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I don't usually browse Jalopnik, but I did today, and this question was on there. It seemed interesting, and I'm curious as to how you guys got "in to" cars.

For me, it was a little unusual. When I was little (I'm talking elementary school), I was obsessed with the hyundai santa fe (first gen, obviously). It had a weird shape to it, which I thought made it unique and bizarre. So I started noticing different cars, doing a little browsing on msn autos (lol) to figure out which manufacturer produced which cars, yada yada yada, here I am now. Rather uneventful, but another catalyst was probably my uncle who is pretty big into cars. He's always had a nice arrangement of classics that he has built, and I've always been impressed with the knowledge that he carries.

What about you guys?
Well there were a few different ways to come at this...

1) When I was a kid, I loved powerboats. And because I loved powerboats, I loved the trucks and SUVs that could tow them. As a young kid I had all the specs memorized for stuff like the Explorer, Suburban, C/K Pickups, Ram, etc. etc. because I loved whatever could tow a boat.

2) My neighbors picked up a used '88 LeBaron convertible. Despite the fact that he had done a beautiful job restoring a '68 Mustang 289 coupe (really a lovely car when he was done with it), I loved the red Chrysler LeBaron 4-cylinder automatic convertible, in red, with ford pattern baldness. The fact that it was a convertible blew my mind or something, I guess. I was...maybe 10 or 11 at the time? I promised them I would wash it every week if they gave it to me when I turned 16, which they actually agreed to! I washed it for like a year before I realized I was insane.

3) Need For Speed V: Porsche Unleashed. Turned me into a total Porsche junkie. I loved the technical details and encyclopedia entries they put into that game. I went out and got all the backissues of Excellence magazine that I could soon after that and read them all cover to cover. I consider this the true beginning of my love for cars. I came disturbingly close to convincing my parents to let me have a 968 as my first car because of this, but sanity prevailed...
My earliest fascinations with cars that I can remember was when I was a child.. My uncle had a VW Bug with Porsche Fuchs wheels on it.. I remember that was the coolest car I've ever seen.. Then I really got into Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars, micro machines, etc..

As I grew up and riding in various family members and family friends cars, I got super fascinated with people driving manual cars. I thought it look like lots of fun shifting gears and what not. This kind of sparked a different level of interest in cars, along with helping my dad wrench on his cars in the garage.

The moment I became a car enthusiast was when in high school I rode in my friend's fixed up CRX. I got into hondas quick, joined an ROP class and became an intern at a couple of Honda specialist performance shops, one of which was Honda Pro - owned by Stephen Pakadakis at the time. I had a lot of love for Japanese imports back then.

As time passed, I got into drifting, road racing, and recently doing a lot more wrenching on my own cars over the years. Joining DS and discovering TopGear further sparked my interest in cars in a more sophisticated sense. I've also have had the opportunity to test drive several cars through car rentals and friends/acquaintances letting me take a spin in their rides. The rest is history.

How my baby sits now..

When I was in third grade my friend's dad had a Carrera 3.2 Turbo Look. I thought it was the most awesome thing I had ever seen. Looking back that's the first time I ever noticed a car.

What solidified it was the fact that I owned a 1987 Mazda RX-7 and Gran Turismo at the same time. I thought it was so cool that a car I owned was in that game . . . I was hooked on RX-7s from then on.

My love of Porsche (which had been gestating since I was 10) came back when I saw the 996 turbo in Road and Track magazine. It blew my mind, and I learned everything there was to know about it and porsche soon after.
When I was about 13 (if I recall correctly) BMW launched the Z3 here in South Africa. I don't know why, but for some reason they made a much greater fuss about launching this car than anyone had made about a car (which is why it caught my eye). Maybe I just happened to notice it, but whatever. I convinced my dad that we have to go to the BMW dealer and see this car, which we did. It really affected me and the way I looked at cars from then on.
It might have been that I'd only really ever been exposed to regular sedans n stuff, and that now there was this sportscar, with gills in the side, etc. Either way, I have to thank the Z3 for my car love, which is strange, cause when I look at Z3s nowadays, I vomit a little on the inside. I hate them!
fiber optic
I watched this flick when I was 3 or 4 years old. You can skip to 1:25 for the Porsche action.

i woke up one morning at the age of 13 and said "cars are pretty sweet"

then restored a 1980 plymouth volare sedan at 14 with best friend at the time.
hooked ever since.
I also saw Canonball Run when I was 9, and the Lamborghini had a profound effect on me.

Now that I think about it, growing up in the 80s was pretty influential on my car loving ways. Transformers, Porsche 959, 962, Ferrari F40, 288 GTO, 308, 328 . . . it was an awesome time to like European cars.
This: 1973 Trans Am.

I was 12 that summer walking from the city swimming pool when it passed me. I instantly fell in love. Later one of my friends had one of these, a '72 Trans Am in the rare Lucerne Blue color.

