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Curmudgeon SuperDork
4/1/11 7:22 p.m.

My dad was a car nut, somewhere I have old footage of him spinning a MG TD at Sebring. Yes, that Sebring. But not during the big 'un.

He tore down a lawnmower engine on our picnic table with me watching raptly when I was around 4 or so, he always said that was what got me really started.

He put my older brother and me on a minibike when we were 5 and 6, my brother was sorta lukewarm about it but I was fascinated. If I had to pick one thing which cemented a lifelong love of motorcycles and cars it's that old minibike, blue frame with a red lawnmower engine.

When I was a teenager he had a 1956 Corvette, black with red interior, dechromed, side pipes, a bad sumbitch. He let me drive it many times, man it was fun!

So I can blame a lot on him, but as long as I can remember I have always been fascinated by machinery and things which went fast.

AquaHusky Reader
4/1/11 9:45 p.m.

What got me started was the fact my dad worked at the Van Nyse plant building F-Bombs since before I as born. At the ripe age of 3, my “official” name was ''David Z-28''. Used to draw cars and trucks all the time for fun. Still do really, but you can't tell the difference what what I do no and what I did then. HA! I was always fascinated with the process of building cars too.

dogbreath New Reader
4/1/11 9:57 p.m.

When I was 11 my grandpa got me a crappy one-wheel-drive go-kart. I imitated my favorite rally drivers from my collection of VHS onboards all day until I got my first real car!

Nitroracer SuperDork
4/1/11 10:59 p.m.
ddavidv wrote: I've been this way since birth. I think it's genetic, since most of my family is into cars in one way or another. My sperm-donor works as a tech at a Chevy dealer. My Mom's current hobby is a Jeep Wrangler. I could name every car on the road by the time I was 5 and wore the solid rubber tires off my first pedal car.

I came home from the hospital in a early 70s nova with a 'fred flinstone' hole in the floor. The only way to get me to fall a sleep for a long time was to take me for a drive in that car.

My dad had lots of stories of the chevelles, cutlasses, and other 60s/70s car he owned and fixed up over the years. Never had much money to make them look nice so he made them fast - I've been hooked on the whole sleeper scene ever since.

After a bunch of boring/practical cars my parents picked up a 96' F-150 and Dad modded it so it could tow the boat better. I rebuilt my first engine with that boat (3.7L Mercruiser 460 divided by 2). Went an saw a few monster truck shows in it too.

Then when I was 13 or 14 he let me drive a stick shift nissan pickup around a construction site - this was his daily driver at the time. The trust was awesome.

I'm hooked for life.

friedgreencorrado SuperDork
4/1/11 11:18 p.m.

In reply to Graefin10:

Oh, man! Breaks my heart that you never had the chance to dice it up on track. I've been coasting on my piddly 2 seasons of SCCA Improved Touring racing for almost 15yrs now. Had a kid, then got divorced, and didn't realize the time was passing so fast. I finally got back to autocross about 3yrs ago. I'm really not serious about it, but I'm seriously stoked about doing "track days". Are you healthy enough that you could do a track day nowdays?

friedgreencorrado SuperDork
4/1/11 11:25 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote: I had no choice! My father worked for Bruce McLaren and JWA as well as various other teams in the 60's. I was less than a week old when I attended my 1st Hillclimb with my dad competing. I never recall a time when cars weren’t a part of my life. Ever penny I've earned since leaving collage has been in the auto industry. I'm doomed for life.

It helps if you separate "doom" into pieces small enough to complete the project.

granth New Reader
4/2/11 5:00 a.m.

pinewood derby, soap box derby, 67 GTO in that order...

11110000 Reader
4/2/11 7:50 a.m.

Growing up, my dad was a car salesman. Volvo, and Ford also for a time. I rode in a Fox body convertible, SVO, Turbo 'Birds, 242 GT, 242 Turbo, 740 Turbos...

