sean has had the Teslas come out, Tesla actually come out to the museum. And so he was able to like open up this whole world of Teslas of electric vehicles. Because if you haven’t driven one, or maybe if you haven’t driven one recently, If you don’t understand what it’s really about.

So like, you know, Truett that Sean works with, you know, that is the curator, the executive director there at the museum. He is in his sixties, early sixties, mid sixties and has never had an electric car has never driven in one, but to have Tesla come out there and have him test drive the car and just like, like a little kid, you know what I mean? Like, and I don’t think he would have ever. The thought of doing that on his own? 

[00:03:56] Sean: Well, that’s just, it is he, he wouldn’t have, he would have never gotten himself behind the wheel of one. It doesn’t matter if he’ll ever buy one or not. Like I, who cares. It’s just, it’s the experience that he got to take from that.

And it goes the same way. You know, I’ve never driven a model t. I’ve got how many, we had five or six of them in the museum. I’ve never even driven one. And they, that, they’re not like a normal car. Eventually I will. I’ll get the opportunity to get behind the wheel of one while it’s outside and actually be able to drive it.

But I, I, you know, short of having this museum, I don’t think I’d ever expected to ever be behind the wheel of any really, of these cars that did, I’ve been behind the wheel of, you know, it’s crazy. Just being open to being able to just do things, you know, there’s no, I can’t do that or that’s not, for me. It’s just, you know, it just keeps unfolding of these opportunities to do these, these incredible things that I yeah, it happens constantly, you know, it’s and it’s just, it’s putting ourselves out there. It was like she was. 13 years ago now when we had that damn Lexus, you know, and again, so we, you know, if we look young now, if you’re watching us on, in you’re in your seeing what we look like, and it’s not just our voices over the car stereo, we don’t look that old.

So you can imagine how much younger we looked 13 years ago. And, you know, we got judged back then based off of, you know, what we were driving and it really, it wasn’t even anything that crazy. Something that we worked really hard to be able to do, instead of saying, well, we can’t do it when did it. 

[00:05:34] Torie: And the words that were used were so just not nice. They, we were told that we didn’t deserve that car because we were young. 

[00:05:43] Sean: It really, what it was, was the person that said it was saying, I can’t get that car. So therefore you don’t deserve it either. And that’s a horrible way to think. 

[00:05:57] Torie: Well, I think even with the electric cars and stuff, people would look at it and be like, oh, I’m not one of those kinds of people. And so they would never even open themselves up to having that kind of opportunity. Or I don’t even want to say opportunity. That’s not the right word I wanted to use. I wanted to use the word experience open themselves up to that kind of experience. 

[00:06:15] Sean: With electric cars specifically, you’ve got three types of. You’ve got the ones that are all about the fuel economy and environmentally friendly and all that kind of stuff. Those guys, maybe they, they, they purchase the, the leaf, you know, which is an all electric car, but boring as all hell to drive. And it doesn’t go very far, but then you’ve also got your techno people, the people that need the latest and greatest technology, and Tesla is packed with technology.

And these people can be any variety, you know, and a combination of these three. Right. So they could be both so far. And then you’ve got the automotive enthusiast. I am in it because it is a fun, good looking car to drive. The rest of it is a bonus in my mind, you know, I, I could care less about being the first of any of that kind of stuff.

[00:07:08] Torie: We’ve, I mean, we’ve had several hybrids, so we have gone on the green kind of thing. We were frugal. Like we want to save money and get the most bang for our buck said we do kind of remember that. 

[00:07:21] Sean: Well, like I remember driving it still 13 years ago. It never shifted gears. Pulled I mean, it was, it was a great car to drive it. It was just an SUV, you know, but it was nice to scar. I had ever driven at that time. 

[00:07:39] Torie: It was the first I fell in love with like, I had never loved a car before that, but that meant a car was so beautiful and it just, it drove so nice. And I really did kind of change. 

[00:07:50] Sean: We were looking at, you know, prices of gas and spent this was California. So it was crazy back then still. But ultimately it was a fun, good looking car to drive still. And I think a lot of people get caught up on just, you know, maybe the first or the first two things that I mentioned and forget the whole fact that in the end, it’s still a fun car to drive. And these people that are not giving it an opportunity to go, Hey, that’s. 

[00:08:16] Torie: There’s a few things there though one I think is that Elon Musk is such a big personality. And has a lot of money. And so, because of both of those things, I think people are very quick to judge and therefore will judge anything that he does just based on theirs.

[00:08:32] Sean: Love it, or hate it. Guy. You either are all over him and take everything he says to heart, or you absolutely despise him because. Right. 

