LosAngeles

How we thought on cars as kids

41 posts in this topic

Who knows where this topic may go, but let's play with it anyway.... When it came to cars and how I looked at them, these were the following weird thoughts that came to mind: -Until at least 88, I didn't understand that new cars replaced older versions of the same nameplate. I basically figured all these different looks of cars were still being built alongside one another. For instance: The Nissan Hardbody came out in 1986. I thought it was a bigger truck, or some truck made of different metal or something. I figured the older version was still available new at the dealer and that you still had a choice. I also thought the first-gen F-body was the "coupe." the second-gen was the "hatchback," and the then-new third-gen was the "station wagon." I simply didn't understand the concept of model years yet. -I thought that anything with a spoiler was a turbo car and was fast. I used to call wings "that turbo thing on the back." I got this from the Turbo Trans Am commercial, where the back of the spoiler had a "Turbo" decal. -If it didn't have the name or logo of the make on the car, I was struggling to guess who the hell made the car: The Thunderbird could easily have been built by Volvo Didn't know who the hell made Rivieras or Camaros -Toyota used to have a "T" logo, where the bottom portion of it looked like Pontiac's arrowhead...so in turn, when I saw a Hilux, I once thought it was a Pontiac truck. -Because of the badge-engineering being heavily practiced by American car companies, it made me think that cars that looked similar were actually twins, and therefore related. This caused me to think that the Yugo and the Volkswagen A1 Rabbit were the same car. As well as the Toyota Tercel wagon and Honda Civic wagon, both of which had similar greenhouses. Let me not get started on the Fiero GT and CRX. Or the 86 models of the Accord fastback, Celica, Impulse (which I once thought was a Honda), and 200SX. Or Nissan Hardbody and GM's S-10/S-15 for that matter. Ah, what the hell, include Hyundai's Excel sedan looking like the Chevy Spectrum/Isuzu I-Mark, and the hatch (before the Precis came out) makng me think of the Mirage... -Had no idea how the hell drive wheels worked. Plus I used to read Car Craft. Not only did this have me thinking anything with wheelie bars, big Mickey Thompson tires in the rear, and a jacked-up rear end was fast, but also had me thinking that all cars were either rear-drive of 4wd. It took me getting into the RC car game in '90 to see what was what. -I once thought the first gen Prelude was simply a Civic coupe. And that the Accord hatch was an elongated Civic. -Again, because of similar styling and badge engineering, I once thought of certain cars to all be the same size, just with different styling. This had me thinking, for example, the rear doors of the 84 X-body Skylark, A-body Century, and G-body Regal were all interchangeable. -Styling simply melded in my mind for the most part....similar greenhouses had me thinking the Porsche 924/944 was actually a Datsun (because its greenhouse reminded me of a 310GX and F10). This also applied to the first RX-7 making me think Camaro, and second gen RX-7 (FC3S) making me think Porsche 928 (while I wasn't far off, still...). More later, because I have a million of 'em...it's your turn. Edited by LosAngeles
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I remember a time when the only car I wanted was a "convertible" I thought that the TV antenna on our '90 Lumina (V-shaped like the ones on Limos) was the spoiler and that it made our car go faster I thought the Euro on our Lumina meant it was made in Europe The only sports car was a Corvette...I had never heard of or seen any others until I was like 10...and only the coolest sports cars had white leather seats The blue convertible Matchbox car that I loved so dearly was an old Corvette (actually, it was a '65 Mustang convertible but I didn't know it) I used to be scared of G-body Monte Carlos with tinted windows because one time I was outside playing with my Ninja Turtles when some high schoolers drove by in one and threw water balloons at me. I went inside crying and thinking that only bad people must drive them. After watching plenty of 80s movies and TV as a kid, turbo to me was a big red button clearly labeled TURBO that made the car go really fast. My dad's Corvette was a TURBO because it was a sports car, all sports cars have TURBO...but I could never find the button... I thought CB antennas meant you could pick up any TV station you wanted...I thought it was dumb for cops to have them because they'd probably be watching TV and eating donuts instead of catching robbers There's probably more I'll post later if I can remember them...yeah, I was an ignorant kid :P
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I though the Citation was "cool" I thought toyota only made the corolla and pick up truck and datsun was for poor people I thought American brand lines where only bought by rich people (as my parents stated they couldn't afford one when I was younger). Funny, even then I hated Japanese brand cars because we where always the ones on the side of the road needing help. I thought if GM went below 35% of the market they would have to close their doors. I too believed that all turbos needed a button, though I knew the Corvette didn't have one (as I was convinced only foreign cars use it, like in the movies)
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I thought if GM went below 35% of the market they would have to close their doors.

