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oldtin New Reader
9/14/09 5:12 p.m.

I've got the car gene - must've skipped a generation. I remember being in the jag/buick dealer around 1970 - I'm all over a silver e-type - dad's hangin' in the buick section. Still a sucker for brit cars

jikelly Reader
9/14/09 5:14 p.m.

Had to be my dad, and uncles, and aunts Torino Talladega. Why'd they ever sell them????

Then there was the General Lee. That was an awesome car!!

When I was a kid I always thought the 71-73 mustangs were beautiful. I thought I'd never find one, but the universe felt like being nice and I picked up one back in 91. Had it ever since and spent who know how many hours and dollars keeping my dream car running.

wlkelley3 HalfDork
9/14/09 5:40 p.m.

No car in particular. Parents weren't car people. In fact dad did his best to discouraged it. I remember sitting in the yard at age 5 or 6 and naming year and make/model of cars as they went by. Then we moved to SoCal and I used to watch drag/street racing and NASCAR. Even helped friends build hot rods as a teen even though dad never let me have one of my own. Only a 6 cylinder 4 door Chevelle. In his trying to get me away from hot rods he actually triggered my passion for sports cars. He told me in his day the 6 cylinder Hudson Hornet was one of the fasted cars, even had a land speed record for production car. He also told me the most winning engine at Indy (at the time) was a 4 cylinder Offy. There being no internet at the time I went to the library and looked it up. He was right and I learned about road racing and sports cars. Never could afford to have one myself as I chose to have a family but now I'm making up for lost time with a Miata, Opel GT and an early Midget. I would have one or two more if I had the room but need to save up to build a second garage/workshop.

One thing dad did pass on to me was engines, he was also an aircraft mech (I am also an aircraft mech specializing in helicopters) and started as an aircraft engine mech. Myself and my 2 sister had to rebuild an engine and explain to him how it worked to get our drivers license. I did a 69 Datsun 510 Wagon 1600cc engine, my next younger sister did a 68 Yamaha 350 twin 2-stroke motorcycle engine and my youngest sister did the engine in my Opel GT. That should give away my age as the Datsun was about 5 years old when I rebuilt the engine at age 16.

My youngest daughter did partially pick up the trait, she doesn't really like working on them, might break a nail or get dirty. But does want to know how they work, likes to drive/race and has worked on a pit crew. She did a presentation on how a rotary engine works for her speech class in college. She autocrosses her RX8 whenever she can.

neon4891 SuperDork
9/14/09 5:48 p.m.

Genetics. One grandfather(paternal) wasn't much of a "car guy", but one hell of a driver. The other grandfather(maternal) was an absolute car nut. He gave me my earliest car memories, the fealing of my stomach in my mouth as he flew over the hills in his old fords. The one thing I have to remember him is his old motors manuals.

My father is an all around motor guy, Cars, bikes, he love them all.

Slyp_Dawg New Reader
9/14/09 5:53 p.m.

oddly enough, my baby stroller. according to my mom, when my grandma used to take me for a stroll in my stroller, she'd get me home and take me out of the stroller and I would climb under it like I was working on a car. as far as something with an actual engine, it would have to be my dad (RIP) probably, since he always seemed to have an idea about customizing whatever he had, even if he didn't actually do anything. I've always had the car gene I guess. my grandfather on my mom's side worked for a Ford dealership all his life, my uncle on my mom's side is into cars, my uncle on my dad's side has a mildly hot-rodded truck, dad used to autoX a Gremlin (6 cylinder and all) back when he was in the military, and I've been into remote control cars for a VERY long time and got more interested in the full size stuff as a result

Feedyurhed HalfDork
9/14/09 6:24 p.m.

I haven't read this whole thread but for me it was a 69 Chevelle SS with a 396. I was just young but my best friend's older brother's friend had just bought a new one. I can still remember the sound of that motor and the smell of burnt rubber as he went off into the distance on a hot summer evening. I was raised a Mopar guy but to me that year and model of Chevelle represents that absolute high point of American muscle. They got it just right. A true icon.

fastmiata New Reader
9/14/09 8:44 p.m.

I too was born with the car gene but two cars stand out in my development: 1963 Buick Wildcat that my mother drove and 1960ish Porsche 356 that my cousin drove back from his time in Vietnam. I still have the Porsche disease but I try to resist it with my various miata projects. The GTO is the only car that I have owned that would seem to rival that Wildcat(and the other big block Buicks that followed).

Moparman Reader
9/14/09 9:26 p.m.

My cousins' AFX slot car set got me hoocked on cars. They are about 10 years older than me and introduced my to wheeled pleasure. They moved into real high-performance Pontiacs to I guess it was my cousin Mike's 1965 LeMans and my cousin Vinny's (no joke) 1969 Firebird were my first "real" obsessions. My dad's 1965 Impala helped me along.

9/14/09 9:31 p.m.

What got me addicted to modding was my first car, a 1980 Honda Civic wagon. I LOVED that thing.

I was born with the disease though. At 2 years old I could tell you every car on the road by looking at its emblem (whether or not I could pronounce it right )

aeronca65t HalfDork
9/14/09 9:55 p.m.

My Dad loved MG TCs and TDs (although he's never owned one). That's probably how it started.

And I read "The Red Car" as a kid (Amazon has it if you're interested).

As a kid living in Toronto, I always recall seeing a turquoise MGA roadster parked in our neighbourhood. I thought that thing was The Bee's Knees.

So, when I was 16, I bought an MGA off a local car lot for $200. The thing was appalling......smoked, leaked, surged, farted; you name it I loved it.

