Journal: How Has Your Mom Influenced Your Automotive Taste?

How Has Your Mom Influenced Your Automotive Taste?

By Yoav Gilad
May 8, 2014
16 comments

I enjoy working on cars and I can attribute that to watching and helping my dad work on cars when I was growing up. But he has always had a practical view of cars, to him they were appliances or tools to accomplish an objective, and maintenance and repairs were the means to keep that tool humming. But, to my financial detriment, I’ve always been bored by the practical. My cars have always had a certain style, performance level, and have made a statement.

This I owe completely to my mother. I grew up hearing stories about her family’s road trips throughout Mexico, her sister’s Ford Mustang, and her own brownish-purple Dinalpin (as it was known in Mexico, or the Alpine A110 elsewhere). These were cars with verve! They got me excited about cars in general and epic drives through sunny, faraway places with strange names. I think there is a direct relationship between my editorship here and the passion for autos and adventure that she instilled in me. So this Mother’s Day, I’ll thank her for the usual–her warmth, understanding, and love–but I’ll also have to thank her for my style and love of all things automotive.

As this coming Sunday is Mothers’ Day in the US, please share how (if at all) your mom has influenced your automotive tastes.

Photography by Amikam Gilad

Other Image Sources: petrolicious.comoldcarbrochures.com

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Erik Dandanell
Erik Dandanell
8 years ago

[b]My Moms cars – one stands out.[/b]
In general my mom has had mostly “moms cars”, ie, VW Beatles, VW rear engine station wagons, Volvo station wagons, Ford Fiestas. All depending on the size of the family or what was appropriate depending on where we lived. Quite straight forward choices in other words except for one. During 1975-1977 we lived in Teheran – odd place, beautiful surroundings, fabulous food but horrible air pollution. Back then you either drove a locally produced car (Citroen Dyane, Opel Rekord – badged “Chevrolet Iran”, Peugeot, Paykan – Hilman Hunter), some mid-sized American brand or the ultra trendy new Range Rover. You have to remember the roads were extremely poor (probably still are) and quite narrow. Our family hobby was hiking and skiing (great skiing in Iran!) so that meant driving on winding treacherous roads totally lacking any guard rails. Soon my parents understood that a wide (though “mid-sized”) Buick with vague steering wasn’t the best pick… We needed something nimble and quick for those steep winding roads.
Enter my Moms “sport” Paykan 1275 GT (a license build British Hillman Hunter). Our car had to be specially ordered with safety belts. We also had a lockable ski-rack on the roof. I thought it looked GREAT! It was equipped with a sports engine – twin carb I presume. Painted in ivory white with coal black vinyl interior (hot in the summer), bucket front and rear seats – not that comfy if you’re placed rear middle I can tell you. It had rostyle steel wheels, quad round head lamps, a wooden dash with loads of gauges (at least that’s how I remember it!) This was our skiing car. It drove us faithfully back and forth to the slopes. Once we got trapped on the mountain road between avalanches (= powder skiing the next day!) another time a stone punctured the gas tank and we had to mend the hole with coach tape and a thick wool sock. I also remember finding stashes of chocolate in the glove department or chocolate wrapping paper hidden under the drivers seat. Chocolate was/still is a larger hobby that driving a cool car for my Mom.
What’s incredible is that these memories (as a 10-12 year old) have had such a [i]strong impact[/i] on my future car interest. I dislike American cars because of their vague handling. I admire cars with wooden interiors and lots of dials. I prefer sports seats. I can’t stand automatics. Four wheel drive is a plus. I love chocolate.
The inspiration to my short story is a previous comment by Afshin Behnia whos mother 1974 drove a light green BMW 2002 in Teheran. I myself saw a BMW 2002 (brown metallic) about the same time in Teheran. That became my dream car, it had all the attributes I appreciate. And it still does.
-The irony is that if the British car industry would have played their cards better back in the end of the 60’s and 70’s I’d be driving a sporty Hillman today instead of the BMWs I do. Good try Mom! 🙂

EDUARDO
EDUARDO
7 years ago
Reply to  Erik Dandanell

My mom used to drive a vw 79, and my pather dosnt, so i felt kind of shame when my mom pick us somewhere, when she started to teach me how to drive, i spend like 2 weeks learning, i wanted pretty bad, but i guess i had my father influence,finally made it, now am a car guy

John
John
8 years ago

My mom isn’t a car girl, but she is a Porsche girl. She fell in love with 911’s at a young age and shared this love with me as I grew up. When I was 7 she bought a beautiful black 72 911T which she kept for 8 years. I loved that car, and so did she. Eventually she tired of driving such a physical car and the car was used less and less until she sold it.

Fifteen years later I bought my first Porsche, a 96 911, and she was ecstatic. I’m still trying to get her to take it for a spin though. Occasionally I remind her that she is responsible for my obsession, and she just says she knows.

Before I bought my 993 I did search for her old 911 to see if it was for sale. I learned that it’s still in CA and it’s still being registered, but nothing else unfortunately.

Benjamin Shahrabani
Benjamin Shahrabani
8 years ago
Reply to  John

Maybe someone knows your car on the Rennlist?

JohnnyMayday
8 years ago

Mom took me out for my first driving lessons, on our four-speed (push-button overdrive) Volvo 240. While I was in high school, she drove a black on black Nissan 240SX and loved it. She’s never considered herself an enthusiast, but I’ll always remember watching her gracefully recover a skid after hitting a patch of snow when I was little.

