My Hot Wheels Carrera GT. Note the mis-tampoed headlights.

So, this Wednesday night was a rather regular Wednesday night for me. I had finished my nightly studying and decided to relax on the internet for the rest of the night, to curve the dreadful feeling that was, “Hey, you’ve got to work tomorrow.”

I logged onto YouTube and noticed that our magnificent Doug DeMuro had uploaded a video on the Porsche Carrera GT, which he called, “The best car ever made.” I scoffed. There’s no way that jumped up Porsche could ever be the best car in the world. Then I watched the video, and I glanced over at my small, yellow Hot Wheels Carrera GT. I suddenly felt love for a car that up to this point, I never really cared for.

2000 Carrera GT Concept. It sure was pretty, wasn’t it?

Flashback. Early 2000s. Porsche announces the Carrera GT.

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I was but a five year old sprout at the time and I was infatuated with Porsches. The 996 in particular. I mainly knew about them from the Need for Speed games, and the Carrera GT was no different. My first brush with the Carrera GT was playing Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 and using the concept in some of the supercar races.

The fuel of many late nights of 7 year old me.

It was love at first sight.

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It wore the shield I lived by. It was fast. It looked absolutely amazing. I wanted one so hard. I swore by the Porsche Carrera GT and I thought for sure that if I ever got rich, it would be the first thing in my driveway. I bought magazine after magazine with my wimpy allowance to find out more about this majesty. One in particular was a Porsche-centric magazine that had an in-depth article, which is where I learned about my most favorite thing about the car to this day: that wooden shift knob (It’s also where I learned about the fabulous 912).

I’m a sucker for these.

So yeah, I’m pretty sure for a while, the Carrera GT was the be-all, end-all dream car for me. But then, something happened. I aged a little bit, and my love for the shield was replaced by a love for a pair of wings. The Aston Martin phase as I called it.

I drifted away from Porsches and I was seduced by the sultry lines of the Brits. I stopped driving the Carrera GT and 911 Turbo in Hot Pursuit 2 and started going after the Vanquish. I replayed the car chase from Die Another Day over and over just to hear that V12 growl. And suddenly, I didn’t care much at all for Porsches, and especially not the Carrera GT.

As time went on, I started turning my nose up at the GT. I felt that it was no more than a slight high point in Porsche’s history, but as my then-god Clarkson said, Porsches aren’t really all that special. And quotes like that molded me. The Carrera became no more than a jumped-up 911 with a V10 and a wooden shifter.

I shared this view throughout my high school years, and as my preferred brand shifted to Cadillac, I’d have been damned if I would admit that the Germans were any decent (#TeamCTSV). When I was 18 however, I took a trip to the local Porsche dealership and checked out the 991. My thoughts on Porsche suddenly shifted.

I loved them again.

Suddenly I started pining for a 991 Carrera or a Panamera. It was crazy how I went 360 after just a quick glance at what they were pumping out now. They weren’t my favorites, but they were still pretty high...and I still hold that thought today. The GT even started to warm me over again as I started to notice that their lines were aging gracefully...but, it never got the chance, as something that the GT was involved with changed my view of them...forever...or so I thought.

Pictured: The reason I hated the GT until tonight.

The death of Paul Walker had a huge toll on me. This is a man I used to look up to, gone in an instant. I grew up in the FnF craze of the early 2000s, and I can’t help the fact that Paul Walker was kind of an idol to me at the time. He was a super-nice, helpful guy, with a huge love for cars. Movies aside, he was who I wanted to be.

When I found out the car that took his life was a Carrera GT, I said, “Well no wonder...” and it kinda sent me on a downward spiral towards the car. When brought up, I’d always leave a smartass remark. “Gussied up Beetle with a V10 swap...,” “I’d rather have an Enzo...” Stuff like that. Walker’s death had a huge negative impact on me.

Here are some men doing things I want to do to a Carrera GT (aka touching it, being in the general vicinity of it).

Until tonight...I never realized how stupid I was. If the GT was a human being, I’d owe it a sincere apology and maybe a few beers. The GT is a wild card, like a Viper. It isn’t apologetic, it isn’t supposed to be. It’s the most no-nonsense, thrashing thing that a company focused on next-wave stuff could ever make. And that’s why it’s magnificent...and it deserves no hate from me anymore. It never did. Doug changed my views on this car forever. It’s like suddenly I’ve gotten this wash of nostalgic feelings over me. I feel like a seven year old again.

Is it the best car in the world? No. Would I regard it as the highest point in the history of supercars? No. Would I take a 918 over it? Probably.

But I cannot deny that it is one of the finest points of automotive nirvana ever made. Bravo, Porsche.

I need to drive the GT again. I suppose Forza 4 will make up for my lack of NFS: HP2.

See you, road cowboy.