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CSULB alumni analyzes millennial car culture in new book

Long Beach State’s list of alumni authors has recently grown by one: former journalism major Ryan ZumMallen’s book, “Slow Car Fast: The Millennial Mantra Changing Car Culture For Good,” gets deep into cars. 

CSULB class of 2008 graduate and career automotive journalist, ZumMallen set out to answer questions many outsiders have been wondering for years: are young people still into their cars and have enthusiast’s tastes changed in this new age?

ZumMallen went into great detail throughout the book and fully submerged himself into many aspects of today’s dominant, and underground automotive culture. The book features first-hand experiences, well informed and heavily cited explanations to provide a wholesome look into how enthusiasts enjoy cars. 

While the writing of his first book took about 15 months, and ZumMallen said that “Slow Car Fast” was a labor of love two years in the making.

“Start to finish a little under two years including forming the business and learning to publish,” ZumMallen said. The business he referred to is his own media and publishing company, Carrara Media, that he started himself to get the book on the shelves.

“I found the publishing process to be easier to learn than I expected,” ZumMallen said.

While he noted that it made for a lot of extra work, ZumMallen said that he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

“If the goal is to maintain control over your work and its rights or in my case, to rest independence away from traditional gatekeepers then I absolutely recommend self-publishing,” he said. “It’s going to take more work, but there are a lot of advantages.”

ZumMallen said he loved every second of the process. 

“I thought I would get bored or tired, but I never did. I believed in it,” ZumMallen said. “I picked a topic I truly cared about… I thought about what I would want to read and went after that first and foremost. The vision was pure and exciting enough that the work never got stale.”

During his research, ZumMallen set out to find experts in modern car enthusiast culture. 

One such expert was Matt Farah of, “The Smoking Tire” on YouTube and co-host of NBC Sports Network’s, “The DRIVE.” Farah has been involved in almost every event covered in the book, he both participates in and has an active role in shaping automotive culture. 

According to Farah, “Slow Car Fast” readers don’t need to be as into the subject matter as he is to understand the book’s message.

“I don’t think they need to be a massive gearhead to get it,” Farah said. “It combats the theory that young people don’t like to drive.”

As it turns out, the number one goal for ZumMallen was to create a car book for people who do not care about cars.

“This is a culture book, cars are simply the background characters,” ZumMallen said. “I knew it would attract car people. I want to connect with the person who hasn’t yet met their inner enthusiast.”

Copies of “Slow Car Fast” are available in various digital formats, for $14.99 and a limited number of paperback copies are available for $19.99 at their website.

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