QOTD: What Got You Into Cars?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
qotd what got you into cars

It’s Chicago Auto Show week around these parts.

You might not remember this, but there actually was a 2020 Chicago Auto Show — it took place before COVID shut the world down. This means that the Chicago Auto Show was the last one before the world fell apart, and will be the first one as we tentatively reopen and march towards some sort of normalcy.

It also means that enthusiasts and car shoppers get to gather in person to check out sheetmetal once again.

Growing up, I loved the auto show. Went at least once every year with either my dad or both parents. But it’s not the show that got me into cars — I was already a car person due to other factors. Still, the show, plus a tweet I saw over the weekend asking car people for their stories of how they became car people, got me wondering about how all of us became car lovers.

For me, mostly it was because my parents ran an auto-parts store from the time I was about 1 till I was 12 or 13. That’s what did it for me. It also helped that both parents were car people, as were some friends and family.

I also blame toys like Hot Wheels, Matchbox, RC cars, and the Transformers for my addiction to the automobile.

I did go through a phase of indifference towards cars for a few years as a child — like a lot of suburban kids, I became obsessed with sports. I still love sports. But at around age 12, I started caring about cars again, because I realized I’d be driving soon enough, and I also started reading the buff books.

Eventually, I worked in a dealership as a porter, then a service greeter, then a service advisor, before stumbling back-asswards into automotive journalism. Now I’m here, typing these words for TTAC.

That’s my story of how I came to love these two-ton pieces of metal. What’s yours?

[Image: oneinchpunch/Shutterstock.com]

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2 of 39 comments
  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jul 14, 2021

    I owned a parade of $#!+boxes that I had to work on regularly. I determined that it was actually sort of fun. As $#!+boxes gave way to better rides, it was more fun.

  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Jul 15, 2021

    I was always into cars, and there's a pic of me in pajamas at about age 8 or so holding a 1964 "Hot Rod" magazine with some article about Don Garlits "Telling all his speed secrets". It for sure wasn't my dad, who was the most incompetent mechanic I've ever seen, and I've seen some real clowns working on cars over the years. My dad couldn't even help me tighten my bike chain when I was about six. I had to ask the neighbor to help me. He thought my dad's cluelessness was hilarious. What did my father do in WWII? He was a B29 mechanic. My condolences to the airmen he probably killed. He always wondered how many crashes he caused.

  • Bader Hi I want the driver side lights including the bazl and signal
  • Theflyersfan One positive: doesn't appear to have a sunroof. So you won't need to keep paper towels in the car.But there's a serious question to ask this seller - he has less than 40,000 miles on some major engine work, and the transmission and clutch work and mods are less than 2 months old...why are you selling? That's some serious money in upgrades and repairs, knowing that the odds of getting it back at the time of sale is going to be close to nil. This applies to most cars and it needs to be broadcasted - these kinds of upgrades and mods are really just for the current owner. At the time of sale, a lot of buyers will hit pause or just won't pay for the work you've done. Something just doesn't sit well with me and this car. It could be a snowbelt beast and help save the manuals and all that, but a six year old VW with over 100,000 miles normally equals gremlins and electrical issues too numerous to list. Plus rust in New England. I like it, but I'd have to look for a crack pipe somewhere if the seller thinks he's selling at that price.
  • 2ACL I can't help feeling that baby is a gross misnomer for a vehicle which the owner's use necessitated a (manual!) transmission rebuild at 80,000 miles. An expensive lesson in diminishing returns I wouldn't recommend to anyone I know.
  • El scotto Rumbling through my pantry and looking for the box of sheets of aluminum foil. More alt right comments than actual comments on international trade policy. Also a great deal of ignorance about the global oil industry. I'm a geophysicist and I pay attention such things. Best of all we got to watch Tassos go FULL BOT on us.
  • El scotto No one and I mean no one on here is a UAW member or a salaried employee of the Big 3. Then again if someone identified themselves on here they would pilloried every time they posted.The comments on here are like listening to the overgrown children who call into sports radio shows.