[post="10187"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

You were thinking of stuff like THAT as a KID?
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I think we're gonna see a lot of similar anecdotes related to the concept of "Turbo" throughout this thread..... Anyway, one more, because I got a LONG day ahead of me.... -I lived in a GM family. I came into this world with mom having a Camaro, pops never having owned anything but Chevy vans, my one uncle having a Caprice (the coupe dubbed a "glass house" in street circles), one aunt with a Cutlass Supreme, another with a Firebird, and my grandpa with a Chevy Cheyene truck. Plus neighbors owned them and it was most of what I saw on the street. So GM was kinda my basis for what was right with the car world, how cars looked, and all that good stuff and great taste too. Anyway, while that's not a bad thing, the following was: -The Chevy Monza, Pontiac Sunbird, Olds Firenza and such were just cool to me. I knew the Cavalier and other J-cars that came in the 80s were the replacements. But I figured that the Corvair was kinda the first-generation Monza (because of the "monza" badge on them)...and ironically enough, didn't know that Monza actually replaced Vega and was on the same chassis. -And back on the looks thing: Because of the Buick LeSabre and Olds Delta 88 coupes, I was looking for the Chevy and Pontiac versions....again, didn't understand the size and chassis thing, so I thought the Beretta and GP of that time period (1988) were exactly the same as the H-bodies. This would also apply to the Cadillac Seville. I thought the first version that was based on X-bodies was actually related to the shorter A-bodies that looked like it. Plus the E-body third gen of the late 80s made me think it was on the same architecture as the Park Avenue and Ninety Eight. Almost forgot to point out that I thought the X-car Chevy Citation and Pontiac Phoenix fastbacks of the 80s were twins of the late 70s A-body Buick Century and Olds Cutlass Salon. Malibu coupe equaled Bonneville coupe twin. I even thought the Fiero was Pontiac's answer to the Corvette. Last but not least, because of the relation thing, I thought the late 60s Riviera and Toronado were badge-engineered Camaros and Firebirds. GM had me all screwed up, majorly....
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I thought Subaru was Australian. Oh, and the '97 LeSabre was the coolest car ever.

You have to realize I only really started getting into cars during the summer between 5th and 6th grade. It started as a project for summer school - I had to take statistics on something, so I decided to do what marque of car I saw. I listed all of them from Acura to VW and did that. I really like doing it, so when middle school started, on the 40-mile hour-long bus ride to my gifted middle school (for nerds), I sad with pencil and legal pad in had, tallying up all the cars I saw. One week was Buick week and I'd write each model I knew of (Century, LeSabre, etc) vertically down the left-hand side. Across the top horizontally would be the generations as I knew them with years as I knew them. I would then break each 'box' down into bodystyle - coupe, sedan, wagon, convertible.

Anything weird or unfamiliar, I'd scribble on the bottom of the page and look up later. I did this later for Oldsmobile, Cadillac, and then Pontiac. I started Chevrolet, but by then, I got friends and life moved on.

I tried doing Mercury and Chrysler after my first Buick one, but I never got into it and abandoned them, thus solidifying my love for General Motors.