Another friend had one of these, a '74 Trans Am with the SD-455 engine, the baddest of all.

In 1999 I bought this '73 Trans Am. I had it repainted Brewster Green, the rarest color of all of them, only available in '73. This is that car. Before and after the repaint.

There is just something magic about these cars to me.
Well this is embarrassing, because of the way a bunch of you on this board feel about this car.

My family (until recently) was very loyal to Mercedes, having only bought those since the mid- to late-80s. When I was 15, I went to the local Mercedes dealership with my dad to pick up his car, and they were displaying a customer's new special order in the main glass showroom rotunda thing.

Yep, you guessed it. It was a SLR McLaren. As I knew nothing about cars at the time, I was completely flattened by the fact that Mercedes made such a thing at all. I was immediately obsessed. I did a ton of research and then found out more and more about what cars existed in the world. This was also around the time the first U.S. reviews of the Veyron were hitting. That thing did, and still does, blow my mind. I did not concern myself with anything in-depth performance related at this point, however. All I cared about was how good something looked, and what its basic statistics were.

A kid in my class was having a similar fledgling obsession with cars. We spent a lot of time talking, comparing and contrasting what we liked and didn't, and we learned more and more. Today, he's got a manual A4 3.2 S-Line, and is my best friend. We're building a pretty cool site together that we think you guys might really like the new version of. We'll let you know when it's ready.

The summer after freshman year, I got more obsessed with performance. I learned about speciality cars like the CLK-DTM and others. Speed became ONE small factor rather than THE factor. The following winter, Audi revealed the R8, and I was smitten immediately. I loved the idea of companies making supercars who hadn't previously. In order to get wallpapers of this amazing beast, I found myself on some fuck ugly site (jk, wub U Deezl) with a forum full of douchebags attached, and here I am still, never left. tongue.gif

That summer, the one after sophomore year, shit REALLY got going. I got Test Drive Unlimited and started watching Top Gear. The following fall, I began my mass obsession with getting an Evo X as I watched it go from concept to production. My test drive of said car made me reconsider it as a daily driver, and I found the R32 instead. The summer after junior year, I drove my uncle's 6-speed E46 M3 on the back roads in the small town in NJ in which they live. I've never had so much of a thrill.

A little over a year later, with an angel investment from my Dad that I've almost near completely paid back (especially after this summer), I got myself a lightly used Mk V R32 for a disgustingly low steal of a price. A month later, I got Forza 2 and began exploring what simcade racing was really about.

In January this year, I began applying my web design and programming skills on a project with my friend (as previously mentioned). Then, in June, I made my automotive pilgrimage to the Nurburgring, that I rounded as a passenger in a brand new GT3 RS driven by a semi-pro endurance racer. The car was on lone from a friend of his, who you guys might have heard of: Timo Bernhard. I'm going back to the 'Ring as soon as I have the money, and no later than I have a bachelor party, because that's where it's gonna be.

That brings us to now. Wow.

Clark, that's why I get sensitive about the SLR.
I was too young to remember what got me into cars - my first word was "car", so it was a long time back. The first cars I remember playing with were a yellow Matchbox C3 Corvette (1980/1/2, IIRC, I still have it at home) and a Matchbox RX-7 FB done up in SCCA livery that both adorned my 3rd birthday cake. Honestly, I think it might be genetic since my dad was (and still is) a huge influence for me in the car department.
My dad used to work as a mechanic, and he had this white Land Rover Defender that he used to send me to school with. Used to love heavy machinery like cranes and stuff but how I went from those into cars is forgotten now.
if we have words "Love" and "Car" in the subject, this gotta be my father's old '83 Audi 100 CC.
Its was my 1st car to drive girls on a date and etc. smile.gif rear seats were so comfy biggrin.gif biggrin.gif go figure biggrin.gif

Dad's dad had an E-type. He sold it in 88 for a 911 Carerra Cabriolet. I never got a chance to get the tour of the E-Type since it was in it's second home; a mechanics garage, I only have a faint memory of seeing it in the garage. The Carrera was given to an uncle when the grandparent died. He restored it and flipped the thing, the philistine. I also had a thing for the Karmann Ghia my other grandparents had stored away which I now own. When I was 6-7 years old I had this weird obsession with VWs. I stopped caring about cars until I was 16 and finally learned to drive. Oh, my first word was "car", I think that sealed the deal.
The car that made me love cars was the 1956 Thunderbird.
If I don't get banned for this, DS has gone soft.

I wasn't too into cars when I was younger (counter-strike took had taken over my life), but when I first saw F&F when I was 13 years old, I was immediately hooked. I instantly went online and researched as much as possible as I could about the Supra in the movie and just other cars in general. After that I'd bug my brother about cars and car mods. Every car we saw on the street that even looked slightly modded I'd ask him what was on it, etc. I started picking up car and motorcycle magazines (my brother would ride, so he was subscribed to motorcycle mags while I was subscribed to the car mags).
How could I forget that I discovered this..