My uncle had automotive ADHD - Corvette, Jeep, Mustang, Fiesta, EXP, Z-car, Beetle... you name it.

I loved the Dukes, and Knight Rider, and the A-Team van.

I didn't pine for a car, however, since 16 was so far away. As the date approached, I began perusing the Auto Traders and such, and I thought I wanted a pickup truck.

When I got a car for my 16'th birthday, it was a Volvo 164E. I was nonplussed; until I started digging around.

"This has a 3.0L straight six, dad?" "Yes"

"And EFI?" "Yes"

"Heated driver's seat?" "Yes"

"Cold AC?" "Yes"

"And RWD?" "Yes"

"I love you dad!"

fasted58 Reader
4/2/11 8:37 a.m.

My earliest recollection of cars was my dad's '61 Catalina and our neighbors '49 Ford. When I was 5 or so the local Pennzoil station had an Indy racer on display which I sat in. I still remember the smell of the shop and car...oil and fuel.. and the leather... the steering wheel was gawd awful huge. We had a picture of me in the car but it's long gone. I think it was a Watson Indy Roadster. I been hooked ever since.

Hal Dork
4/2/11 10:59 a.m.

Probably my maternal grandfathers 194? Buick. We would go to see the grandparents every Sunday. As soon as I was old enough to stand up he would put me on the seat beside him so he could hold me in place with his elbow and we would go for a ride in the country.

The fact that if I wanted to spend time with my father in the evening I had to go out in the garage where he was working on his current hopped up car was an influence too.

M030 HalfDork
4/2/11 12:11 p.m.

My dad. He owned a foreign car repair shop, but his own cars were always Dodges and Lincolns.

I think what drew me to cars is something that was cool about my dad. He had a broad range of interests, wasn't a brand-snob and was a self-taught mechanic who could fix the unfixable.

He taught me to drive in a 72 Beetle when I was 9 years old and let me burn rubber in his 71 Charger R/T when I was 16.

midknight Reader
4/2/11 1:48 p.m.

A 1966 Red Mini did it for me. First car I was truly in love with. But I fell in love with driving because of my Dad, an amazing guy. So many highlights of my young life feature me pearing over the front dash in amazement at his skills, or watching his feet and hands play with the pedals and shifter respectively. In a nation where all men think they are very good, and where there are pleasantly few traffic laws, he was among the best. We went everywhere, fast. I once watched in disbelief as we drove at ridiculous speed through the night, no headlights on, through canefields and the foothills of the mountains of western Jamaica, guided only by the moonlight and the headlights of the car we were racing, a Mk1 Escort. I remember him climbing Mt Diablo in a modified beetle, desperately losing time to the others, yet gaining it all back on the descent, drifting that beetle through corner after corner, and the shocked look on the faces of drivers who had passed us going up the hill as we came past in the last couple miles before the coast roads. At five I started shifting while he worked the pedals, and he would admonish me to not look at his feet. "Just listen to the engine and you will know when," he would say. I did, and I understood that it meant a different thing around town, or if we were in a rush. At seven my reward for washing the car was to take it in and out of the garage, by myself. Then driving around the yard. What was most rewarding for me was the trust my father showed in me, that I would make the right decisions, and if I messed up that I would learn from my mistakes. Cars are still were we find our common bond. We still enjoy an occasional bit of mischief, like a late, late night run accross Alligator Alley, my Accord glued to the bumper of his TL at 120, and he is still convinced he can average a higher speed between points than I can. Sadly, I know he is right, for I get nervous about cops after about 15 mins above 100. Last year we traveled to the Mitty, where at 72, he saw his first race in the U.S. He was grinning for days, and we will be heading back for two days this year. Yea, I'm hooked, and will always be. Thanks dad.

Bench Racer (BowtieBandit)
Bench Racer (BowtieBandit) Reader
4/3/11 2:40 p.m.

I was actually into monster trucks way before I ever really got into cars. At the age of three I drug my parents to an MT show in Louisville, and have been hooked ever since. Once I started approaching 12 or 13 my neighbor bought a Corvette, and I fell in love with it.

