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Apr 12

Before I dive into what is the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me… let me preface some history.

Back in October of 2010, two friends of ours, Axel and Martin, came stateside from Germany for a visit. During that week, there happened to be a drift event up in Nashville. My car at the time, had a shattered ring-and-pinion, but I wanted them to drive while they were here. I had a rebuild kit from KAAZ overnighted, and got a new pumpkin from Stricktly German. Matt Foerst got the KAAZ rebuilt, and back into the new carrier. Axel got the diff back into my car while I was busy finishing freelance work. A very VERY important facet to this story is that… at the time… I was knee-deep in the worst financial turmoil of my life. I had been struggling to stay afloat as a freelance designer, while still falling deeper-and-deeper into debt from drifting. But with the car freshly patched up, we made a last-minute dash to Nashville. To shorten the story up, my first run of the morning, the car’s rear-end was already making a clunking noise. Something broke. There I was, maxing out my last credit card so we could drive at this event… and the car broke on the first run. I drove back to the pit, and told the guys “Fuck it. We came here to drive and that’s what we’re going to do… if it blows up, it blows up. Let’s have fun today no matter what”. And we did. All day. The noise got worse with each pass, and by the day’s end… the car was indeed… very broken.

When we got back to Atlanta, I decided to park the BMW in the garage, and take a break. I needed to get my finances out of the gutter, and that obviously was not happening with it in the picture. The thing is… I never intended that break to extend into the hiatus that it did.Fast forward to present-day, 2012. I am working an awesome full-time job, finances are doing much better, and in the meantime, the starter died on the car, so I took it up to Koru, where I planned to work on it at least one night a week.

The only problem is, that with work… I could barely find the time to actually work on fixing the car. Good intentions only go so far, especially when it comes to turning wrenches (read: they don’t turn themselves). Now. Let me introduce you to my dear friend, Kyle Boyce.

I’ve known Kyle since 1992, when we were best friends in middle school. Like many childhood friendships… Kyle and I lost touch for many years after I moved away, but we reconnected through the universal language of the automobile… and… when in 2008 Kyle reached out to me after opening his own restaurant: Manhattan NY Pizza. Kyle told me that he wanted his pizza place to be a hangout for car guys/gals. Where any gearhead could walk in and feel at home. I was immediately on-board with this, and did my best to tell all of my friends and miscellaneous gearheads alike. And it worked. Manhattan Pizza is now a staple for speed-crazy, wrench-turning maniacs from all over Atlanta. All of my friends religiously converge there once-a-week like the gigantic family that they are.

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THIS IS WHERE THE HISTORY LESSON ENDS AND THE REAL STORY BEGINS
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Kyle calls me up, and says “WE NEED TO HAVE DINNER. Just you and me, pick a date, and lets stick to it”. He said “I know you’re busy, and I’m busy, but let’s do this PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE”. I’ve known Kyle long enough to know that when he says please more than once… that it is important. So we picked a day, and stuck to it. I arrived to the restaurant early, and found a table reserved for the two of us. Yes, that is combined weight. ;P

He brings out my usual, and we sit down and eat. Catching up on what’s been new in each other’s worlds. A few of my friends show up, for the normally scheduled “family” get-together. The whole time, Kyle is texting a lot… which I remember thinking – Kyle doesn’t usually text this much… but whatever. Then, he excuses himself, and goes into the kitchen.Then… one-by-one… in a single-file line… ALL of my friends come out from the kitchen. All wearing the same black t-shirt that had the funny beard-skull illustration that Patrick/Tyler made of me on it… reading SAVE THE SAPP. Nobody said anything to me, most barely even looked at me… and everyone sat down. I’m definitely thinking “WHAT. IS. GOING. ON. HERE?”

Kyle then gives a short speech, which can be Cliff’d along the lines of “We know your car has been broken, and you still come out to all the events and shoot video… which we love… but we love you, and we miss driving with you. So we’re having a drift intervention. We stole your car, had a fundraiser, and fixed it behind your back without you knowing.” At this point I hear my lovely 2001 BMW 325Ci’s unmistakeable exhaust note revving up outside as it pulls up to the restaurant.

Cliff’d Cliffs: STOLE CAR, RAISED MONEY, FIXED CAR BEHIND MY BACK, THESE PEOPLE ARE THE MOST AMAZING. EVER.

I have always said that I am forever in debt to drifting for introducing me to the most amazing people I will ever meet in my lifetime… AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN. I couldn’t even say anything. I just wanted to cry. That’s right. Heavy metal crazyman… on the verge of tears. I got up and demanded a hug from everyone in the entire restaurant… holding back tears the entire time.

I basically didn’t know what to say the rest of the night. This is by far the nicest thing anyone or any group of anyone has ever done for me. Once oustide, and reunited with my Chariot of Fire… well… I guess you could say you had to see this coming. And if you didn’t, then you don’t know me and my propensity for violence on the streets.

The black ribbon atop my car, with message so near-and-dear to my heart… embodied a million-times-over by the kindness and heart behind this special evening.

The fundraiser t-shirt that paid for the parts to fix the car. The extra money raised went to buying me a season pass to attend the S2 Drift Events down at Turner. I can’t even scream at the top of my lungs how amazing this is! There is above and beyond… and then there is what all of these incredible people have done for me.

Kyle made pizza for everyone, and these were literally icing on the cake, care of my amazing Mother.

Group photo from the evening. There were several people that helped make this happen that aren’t pictured here… but everyone in this photo, and everyone involved are easily the most amazing people I have ever met. I am without a doubt, the luckiest guy on the planet. I don’t know what I did in a past life… or even the current one to deserve it… but I am very, VERY thankful to have these people in my life. SERIOUSLY. AMAZING.