[00:08:42] Torie: So I think that there’s probably some, some weirdness there with it, whereas some of the other electric vehicles may not have that, but really on. And I told them like when I went and was talking to the people about the dog that I thought it was all hype, I really thought that the whole Tesla thing was hyped up.

I thought, you know, it’s a boring sedan, whatever it’s electric, we’ve had hybrids, whatever. Then Sean brings home the Tesla. And the first time I did it really is the funniest car I’ve ever driven. And now I would really like to drive a gas-powered car. That’s very, very fast just to see what the differences on that.

And it’s weird because Tesla doesn’t market right now. So it’s kind of like this organic thing. That’s happened. And so it’s kind of interesting to see who all these people are, but I think because there’s so many preconceived notions about Tesla and about electric vehicles and about Elon Musk, that I think it’s important for people like us to kind of break down some of those doors and like introduce these new things to other people. Cause we’re pretty, open-minded, we’re not going to pass judgment on something just because of, you know, the owner of the company or what somebody had said, or, you know what I mean? 

[00:09:53] Sean: It happens across all of these manufacturing brands. American cars or garbage Japanese cars are the best, you know, Toyota Camry. It’s all about them that lasts forever Ford versus GM, you know Dodge, the Ram trucks, and like the stepchild. 

[00:10:09] Torie: Oh, like based on the commercials that people have seen or have they done what we’ve done. And because my whole entire car thing changed from going to the new car show, we’ve gone to several of them. And it is totally different to see a car or maybe like, you know, somebody, you know, has one and you wrote in one once you like, and you kind of, or you just heard what they’ve said about it when you actually can go and climb in all these cars. I have my own little, like, I kind of group everybody now together based on my experience.

Just shutting the damn doors, all these cars that are so nice and like our $80,000 cars, and then you shut the door and it is cheap materials drives me fucking crazy. Like how are you going to charge people that much money for what, like an escalate or those are like the ones that I’m thinking of? Mostly that like, it is still like a cheaply built car it’s not built well.

[00:11:01] Sean: On that’s part of the problem on some of those is they are the exact same. Rebranded to a more expensive car. And so, although there are more features or different leathers on, I mean, in the end, it’s the same damn car. 

[00:11:14] Torie: All those people you were talking about that we’re talking about, like GM versus forward, do you think that’s how they were raised or because it’s marketing or what do you think?

[00:11:22] Sean: I think a lot of it is, is probably how they were raised and you know, maybe their first truck was a Ford, you know? And so they go down that road. Ford forever you know, and then you got the exact opposite where they’re Chevy guys and that’s all they want. You know, I got I think both my brothers would choose Chevy over Ford or Dodge or anything like that.

Even though I think one of my brothers if he’s he’s Toyota guy. 

[00:11:49] Torie: Did he have a Mazda that’s a Mazda, which one?

[00:11:53] Sean: He had the Mazda, but Paul had Toyota’s Toyota trucks in high school. Toyota truck is the most recent truck you had. 

[00:11:59] Torie: Cause I was thinking of Mike, he had a Honda Civic and then a Mazda speech three.

So he’s more of like a Japanese cars, right? Oh, his was just a three. Okay. But see that that’s still. I stayed in the same realm of what he did before. I think people get stuck on that. Like if you don’t know, we’ve gone through some cars, like we’ve gone through American cars, we’ve gone through Japanese cars

[00:12:23] Sean: they’re all different. They really are. I want to experience. 

[00:12:27] Torie: I do too. Because they are very different and the marketing that they do, doesn’t always reflect what the car actually is. For example, the escalate, like you would think with the marketing that they do. And the kind of people that, you know, you think drive them, that it would be something high end or fancy or whatever.

I thought they were kind of crappy, like on the outside, they look nice, but then you get up close and it’s not really done really well. I haven’t been in one in, it’s been a couple of years since we’ve been to a new car show in 

[00:12:54] Sean: 1959 door shuts nice.

[00:12:57] Torie: Yes yes. And you’re also gonna have a leaky water come in when it rains and the windshield wipers are going to go. You know, it’s a give and take.

[00:13:11] Sean: Video. It’s just shutting the door and it just. I mean, that’s what you want. And an old, big, heavy door, just nice and solid. 

[00:13:19] Torie: Yeah. It doesn’t new ones are quite quite light doors. 

[00:13:23] Sean: No. Well, some of that I think goes into the, you know, different materials that they’re using, trying to make the vehicles lighter as they inevitably get heavier. And that all goes into fuel economy and all that kind of stuff. So you never know where and why they cut corners, where they do, but ultimately it’s going to come down to how. You know, efficiently, can they produce these things both to manufacture it and to operate it. 