Shortly thereafter we went down to the Vette Plant in Bowling Green and toured the place. I was hooked. From there I began reading Hot Rod, Super Chevy, and others.

When I turned 16 we bought a 1992 Camaro, and that began my love for Third Gens, I still have it.

4eyes HalfDork
4/5/11 12:31 a.m.

When I was five, I got to ride from the dealership to my uncles house (100 miles) in my cousins new '65 GT 350. His little brother was riding shotgun, and I was in back sitting on the fiberglass "package shelf" hanging on to the roll bar like a chimpanzee, with my butt sliding back and forth as we screamed through the Ozark mountain two lane blacktop. By 1967 my dad had a red on black comet caliente, and mom had a black on black Mercury S-55, my cousins and their friends had all the greats, a Judge, Superbird, Cyclone, Cougar Eliminator, GTX, 442 HO. My uncle on mom's side was a Ford dealership mechanic with a small shop at his home where he did work on weekends. He taught me how to take my time, and do the job right the first time. My dad was a good driver, but NOT a mechanic, and never raced. I got a Honda mini-trail 50 at eight, and rode bikes until college, but was never fast on them. After doing a four wheel drift in the drivers-ed car, I realized that I had "the touch" when on four wheels. But it wasn't until college that I realized that I could actually participate in racing events. First drag racing, then autocross, then after college, club racing. My wife? Her first car was a '70 Chevelle with a 350/350 combo.

lewbud Reader
4/5/11 2:01 a.m.

Mom and Dad both raced when I was a kid so I blame them. Would help Dad prep their 64 for the local Corvette club autox and drag weekends, neighbors didn't seem to mind the midnight tuning runs too much. First car lust was the original Grand Sport, followed closely by the Cobra. Now all it has to be is interesting with at least three wheels.

NGTD HalfDork
4/5/11 9:01 p.m.

My dad had a '38 Chevrolet Coupe:

  • 283 - triple deuces on an Offy aluminum intake

  • T-10 4 spd

  • Set up like a gasser

Nuff said.

psteav GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/5/11 9:10 p.m.

When I was 11 or 12, my dad dragged home a '65 Chrysler 300 hardtop from a friend's field. He gave forty bucks for it, got it running, and went about making it roadworthy.

I remember seeing it and being amazed that cars could be that cool (dad was always a gearhead, but when I was young we had a series of cars that were depressingly average). I remember the trunk on it was big enough that I could lay down it both front to back and side to side. I remember how good it sounded (383 through rotted out duals). It was metallic green with a black interior, buckets and a console with cool chrome trim. It was all there, minimal rust, but definitely in need of paint and upholstery.

It was originally slated to be my first car, but dad sold it during a rough spot to a local lawyer. He proceeded to stick it a field and do nothing with it. That was sixteen or seventeen years ago. I can't complain too much, since I wound up with a really cool first car that I still have, but I've always had that 300 in the back of my mind.

Last week, I ran into that lawyer in court. He still has the car, and has done nothing with it. I WILL own that car in the next couple of years.

ScottRA21 Reader
4/11/11 2:37 a.m.

Back in 1976, my dad and mother bought their first, and only brand new car: Toyota Celica GT Liftback.

They had it for 10-12 years as they sold it while I had vague memories of it (Born in 83).

Vague memories of how cool it looked, and how horrifyingly uncomfortable the rear seat was...and how badly burned I'd get on the giant belt buckle contraptions.

GregW New Reader
4/11/11 6:11 a.m.

Learning to drive in a '58 DeSoto with a Hemi V-8. My first solo tought me all I ever neded to know about powerslides on gravel and driving with really bad brakes. Since then the most interesting car was my Redtoy ('82 Corolla with a hemi head engine) an my '80 Kawasaki KZ 1300 6 cyl M'cycle which is for sale because I can no longer ride the beast.

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