Journal: How Did You Realize That You Love Cars?

How Did You Realize That You Love Cars?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
August 21, 2015
20 comments

Photography by Nat Twiss, Andrew Schneider, & Afshin Behnia

On my desk sits Road & Track Presents Exotic Cars: 5, a short-lived special series of magazines that the publication put out in the ’80s and ’90s. It morphed into Road & Track: Exotic Cars Quarterly, but that’s not the point. What’s important is that a magazine very much like this one made me realize I wanted to do something in the auto industry as a career.

We had a subscription to Road & Track, and since my father and I share the same name and reading was encouraged, I had a pile of ever-changing car magazines at my disposal. One that I’ve kept was Exotic Cars: 5, but the magazine that captivated me was the first edition of Exotic Cars Quarterly, with a jet black Vector W2 hovering on the cover over an alien landscape.

The woman in red? I’d forgotten that she was even there, but mind you, I was only 6 years old in 1990. More important was the easy-to-digest figure of “200 mph”, a number I’m no doubt sure many of you have as well. I still think it’s one of the best magazines ever put together, but of course I’m biased toward the cars from my youth: the FWD Lotus Elan SE, Mille Miglia, Zender Fact 4, Porsche 928 by Gemballa…

Beyond that, imagine an issue where the Lamborghini Bravo is overshadowed by the Alfa Romeo B.A.T.7 and—oh yes—the garden hose-toting Pontiac Stinger.

But for all the braggadocio exhibited by Vector on the front, it was the photo shoot featuring Luigi Colani and his outing to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah that solidified my desire to do something car-related.

Why? While I can’t say for sure—I was just 6—looking back now, I think that Colani’s forms must have been so alien from all other cars I’d seen until that point. I don’t have any old sketchbooks from that age, but I do know I was obsessed with becoming a car designer until I was nearly in my teens. I have a feeling that Colani had something to do with it.

Though I wore out the magazine and it was thrown in the trash, my second-favorite, Exotic Cars: 5, survives on my desk. Scanning its contents, I still feel inspired by the many incredible photos by Jeff Zwart in that issue. More importantly, over time it’s remained in my care and able to be referenced for stories or to simply flip through.

A magazine is not likely as glamorous as your stories will be, but what made you realise that you love cars? 

Image Sources: tinypic.comvwvortex.com

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Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves

I think my earliest memory goes back to when I was 4 or 5 and saw a white 911 Porsche parked near a beach I normally went to. Mind you, that this was 1979, 1980 (the latest) , Portugal had just come out of a Dictatorship, and it was very very rare to see these cars in the street! But compared to most of the people on Petrolicious, my real interest for (classic) cars only appeared in my early 20´s , when I saw a rusted 68 Opel Commodore – I knew that I had to have it . Nowadays,… Read more »

Wade Devers
Wade Devers

Image attached this time.

Wade Devers
Wade Devers

When I was seven, my brother and i began collecting and trading cards called “Top Trumps”. The image attached here is a copy of the very card that sparked my interest in both car design and graphic design. The image of a Grand Prix White Carrera RS would begin a life-long obsession with cars and car-related visual ephemera.

I currently own a 1986 Carrera, and I am a graphic designer by trade.

Baskingshark
Baskingshark

According to my parents my first word was either “car’ or “Fiat”.

Nauman Farooq
Nauman Farooq

When I was about 3 years old, my family moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is where I started noticing cars and their different shapes. The first ones to catch my eye were Porsche’s. I preferred the look of the 928 over the 911 even back then, but the car that solidified my interest in cars was the silver Lamborghini Countach that I saw at the local auto show in 1981. That pointy shape and swing up doors looked so alien compared to what else was out there. My love for cars has never looked back since.

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

I was raced to the hospital [i]in utero[/i] in an F-Production Triumph Spitfire with open exhaust. I was taken home as a newborn in a 23 window VW bus. :p

Douglas Anderson
Douglas Anderson

I remember being able to identify the different sound of cars as they passed near my house as young as 5 years. We would have deep ( well as deep as you can at that age) discussions of , was that a Chevy, a Ford , Studebaker, Nash, Old’s, Pontiac etc. I think being born in Detroit in 1944 and raised in Dearborn , MI. I was infected with the motor gene at birth. I still perk up and listen to anything motorvating that has any sort of a real car/motorcycle exhaust note. Except for the fart can , winged,… Read more »

Steely
Steely

I can’t pin point the moment, I have loved cars all my life, since racing car wall paper on my bedroom wall, and a road carpet, a new matchbox car my mom used to buy me every week, that later progressed into bigger models, to our neighbour who owned a garage that specialised in American cars, rare in the UK at the time, and other nice cars that I used to see around, including my mates dads 2002.. Here’s me (in the front passenger seat).