[00:13:49] Torie: I think that some of the stuff that’s going on, I think mostly in California, but the thing you were telling me today with the 8 cents per mile, was that a, that’s a federal thing that they’re trying to push. So things that they’re trying to make us pay per mile, or, you know, forcing everybody to go electric. I think doing that kind of mandates unfortunately, is going to make a lot of people push against Teslas and other electric vehicles. And that’s kind of a bummer. 

[00:14:15] Sean: Well, I already, I, you know, when we bought, we bought our Tesla, you know, how it went and registered it. And I didn’t know, and they hit us with some electric vehicle fee and the registration. I was a couple of hundred dollars or, you know, where I’m expecting our registration should be less than 50 bucks. And it was almost 300. I was like, what the hell is this all about? And ultimately what it was was that if you’re at a gas pump, you’re getting taxed on that field anyways. Right. So it’s, you’re, you’re collecting that. So in an electric car, you’re not getting that. So it’s the government’s way still collecting that money from you. So we’re actually better off, it’s just, it’s a LA. 

[00:14:53] Torie: So usually people like us not looking into it and be like those red states, you know, punishing people for having electric vehicles.

And just assuming that it’s like a punishment type of thing, rather than looking into like, what’s really going on here. Because I don’t think there’s any punishment or anything like that for having an electric vehicle, but it was interesting that like, yeah, people need to pay for the roads and if you’re not going to pay for it with gas tax, they’re going to get it a different way.

[00:15:16] Sean: We were just in Tennessee last week and their roads are awful in Tennessee, everywhere. We drove full of potholes. From what we could tell Tennessee’s taxes were high. 

[00:15:27] Torie: They were, the sales tax is really high. It was like 10%.

[00:15:30] Sean: In Georgia where we are as the taxes. Pretty normal. Yeah. I mean consistent with majority of the country. Right. But our roads for the most part are nice are pretty good. 

[00:15:42] Torie: I hear good things about Georgia roads just in general. 

[00:15:44] Sean: So, I mean, if I’ve got to pay a tax to have, you know, that they’re telling me it’s for the roads, I better see some good roads. And so if I got to pay that $200 instead of, you know, couple cents more, every time I get gas, you know, I see that’s my contribution to being able to drive on smooth roads.

Now, if I paid that large lump sum of money every year for our registration, and then we go out and we drive and I’m bending rim because of the potholes, I’m going to be pissed, but we’re, we got it. Yeah. And a lot of, that’s just the educational part. Cause when I first saw it, I was like, what the hell is this?

I damn red state. All right. 

[00:16:24] Torie: Well, and that’s the whole that right there, like wraps up everything. Like people are so quick to assume and make like these super big judgements and never go any further than that. Where, you know, sometimes you just got to look into it a little bit so I’m glad that you did.

We’re kind of that kind of person anyway, that we’d look it up rather than just 

[00:16:39] Sean: I look up everything. You know, I got that. It looked like a legit bill for me running in the in a lane on the highway that I not supposed to be hours from where we lived at the time. Yeah. And I’m like, yeah. So obviously neither one of us took the car down there and did that. So I’ll right off the bat. I know it’s garbage. But instead of just paying it or completely freaking the hell out, you know, oh, you know, somebody took the car or something’s messed up. I just a little bit a research, Google check the number that was on it. Cause I mean, this distinct looked legit. 

[00:17:15] Torie: And so it wasn’t a speeding ticket.

It was like riding in the peach pass lane. 

[00:17:18] Sean: Yeah. So, I mean, and that’s the thing. If anybody ever kind of slips in there or commutes, or has teenagers that’s in that area, you’d be like.

[00:17:26] Torie: Yeah, because of where we lived and because, you know, we work from our laptop or Sean’s at the museum, like we’re not in the Atlanta area, so we definitely knew it wasn’t us, but anybody that would have, you know, driven people would just have assumed.

[00:17:39] Sean: A quick search to check. You know, to see if this thing’s legit quickly. It didn’t exist. I mean, there’s a whole state website that if you got a real one of these and mesh up, like, it’ll tell you right there from a government.gov website. Yeah. You’re you need to pay that fine. And this didn’t pull anything up. So obviously it wasn’t real.

Not only did I not, I know it wasn’t real, but I, I verified off of the information. 

[00:18:06] Torie: And another one though, they sent you at multiple times to like, you’re going to be late. And again, 

[00:18:12] Sean: Oh, yeah. I think it’s little things like that. We get it for domain website domains or they’ll send us something, Hey, you know, you need to, re-register this website. It’s a place we’ve never registered it before, but if you didn’t know, you’d be like, oh, I better register. That’s definitely my website, you know? One of calling them and being upset. And, you know, it’s just a waste of time. 