Doug Fogler
Doug Fogler
8 years ago

My mom helped cultivate my love of cars from a pretty early age. Her first car was a 1968 Mercury Cougar with a 289 V-8 and she would often fondly recount her pleasant driving experiences with this car. Later she was the motivation behind making not one, but two Peugeot purchases. We owned back-to-back Peugeot 505 station wagons at a time when it seemed that everyone had Volvos or GM “land yachts”. I thought both displayed great industrial design and character and a unique style that I appreciate more and more as time passes. I also loved that its well thought out design allowed it to hold an amazing amount of cargo, more than many cars with a larger footprint. Anyways her love of the Peugeot brand taught me to appreciate quirky cars with a lot of personality. Thanks Mom, and happy Mother’s Day!

Ib Erik Söderblom
Ib Erik Söderblom
8 years ago

None, what so ever !

My Mom is conservative and non-passionate about cars.
She wants everything to have it’s original and well known place in the car.
But she also only want new cars…
Meaning, that she stays with the same brand for year after year after year, and she doesn’t get, why I change cars practically every year and have three very different ones.
Well she gets why I love my Alfa 156 V6, it’s so beautiful, but since it’s ridiculously expensive to just own, even more so when I drive it, she does’nt understand why I hang on to it.
She feels, that a car is a tool as a vacuum-cleaner… 🙁

Alex Diaz
Alex Diaz
8 years ago

My mom was a seamstess and would go on two hour each way to pick up clothes (usually in one of her big station wagons. Being a single mom she not only had to put food on the table, but also took on to repairing her own cars after getting fed up waiting for my uncle (and probably not to hear him bitch). She was also the one that provided me my vast collection of Hot Wheels.

I don’t remember a lot about her she passed in 95′ when I was seven, only the most sweet things. Like when we were riding in the car together, singing “Camaro, Camero, Camaro, Camero” a jingle we made up alternating the English and Spanish promounciations for the car.

Lastly, late in 2012 I was up a rope, and out of hope, and I got some inheretace money from her death. So essentially my mom bought me my 1966 Mustang, that I crashed the next day. Since then I’ve been trying to restore it, it’s been difficult, but it’s a labor of love for her. God willing, the glass, kyb’s and electrical get done by md June, all by my hands.

Rod S
Rod S
8 years ago

My mom was, and is, a huge influence on my automotive taste. She loves sports cars and she taught me how to drive stick. While post parents fear their kids having sports cars, my mom bought me a Celica and then a bright red MR2 as my first two cars. As a surprise present after getting my dream job, she even surprised me with an STI (which we both drove). So yeah, we’re both addicts of fun cars. Two years ago, I bought her an Opel Manta that we’re still (paying somebody) to restore today.

Brent Bonfiglio
Brent Bonfiglio
8 years ago

My mom was a HUGE influence on the way that I thought about cars… in the early 70’s , when I was growing up,she drove a 1973 audi fox and a 1976 Citroen SM whick she drove until 2003 …. she loved anything sporty and unconventional…. My first car was a an 1966 landrover…… I drove that car for 16 years… until I bought another land rover…. which I have now had for 16 years…. I just love cars with soul… and I owe it all to my mom..( my father only drove Buick’s)….

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia
8 years ago

My mom was definitely a big influence on me when it came to cars.

I was 4 years-old, and we were living in Tehran, when one day my mom came home with a brand new 1974 BMW 2002 in light green. I can’t describe the excitement I felt when I saw that 2002 in front of our house. I fantasized driving it like a mad man. From then on, I was obsessed with cars, and throughout the years, my mom continued to drive sports coupes such as a ’79 M-B 450SLC, ’86 BMW 635 CSi, and back to more M-B SL’s, and we even went and test drove a Porsche 928 together once.

In my ’20s I did purchase a 1974 2002, same year as my mom’s, and drove that thing hard for three years. That was the start of my vintage car obsession.

So in many way, I guess you could thank my mom for having instilled this passion that lead up to Petrolicious 🙂

Cyprian Costelloe
Cyprian Costelloe
8 years ago

Mine did in a big way, for starters I sent her to an auction to buy a bike, came home with a scooter that she taught me to fix, helped me buy my first motor bike, a suzuki. Taught me how to drive, then bought me a Citroen DS.

Benjamin Shahrabani
Benjamin Shahrabani
8 years ago

My mom is a creature of habit I believe. She would always get a model of car and then get its successor. That way, it would be something new but not so much different that it would be jarring to her. I am the same way – she knows what she likes, I know what I like – and we stick with it.

I would also say my mom instilled in me my fastidious nature as it applies to caring for my car(s). She always keeps her cars CLEAN, and SERVICED. I do the same, knowing that if I treat my car right, it will reward me with trouble free motoring and a high value if I ever decide to sell.

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle
8 years ago

I love my mother dearly i really do but if i can be honest she has very little if no influence on my auto taste. She doesnt even know how to drive 😀 and could care less what Im driving just as long as i get her where she needs to go :p

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
8 years ago

For me it’s probably the other way around. The eleven year old version of me convinced my Mum she needed a new Peugeot 205GTI. Obviously as an eleven year old and too young to drive the fact that the 85 model 205GTI didn’t come with power steering and my Mum found it hard to manoeuvre at parking speeds was irrelevant to that fact it looked cool and all the motoring mags raved about them. The 17 year old version of me convinced her to replace it with a Citroen AX GT. Light steering (actually light everything) but my Mum hated the snick snick gearbox especially the shift from fourth to fifth. As a driver myself by then I loved it though.
My Mum now drives a Mini Countryman Cooper S automatic, which I had no influence over whatsoever (I told her to buy a used Mercedes SLK instead)