By on August 26, 2015

boss parking grass

On the rare occasion that my schedule gives me the flexibility to do so, I am always thrilled to pick my son up from school. It’s such a treat to see the little ones with their faces pressed against the glass of the exit doors, bursting with the excitement of the end of the school day, counting down the seconds until their teachers finally open up the proverbial floodgates and unleash them into the waiting arms of their parents.

My son is usually among the first to bound out of the building, and when he sees that I’m the one who has the happy job of retrieving him for the day, his eyes always light up just a little bit more. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with his love for dear old Dad.

And if I, for just one second, happen to think that he might be particularly excited to see me, he always puts an immediate pin in my balloon with the following question:

“Did you bring the Mustang today?”

As a parent of young children, I find that much of my responsibility in life is to eliminate as much of the disappointment from their lives as possible. Unfortunately, the older that they get, the more challenging that becomes; there are already disappointments from which I have no power to shield them. So when I have the power to make them happy, even in the smallest of ways, I try my best to do it.

I have long since learned answering the boy’s question with, “No, I brought the Fiesta,” brings a swift and severe look of disappointment to my little guy’s face. Therefore, even though it’s a hassle to put the car seat in and out of my Boss 302, and even though I have to contort myself into poses that would make Tony Horton proud of me on “Yoga X” day just to buckle my son into his seat, the look on his face is all worth it.

But one might expect the son of an automotive enthusiast to also have a passion for cars, so there’s nothing terribly unusual about that. No, what has always struck me is the way every single child in that building responds to a pony car that wears a paint scheme normally reserved for a vehicle that’s much more common in a school parking lot.

When the Boss is on the scene, my son makes sure to call out a hearty “Bye!” to all of his friends, just so they can see him getting into the car. The reactions I’ve heard from them are not only universal, they’re priceless:

“Wow! That car is awesome!”

“Hey, Mom — can we get one of those?”

“Aww, man. Your dad’s car is faster than my dad’s car.”

One particularly sunny afternoon, I parked next to a shiny, candy apple red Prius with temporary tags. The owner, a rather peppy-looking grandmother, was excited to show her grandson her new car when she picked him up. He took one look at the Prius, looked at my 302 sitting adjacent to it, and treated us all to a dose of that glorious honesty that all children of preschool age possess in spades:

“Nana, can you take it back and get one of those instead?

And it’s not just a Boy Thing, either. Now that my daughter has begun preschool, she’s made her preference for her afterschool chariot known as well.

“Just don’t go super fast on the way home, Dad,” she reminds me. “I kinda like going fast, but I kinda don’t.”

Seeing the purely visceral response that all of these ten-and-under boys and girls have to a car that sometimes seems like it was visually designed to impress ten-and-under boys and girls makes me wonder: At what age does society request — nay, require — us to take a more common sense approach to cars?

After all, it’s not like the other parents couldn’t afford a Mustang. In the sea of Tahoe LTZs and Explorer Limiteds, one could make the argument that the Boss 302 places right about in the middle of the parking lot’s economic strata. There’s one other somewhat older dad who picks his young son up in his gorgeous green Boxster, but the rest of the vehicles are nondescript variations of the same silver, white, or black CUV.

On some level, there’s a practicality that exists in a CUV that simply isn’t found in my Mustang. Yet I still manage to pick up two children, place them safely in car seats, put their backpacks in the trunk, and head home. One dad approached me and asked me if there was enough room in my car for kids and all their stuff. I replied that I wouldn’t necessarily want to drive to Disney World in it, but that it worked just fine as a daily commuter.

“Good,” he replied. “I really want one of those Shelbys.” Then he grinned and walked back to his Traverse. That was over a year ago. He still has the Traverse.

My guess is that he just couldn’t sell the idea to his wife — or, more likely, that he just couldn’t sell the idea to himself. Back when I had my G8, I remember feeling almost sad for a coworker who had his young son strapped in the back of a New Edge Mustang — like maybe he couldn’t afford a proper family car. Society has us all convinced that we need to make safe, easily defensible choices when it comes to our cars. Just as I’m entirely certain that every kid in that parking lot loves the Mustang, I’m entirely certain that nearly every parent judges me for putting my kids in it. Society tells us that we need a crossover for our family lives, and as the owner of one, I’m not entirely convinced society is wrong.