[00:18:35] Torie: When people have this fear and especially fear of the unknown in that, like a lot of business owners don’t know what’s really going on with their domain or where they have it. Somebody did it for them. So that fear that my website is going to be taken away or you’re going to take away my license, or you’re going to give me a fee if I don’t just pay it. But it’s easy to just get wrapped up in that and try to try to just make it go away.

[00:18:59] Sean: Breathe and do a little research on whatever it is just, I know this is what’s in front of you, what you’re looking at, but take the time to step back and look at it from a different day. And compare notes and then make a judgment call from there. At least then you know, more about whatever it is and chances are it’s nowhere near as bad as what you’re thinking it is for sure.

[00:19:22] Torie: Just, just like the gas thing with the taxes, just kind of look into it. So when you first started the museum, like you, we didn’t have a Tesla then. So you had no idea that you would be doing this whole, like bringing Tesla into the museum. 

[00:19:38] Sean: Three years ago. I think I got them installed. We started the museum in 2017 and I had three Tesla chargers and two universal chargers installed in the museum. I believe that by the end of 2018, maybe the first of 2019, and I never got to use them. And that’s where we first had all the Tesla. And then they came and all the owners came and that was pretty cool. But you know, I always wanted one, but they’re expensive. Yeah. Yeah. So it took a while for the used ones to come down to a price point that we were willing to pay for. 

[00:20:10] Torie: Again, though, like driving ours, like it’s a nice car and everything, but I don’t know if I would pay those new car prices. Just for that. Like, it seems a little bit much, but again, there, because some people just really want that new technology, I’ll be the first ones to have it and stuff like that. I could see that it’s smart to have it high because there are just some people that are, it’s one of those, like apple, like people are like crazy about it.

Like, no, they don’t care what it costs. Like they are going to go out and have the newest and the best. So I guess in a way I could see that they do that, but yeah, they’re, they’re a little split. 

[00:20:41] Sean: Yeah. The thing with Tesla is, you know, Ilan invested into the infrastructure of the charging network and everything. Plus the batteries last longer, longer range. They’re fast and fun. And before Tesla. Short range, slow cars, funky looking and no infrastructure anywhere whatsoever. So, I mean, it’s obviously there’s no opportunity for them to take off. 

[00:21:07] Torie: Sort of funky looking and, you know, like Sean said, we were from California originally and. Buddy, like when we would drive down to like the bay area, like the San Francisco area, like every other car would be ugly ass.

[00:21:19] Sean: But why did they make him so funky looking good looking car, even could’ve made it a a neat sporty looking car at least. And, and, you know, had it still be the Prius drive train. 

[00:21:30] Torie: But where the Prius’s cheap or were they a little spending. I guess it’s it’s just a Toyota. 

[00:21:37] Sean: There’s not too much so far, but they’re not, they’re not a luxury car by any means. 

[00:21:43] Torie: Yeah, it’s just interesting that, that he did make them so much better looking, except for those new ones that look are all bubbly with the ugly headlights, man. I hate those, like the model threes.

Is it the new model three or is it the why? It’s a three. Those are ugly. It’s like every time I see one stupid front end, don’t look in lights. It looks like a cartoon character or something. I don’t know. And I’m not a fan of. 

[00:22:07] Sean: And that’s what most of them are nowadays because they’re half the price of the model list.

[00:22:11] Torie: Well, dumb looking cars, but it’s still a better looking car than the Prius or the leaf. The leaf is a little bubbly looking thing too. 

[00:22:20] Sean: Well in the performance model of the three is almost as fast as our car. And that’s quick. That is. 

[00:22:29] Torie: The leaf isn’t like that though. Right? I have a friend that I work out with it, how to leave. And I think she said the range on it was only like 60 miles. So it might’ve even been that it was so tiny. Like that’s a little bucket car, but she was just going around town. So it definitely works. 

[00:22:48] Sean: No, and that’s just, it, it, you know, it all depends on what you’re actually using that thing for. So you know, where somebody else might be like, that’s the most ridiculous thing ever, but for you. Exactly what you need. You know, for me, it started as a means of driving an hour away to get to the museum without having to stop her desk every two trips.

[00:23:10] Torie: And have it be that across the road at the school to cross several lanes of traffic, just to get the kid to school. 

[00:23:19] Sean: But it turned into the car that we drive the most now. 

[00:23:22] Torie: Which is crazy because I really did not think I was going to drive it. I’m like, I’m not driving a sedan. I don’t feel safe in one, I’d rather drive in the crossover.

[00:23:28] Sean: And that just goes to show, being open to change. It’ll work in your favor. Like changes is inevitable. And a lot of times it’s for the better, even if it doesn’t seem like it initially.

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