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porksboy Dork
9/14/09 8:41 a.m.

No one car but two distinct things. Genetics and insanity.

jwdmotorsports HalfDork
9/14/09 8:44 a.m.

Would have to be the Bradley GT my uncle had when I was about 4-5. Have always wanted to own one but never have.

Treb Reader
9/14/09 9:04 a.m.

Well, I came home from the hospital in a '67 Mustang with a 289. I pretty much never had a chance.

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/14/09 9:12 a.m.
Salanis wrote: I dunno. None in particular. Any car I had was great. It wasn't the car, it was the driving.


P71 GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/14/09 9:18 a.m.

There is definitely a "car gene". My grandfather raced cars his entire life, starting off with a 58 Impala 348/4-Speed in 58. He bought a 68 390/4-Speed AMX brand new when they first came out (and still has it, just over 10,000 miles, AACA Nationals Winner) and was one of the AMC Hurst Super/Stock racers in 69. Grandma won some powder-puff races in her own AMX and still raced up to a few years ago in a Turbo Wide-body Starion. Gramps is still at it with an alcohol dragster (7.60's@180) and a nearly-stock looking 69 AMX that runs low 10's, both on naturally-aspirated AMC engines.

My dad's second car was a 68 AMX 390/4-Speed that he traded his Mazda R100 for. He still has it. Our house had a teeny-tiny garage that barely fit it, and when he started the car the whole block shook! No matter what I was doing I would run to the door to watch him pull the AMX out. He still has it, it does 11.20's on a N/A 390. When I started to get close to driving age he had a 70 Mark Donohue Javelin that had been sprayed red/white/blue. The 360 in that car was the first engine I helped build. I'd wash and wax the car and make sure it was perfect every Friday after school so we could go to the local car show together. When I was 14 we were at Daytona Speedway for the Spring Spectacular show, back when you used to be able to drive around the track, and he got out of the car and told me to drive. So the first time I ever drove was around Daytona Speedway in the Javelin. I still want that car.

Mom is a gearhead too. She was a jet engine mechanic in the Air Force (like my dad) and has had a Shelby Daytona, a Porsche 914, and used to crew for a Sprint Car team. I gave her a ride around the small road course in Medford earlier this year in the P71, that was fun.

So yeah, I was doomed from the start. The car gene is prevalent in my family!

NBS2005 Dork
9/14/09 9:48 a.m.

The cars that really sealed it for me were the original Audi Quattro and the AWD RX-7 that Rod Millen drove in the POR in '82 and '83. My brother and I saw those races and I knew I would have to do that someday (which looks like next year if all goes well).

The first car I had that I truly loved was a Mazda Rx-3 SP. It was a disaster, a bondo queen that gave me nothing but trouble. But when it ran, it was a joy! If they weren't so damn pricey, I'd be looking for one of those.

spdracer315 Reader
9/14/09 9:55 a.m.

My parents tell me that they knew i had the car gene when i was a restless 3 year old and sat still infront of the tv and watched the Indy 500 from start to finish.

81gtv6 GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/14/09 10:22 a.m.

My mom used to tell a story of me when I was 3. We were at McDonalds after being at the Library, there was a man sitting by him self reading a car mag. My mom said that I took a book of classic cars that we had checked out went over and started talking to the guy for about 30 minutes. He told my mom that he could not believe a 3 year old could know so much about cars.

The summer before my senior year in high school, 88, one of my dad's friends brought his 60 something Lotus Super 7 over to my house early one Saturday morning and let my drive it till I was tired of driving, it was a long day. We lived up in the mountains 60 miles west of Reno Nevada in California and running that car up some of the best roads I have ever driven on was one of the highlights of my life. To make it even better, he went on TDY a week later and gave me the keys to the 7 for the 10 days he was gone, it was heaven. Thanks Bill.

