We all had to start somewhere. Whether it was toy cars, books and magazines, or just a relative that had good taste, our passion for cars probably came at a pretty early age. We’ve asked about your love for Japanese nostalgic cars in particular, but many probably did not start out with an interest in J-tin to begin with. But no matter if you loved American muscle, Euro exotics, or started right off the bat with Nihon steel, we want to know:
What made you fall in love with cars?
The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Will cars of the 2010s be collectible, and if so, which ones?”
It was no surprise that many of you picked supercars like the Lexus LFA and Nissan GT-R to go down in history as collectibles of the 2010s. Others, like Alex Larsen, supplied pretty good lists of regular cars as well. In addition to a great list, Yuri held the most optimistic view of what the future could entail for enthusiast cars, while at the other end of the spectrum Nakagawa had the bleakest. We think Nakagawa might be more correct, but we’ll hope for Yuri’s with all our hearts.
Some of you, like Taylor C, identified cars that weren’t popular when they were in production but have become more admired in hindsight once they were discontinued. Jonathan P. cast a vote for more neglected cars of the era. RX626 mentioned cars beloved by young drivers that are modifying them to death. All of these categories are filled with candidates that comprise the current crop of collectible JNCs. We’ll see if the future repeats itself in 20 to 30 years.
As for the grand prize, this week it belongs to Iwakuni91, who made us think outside the box and gave a strong case for the most popular category of cars in the 2010s, SUVs:
Though I love cars, I think a lot of us have not considered the SUV and trucks of that era. I’m specifically thinking about the Honda Element (especially the SC) and Ridgeline. Americans will never get tired of trucks. And though I can’t see the aforementioned vehicles reaching the status of say, a Landcruiser or a 4Runner, I could see them becoming more esteemed as low mileage examples become more rare.
But the day I see a Ridgeline at Barrett’s with “period correct” trucknuts will be the day that the Apocalypse is upon us!
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!
Following diecasts of a few scales, 1/24 kits, racing sets (Scalextric, Matchbox Speedtrack and TCR) the key moment was Tamiya RC.
Finally free of the shackles of a track or my own imagination, I could actually tear up any given surface. Like so many, my first taste was the Hornet. Bikes, both pedaled and motored, had been my interest up to that time. One of my Tamiya 1/12 scale bikes (Honda VT250 Integra) led to me owning the real thing.
However, it was via building, driving and maintenance of the Hornet that I came to appreciate four wheels over two.
Growing up around them. I always loved cars and had a vast 1:64 diecast collection and restarted that as an adult. As a kid in the late 70’s and 80’s, my folks and even my older brothers owned Toyota Coronas TE27 Corollas (ahh the Mango!), a Toyota Crown iirc. But things really came to the forefront when my brother acquired a Mitsubishi Galant wagon. I don’t remember chassis name but I’ve seen similar ones from car meet pics here. As a little 6 yr old I was enamored by this well cared for wagon with these nice aftermarket wheels all this room in back to play with also “boom-boom music”. Mind you, sound systems were still archaic back then. One time, my brother picked it up from the paint and body shop with a new paint job and parked it in our driveway. I got in it and accidentally moved the shifter out of gear, handbrake not engaged, parked on an incline and the car slid down to the gate… and boom! It needed body work again. I got in trouble, felt guilty and just remembered my brother painstakingly restoring it once again. This love of the shaggin wagon led me to love wagons in general and influenced my love of my future JNC the Honda Element.
In the mid-80’s my family owned a mechanic shop that worked on exotics, Italian cars and British roadsters (spawned my love of Miatas). I remember falling in love with all cars.
Fast forward to (my previously told story) a few years later about my brother’s MR2 that I still have, my 10th grade HS Biology teacher with a nice red Celica (told that tale here too) with the pop-up headlights that she used to take me home in, my first car which was an ’89 Dodge Colt (Mirage) new. I loved all cars but it was the uniqueness and simplicity of Japanese cars esp the ones my family owned that really made me fall for them and truly get nostalgic here on Japanese Nostalgic Car whenever you cover them.
When I was younger, I wasn’t really in to cars. Cars were just …cars. Until I got a ride in a relative’s 93′ Talon TSI AWD. He was telling me an overload of information; from the turbo to the awd system and about that strange 3rd petal next to the brake pedal, haha. I don’t think I will ever forget getting sucked into the seat when we did an AWD launch. After that, I got addicted.
I had always been “into” cars as early as I could remember. When I was a kid, I had all manner of toy cars, and I was in love with all things with wheels for a long time, bikes, skateboards, gokarts, etc. But what really cemented it all? A 1988 Buick Skylark Custom. Age 16 and with a newly minted license, I gave 200 of my dollars to an estate sale manager and drove away. It was originally just to haul me and my band stuff around. But I realized, very early: this was freedom. I could go anywhere at any time. And this was excitement; It was just an 80 HP 2.5 liter 4 cyl in a front wheel drive American car but I realized just how much =fun= it was to drive that slow car fast, take it up and down the twisty country roads of rural Kentucky. And that car lead to my first Z, which itself lead to a love of cars in general, but specifically the Japanese cars of my childhood, those Showa Superheros that were doing battle against Corvettes and Porsches light to light.