But you know what? I’m not entirely convinced that society is right, either. Because along with that judgment comes a piquant hint of envy. Maybe it’s a longing look from a guy who traded in his Camaro on a Grand Caravan. Maybe it’s a smile from a woman whose boyfriend used to take her out in a convertible V6 ‘Stang back in high school — or maybe she had one of her own. But, at some point, almost every right-thinking adult took that lust for a fast, loud, brash car and shoved it squarely into the deepest recesses of his brain. So, after a momentary lapse of reason, the envy goes back to that limbic part of the brain, and the cerebral part goes back to justifying the smart, sensible choice of buying a Ford Edge.

Well, I’m here to tell you that sometimes your cerebral part of your brain betrays you. Sometimes it’s okay to go back to being that nine-year-old boy who wants his car to go fast. Maybe you don’t have to go Full Mustang. Maybe you can get a slightly bigger engine in your Camry or Accord. Maybe you can look at a Charger instead. Maybe your CUV can have a Hellcat engine.

Let your inner nine-year-old out. Then, when your nine-year-old child hugs you just a little tighter for bringing his favorite car to pick him up, you’ll both be reminded why you loved cars so much in the first place.

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66 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: All Kids Love Fast Cars...”


  • avatar

    it’s not “fast enough” unless it’s faster than yours.

  • avatar
    PeterKK

    My kids love my manual because they think it’s “faster.” They are so cute.

    They loved my (horrible horrible mistake) eclipse because it was a “race car.” Ha!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Kids Love Cool Cars – Your son just hasn’t learned that the FiST is cool.

    Many tykes find my 2004 flatbed F150 “cool” because it isn’t common and to them it is “old”. I’ve had kids hanging out of car windows to get a better look at my 1967 Mustang (not something I recommend doing for the sake of safety.)

    My granite grey Highlander on the other hand is invisible. (And that’s OK.)

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      To kids, trucks are cool. My almost 3 year old daughter gets excited when we drive by trucks. If she had a choice on what kind of car daddy drives, I would probably have an F250 or Transit van. She loved the Transit van I had last weekend.

      She’d be very happy if I ordered a Ranger in a few years.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy67

      Between me and my folks, we have: a ’55 T-Bird, a ’56 Austin-Healey 100M, a ’65 Mustang convertible, a ’67 Austin-Healey 3000 and a ’08 Bullitt Mustang. The vehicle that gets the most attention, especially from the ladies? My dad’s ’46 Chevy 2-ton truck. Dad hauled some stuff to the dump the other day, and the lady manning the gate came out of her building to take pictures of it with her cellphone, and when he takes it to the mall he often has women standing around admiring it.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Ed

      One of my kid’s first words was “Bronco.” Now as he nears his second birthday He’ll tell me “No daddy, Bonco!” if we’re walking towards the Camry.

      He’ll also point out pickups, sports cars, Jaguars, and Chargers.

      He’s blind to everything else.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      Dan,

      “Kids Love Cool Cars”

      Ditto, there’s no discussion on this

      “Your son just hasn’t learned that the FiST is cool”

      Trying to see it through my 6 yo son’s eyes, I think he would prefer a Mustang 10 times to a FiST. He loves a fast looking car, be it a STi, Ferrari, Porsche, C63. As awesome as the Fiesta is, it just doesn’t look the part as good as a Mustang does. And of course, there’s that V8 soundtrack…

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    “At what age does society request — nay, require — us to take a more common sense approach to cars?”

    I’m guessing whatever age you have infants, if you ever have them. The rear facing seat is a dream killer. Kiss all coupes goodbye. And unless you like sitting with your seat adjusted all the way forward, many cars are borderline, especially for tall people. Your Fiesta ST is out (I checked). Even something relatively roomy like a GTI is extremely borderline.

    Once they are out everything is fair game though. I’ve seen forward facing car seats in 911s. I would love to replace my Civic with an M235i or 997 once my unborn kids are able to ride in it safely.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Yes the rear facing seat was terrible in my wife’s Vibe and that car isn’t all that cramped for a compact. The passenger seat ended up all most all the way forward. Fortunately I never rode farther than about 10 miles when that car seat was installed (I’m a bit over 5’10”) and my knees were against the dash.

      As you said forward facing is a different ballgame, you are only limited by the kind of contortions you are willing to undergo to install the seat or to get the kid into it.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I would probably just keep the seats in all the time. I have no idea how much they cost though. Hopefully we can just get a minivan to add to our fleet, rather than have to replace our cars. They are expensive on the used market though.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Never take the seats out unless you absolutely have to. I take them out every once in awhile to clean them. SO. MANY. CHEERIOS.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          With rear facing it is easy to get a car seat with a “base” and then you can use one car seat as long as you have a “base” installed in every vehicle you wish to have the infant ride in.

          Forward facing there are some brands that have bases but forward facing + base usually means the weight range for the seat is not very accommodating. (No point in buying a seat at 20 lbs that your kid outgrows at 50 lbs.) I purchased 2 forward facing seats that had a weight range of 20 lbs to 110 lbs just so I wouldn’t have to transfer seats around or buy another seat for my daughter at some later date.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I always want to know who is 110 lbs and riding around in a car seat..

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Kids still need booster seats at 110lbs? There are full grown adults who weigh less.

            I am kind of dreading that aspect of car buying. It may prove to be a dark period, depending on how much financial flexibility we have.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Hey my nickname is “Data Dan” – I like to be prepared. That doesn’t mean my kid will be riding in one until they hit that crazy limit.

            The “5 step test” in this article seems to be pretty reasonable.

            http://tinyurl.com/o8fvxap

            And yes the seat I bought is “convertible” goes from full seat to booster.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Well it could be one of those seats that turns into a booster. Safercar.gov recommends a booster seat until 12 or when the seatbelt fits properly. Kids are fat these days, so I can see a 110 pound seven-year old…

            We bought our car seats just before the proliferation of the car seat that goes from infant to 12 years. So I’ll go through at least three different vehicle child restraint devices.

          • 0 avatar
            1998redwagon

            it has been a few years since i was there as a parent but do not think of it as 110 pounds or 10 years old. iirc it is AND. physiologically the younger bodies are not able to withstand the forces of a traditional over the shoulder seat belt regardless of the child’s weight.

            with the high beltlines of today’s vehicles they can see outside with a booster. of course most are playing with electrons while riding in a vehicle anyways so perhaps the advantage of being able to look outside is moot!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            To get out of a booster seat, there isn’t a weight component. NHTSA and the State of Michigan say 4’9″. Ideally that happens at age 8 or after.

            Some states changed laws where any kid under 8 that weighs less than 80 lbs needs to be in some sort of safety seat or booster seat.

          • 0 avatar
            Willyam

            We rented a Mustang for a route 66 road trip last year. Wrote about it, but not sure anyone here would be interested. The most difficult part was getting the seat to work. It had to go forwards, and her little feet were on my ears most of the drive, but it was doable.

            The main reason we have a van now is those seats. Rear doors just didn’t open enough for us to get them in and out when parked next to other SUV’s.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      Rear-facing seats are a pain to mount, especially those without a base. I leave mine in all the time.

      It’s only two years, if you can keep the sports car that long without your wife making it disappear.

      I actually managed to replace my sports car around the time our kid was born. Sort of an anomaly/childhood dream thing.

  • avatar
    pb35

    Great piece, Bark. When I was a kid in junior high, I used to love it when my older brother would pick me up in his Turbo Trans Am. It had loads of custom pinstriping and an air brushed eagle on the hood. It stood out to say the least.

    These days, I pick my twins up in a Charger R/T (soon to be SRT 392) and they always yell out to anyone within earshot “hey! look at my dad’s car!” and the parents are like whatever as they get in their camcord/A4/CUV.

  • avatar
    charski

    My inner 9 year old said “JEEP!”…I listened.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    My daughter loved it when I would drop her off at school in the Cobra replica. I would try to oblige but some days when it was warm enough in the morning for her to ride in it, it became a rather hot ride home from work. Funny enough I have only been caught in the rain a couple times with it. Both her and my son will ask to just go tool around the countryside in it, or better yet get seen in it at the local gas station when it needs filled.

  • avatar
    thats one fast cat

    True Dis.

    And thus why when I get the “pick the kids up from school duty” I make every effort to roll in with the 80’s Porsche or the 70’s Jaguar with the 502 and nitrous. In a school with parents that have an unlimited money supply but surprisingly very little imagination to choose something other than an Escalade, Tesla, or RR, nothing lights up the faces of kids and parents like “scary motoring.”

    Unsafe you say? Doesn’t have enough airbags for you?

    Everyday I teach my kids that you have to accept a little risk – can’t ride in the minivan everyday. And besides, why would you?