My oldes son, Ian, at 6 has it just as bad. At 2 he could pick out most cars on the road and last week he brought home a book from school, "Formula One Cars". In the process of reading the book to my wife he was able to tell her which car was which.

I just hope I can foster the love of this hobby with my children without pushing it too hard.

amg_rx7 Reader
9/14/09 11:05 a.m.

I was hooked on cars since birth.

Got hooked on RX7s and rotaries during high school when 2 friends had them but I owned an A1 chassis VW back then and through college. Drove the piss out of the car and did HPDEs with it.

Finally got my own RX7 (Turbo II) a few years after graduating college in the early 90s. Took a few breaks into other non-rotary cars but the RX7 is perfect for me. Have had 6 or 7 of them in my 20+ years of driving.

car39 Reader
9/14/09 1:02 p.m.

I was born in a car dealership (not literaly) and haven't left in 52 years. I used to spend summer vacation pumping gas and playing with Matchbox cars in the showroom. I tell new employees I'm your worst nightmare: a boss that has done your job. The business has undergone a massive change, but it's still cars that make it worth going to work every day.

Raze Reader
9/14/09 1:19 p.m.
spdracer315 wrote: My parents tell me that they knew i had the car gene when i was a restless 3 year old and sat still infront of the tv and watched the Indy 500 from start to finish.

That's sick...

andrave Reader
9/14/09 1:22 p.m.

it was 2001, I bought a 1989 240sx hatchback because I thought they looked cool, did my first RWD burnout, and ordered an option2 video special celbrating the 20 year anniversay of the 180sx/silvia in japan.

Learned the magical words "JDM" and "drift"

Downward spiral from there to hoarding blow off valves, 4 piston calipers, and Azenis tires in shelves crowding the living room of my 700 square foot townhouse in Houston.

I'm recovering now. I relapsed and bought another hatchback in march but thankfully sold it for a small profit before I started to get stupid again.

5 months sober and counting.

probesport New Reader
9/14/09 1:23 p.m.

1976 Cosworth Vega dragged me in, a handful of Mustangs strung me along but the Probe is what kept me here.

jrw1621 HalfDork
9/14/09 1:30 p.m.

I always had the car bug and from my very youth was obsessed with VW Bug. As I got older I can think of two cars that really had an impact on me. Around 1978 (or so), my age 12, a girlfriend of my sisters got a then brand new Fiat X1/9. At a similar age a guy in the neighborhood purchased a Series 2 Jaguar XKE 12cyl convertible.
He pretty much neglected the car leaving it all winter in the garage with the top down, the garage door not fully closed with the garage door resting on the trunk (boot). I knew his daughter (who was younger than me) and on a few occasions she would let me sit behind the wheel.

Since then, I have owned a '88 MR2 SC and a Miata. For me these purchases were direct compromises of wanting a Fiat X1/9 and a Jag convertible.

deveous9 New Reader
9/14/09 1:32 p.m.

1972 Dodge D100 shortbed, 360 Engine with a AFB Carter 4 Barrel Carb and a posi rear end. I was eating up tires for breakfast and I loved it. My friends nicknamed it "THE MUSTANG KILLER". I haven't stopped working on cars since.

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/14/09 1:35 p.m.

I'm one of the last people in the family with a "car gene," but neither of my parents have it (they've got "fear and safety" genes actually ). Got it from my grandparents on my mom's side. My grandfather's a regular car guy and my grandmother used to do some racing...she's got a few trophies lying around.

My great uncle always says I look like my grandfather, and then remembers back to when they were young and talks about how lucky they were they didn't get themselves killed with all the nutty back-country driving

DoctorBlade New Reader
9/14/09 1:51 p.m.

I've always loved cars, just can't afford them. It's an expensive hobby for a poor southern boy. My early favorite had to be the Pontiac Bonneville Catalina 400 my Mom inherited from her Dad, who had the half the Car Genes in my family. My Dad had the other half, but never thought about racing. Knew cars, however. We had another Poncho later, when I was about 20 or so. Same setup, too: 400 CID, 4BBL, Turbo 400 transmission. I've loved big cars ever since.

spitfirebill Dork
9/14/09 2:01 p.m.

