The stigma surrounding mental health exists because many believe that if pain can’t be seen, then it isn’t real. But although self-injury is no more real than anxiety, depression or suicide, it is there as tangible evidence of what someone is going through. A lot of people stereotype people who self-injure, claiming that it’s ‘emo’ or ‘attention-seeking’. In fact, many people who self-injure do so for different reasons, including as a way of coping with difficult emotions or situations, and many go to great lengths to keep it all private. I’m sure we can all relate if I give an analogy using cars: We buy cars, work on them, modify them and drive them all for different reasons. Maybe you just want to escape the daily grind of reality. Or maybe it’s your coping mechanism for what you’re feeling. Whatever it may be, know that there are people who self-injure and that the responsibility is on all of us to make sure that they know we care and know that they should seek the help that they deserve.

We created #THEORANGEEFFECT to fight the stigma associated with self-harm, in line with Self-Injury Awareness Day on March 1, and this year we once again culminated at Sydney Dragway for #THEORANGEEFFECT EOMM.

Orange being the colour symbolising self-injury awareness, we sought to bring together the automotive community to show to those who are experiencing or have experienced self-injury that they are not alone. We want to reinforce the message that people matter, and that there are people who are willing to listen.

The late-February day was hot, as Sydney reached the end of a heatwave that had lasted the good part of a week. But like every EOMM, automotive enthusiasts and their friends arrived by the car load for what would be another awesome evening car meet.

I walked over to the entrance of the event to watch the steady stream of cars entering the venue and was surprised to see a few who had beaten me to it, perching themselves in the shade on the grassy hillside.

It definitely looked like the prime spot to be in for the evening!

It was also great to see the number of people wearing orange.

And don’t forget the amount of orange cars that had made it out to Sydney Dragway just for #THEORANGEEFFECT EOMM.

From old school to new school and everything in between, there was an orange car for every taste.

We even had an orange sprint car rocking it in orange beside our tent! Some might remember the Formula SAE cars from last year’s #THEORANGEEFFECT EOMM, but even though we were all eager to hear it, a direct drive transmission meant there was no starting this 1000HP beast.

Good on this group for coming together and embracing all kinds of orange!

I saw this Holden Gemini rolling through on the corner of my eye.

The striking orange paint grabbed my attention, but it was the fine details that drew me even closer.

It was a great example of how to perfectly mix Australian and Japanese flavours, including a clean set of Work Equip wheels under its arches.

And with an appropriate number plate to match!

But if you didn’t have an orange car to bring, not to worry! There were heaps of other creative ways to get involved and support #THEORANGEEFFECT.

Ribbons were a popular choice, with many opting to adorn their bonnets…

…and some even tying it to the backs of their cars.

Others got a little more creative with balloons…

…or even more creative with other additions!

Our good friend Shak brought out his S2000, which you may remember from ClubITR’s Annual BBQ.

But this month he added a bit of orange to his wheels. Super cool, Shak!

With that said, it was difficult to walk around #THEORANGEEFFECT EOMM and not spot a Cars For Hope sticker on someone’s car. It’s our medium for sparking change in mental health, and it’s only with all of your great support that we can continue to do what we do.

The Tekno Performance Safety Car even made an appearance, fresh off duty from Sydney Motorsport Park.

As usual, the Honda Civics were aplenty at EOMM from this race-inspired EK Civic…

…to its street style equivalent. Which one would you choose?

Cars in Sydney don’t usually come more diminutive than Honda Civics, but this Suzuki Cappuccino had me questioning that notion.

And then there were the scale miniatures at a nearby trade stand.

Since the Toyota 86 has come onto the scene in 2012, we’ve seen a lot of great renditions of the car from Rocket Bunny, TRD and beyond. But in my mind nothing is better than keeping it super simple with a subtle body kit and perfect wheel fitment.

This example has done just that with a set of Work XSA 04Cs that get the fitment just right.

And taking it right back to the 86’s spiritual predecessor was this classic pair of AE86 Levins.

This zenki coupe really takes the cake for me. The factory panda paint scheme, Longchamp XR4 wheels and kouki front bar with a front lip is a tried and tested formula that just works every single time.

Not to mention the Takata tow strap finishing it off in the rear.

EOMM never fails to bring such a diverse range of cars from all over Sydney and Australia. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an N14 SSS Pulsar modified to thoroughly. It took me way back to the days of the Autosalon show, if anyone else remembers?

I think this photo really sums up what EOMM is all about – cars of all different guises coming together to enjoy the Sydney car scene.

Datsun 260Zs are rare to see these days, so it was cool to see two in attendance at #THEORANGEEFFECT EOMM.

The red one had a sneaky V8 lurking in the engine bay, too!

BMW E30s are quickly becoming a classic, and their growing popularity in the Australian car scene is a prime indication of the increasing influence of the European car culture.

Whether it’s meaty wheel fitment or slammed to the ground it was at EOMM!

But that isn’t to say that Japanese car culture is waning. This S13 Silvia could be pulled straight of the pages of Drift Tengoku magazine, with its mismatched SSR Formula Mesh and Hayashi Street wheels and even an N/A SR20 under the bonnet.

Just as this S15 Silvia would be right at home on the streets of Japan.

Moving on to its AWD brother, R32 Skylines were also well represented. Black everything is a stealthy look which perfectly embodies Godzilla…

…as is this classic combination of silver on gold BBS LM wheels.

Rounding out the AWD brethren was this super clean track-inspired Mitsubishi Evo.

A braced front lip, Work CR Kai wheels and huge carbon fibre rear wing – you can do no wrong!

So that’s it for #THEORANGEEFFECT EOMM! We saw a huge blender of different cars, styles and trends, and met a diverse range of people from different places, of different backgrounds and all with their own different stories, much like their cars.

We want to thank each and every one of you for showing your support for #THEORANGEEFFECT and Self-Injury Awareness Day. Whether you or your car wore orange, we were all there for the same reason – to eliminate the stigma surrounding self-injury and to share the stories of ourselves and our cars. And we couldn’t have done it without you.

Matthew is the Company Secretary at Cars For Hope, taking care of things behind the scenes as well as writing, editing or photographing much of what appears on the website. He's an aspiring Mechanical Engineer, and is an avid photographer, cyclist and motorsports-watcher in his spare time. Check out Matthew's thoughts and adventures on his website.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply