Question: What Was the First Car You Thought Was the Coolest Thing Ever?

question what was the first car you thought was the coolest thing ever

Many of our readers have some interesting first-car-ride memories, but most of us had no personal choice in the matter. At some point after your very earliest hazy memory of being in a moving steel room on wheels, however, you remember the first car that made you do a double-take and say the little-kid equivalent of “Damn! Look at that thing!” In my case, this car was a thing, and I mean that literally; the Volkswagen Thing first appeared on California streets when I was six years old, and I was utterly hypnotized by the weird boxy car that looked something like an Apollo Lunar Rover.

Yes, the Thing looked like a car designed by a six-year-old, and that probably explains its appeal to me at the time. Sort of an embarrassing choice of First Intolerably Cool Car (though at the time I thought my parents’ Fiat 128s were the coolest-sounding cars ever), and I sort of wish for a time machine that would let me go back and point my six-year-old self in the direction of the Mazda Cosmo Sport 110. Can’t change the past, though, and I still think the Thing looks cool (though I’d sooner drive a ’79 Olds Starfire Firenza than spend every weekend adjusting the valves on a rust-happy Malaise rättleträp based on a 75-year-old military-vehicle design). So, what’s the car that first made your jaw drop?

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  • Otter Otter on May 29, 2012

    Porsche 911. I don't know how or why - Latin America in the mid 70s was not exactly a population center for 911s - but I do remember that I had a 1/24 die-cast model of a 'cucumber sandwich' German police 911 when I was two, and that I wanted to 'save my pennies and buy a Porsche' by my fourth birthday.

  • 300zx_guy 300zx_guy on May 31, 2012

    The earliest car that made an impression on me was my Dad's 1973 Cadillac Eldorado coupe, gunmetal grey with white and black houndstooth patterned upholstery. That car was AWESOME. I still think of it whenever I see anything with a houndstooth pattern! Of course I had a couple of Countach posters in my room, as someone else mentioned that was the epitome of exotic cardom at the time. Other cars I remember liking were the Jaguar XJ-S, and my Dad and I both admired the Mercedes SEC.

  • SCE to AUX It's not really a total re-badge since some of the body parts are unique, and the interiors are quite different.As I mentioned the other day, the Tonale has a terrible name and a dim future.As for the Alfa team - guess what, this is how corporate ownership works. You are part of Stellantis partly because you're not viable as a standalone business, and then your overlords decide what's shared among the products.By the way: That Uconnect infotainment system found in Alfas was originally a Chrysler product... you're welcome.
  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
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