I’ve had a lot car releated toys as a kid, but didin’t love’d them. I was into JDM cars thru Gran Turismo and Need For Speed Underground 2 just because every one around me was into german cars. My true love for cars started when i discovered “Iniatial D” in 3rd grade of high school. Then i REALLY started do desire a japanese car and of course a drivers licence. I’ve obtained it shortly after in the middle of 4th (last) grade. Right after it i bought my 1st car from the sholarship iwas reciving for good notes. And so my love for cars bloosomed. For many years i was a hardcore-JDM-only beliver, but now i appriciate non_JDM cars too. It’s proabobly just a matter of age and maturity. 😉
My love for cars was not overnight. The interest started with The Dukes of Hazzard as well as Knight Rider. Watching General Lee defy gravity, while seeing KITT flex all its gizmos definitely fueled that interest. My parents had an old Chevette and and older Opel, so that wasn’t much to call home about. My neighbors, however, were older kids in high school / college, and so they had an Escort GT, Sunbird Turbo, and a Chrysler Laser. The owner of the Sunbird took me on a test ride, and I still remember what “turbo rush” felt like. Another neighbor, an old couple, had a Chrysler LeBaron that had the vinyl top, power windows, and four-speaker stereo with AM/FM cassette. To me, that was pure status right there.
During playtime in preschool, I always went for the toy cars and the ramps I’d made to fly them over, and on the blacktop I’d either be racing around in the tricycle or getting pushed on the Radio Flyer.
Whenever my parents merged onto the freeway, it always felt like a race as I saw my dad get serious and look over his shoulder while the car made more noise than speed.
We couldn’t afford Camrys nor Accords, so we had a Chrysler K car, a Grand Voyager and a maiden-year 4-cyl Ford Taurus. These cars weren’t without problems, and my curiosities on how things worked led me to learn more about a car’s mechanics (or in this case its shortcomings).
Add it all up, if it’s wheels, if it moves, I love it.
Nothing…I was born with it. There was never a moment in my life where I had an “Aha” moment and realized how much cars made me happy. It has just been a part of me ever since I can remember.
My wife challenges me today to go one day, just one day, without looking at a car related video, reading a car related article, etc. and I just can’t.
My first memories of cars involved playing with my matchbox cars outside, making racetracks in the dirt. Dangling my feet off the open tailgate of my dads Jeepster station wagon, while going to the store.
From there, I graduated to Hot Wheels and got into building plastic models. Still remember my my very first one, a 1/32 Aurora, Cobra Daytona Coupe. Had no idea what it, or who Carrol Shelby was, but boy was it cool. I think what cemented my bond for cars and racing was seeing the movie Grand Prix when I was about nine years old.
Back then, cars ignited passion and stirred ones soul. They were as much about fun and energy as they were practical. Today, they are more and more becoming utilitarian objects, used to move people and cargo from place to place. For me, cars and bikes are still emotionally driven experiences.
I think it was a slow conditioning. My dad was a mechanic in the army. After my dad’s passing, I saw pictures I have never seen before and it kinda made sense.
When I was a kid, my dad had either an late 70s or early 81s mustang. He wrecked it when he hit black ice and went over a cliff. After that, he got a MT Honda Civic CVCC.
In 93, when I was high school, my dad traded in for a brand new 93 Honda civic DX hatchback. That was my car throughout high school.
I was a troubled youth, truancy, fights, juvenile hall… barely made it out of high school. Was going down that destructive path until I went to HIN in 98 in Long Beach.
Saw how a civic could be built and focused on working to build my 93 civic the same way. During 98/99, I started to look at and admire “other cars”. Was on yahoo.jp looking a personal homepages and communicated with many Japanese friends.
Which lead to my trip to Japan in 2001. That lead to me having a broader appreciation for cars. https://www.f31club.com/2017/04/22/trip-to-japan-2002/
Of course, like any kid from the 80s, I grew up with Matchbox, Kenner Fast 111s and Hot Wheels. Since I was born in Germany, we had a lot of Matchbox cars.
Like most people here, as a young child I had a lot of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars that I would race around the carpet frequently along with a Scalextric track that got used every time a friend would come over after school.
But the moment I truly ‘fell in love’ with cars was Christmas 1998 when I was fortunate enough for Santa to bring me a Playstation (with Dual Shock controller!) and a copy of Gran Turismo.
Prior to this I doubt I was aware of the existence of J-tin. Growing up in the UK during the 90’s the only cars I really saw on the roads were Euros. Even performance cars were limited to things like Golfs, Peugeot 205s and Escorts & Sierras. But on that Christmas day my eyes were opened.
Prelude. Civic. Integra. CRX. NSX. Lancer Evolution. RX7. Supra. GT-R.
These weren’t boring looking cars like your Grandad was driving…they were sharp, angular and best of all they were fast! No Rover 75s or Austin Metros here. These cars were like something out of science fiction. With crazy names to match their crazy stylings.
Had I not have got what I probably still consider the best Christmas gift I ever received who knows where my journey of car ownership would have taken me…probably into a Polo or Seat Ibiza…
Gran Turismo opened my eyes to the amazing machinery that Japan had to offer, and started me on a journey of enjoyment of Nihon steel that continues to this day.