I remember seeing those sheets sometime before I moved last year and I wonder where they are now. I really learned a whole lot from doing it, though, not only about what cars are actually what, but what was popular and what wasn't. I threw around terms like 'badge-engineering' and 'A-body' long before my time.
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Only thing in this vein I can think of is that I used to think rainwater refilled the windshield washer reservoir.

When I was a tyke, my grandfather used to say his car had a jet engine. He would point to this red light low on the dash he would warn me to get ready, it would light and the car would take off.
Later I figured out it was the parking brake light: he must've lightly engaged the brake and floored it at the same time.

I don't think I actually thought it had a jet engine...
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Um... I can't remember. All I know is that I have always had a love for cars. I've drawn them since I was like two. I've been able to identify most new ones sold in the US since I was five. Been continuously learning knew ones from around the world ever since. Still am.
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I used to be scared of G-body Monte Carlos with tinted windows because one time I was outside playing with my Ninja Turtles when some high schoolers drove by in one and threw water balloons at me.  I went inside crying and thinking that only bad people must drive them.


*raises eyebrow*

Only bad people drive 'em?

Crap.

;)


As for me ... well, I was fixated on Monte Carlos.... BUT, I loved looking at the gorgeous lines of all the cars ... especially when the cars I saw were cleaned. Dirty cars, I always wanted to wash them and thought their owners must be mean people who didn't care about anything.

*shrugs*

I was a kid.

And, as a kid, I always remembered people by the car(s) they had/drove. If I didn't remember someone, all people had to do was tell me what they drove...and I instantly remembered. Still do that sometimes ;).


Cort, "Mr Road Trip" / soon2be ex-"Mr MC", 31swm/pig valve/pacer
MCfamily.models.HO.chdQB = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/
MC Guide = http://www.chevyasylum.com/mcspotter/main.html
IL & area MCs = http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/imcog/
MC's future = http://www.projectmonte.com/petition/
"My depth perception must be off again" ... Saliva ... 'Rest In Pieces'
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*raises eyebrow*

Only bad people drive 'em?

Crap.

;)
As for me ... well, I was fixated on Monte Carlos.... BUT, I loved looking at the gorgeous lines of all the cars ... especially when the cars I saw were cleaned.  Dirty cars, I always wanted to wash them and thought their owners must be mean people who didn't care about anything.

*shrugs*

I was a kid.

And, as a kid, I always remembered people by the car(s) they had/drove.  If I didn't remember someone, all people had to do was tell me what they drove...and I instantly remembered.  Still do that sometimes ;).
Cort, "Mr Road Trip" / soon2be ex-"Mr MC", 31swm/pig valve/pacer
MCfamily.models.HO.chdQB = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/
MC Guide = http://www.chevyasylum.com/mcspotter/main.html
IL & area MCs = http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/imcog/
MC's future = http://www.projectmonte.com/petition/
"My depth perception must be off again" ... Saliva ... 'Rest In Pieces'

[post="10582"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Yeah, seriously, to a kid that age (or me at least)...a G-body Monte is a mean looking machine. Those four square headlights and that gaping crest-adorned grille along with limo tint windows just spell trouble. http://www.cheersandgears.com/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/AH-HA_wink.gif

Good thing that balloon incident didn't scar me from loving them to death. Love live the Monte Carlo SS!

Posted Image
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I also thought round headlights meant old car and rectangular lights meant new.
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I also thought the taillamps on the first-gen GM minivans were too high for anyone to clean. Well, for me at the age of 8, it was true.
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Yeah, seriously, to a kid that age (or me at least)...a G-body Monte is a mean looking machine.  Those four square headlights and that gaping crest-adorned grille along with limo tint windows just spell trouble.  http://www.cheersandgears.com/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/AH-HA_wink.gif


*chuckles*

Yeah, I can see where you might think that ... but, some of us are just kind dudes that love our cars ;).


Good thing that balloon incident didn't scar me from loving them to death.  Love live the Monte Carlo SS!


AMEN!