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    We recently enrolled my daughter in a preschool that is literally at the end of our street (at a church). One of her favorite things about it is that I promised her I would, on occasion, drop her off and pick her up in “daddy’s red car” with the top down. Of course I’ll be happy to do so in the MILF parade that is the pick up line :D

    I already warned her teacher that I would be doing so on occasion and not to be alarmed that she would not be in a car seat because we would, quite literally, be driving about 200 yards.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    On that gentleman who wanted a Shelby but stuck with the SUV, I think that a lot of this acceptance of the reality of your driving conditions. For years I wanted a Porsche, first a Boxster and then a Cayman, but the hard cold reality is that my driving consists of plonking along in traffic, like that hour and forty minutes it took to go 14 miles yesterday, and the occasional expressway trip. I can count the number of times where I had an opportunity to do some entertaining driving this year on the thumbs of one foot.

  • avatar
    Undefinition

    As a parent of two young kids, this article is giving me feels.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    “Maybe you don’t have to go Full Mustang. Maybe you can get a slightly bigger engine in your Camry or Accord”

    Oh, come on. That’s not going to move the needle one bit, either for your nine year old or your limbic brain stem. Unless the vehicle LOOKS or SOUNDS different from all of the other cars picking up kids, no one will notice, including you.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      My Accord chirps third.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        You misspelled “Sentra”

      • 0 avatar
        thats one fast cat

        …which I suspect you do not demonstrate while in the pickup/dropoff line. NO ONE can withstand the dreaded call from the Mother Superior/Dragonlady of the school pointing out “the rules for the safety of the children.”

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          I’ve won the Battle Of The School Pickup Line:

          http://jackbaruth.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/g44.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            Gull wings FTW son. Epic autojourno privelidge. Mad props for using it in the school pickup line.

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            I have an uncle in his 70’s with a wife around 30 years younger who could still pass as the competitive dancer she was. When he tells the tale of the brash pickup he used to meet her he ALWAYS leaves out that between the scoffing and sharing the digits was the time he sat in and started a 12 cylinder Merc. Not saying it closed the deal, but it can’t hurt.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        “My Accord chirps third”

        Yes, and I’m sure your son enjoys it when you do so, but you didn’t choose the Accord with your hind brain. After the accident, your fore brain made the sensible decision, tempered as it was by your desire for fun within that choice. Seriously, no girl, whether 8 or 18, would give a second glance at an Accord coupe, the way both would notice a pony car or drop top. Of course, it’s always possible for a driver to get noticed in any car, for good or for ill.

  • avatar
    Arminius

    Very timely article as I’m giving serious consideration to ditching my bland, but comfortable and practical CUV for something more fun. My short list includes the Mustang GT, Challenger Scat Pac, and Golf R. But with 4 young kids it’s a hard argument to make. That said I used to own a GTI it worked OK in a pinch.

  • avatar
    Funky

    Based on my experiences, I found it was nearly impossible to use my Camaro (2014) to drive the kids to their school activities because it was difficult to maneuver in the school parking lots. And, I found that it was no trouble at all to use my MX-5 (2009) for this purpose because it was so easy to drive in those same tight parking lots. When driving in either of these two vehicles, we attracted plenty of attention, for sure. Some fast/sports cars are easier to live with than others as daily drivers. In the end, for me, practicality took precedence (in other words, I now use either my sedan, wagon, or SUV to drive the kids to their school activities…and both the Camaro and the MX-5 are long gone from my garage). I miss the MX-5 (and I plan to replace it with another or with something that is similarly fun and easy to drive). However, I do not miss the Camaro (the thing spent too much time merely taking up space in my garage and I am glad to be rid of it).

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    I drive a header orange Challenger, my son is 13. It truly is a kick to drop him off at school. At his age he doesn’t give “hearty ‘bye\'” for anything, but his bro-nod and ‘hey’ is done with more flair.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    This.

    This whole write up is exactly why I have forsaken the one new expensive SUV for a handful of cars all with a specific purpose. Two for fun, one for commuting, and an old classic car for teaching my two young lads the basics of wrenching.

    Old car aside, why not have a less expensive commuter family hauler and a fun car. Used mustang GT’s can be had all day long for 12-17 grand. Used family hauler can be had for slightly more. I don’t subscribe to the drive a beater. A new traverse closes in on 40k, so does a hard loaded minivan, don’t ask about a new Tahoe…

    I would gladly drive a used minivan, the horror, to have an insert your preference: classic car, Porsche, mustang, Miata, Etal to drive on the weekend.

