Question of the Week: What Hooked You On Cars?

For all of us here at cars are ingrained into our lives. This week we sought to explore what brought each of us our love or obsession as some may say for cars. There are many different reasons that we all pursue cars and different experiences have shaped our tastes. I'm sure we could all write an article about it but for this question we tried to get to the light bulb moment, the time where we knew that cars would always be apart of our lives.

First up is Connor, he's had his obsession from a young age like most of us and it's just never gone away. Here's what he had to say:

"I think my love of cars has been embedded in my DNA, just hard-coded in me since birth. Since about the age of two, I had car stuff in my room and I (like most of the team here) had Hot Wheels everywhere, in the in the little hanger attached to the door, in boxes upon boxes of Hot Wheels, and throughout childhood, models of cars, I even had a collection of owner’s manuals from random cars. The first video game I played was Driver, and I had a massive affinity for the Fast and Furious franchise, even if I didn’t quite know what all the cars were at the age of six.

Even now, there’s posters of a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 in my room, most of the video games I play relate to cars in some way, there’s car parts scattered in my room and house, etc. I can’t help it either. Everything I derive entertainment out of relates to cars in some way, shape, or form. A normal “shoot em up” video game is boring unless there’s something to drift out in the warzone.

I just kind of wish I had more normal tastes in things, but whatever."

Hot Wheels display

Next up is Jake,

"Unlike a lot of car people out there, I didn’t really have any interest in cars when I was young. Sure, I played with Micro Machines, and had Cruisin` USA on the Nintendo 64, but it wasn’t the cars that I really enjoyed. It was playing with my brothers that was the fun part.

When the teenage years rolled around there was a slight desire for a Lamborghini Gallardo, but I still wasn’t into cars and mostly saw them as a way to get from “point a to point b”. I even remember conversations with my parents about how I would own a cheap Toyota Camry one day and it was all I needed. I’ve never been more wrong in my life.

At 21, it hit. I started to get interested in muscle cars. Old Camaros, GTOs, Chevelles, Novas, Challengers, Darts and so on. I began my search for my first car and ended up with a 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T with a six speed manual. The car obsession only grew from there."

1960s Camaro SS

Our big boss Juan came to his obsession as a teenager in a quest to be the best driver he could be.

"I originally started life out like most nerds. Cars were appliances and I really didn’t have much of an interest in anything that cost more than a new gen civic, or less than $200,000 because who doesn’t want a Lamborghini? It wasn’t until about 6 years ago that I wanted a little more than and engine, 4 wheels, and a working heater core. When I first got my license, I took a huge interest in doing everything driving related perfectly. I wasn’t into the driving so much as being able to feel smug about being able to follow every line on the road perfectly, being able to parallel park perfectly on the first time, and come to a full stop without jostling the contents of my car.

Then I made my first mistake. When my not-so-little 1998 Ford Taurus bit the dust I nabbed an 05 Scion tC, my first Manual transmission, relatively lightweight car (you can dog on it as much as you want but it’s not a bad car). After that, the rest is no different than any other person. Questions popped up about how cars worked that could only be answered by diving into the car world. I wanted to know how to actually drive fast, I started talking to other car people, and I discovered my attainable dream car that now sits in my garage. I dove into the car world on my own and because of that I got to start my love with few biases which has helped me to enjoy a lot of cars and will make my future garage a very diverse place."

Afro's Current Garage

Sam caught the disease young, growing up in a family of gear heads,

"An interest in cars started out as a hereditary disease. Ever since I was a baby, my dad had an old car in the garage (running or not), as did my grandfather who spent copious amounts of time restoring cars to factory pristine condition. So whenever my paternal side of the house was in charge of me for babysitting, I was most likely in a playpen in the garage with 60’s music on the radio and my dad or grandfather under a hood of something. With that as my interest’s foundation, I also began my love affair with art which is where car design became my infatuation. So much so that my portfolio for art school at the university level was about 90% automotive based in inspiration or subject matter. So, much like my father before me, I had to have an old car in my garage (or apartment parking lot). Plus, I love the outdoors, and I’m infatuated with the idea of machine versus nature, so when I modify my Xterra and conquer Mosquito Pass (14,XXX Feet!) I feel unstoppable. My Volvo will know this once it’s rally prepped and entered in the next vintage rally race."

Sam's Xterra

Hunter was also very young when the love of cars hooked him in,

"I couldn’t really tell you honestly. My mom has a photo of me from when I had to be no more than two years old with my face stuffed against the TV watching the Indy 500. It’s been like that ever since. "

Our usual Question of the Week host Brendan, who grew up in a family that loved cars, often riding shotgun in his dad's Corvette.

"For me, Cars were always something I grew up around. My dad made sure we had at least one car for every driver in the house and one backup. We always had cars. My dad was also a Corvette person. I grew up begging to take rides in his red convertible C4, and Little Red Corvette by Prince (RIP) was one of my favorite songs (not that I knew what it actually meant). Every summer we traveled to a different city for a corvette convention, and I was surrounded by v8 sports cars. I loved the sound, the looks, and everything about them. On Thursday when the guys went to the racetrack I woke up early and tagged along. My parents also had diecast scale model cars that were mostly corvettes and other American cars; I just grew up around them.

Coming home from restaurants or on boring days my dad would stop at dealerships and we’d look at the cars and what the cost or specs were or just admire them (something I now do alone). My personal love and interaction came from helping my parents wash our cars, or my personal Hot Wheels. I had a collection of cars and got a new racetrack every year. In a way, I couldn’t not be interested in cars. My family summer vacation centered around cars. Then Fast and the Furious came out and it became an even bigger obsession. Seeing and hearing the cars come alive combined with another one of my hobbies (film) was great. I replayed the VHS anytime I could, before school, after school, after dinner, you name it.

As I got older I learned about other brands and could eye and name cars on the street. My personal obsession with Ferrari’s began, as well as with the Nissan Z line of cars. As I got older and didn’t have a license and just rode around with parents my interest waned, but I still was always was drawn to cars, still naming cars as they passed, still wanting to be around them. I don’t think part of me would be the same without cars and to me they are more than just a mode of transportation. Cars are a part of a person's identity, part of my identity."

C4 Corvette

Last but not least is yours truly, Brian. While cars were very much apart of my childhood, it wasn't until I was 12 that I really had an epiphany moment.

"Like most kids, I grew up playing with Hot Wheels and Micro Machines; I had the carpet with roads on it, all the usual car toys. What really hooked me into the hobby was that, when I was about 12 years old, 2 Fast 2 Furious came out. While it might not be the best car movie ever, it was the first one that I was old enough to really follow and relate to. The main character and I shared a first name, he was a cop, I wanted to be a cop, etc.

So a few months later and Need for Speed: Underground came out. I was able to create and modify cars like those that starred in the movie, racing, competing and learning more about cars that I didn’t necessarily see in the big US car magazines. Recently I found my old Gamecube memory card and the NFS: Underground game and decided to pop it in. Let’s just say my tastes in cars have certainly changed. Looking back I laugh a bit at my designs and ideas, but they were a window to my past imagination. Now I’ve moved on to more American sports and muscle cars but I’ll always have a bit of desire for a 1999 Nissan GT-R R34"

Fast and the Furious

That wraps up another round of Question of the Week. What got you into cars? Feel free to mention your own experience or comment on one of ours down below.