Watching the Super Touring car series on Speedvision was the first real racing I've gotten into aside from catching glimpses of NASCAR and Indy/CART on national TV. This played a big role in my enthusiasm back in the mid 90s.
A Mercedes G-Wagen, as unlikely as that sounds. I was at a local supermarket with my parents, and there was sales person there that had worked their for years. He pulled a little, Matchbox G-Wagen ambulance out of his drawer and gave it to me. I was instantly hooked. Every week after that, I insisted my parnets take me to the local toy store (this was a small town in Saudi Arabia, we literally had one toy store) and buy me a little car. They usually didn't stock Matchbox or Hot Wheels, just Marjorette (if anyone is familiar with the brand). I probably still have the G-Wagen somewhere.

First REAL car that got me hooked? Probably when I was four, going to soccer practice. A kid who was later to become one of my best childhood friends, got dropped off in a black, early 90s Supra.

However, the most powerful memory I have of a car was around the same time. I remember the original Porsche 911 Turbo flooring it down an empty stretch of road in the middle of the city. I've wanted a 911 ever since.
Knight Rider! I know it may sound a little lame but it was a super smart car that could talk (it was even sarcastic and used puns frequently) and it had a turbo AND it somehow always managed to save the day. I like gadgets and a gadget car was the ultimate dream in my superhero fantasies.

There was also a time when my uncle's friend brought his just purchased 550 Maranello to a hotel I was staying in, in Cape Town. He then said to me four magical words: "you want a ride?"
He took me along a straight strip of road along the beach front and it was just spectacular, I was about 12 at the time and he even allowed me to change the gears for him. That's when my fascination with cars, especially fast cars grew to what it is today.
It was awesome!
^^ Nice! As a second gen Firebird fan Knight Rider never did really do much for me but I totally understand the appeal.

550 Marinello! Very nice! My first ride in a Ferrari was a little 308 but thrilling just the same. I was passenger with a driving instructor on the Louisiana State Police training track. 140 down the straight with the top off was fun.
It all started when I burned my hand on the exhaust manifold of a 91 lotus elan m100. That got me thinking about them, but what really got me into them was when my dad would bring back a corvette as a company car once a year or so. The one memory that has stuck in my head for the longest time was riding in a yellow 97 corvette convertible with the top down entering the highway at full throttle. That tingly feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you go fast is like a drug.
When I was about 7 or 8 my dad took the Chevelle to Firestone to get new tires. There was a TV in the waiting area, and 'Le Mans' was just coming on. There were about 7-8 guys in there, and a few of the mechanics came in to check it out. As the build up to the starting flag and the heartbeat sound effects became more frenetic, the room got really still. I looked at te faces of each of those men and the focus and anticipation was incredible. For the 5 minutes or so after all that great racing footage.....the camaraderie in the room was something I will never forget. Being a kid, I piped, "Dad, I wanna do that someday." He looked at me and smiled. One of the mechanics looked at my dad and said, "You realize he just became a racing fanatic, don't you?" There was a lot of laughter. He took for ice cream after that. I miss that guy.

For me, I was always a little into cars, even before i had good reason to be. I used to drive my family nuts on roadtrips. My dad refused to fly anywhere so we would drive. Often times it meant being in the car while it was night. I would rattle off the oncoming cars make and model judging them only by their headlights.

Then I discovered the movie "Speed Zone". Its another in the cannonball run lineup. This movie and the cars sealed the deal.

I'm told I already 'talked' cars when I was still wearing diapers, with my parents driving an Opel Kadett. dance.gif

The first car I really loved was the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. Used to (and still) have the tiny scale model by SIKU, exactly like this one:

Father's car growing up, he was young, and still wanted something fun that he could cart a baby around in.

I realized at a young age how different this car was from the standard BMW model, and since then, I've been hooked. My first word was auto as well. Got rid of the alpina for a MKIII Supra, then when we moved to the states, my mom had a Taurus SHO, second gen, and I loved it as well. I've always liked weird cars.
It was a lot of small things for me but mostly I think it was a combination of spending a lot of time in and around cars when I was young going on road trips and driving offroad with my dad and other less exciting things. The cars weren't even particularly interesting but I think it is what got me really hooked on driving some day. Then I started getting into video games and:

QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Aug 21 2011, 09:41 PM) *
3) Need For Speed V: Porsche Unleashed. Turned me into a total Porsche junkie. I loved the technical details and encyclopedia entries they put into that game.

This really sparked the interest in sports cars and the thrill (spirited) driving.
When I was young I love Volkswagen because of Bumblebee. But know, I love semi-huge vehicles such as fortuner, adventure, etc.
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