I've had dozens of MGs since, including both the Spridget race car and the nice '69 MGB I have right now.

friedgreencorrado Dork
9/14/09 9:59 p.m.

In reply to aeronca65t:

Aeronca, I've been wondering about this for awhile...do you have a 65?

Throw it up on the Readers' Rides, dude! Lotza folks here who would groove to that..

aeronca65t HalfDork
9/14/09 10:26 p.m.


The 65T (or "Tandem Trainer") is what the Aeronca Champ is based on. Mine's a '41. It's a lot like flying a Cub.

~HERE~ it is.

EricM HalfDork
9/14/09 11:08 p.m.

My brother's 1986 9brand spanking new) fiero 2M4. No radio, 4 speed. Iron Duke.


Strizzo SuperDork
9/14/09 11:18 p.m.

uhh, lets see, powerwheels jeep, then slot cars, then radio control. we also had go-carts at my grandparents. somewhere in there, when i was about 8, the neighbor's kid was 16 and had a mustang GT. i remember thinking how cool it was that it was "loud" even though it was just the stock exhaust.

i agree that its the driving, not the car though. my first car was a hand-me-down 83 grand marquis, which i drove the wheels off of.

CLNSC3 New Reader
9/15/09 12:28 a.m.

This is a great thread!

I have loved cars since I can remember. The car that really got me hooked would probably be the first car I bought when I turned 16, a Subaru Legacy. Soon after buying it I did a few modifications and participated in a few rallyX events and an autoX. Ever since those experiences I have been hooked on cars and motorsports!

ncjay Reader
9/15/09 6:12 p.m.

The first car that got me hooked was a 1984 Chevy Cavalier bodied Nascar Modified. One look at that machine and my life changed forever.

ignorant SuperDork
9/15/09 6:15 p.m.

1971 jeep cj5...

I kept it up until 2005 then moved to SC and sold it...


ProjectVIN New Reader
9/15/09 7:53 p.m.

Sunday rides with my parents in dad's 79 Corvette. Me in the child seat strapped to the cargo hold points on the package tray under the glass.

These days I learn him suspension geometry and shifting techniques, and he learns me auto detailing.

pinchvalve SuperDork
9/15/09 10:06 p.m.

John Deer 3-wheel Golf Cart

Nova SS

1984 Corvette

1985 MR2

calteg New Reader
9/15/09 10:11 p.m.

Motorized hooliganizm at Grandfather's house after mom had dropped me off. Started with a motorized bicycle (age 5), then a dune buggy (age 10). Spent my 16th summer doing a 5.0 swap into an 82 notchback mustang at grandpa's house. He still has a baby blue Ford F100 that I've been envying...

NGTD HalfDork
9/15/09 10:13 p.m.

My dad's 38 Chevrolet Coupe.

Straight axel, 283 V8, Super T-10 4 spd, bucket seats and no seatbelts! Dad had it set up like a gasser, slightly high in the front, small front wheels and big rears.

gamby SuperDork
9/15/09 11:55 p.m.

Mid-to-late 70's Trans-Ams. I don't give much of a hoot about them now, but when I was a little kid I thought they were awesome.

Shortly thereafter, I discovered the LP400S Countach.

friedgreencorrado Dork
9/16/09 12:26 a.m.
aeronca65t wrote: Yep. The 65T (or "Tandem Trainer") is what the Aeronca Champ is based on. Mine's a '41. It's a lot like flying a Cub. ~HERE~ it is.

Rock on, dude! I've always wanted to learn to fly, but just had too many other "irons in the fire" to pursue it. I'd still love to do sailplanes one day...

EDIT: I don't see it on Readers' Rides yet...

Graefin10 New Reader
4/1/11 9:21 a.m.

When I was 15 a HS friend had the hood of his bugeyed Sprite open and I saw him out of the window of a class that was letting out and rushed out to where he was parked to see the engine. He never ran a muffler and I wanted to see what was making so much noise. That did it! Such a tiny engine couldn't possibly make that much noise. Plus it had two carbs. He answered all my questions and said "do you want to go for a ride"? As an on campus student and he off campus it was against school policy for us to ride with another student. The temptation was too much though. I looked around and saw no faculty so I said "sure, let's go". Every time he left the campus he wound the car all the way to red line and speed shifted it. That ride blew my mind. I had ridden in my cousins 56 T-bird at over 100mph before and later in his TR3 which he drove too fast and took too many chances, but never around corners like he drove that car. He was at 10/10 all the way to a good place to turn around. When he stopped, he said, "want to drive it". I jumped at the chance. I had the feel of the car from what he had done and drove back to campus at what was my 9/10 at the time. I couldn't wipe the grin off my face. I HAD to have one of these.

An so I have . . . about 10 of them. Just a modified MG-TD now though. I began to look for info. to read about British sports cars and racing. Got a subscription to the old news print Autoweek. Bought R&T and other related mags. off the bookstand. I began to look for the nearest road couses. After HS I went to the Chimney Rock Hill Climb and finally made it to VIR for an scca event. When I got there, an HP bugeye was coming out of a corner headed up the straight under the access bridge. My heart was racing like I'd never experienced before. My goal was to do that someday myself. I never made it though. I had a very successful autocross bugeye and was restoring an HP car when first my wife and then I began to have major health problems and had to sell it.

There have been many other cars that have affected me nearly as much but never like the first time I drove a bugeye.

carguy123 SuperDork
4/1/11 9:27 a.m.

It's a tie between a Jag XK120 and a Triumph TR3. Friends had both and I discovered them on the same day.

But the car that cemented it was a 1968 Barracuda 340S.

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