As the weather gets warmer, cars of all makes and models can be found on the outskirts of campus, occupying large parking lots with good conversations, laughs and car enthusiasts from all around.
Rags 2 Wrenches is a group of car enthusiasts who meets once every three to four weeks to show off their cars, get help with any car problems and catch up with friends across state lines. Since its inception in 2018, it has grown into a car show that people all over Ohio as well as Pennsylvania and West Virginia travel to be a part of.
Over 150 people from all over are interested in the Rags 2 Wrenches meet-ups, bringing in cars of various types.
“We have anywhere from your European cars to foreign to JDM, muscle cars, anything and everything,” Sam Lewis, who has a 1999 Mustang Cobra, a 1990 Nissan 240SX, a 2011 Silverado 1500 and a 1999 Chevrolet C/K 3500, said. “We have trucks, Jeeps and SUVs, too. Anything you have is welcome.”
To Jacob Riggs, a fifth-year senior studying mechanical engineering, there’s no car that’s not cool enough to attend.
“It's not one of those things where you have to have a certain car or certain mods or anything like that,” Riggs, who has a 1988 Ford F-250, a 1963 Ford Fairlane and a 2003 Ford Taurus, said. “It's solely just to come out, hang out with friends, have some laughs, meet new people and build community that can later on rely on one other if someone has a problem or something.”
The events typically last several hours, depending on how long people want to hang around and cruise, but Riggs and other members of the group make sure they’re polite and respectful if the events go into the quiet hours of the night.
“Most of the time we usually shut down the meets at OU around 11 o’clock ... so it doesn't get too rowdy,” Riggs said. “People are starting to go to bed on Friday, Saturday nights around that time, so we don't want to disturb anybody by any means.”
Aside from being an inclusive car group, Riggs and other members pride themselves on the respectable atmosphere Rags 2 Wrenches events create, something they believe sets their group apart from the stigma around other loud and obnoxious car groups.
“We don't want a bad reflection on us because we don't want Athens as a city or OU or anywhere else to look at our groups and be like, ‘Well, they're dirty, they're noisy, this and that,’ and then shut our meets when we're just sitting around in a parking lot having fun,” Riggs said. “So we'd like to try and keep the noise down, keep the litter down of course and pick up anything we can to help give back to the community that allowed us to be there and have our meets.”
To Josh Six, the founder of Rags 2 Wrenches, the group is more than just a casual meet and greet for some, but a hobby to which they are completely dedicated.
“For most of these people, that's what they do: they eat, sleep and breathe cars,” Six, who has a 1978 Camaro, a 1994 Toyota pickup truck and a 2012 Nissan Sentra, said. “Everybody has a hobby. It’s what they love to do. It’s what I love to do.”