All of us here love cars. Many of us can point to a moment when it all began - when, as of that moment, we were car guys (and gals). For me, it’s 1973, and I’m a senior in high school. My dad shows up after work with a pristine, light blue, low-mileage 1972 Mercedes 280SE 4.5. I didn’t even know he was looking for a new car. Naturally, he parked it in the driveway, for maximum neighborhood impact. Hey, that Arvin guy got himself something German.
My dad had been a Cadillac guy, with all the size, glitz, and ersatz luxury that came with those monsters. That was my point of reference, and I hadn’t questioned it. But there was nothing - not a single damn thing - extraneous about the 280 SE, which was the top of the Mercedes range at the time. I’d never seen anything like it. Everything was beautifully made, designed to do a single thing, and looked like it was made to last forever. I sat in the car alone for 20 minutes, not even starting the engine, and during that time the entire Bauhaus philosophy penetrated my mind. Not that I knew that word, or had even considered the idea of design as a thing unto itself. Still, I can only compare examining that car to reading a finely-wrought novel for the 1st time. Wow. I’ve been reading crap until now and I didn’t know it. From that point forward, you’re different. At the beginning of a new journey with new standards, new definitions.
Most interesting? That the change happened before I drove the car. 2 weeks later, on an arrow straight road in Kansas, I touched 125 mph in Dad’s car. Woo-hoo! 18 years old, driving on my own personal autobahn, wheat fields and windmills flashing by. Been a car guy ever since.
How about you guys? What’s your origin story?