Journal: Grateful for Classic Cars and Bonding, Less so for Pokemon

Grateful for Classic Cars and Bonding, Less so for Pokemon

By Jonathan WC Mills
January 9, 2015
14 comments

Photography by Afshin Behnia, Jonathan Mills, and Luke Wooden

As the year ended most of us took a moment to pause and reflect; looking backwards at expectations met… and missed. This is a function of being human, of course, and as a species we tend to look at time through a very unique and not particularly long lens. However, the end of the calendar provided a moment to think and I couldn’t help but look back on what I consider the most significant aspect of my automotive year: my son’s budding interest in the hobby.

Many of us with a life-long passion for ‘things that go’ want to share it with our friends and family. My own father is a pilot as his father was before him. Had aviation existed before the turn of the last century, no doubt my great-Grandfather would have enjoyed soaring around in airplanes as well. My father wanted me to love airplanes too, and I do have a healthy appreciation for them. After all, I grew up flying them at an early age and even got about half-way through private pilot training before I realized with some chagrin I would never truly enjoy aviation the way my own father does. I found the whole experience…stressful. In the end I prefer to go fast with rubber firmly planted on terra firma.

Therefore when my own son, now ten, began to show some interest in my work and world here at Petrolicious I was cautious in my enthusiasm. I didn’t want to blow it. I knew that this interest would need to be cultivated in just the right way. This was not going to be done through trips to car-shows or static museums…I knew that the way to light a fire in my son’s vague interest in classic cars was going to come from driving in them. And it just so happened that our own Drive Tastfully vintage car rallies were the perfect venue. I asked him, “Hey, so this cool car rally is coming up, do you want to be my co-pilot?’ and he enthusiastically said yes.

One substantial problem remained… I am currently, ‘between’ classics. Which meant that in order to get a car to drive I needed to be both creative and enterprising. However, I was also a little lucky. I found an outfit here in Los Angeles that rents classic cars and was kind enough to provide me with a 1970 Boss Mustang for the occasion. I’ve written about renting a car previously but can say that given the circumstances it remained the ideal scenario to get us on the rally and in the car together.

And it worked! We had a great time! Not only did my son appreciate the open air motoring experience he also seemed to discover a love of car photography. (Some of his photos can be seen on this very site as a matter of fact) From my own perspective I just felt deeply grateful that I was in a position to share my hobby with my son and see his interest grow! He asked lots of great questions, sparked to the excitement in the early morning air, and proved to be a capable navigator. I couldn’t ask for more.

So allow me to offer some parting advice to parents and future parents alike, take it slow. Your own passion is manifest and contagious. Don’t worry too much if your son or daughter doesn’t take to it initially, maybe they will. If they don’t, that’s okay too, the world is a big place and maybe they will find a hobby that they can introduce YOU too (I tried pokemon and found it…difficult). However, if they do follow in your footsteps, consider yourself lucky, cherish and nurture the passion because enjoying classic cars is a fantastic hobby and one I’m lucky and grateful to be able to share.

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Meerab Graves
Meerab Graves
1 month ago

I am a fan of Pokemon. I love playing Pokemon Go. This is a great game. I will give you this gift: pokemon go promo codes

Jack Sassoon
Jack Sassoon
5 years ago

Very lovely article. As a father of a 7.5 year old girl car nut. I totally relate to your own experience. Aside being a girly girl, our daughter’s got many interests and happily (for me) loves to be around cars. Last weekend she decided on her own to organize my tools in the garage and she did such a great job, not only in classifying wrenches and sockets but also in a manner that are for the first time, so easily accesible it just blew my mind. Oh and she is already a great driver too. Steering her own electric VW convertible with ease. I do hope she will not mind coming along for classic car meets in the future though, Pokemon is such a persuasive distraction. Thank you for sharing your story.

sabir
sabir
5 years ago

This has been the best place for pokemon go hack and i am just loving it.

Brandon Nesset
Brandon Nesset
7 years ago

This is sorta’ how I was exposed to cars. I remember going to Laguna Seca in California once when I was quite young and watching the old 911’s and what not run. Sitting right next to the weird corkscrew downwards hearing the aircooled flat 6’s I knew there was something more to it than just a car. I was too young to understand how cool it was although. I was 5 or 6 I wana say. Not sure but I think the memory of sitting in a 911 Cup Car and being told not to touch anything as I stared to the assortment of buttons made me wonder more about it. That sort of burned into my memory and made me appreciate it more and more as I got older. If I ever have a kid, i’ll make sure to have at least one classic around the house. Hopefully my BMW 2002 hahah. One can dream about it right?

