Dedicated to cars, community and caring for the campus, the Automotive Club became an official John Brown University sponsored club in the spring of 2011.
The club was started by three guys who had a passion for cars, and a desire to share that passion with other students on campus.
The Automotive Club “is designed to be a community with which individuals can attend automotive related events, further their automotive knowledge, receive automotive assistance, fellowship with other Christians and be an outreach to the community of Siloam Springs to further the Kingdom of God,” according to the University’s website.
Caleb Yam, one of the club’s founders, pushed hard for the creation of the club. Yam has had a huge interest in cars and a passion for learning and teaching about them for years. He knew that the club was something that would be helpful for the University community.
The club seeks to reach three different types of people: people who know a lot and are looking to share their knowledge with others; those who have an interest in cars, who know only a little but want to learn more; and people who do not care about cars beyond making sure their car gets them to Walmart and back safely.
“Beyond that, we are looking to participate in car shows, club BBQ’s, go-carting, and tutorial days,” Yam said.
For Yam, interest in cars goes beyond the automotive club, starting when he was very young.
“Anything that had wheels and an engine interested me,” Yam said. “However, I didn’t start learning about them until junior year of high school. Everything I know about cars has been self-taught, so that gives you an idea of how motivated I was.”
Yam sees the Automotive Club as a way to maintain his interest, learn more about cars, and share his knowledge about cars with others.
“I’ve learned more about cars in the last month while trying to help people with their cars when they call me than I ever had before from any manuals or books.”
Although he is specifically interested in Japanese import cars, Yam says that since he has come to JBU his interest and knowledge has expanded to many makes and models.
Yam also said that motorcycles are allowed to join the club, but he does not know very much about them.
The Automotive Club is aiming to be a source of help for everyone on campus.
“Though we cannot fix every car that breaks and many times we do not have the skills required to do a repair, we can at least walk people through the process of getting it fixed and point them in the right direction as far as good mechanics go and diagnosing problems,” Yam said. “Other goals include eventually hosting or sponsoring events in the community of Siloam Springs and advancing the Kingdom of God through our love of automobiles.”
Yam sees the Automotive Club as a huge asset to the campus of John Brown University for car enthusiasts like himself, and the general community as a whole.
“We aren’t just a few guys who want to get school funding to sit around and talk about expensive cars we’ll never be able to own,” Yam said. “We are a group of individuals who want to involve everyone to create a community, and we will do the best we can to do so.”