The AC Cobra and E type Jag were my first favorites. My first enthusiast car I owned was a 60 TR3 that I bought while in grad school. It even had the right smell.

friedgreencorrado HalfDork
9/14/09 2:21 p.m.

I've liked cars since I was very young, but the ride that made me think driving was something worth doing was in about 1968. My uncle had rented or borrowed a C3 Corvette, and let my mom drive it. I was squeezed in the middle. She had never driven a car with a tach. So, there we are, blasting down this 2-lane road, she's wondering why the hell it won't go any faster than "40", my uncle's laughing his ass off, and I'm trying to process all this sturm und drang in my 6yr old brain.

Maybe I do want a C3 before I die, after all..

walterj Dork
9/14/09 2:26 p.m.

No particular car - my father was always bringing them home and rebuilding them and I was always in the garage helping. He was a muscle car and drag race/cruise sort of builder but we would go up to the Glen occasionally and watch road racing in the F1 and Can AM/Trans Am heyday.

That eventually set the hook on own preferences. Everything I build now is based on making fast european road racing cars using cheap American dirt/asphalt car parts.

Sofa King
Sofa King New Reader
9/14/09 2:44 p.m.

I think that I have always been a car guy too. I have been a sports car fan since my first 2 Matchbox cars, a 63 Blue Corvette and a Burgundy XKE. My first couple of cars were also sports cars, 69 Fiat 850 Spider, 68 Canaro Convt. 73 MGB GT, 77 280z. 88 RX-7. But life got in the way and I went through a string of motoring appliances until some time in 2002, I saw and article in the back of a Car and Driver talking about the Grassroots Challenge. At the time I was hooked on the TV show "Junkyard Wars" and I wanted badly to build something. The Challenge looked like an opportunity for me to do something similar.

I talked a guy that I only knew through our kids, into building a car with me and we competed in the 2004 Challenge, Since then, cars have become an obsession and I currently own 5 sports cars. All but 1 were purchased for less than $2000!

Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/14/09 4:30 p.m.

Just about every car I have ever driven. The one that stands out the most is the first gen RX-7. I loved that car then and still do. I will probably own one for the rest of my life.

Junkyard_Dog Reader
9/14/09 4:49 p.m.

According to my parents I was into cars before I could talk. When I wouldn't go to sleep they would strap me into the car and drive around the neighborhood and I was out like a light!

When reading this thread my first thought was riding behind the seats in my uncles TR-3. I think I was six. This explains why I'm into Miatas and Volvos (he also had a few similar to my 70 142S) despite having friends that were only interested in street rods and muscle cars.

Bobzilla HalfDork
9/14/09 4:51 p.m.

I've grown up around cars/trucks/tractors my entire life. But the one that "hooked me" was my 1989 Caprice 9C1 I bought used in 1994. Car was a beast. Handled, stopped, went.... lots'o'fun. As quick as the CAmaro's of the day but at 1/3 the insurance cost and I could carry 9 people from campus to the Stadium across town at breakneck speeds.

RexSeven Dork
9/14/09 4:54 p.m.

Before I was 16, I had no interest in cars whatsoever, since no one else I knew was a gearhead. I've always been a video gamer, though, so it's probably no surprise I got hooked on cars thanks to Gran Turismo 2. My favorite car in that game was the Lancer Evo VI. It was brutally ugly but brutally effective against almost every non-race car in the game. I still want an Evo.

The first real-life car that got me hooked on driving, and on RWD cars in general, was my first car, a $500 S13 240SX coupe. It had a laundry-list of problems and really should have been scrapped, but somehow it soldiered on for a year before dying. I put up with its lack of power, overheating, and smoking because I loved hustling it through corners. I probably would not have bought my RX-7 if I had never owned that S13.

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