Anthony Guglielmi
Anthony Guglielmi
7 years ago

“Daddy, why don’t I have a roll-bar?”

Drive em
Drive em
7 years ago

My 13 year old daughter replacing the fan belt on a 1966 Buick Gran Sport. I didn’t push my passion for all things petrol powered but she did develop her own. I’m thankful for the time it affords us together.

Jeromie Snavely
Jeromie Snavely
7 years ago

nice read. i’ve been going to car events with my dad since i was little… i love that we have that bond to share.

Nik Hafermaas
Nik Hafermaas
7 years ago

Beautiful article, Jonathan

The little guy in the Speedster is my son Aleks — and just as you are suggesting I’m trying not to push my passion too hard on him so to not create a reverse effect. I know he appreciates driving around in this car and also likes being dropped off to school every morning in a well patinated 993, but in his world trips on the subway or on a double decker bus hold at least as much allure. I myself am a “Kaeferkind”, growing up in Germany with my dad’s orange “US-spec” Volkswagen being the most exciting ride around — and when he bought the first Golf GTI I considered myself son of a king…
I don’t expect Aleks to become equally enamored with cars — maybe also because there is less scarcity and therefore less mystique/daydreaming/longing involved for him.

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo
7 years ago

Surely one of the great aspects of being a dad. My son is not yet two years old but he already has a healthy appreciation, and recognition, of special cars. I imagine it took hold because I always have him in the front seat (my cars either do not have back seats or a child’s car seat will not fit in the silly excuse for back seats). This past summer, it got to be such that I had to take him for a drive when I returned from the office each day, and he’d put up a fierce fight if I so much as dared to gravitate toward my daily-driver Saab rather than one of the cars with big sound. His smile at the start up of an engine is pure joy to me, and I was shocked — joyfully so — to discover that he’d scream with delight whenever we saw something more than ordinary out on the street, even if stationary. How did he know that a Porsche 912 is better than a Toyota Camry? I didn’t think it started so early and I hope it does not end as he gets older.

Jack Olsen
Jack Olsen
7 years ago

Future Southern California Hot Rodders?

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
7 years ago

Well said Jonathan, I suspect quite a high percentage of Petrolicious readers’ passion for old cars will have started with their parents (my passion certainly did). Good to see a whole new generation getting the exposure to some of these cars at the Drive Tastefully rally.

Martin James
Martin James
7 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

Though I’m glad to see a young one or two taking an interest in cars of any kind ( never mind justclassics ) In all honesty almost anything is better than seeing the kids of today with their noses permanently glued to their SmartPad/Phone/ Video Game

Sadly though I must report that both here in the US as well as on your side o’ the pond 30 and unders aren’t even bothering to get their drivers licenses . Never mind take an interest in cars or motorcycles , classic or otherwise . The biggest reason from all surveys being the cost of entry these days . Long gone are the days when you could get a genuine exotic , never mind a classic for less than the cost of a couple of year old econobox . And long gone are the days when even with a Ferrari you could do the majority of the work yourself . Classics and Exotics having attained the dreaded ‘ collectable ‘ status . Driving the prices right out of the hands of the up and coming generations . Fact is . If yours , mine and the EU’s governments have their way over the next decade ? The likes of you and I will have joined the ranks of the ubiquitous Dodo Bird . Extinct and never to return . e.g. Enjoy it while it lasts .

As for you young ones ? Jump on board before its too late . Cause the ships sinking fast and there isn’t a ____ thing even Mr Lange and I and all our families resources combined can do about it

Did I get my Gear/PetrolHead affliction from my old man ? Yeah . I did . Funny thing though was once the interest was sparked he did everything in vain to put it out . Go figure !

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay
7 years ago

Nice one. It doesn’t get much better than that.

My son is 9 going on 10. My father was/is a professional race car designer/engineer/mechanic, so I was lucky enough to have exposure to all things petrolicious in my youth and throughout my life. I suppose this passion was cultivated in my son while he was still in the womb, but now he his giving me driving tips (whether I want them or not) when we go karting together… :p

We will be three generations of petrolheads heading up for a few hours of browsing the racing machines at the National event this weekend at Fontana. Good times. See you there?

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay
7 years ago

Since we’re posting pictures… 😉
Good times.