    • 0 avatar
      Alfisti

      Because the insurance would hammer you, it’s thousands, yes thousands, here for every single car.

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        Where do you live? I’m in CA and the most expensive cars to insure are the newest ones. For some reason, my relatively valuable weekend car costs less to insure than my newest car which cost less.

        That said, I’m a little ticked off that my DD Honda Accord still costs over $500 per year.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I don’t know where you are, but I’ve had 3 cars in the past 2 years, from a Civic to a 350Z… for my wife and I they all cost about $100/mo to insure with full coverage. Only real issue is space. I use my garage for crafts and wood work and my driveway is long but narrow. The thing would just take up space.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Insurance is cheap. My newest car is an 08. I carry full coverage on all of them as the cost savings is negligible.

        I want to same I am in the $1500 a year for three of them.

        Lower registration fees on the slightly older units more than make up the difference than having one expensive family hauler that is within two model years of new.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    Seriously, you need to ask why people drive SUV and not Mustangs?? Come on that’s ridiculous, living with a mustang day to day, every freakin day, to run a family is plain stupid, almost no one does it because it is a massive pain in the arse.

    My understanding is that you are not having to do it day to day so you can swing it but seriously, as much as i’d like to swap out my 9-3 shaggin wagon for a Boxster, it’s plain impossible.

  • avatar
    lon888

    When I was a small boy, our neighbor had an Opel Kadett station wagon for his work car. It had a great sounding brap-brap exhaust note. Sometimes he would take me for a ride in it and swore we doing 100 mph due to the exhaust note but in reality we were probably doing 35.

    Later in life our neighbor bought an Austin-Healey 3000 Mk 3. It had a fantastic exhaust note and every day I would sit outside waiting for him to come from work just so I could hear that lovely burble.

    I’m so glad my love for cars went beyond Matchbox, Corgi and Hot Wheels cars.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Most of the time my sister and I were picked up from daycare by Dad. Mom didn’t (and doesn’t) get home from work until close to 7. And Dad’s “cars” were cooler–first the green pickup, a ’74 F-250, then the blue pickup, a ’79. Both were so tall 5-year-old me couldn’t get enough leverage to open the door–Dad had to lean across the massive bench to open it for us. The seatbelts were somewhere back there, but the 2-mile trip to home meant they were more trouble to put on. We wouldn’t be going fast.

    Occasionally we’d get picked up from summer daycare in the tractor, if Dad was just coming back from cutting hay at that place on the edge of town. A JD 7410 has a nice, square cab with room on either side for a young child to stand, face two inches from the glass. Top speed? 19.6 mph (and yes, the decimal matters). We were in no trouble.

    With all that said, when we went on an actual trip, it was car seats/seat belts in the minivan, and “you would wear them properly, or you aren’t going anywhere, mister.”

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    Don’t tell Mom…..

  • avatar
    Chan

    The envy-disguised-as-judgment from the other parents around me gives me a smug feeling sometimes. Not that I made a “better” or “correct” choice, but that I had the determination to ride out my particular childhood dreams, even after becoming a parent. Deep inside, they know they gave something up or even completely missed the opportunity, but cannot justify or muster the determination to get it back.

    Others have fulfilled their hobbies with things other than cars. Whatever it is, they have continued to pursue them (with more limited time and money, understandably). Ours just happen to be very large and highly visible toys.

    The Haterade will come on even stronger once my kid is old enough to ride forward-facing, because red-on-tan 2-seater.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Awesome story. Loved it!

  • avatar
    stingray65

    It is easy to blame the dull cars on kids, but I suspect another major impediment is that so many parents are fat and out of shape, which makes getting in and out of a sporty car a lot of work. Trucks and CUVs are much easier for fat and out of shape drivers, plus they can tell themselves that they are safer for the kids.

    Rain, snow, +100 or -40 temperatures – it didn’t seem to matter as just about all the kids in my elementary and jr. high schools walked or biked the 1/2 mile to 1.5 miles to school. Guess that is why there were only 2 modestly fat kids in my class of 35 during elementary school. Too bad neighborhood schools have almost become extinct in the increasingly obese USA.

    • 0 avatar
      Andrew717

      I’m fat, out of shape, and love my Mustang.

      Sorry, this is like the fifth “I’m thin and therefore morally superior” comment I’ve seen in the past two hours and the trend has gotten on my nerves.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      The stress and added workload of parenting push many people into “easy” cars that attempt to fill all of the immediate needs but none of the wants. The family needs a car within an approximate set budget, so nobody thinks to get two cars within that budget instead.

