Last week I was sat in the pub with my old man, and I was describing to him that a career that I would be interested in looking into his automotive journalism. I have always been passionate about cars and although I don't express it as openly now as I did when I was younger, I still make sure to keep regularly updated with cars. My father agreed and said that I knew my stuff, but that it was a pity that he himself wasn't interested in cars. He currently drives a 2006 Mercedes A-Class with around 130k miles on the clock and in pretty poor condition, but he couldn't car (see what I did there) less, as a car is understandably just for going to A to B. Many other people share that view and I completely understand, however, it got me thinking where did my interest for cars begin? I put a poll out yesterday to see if Drivetribers passion for cars came from; their family, themselves or a friend. For me, my interest came from a family friend and was an influence on where I am now.
Back to square one
To first give you some context, the town I am from in the U.K is far from wealthy and has a much higher unemployment rate than the U.K average. So as expected, flash cars such were not a common occurrence in my town, so even a Porsche 911 is a major big deal in my town, however, in some areas of London, a Porsche 911 is just the 'run around car'. So as you can imagine when my family friend who I will Call 'G' for the sake of this article came around to my family home in the early 2000s, when I was around 4-6 in a red Toyota MR2 I just hadn't know what to think. I probably thought something of the lines of what is that?! I don't know what model or year the car was, but I assume it was the GT T-Bar spec as you'll soon realise in this article G never bought the poverty spec version of cars. I don't believe I ever went for a drive in the car and generally don't remember much of the car except for one feature; the electric aerial. I remember every time the car started the electric aerial would raise from the rear of the car. Now to a young boy, that was the best feature possible on the car but more importantly, I probably owe it to the second generation Toyota MR2 for my interest in cars.
However, like all good things, the MR2 was no more and it was sold to some lucky buyer. Having said that, it's not all bad news as with the old car gone, means a new car incoming. This time it took the shape of a 2003/4 986 Porsche Boxster S with the 3.2l engine in a light silver, with a dark blue/purple interior like the one currently for sale in the picture above. This was a beautiful car inside and out and one that made up a great proportion of my childhood from around 2006 to him sadly selling it around 2011/12. This car I have a lot of great memories with as a child, one being the time he took me for a ride around the block in it. I must have been around the age of 8, so I could barely see over the dashboard but I remember the sound of the engine and how big my smile was on my face! I was sat in a Porsche driving around my local neighbourhood and even though it probably only lasted 5 minutes and we only drove about 2 miles, it was one of the most memorable moments in my interest in cars.
Now twos things I didn't mention about G is that he never rushes to buy his new sports car is that he will never rush to buy a new sports car and they are always better than showroom condition. For example, if he has a certain spec in mind and price range, he won't budge even if it takes him 2 years to buy a car. Likewise, I don't think I have ever seen any of his cars dirty, even in the winter. Every Friday his cars are heavily detailed to a better than showroom condition, I don't think I've ever seen a car in a showroom not even close to how clean his cars are. These two qualities are been transcended down to me and like him, I won't budge if I know my spec and like him, my car is always kept clean to a level that I question if I have OCD.
In 2015/6, G had already sold the great Boxster a few years before and had been on the search for a new car for a few years now. One day I and my family were round visiting their house when after 30 minutes of catching up I asked the question I always used to "So how's the car buying going?". However, unlike the past two or three years, he told me that the car was sitting in the garage. After leaping off the couch, we went into the garage and showed me the car. There it was, the Mercedes SLK55 AMG beaming in all of its glory like the one seen above. Now I think many people don't know much about the SLK55 AMG, I know I didn't at first. However, as he started the engine and thunder started to come out of the cars 4 tailpipes, I realised that this wasn't any old Mercedes. Unlike, the other 2 cars, this was the first car that I had a driving license and all I could think about is I wonder it is like to drive. However, this isn't some happy fairytale article, to be straight to the point, I haven't driven it and never will as by the time I can afford the insurance at the age of 25, the car will probably be sold.
This is most likely led me to be interested in cars as I guess me and G both shared a passion with the automotive industry. One of my fondest memories was that when I first bought my first car, as expected the first people I showed were my parents to gain their approval. Then the next place I drove the car straight to was G's house to show him and I think that will always be the case for all the future car purchases I make.
This is my second day writing on Drivetribe, what kind of journey has your interest in cars been?