Michael Micetich
Michael Micetich

I was always into Hot Wheels and naming off cars as we went down the road, but my true love started when I got to ride in my Uncle’s new BMW Z3 the day after I saw James Bond in Goldeneye.

Savyon Saw
Savyon Saw

My dad is an engineer and his love for machines rubbed off on me. Maybe a little too well. When I was a kid, I had an odd obsession with large machines such as construction vehicles and semi trucks. I was a weird kid. And then I saw 2 Fast 2 Furious when I was 5. I immediately fell in love with Brian’s R34. There was just something perfect about the colours silver and blue, and the Nissan Skyline GTR became the first car I lusted after and directed my love for machines in general towards cars.

Scott Lockhart
Scott Lockhart

I always seemed to notice cars when they were invisible appliances to others. One of my earliest car related memories was of my uncle’s blue ’57 Chevy Bel Air he drove in high school when I was probably about 4 years old. It was an original fuelie car, but the previous owner had pulled the engine, kept it, and substituted in a 327/4-speed from a Corvette with a pair of glass-packs. Anyway, my uncle and his friend taught me the 4-speed shift pattern and thought it was hilarious when they would ask me to demonstrate how to shift the car… Read more »

Dan Tucker
Dan Tucker

I used to make my way through parking lots naming cars not long after learning to walk… So about 22 years ago, give or take. My dad always worked in car dealerships growing up, too, and I am so grateful for it.

HendrikO
HendrikO

According to my parents I was mad about cars as soon as I could look out of my pram. There are tales of me urging my aunt to join me to the other side of the road and read out loud the badge of a Plymouth (an extremely rare sight in Germany) because I couldn’t bare to not know a car. With 3 or 4 I knew more brands and models by heart than any adult around me. Fuel for that innate passion? Not my father who regarded cars as mere transportation from A to B and frowned upon anyone… Read more »

ra168e
ra168e

The secondhand car magazines were big for me too.

Alex Buckler
Alex Buckler

I remember growing up the son of an ex drag racer and moto-cross rider for Kawasaki. He was everything American muscle cars and Japanese bikes. I liked cars for the simple reason that he liked them, and I got to spend time with him by handing him tools. One day, I had the opportunity to visit a Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Bentley dealer and service center. Just to the left of the entrance, surrounded by glass windows and a circular black carpet placed on the white marble floors (as if to say these tires are too good to touch the cold… Read more »

Bertram Wooster
Bertram Wooster

Sliding the Drivers’ Ed car did it for me.

ra168e
ra168e

7 years old riding in the “back seat” of an Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III that belonged to my friend’s dad. The same man also had a Model A Ford with rumble seat, which was another formative ride.

DomM
DomM

I clearly remember it hit me in the summer of 1998 (I was 10). My dad had just opened up an auto repair shop and business was thriving. An eclectic European guy brought in his dark blue TVR Cerbera in for some minor body work. How he got it into the USA still puzzles me to this day… Anyway I sat and pretend drove it for hours while being blown away by its styling quirks and right hand drive. Suddenly my interest spiked from that point on. Moment likes these when amazing cars would come in along with countless car… Read more »

Andrew Salt
Andrew Salt

For me, it was I going (on the spur of the moment) to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, UK, with my wife in 2008 for the annual gathering of the TVR car club – over 700 in one place. Breath-taking. Suddenly my long passion for motorcycles ended. I wanted a Chimaera 400 V8. A few weeks later, at the age of 45, I had my first sports car. I’m on my 3rd now and my bikes have been sold. (I can’t bring myself to sell my leathers just yet though, just in case that passion returns).

DomM
DomM

TVRs are such special vehicles. They’re like nothing out there and were that way since they started. It’s easy to understand how such a provoked out interest. Whether it be bikes or cars, long live the passion for motoring and preservation!