      Most do not want to bother with owning multiple cars to fulfill different needs and desires, so they would rather just be envious once in a while. They made their choices, I made mine.

      I don’t have a weight problem, but I don’t like the prospect of eventually having an old back that no longer likes bending in and out of sports cars. Perhaps a convertible is the solution in the future, but I just like the coupe look so much more.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Funny, being the parent of an extremely high-energy one-year-old (he’s happiest sleeping about seven hours a night) made me want less rowdiness and more peace in my vehicular experience. The wish for more serenity in my life, together with the now-minuscule number of opportunities to actually put a fast car to use on the street, was why I sold my G8 GXP (loud and rowdy for a sedan) to buy a butter-smooth, whisper-quiet Lexus LS.

    I still feel it stands out in the sea of CUVs, though. Seven years old, it was much cheaper than the new RX350s and MDXes that pretty much dominate the neighborhood, but it has a level of panache they don’t. I won’t feel like a car failure unless I replace it with a CUV, even though my kid will think it’s boring once he gets old enough to understand.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      The LS is one of the classiest looking cars to come from Japan, ever. The styling seems to accentuate its length.

      I’m sure it still stands out at the day care line!

  • avatar
    Andrew717

    My wife is often vexed that far more kids stop to point out my Mustang than her Beetle. And my nephew thought it was endlessly awesome when I drove him the half mile home from school one time holding 1st as high as I could as long as I could.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Watching someone with one child drive a CUV or minivan makes me sad. At least I have the excuse that I have three children, one which is close to 5’9 (and over here doesn’t get a license for another 2 years)
    Also, I’m not going to keep it stock for too long anyway.
    As for getting attention, all the kids in our two younger boys kindergarten really loved the ’94 Audi 100 that I painted flames on, and even some parents said they admired the balls it would take to drive it daily (not sure they all ment that as a compliment?)

  • avatar
    Banger

    For my four-year-old son, it’s late-model Fiats. He can pick ’em out from 1,000 yards, man. His obsession started when I got to review two different Fiat 500s in the last two years — both turbo, one an Abarth.

    He also digs odd cars of all kinds. Vintage MINIs are a hit whenever he sees one. He likes just about any JDM kei-class vehicle. He gets this weirdness from his parents, I guess: Both of us daily drive Nissan cubes.

    That said, he also can pick out a Mustang from 1,000 yards ever since I got to review a 2015 Mustang GT a few weeks ago. He knows “Mustangs have the horse!” and he loved the GT we reviewed. Other big hits from the more traditional childhood dream car set: We drove a Porsche Cayman S that made him cackle like a madman whenever I rung out first gear. Last year’s Camaro SS was fun, but he didn’t like how hard it was to see out of it (neither did I). He loves when he sees a Jaguar (“It’s a CAT!” he always exclaims), even though we’ve never had an opportunity to review one.

    We briefly considered a Nissan Rogue and an Altima when we last car-shopped. Our inner child spoke to us, and we bought our second cube. It’s a good compromise between our love for quirky cars and our need for practicality in a small, relatively fuel-efficient package.

    I wrote a bit on this same idea here, by the way: http://www.technologytell.com/in-car-tech/13086/horse-understanding-visceral-appeal-ford-mustang/

  • avatar
    NoID

    I drove an old Viper ACR mule car (complete with plywood splitter and missing fender louvers!) home the other day and I had kids on their bikes chasing me to find out why a race car was driving around their neighborhood.

    I normally drive a van. The experience above was…surreal. And totally awesome.

  • avatar
    Senna1

    This editorial hits many feels…

    As the father of a 6-mo old son, the limitations of my Mustang as family car have become starkly apparent. We’ve still taken it on several road trips, rear-facing car seat and all. But I’m under no illusions; if our other car wasn’t a station wagon that serves primary family vehicle duty, the Mustang would be gone.

    And kids almost universally adore pony cars. About 3 weeks after I bought mine, I parked it downtown; a block from the White House. The car was immediately set upon by 3 very excited boys from Holland – whose embarrassed teacher/parent/chaperon explained had ‘never seen a real Mustang’ before. A ‘real Mustang’ WAS America to them, forget the WH down the road…

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    Twenty years ago I had a Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet. I would occasionally pick the kids up from grade school in it. Talk about a couple of happy/proud kids…..lol


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