How Did You Realize That You Love Cars?
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?