Sweet pic, btw :).
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Mercury and Plymouth, to me, were the Pontiac of Ford and Chrysler respectively. I would sometimes think Starsky & Hutch's car might have been a Duster instead of a Gran Torino.
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And, as a kid, I always remembered people by the car(s) they had/drove.  If I didn't remember someone, all people had to do was tell me what they drove...and I instantly remembered.  Still do that sometimes ;).

[post="10582"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Oh, I still do that. For me to know someone's car and not their name isn't terribly uncommon.

And when I was little, the first car I remember ever truly falling in love with was the 4th gen Camaro. I thought it was just so sleek and mean looking, and absolutely loved how the rear spoiler was so smoothly integrated into the design of the car, unlike anything else i'd seen. For the longest time, my dream car was a dark green Z/28. I have others now that I like more, but it'll always hold a special place in my heart as my first love.
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I thought Subaru was Australian.


Ditto.

I also thought Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche were all divisions of some big Italian sports car company.
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Posted Image

My love affair with cars started around age 2/3. I had a book about cars, and my mom would read from it. I have a tape recording of her reading to me. She points to a picture and says "look at that truck". I chime in and say "mom, thats a Jeep!". :P

At around age 4/5, there was a mint 1957 Chevy in my area. When I went for strolls, I would get really excited about it, and point. :)

At about age 8/9, I started really inquiring and trying to learn about cars. What got me started on GM was that it really bugged me that there was both a Chevy and GMC cargo van. I couldnt understand why the same vechicle would carry two names.

The GM facination was helped along with my aunt having two Camaros. Later, she met my uncle (a car guy) who had owned plenty of neat rides (Eldorados, Fieros, Corvettes, Firebirds). He had a mint '81 Corvette at the time.

When I was in grade school (around '93-'95), The Honda Civic was considered to be a complete loser car. No cool person would ever want to be seen in that thing.

Later on in high school (around '98-'00), everyone wanted one. <_<
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I remember that Trucks were for men and cars were for women, thats how it worked for everyone I knew and that's how I understood it. I thought fords were junk and GMs were the best, toyotas and hondas were for really young people that didn't buy real cars, kinda like a few steps up from a power wheels! (some things never change :P)
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Oh, I still do that.  For me to know someone's car and not their name isn't terribly uncommon.


Heh....same here with the not knowing the name. VERY frustrating for me, as I like to remember people's names ... but, with as many people as I know and have met from various boards/groups/clubs, it's darn near impossible :(.


Heh...can't believe I forgot to mention that, soon after my parents bought their '76 MC (replaced a '68 Impala SS), I started pointing and saying "arlo". Mom followed my finger once ... and I was pointing to another '76 MC. Go figure, eh? ;)
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I remember liking any car that had four doors and all red (no amber) tail lights when I was 8 or 9. And I mean, any car. I liked a freaking Dodge Omni for God's sake. :blink:

I didn't know Acura and Honda were related at first.

I thought ribbed tail lights were cool. (i.e. like those on an Aerostar or Town & Country)

I grew up quickly after I got a greater knowledge of cars. :P
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Wow this topic is not what I thought it was at all. Some of you guys scare me, and you are regulars at an auto forum ? For some reason I never had any of those misconceptions as a youngster. I only got more confused as I got older. [This was not an attack, it was in humor]
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Ok, ok, ok I thought of one. I was totally unaware or ignorant to the beauty of awsome cars like the Rivieras and Toronados or NewYorkers, 300's, and Imperials, or Galaxys and Monterys. I only had eyes for Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes or Cudas, or Europeans sports cars and that was well into my 20's or maybe even thirties. Now Im more refined [That too was humor]
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I usedd to think that Acura, Infinti, and Lexus were all Americna brands back when I was a little kid.
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"Teh b3st br@nD eVARR" was the make of your parent's car.

[post="11983"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Yeah, it's probably why I became a GM guy so easily....but if this was completely true, I'd be a Chevy fan....because while I like Camaros too, I found Pontiac everything so much cooler. The Firebird was always on TV and in movies, and virtually everything with a red arrowhead on it simply looked slick and sleek.
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