I cannot thank all of my families enough (in NO particular order), DriftMechaniks, Team Rowdy, Boyce Family, Sapp Family, and the DRIFTING family as a whole. Words cannot even begin to do any of this justice… but I had to at least try.I will wrap this up with a photo of myself and Kyle. Except this one isn’t us elbow-to-elbow in the early 90′s as kids. This is of the two things that brought us back together as friends, in front of the restaurant that we both tried our damnedest to make a place for gearheads from all over to feel at home… for good food, great atmosphere, and even better memories.

Thank you, Kyle
<3

42 comments

  • Pingback: Save the Sapp. – DriftMechaniks

  • Duffman61089

    simply epic guys!!!!!!!!! happy to hear youre back in the car andy!!!

  • Anthony Fallon

    Very nice read. You know your in good hands with friends like these.

  • Kwsmas

    I still remember one Sunday evening, long ago, when you pulled up the kitchen bar stool and said, “Mom, I have registered for the Formula D season.”  I had no idea what you had committed to at the time.  Dragging that car from one coast to the other–through hurricanes, deserts, mountains, gas shortages, police stops.  You always said it wasn’t about “going big or going home–it was about going at all”  Your took all of us along with you on this journey.  It has always been a grassroots effort. What a thrill it was to see the community “Save the Sapp” and get you back on track.  I have always known how much you love these wonderful people, but now you know how much they love you, too! 

  • Ayala

    Andy! This I fucking amazing! So happy for you man! Can’t wait to see you drive again!

  • http://twitter.com/_7PM _7PM

    AWESOME

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikespeed95 Michael Peters

    Slow clap.

    Next time I’m in ATL, I’m gonna buy you pizza before we got street drifting :)

  • Stefano

    wow man, what a bunch of bro’s. glad to hear your bimmer is back and healthy. im looking forward to seeing you tear it up this year

  • byron h.

    awesome wrap up andy.  so glad to see you back in the drivers seat.

  • Jeffsapp

    Great story, Andy!  Great friends, Andy!

  • Gerald

    I’m getting goosebumps reading this story.

    so awesome!

  • Anonymous

    wow, what a story ! Awesome

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/JC-Robinson/1014840804 JC Robinson

    fuck ya Drifting , good to see you back to driving Sapp

  • http://twitter.com/LaceofBase Lacy Mahone Judd

    AAaaaaaawwwwWWWWW. This is an awesome story.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Covington/1672565174 Scott Covington

    THIS STORY IS AWESOME.  Hell yea, this stuff keeps hopes and dreams alive!

  • Greg

    terrific wrap-up, I almost teared up again. <3

  • Jameson

    Love ya bro!

    From the little Boyce, glad we could give you this!

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

    I never really knew how much that decision would come to impact my life, and so many lives of those around me.  I see it now… and it is really incredible.  It would prove to be a journey I could never have made alone… and one I am happy I could bring you all along for!

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

     Love you too, buddy!  I need to catch up with you one of these days!  I hear you have grown up to pretty much be THE MAN!!!  So awesome!  I am super happy for you!

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

     Thanks Greg… I cried every time I proof read this… which was upwards of 20 times hahaha.
    <3

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

     It really is incredible!  I can’t even do it justice with words.  Truly amazing!

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

    It really is!  Such an incredible community!
    :D

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

     Thanks, killer!  GOOD TO BE BACK!!!
    m/

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

     Totally amazing!!  Hope you’re doing well, buddy!

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

    Me too!  It is just too incredible!

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

     The BEST friends (and family… which includes YOU!)!!!

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

     Thanks Byron… and it is great to be back in the driver seat!  We need to get some tandem in on Saturday!

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

     Incredible bunch of brothers (and sisters)!  Thanks dude!

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

    Not if I don’t buy YOU pizza before we go street drifting!
    Historic reenactment across the 17th St. bridge?!

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

     m/

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

     Thanks Joe!  Totally fucking amazing.  I will see you SOOOOON!

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

     Without a doubt!  Best friends ever!  I would take a bullet for any of them.

  • http://www.andysapp.com/ Andy Sapp

     Massively epic!  Thanks dude… glad to be back!

  • Bradystrib

    Yeah, I just read this while pandora was playing the theme song from Rudy. Talk about a tear fest.  Wow. Anyways, Andy you are amazing buddy. Just wanted to say that.

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  • http://www.sizemoredesign.com/ randy sizemore

    That’s an awesome story Andy.  Good friends are with you thick and thin and you obviously have good ones.  

  • Axel

    Was near the tears reading that, also didnt know you wrote something about our trip at all :-O Bros 4ever ;-)

    Btw i remember a retarded tv.show called overhaulin and i think you got overhault haha

  • Jlamar

    When you follow your heart and have passion for your purpose all things are are possible…with of course the help of a few friends.

    Acts of random kindness enrich and inspire all of us. These are the markers by which we measure the journey.

    What a great story
    Thanks for sharing

  • Pingback: Liberate: Save Drifting in Atlanta « Elegance of a Hedgehog

  • http://twitter.com/silonius Seth Stepleton

    Unreal story Andy! This is why I love all you guys and gals so much. You’re ALWAYS there for each other! I miss you, all the Driftmechaniks and the Dirty South.

    It’s nice your friends are keeping you slideways!

  • MamaKado

    LOVE the story Andy, I was actually tearing up at the end. You have a great group of family and friends. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikespeed95 Michael Peters

    Only if we have cooler cars.

    By cooler cars I mean you’re in the same one, and mine is a Camaro

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