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Hooniverse Asks- What Youthful Car Crush Do You Now Dismay?

Robert Emslie January 4, 2013 Hooniverse Asks 101 Comments




Do you remember when you were a kid, and you had that poster of a Lamborghini Countach on your bedroom wall? Every night you would narrow-eye that poster and whisper to yourself one day before drifting off to pimply dreams of the lusty Italian replacing Schwinn as your daily driver. Well, have you ever actually driven a Countach? No? Me neither, but I’ve sat in a few – even had the doors closed, cosseting me in. Let me tell you, there’s nothing daily about driving a Countach, unless you’re a total nut job.

Another youthful dream killer is the Lotus Esprit. Man, I HAVE driven those, both old school and more modern turbo. That’s another car designed without consideration for the shape and needs of the human body. They’re also plagued with one of the worst shift mechanisms known to man, so bad using it makes you wistful for the old THM125 in a Chevy Citation.

Sorry to be bursting so many bubbles – I know, it’s like finding out Chuck Norris is in reality a pussy, or that a Nirvana reunion featured Paul McCartney. Do you have your own bubbles that have burst? What of your youthful car crushes do you now lament?

Image source: [autoserviceandelst]

Currently there are 101 comments on this article:

  1. dtargo says:

    I thought the Nirvana thing was kinda cool, but I liked the Citation X 11 when they were around too…

  2. PotbellyJoe says:

    <img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-v1JykrxRemE/UL1tzZ3esyI/AAAAAAAAKKk/QCsZv6kbNLY/s1600/Nissan_Pulsar_NX+XE_1989_6.jpg&quot; width=500>
    I was 7, but I was in love with those tail lights. Also, our babysitter had one, which may or may not have been a factor.

    • BlackIce_GTS says:

      If seven year olds bought cars, Nissan would be the biggest car company in the world right now.
      This was the first thing that came to mind, but no, I still like it.

    • vroomsocko says:

      I loved the the different configurations, especially the wagon. It was like a real life Autobot, which was right up my alley when I was young.

  3. m4ff3w says:

    If anything the X1/9 has never been appreciated to the extent that it deserves. It is/was a phenomenal car that has never been equaled.

  4. muthalovin says:

    I have no regrets! Le Car was awesome!

  5. OA5599 says:

    <img src="http://www.bigfoot4x4.com/images/cannonball-1.jpg"&gt;

    I used to have a crush on 928's. About 10 years ago, someone offered one for free–the cost of the needed repairs exceeded the value.

  6. m4ff3w says:

    For me, it is the XR4ti. I lusted for one since the first time I read of them in 1997 (I was 17) when I first gained internet access at school. I knew it was the car for me. I finally purchased one in 2009. I was so disappointed. I appreciate the fact that it is a "platform" but out of the box it was so underwhelming.

    <img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-tOBmsN6BtHA/TUwNAKwp-AI/AAAAAAAABE0/5GaFocu09AA/s640/IMG_20110204_080404.jpg"&gt;

    Though, I must admit, since my daily driver before it was a megasquirted X1/9, my handling and fun to drive expectations were though the roof.

  7. Rob says:

    Porsche. I lusted after a 911 in the early 90s before I could drive. Now, not so much. After the 996s and their IMS/RMS issues and the Caymen 987 oil separator/ice brakes issues that make it pretty much untrackable without many mods. I would still love a 964 (993s would be out of my budget), but lots of respect has been lost on the newer cars.

  8. danleym says:

    I think the big letdown with any of them was realizing just how expensive they are- arbitrary numbers don't mean as much until you're working, and then you realize that 100 grand is an absolutely stupid amount of money to spend on a car.

    Also, the realization that super cars weren't exactly super reliable- finicky and constantly needing wrenching doesn't bother me when I pay a few thousand for a car. If I'm dropping six figures, I better never end up having to drive the other car to work because this one doesn't feel like working right today.

    So yeah, they're all still awesome to look at, and I would love to drive one, but I can't say I really want to own any of them anymore, unless I win the next $500 million lottery.

    • KoshNaranek says:

      I cannot agree with you more. I was reading road and track a few months ago and I realised that I just was not excited about any vehicle I had seen init for months. I reflected whether it was me or if new vehicles were somehow more boring than when I was a teen or if it was me.
      I realised that it was mostly me. I just am not spending REAL money on these things. I, unfortunatly, have no time for a project car and therefore must live vicariously through the Hooniverse Universe.

  9. Alff says:

    None, I still like them all. Even the crappy ones.

    • +1, still thinking…….yes even the crappiest Citroen I've had, a Dyane, would still be fun.

    • joedunlap says:

      Pretty much any Corvette, especially the C3 and C4. Nasty!

    • pj134 says:

      Yeah, my only truly despicable one (that I still love) was never built (GT90). The rest of the list of my car crushes involve the McLaren F1, Jaguar XJ220 and a healthy stream of Vipers. Actually affordable ones were the WRX, STI, EVO, 240SX, 300ZX, RX7, 3000GT and Supra. Can't say I'd really truly mind having any of them today.

      I did kind of have a thing for getting a Yaris and sticking a turbo in it. That desire passed and was never a full blown crush.

  10. Irishzombieman says:

    For reasons I still don't understand, the 6th gen Cougars were objects of lust for years.

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f2/1988_Mercury_Cougar.jpg&quot; width=450>

  11. Hopman says:

    Call me crazy, but for me it was the GM EV1. No gas, a futuristic shape, and cooler inductive charging. Then I found you couldn't BUY one, only lease it.

    Oddly enough, what goes around, comes around, and I now lust for a Tesla Model S.

  12. Devin says:

    I'm perpetually afraid that I'll find out I don't actually fit in the kei cars I have had a crush on since 1992.

  13. engineerd says:

    Thinking back to the cars I had on my wall as a teen, I can't think of a single one I wouldn't like today. Everything from the BMW 850i to the 1995 Dodge Ram (and I'm a Ford guy).

    Now, the women on my wall would be a different story. I now dismay that poster of Tawny Kitaen.

    • danleym says:

      Had to google her. Yeah, I'd dismay that one, too.

      If we're fessing up to posters on our wall, I had multiple posters of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Actually, my walls were teal and white with a strip of gold between the two because of them. Mind you, this was the late 90s, when they were actually competitive, and I lived in Jacksonville. I'm still a fan, but there hasn't been much to get excited about for a while.

      Other than that I had a poster of GTOs (surprisingly my only car poster as a teen, though I remember having a Testarossa on my wall when I was little), a PBY Catalina, a B-24 and a P-51, as well as numerous model airplanes I built hanging from the ceiling. No regrets there.

  14. Van_Sarockin says:

    No regrets at all. And I really liked the X 1/9. Still do. Sure it has limitations, but it's still a fun, small, sporty, good handling mid-engined car with good gas mileage. Hasn't been much competition for that spot since then, either.

    For the record, I'll still stand up for my bedroom wall from junior high: Pantera, MG TC, 3 TVR, SAAB EMS, Blower Bentley, Prewar F1 Alfa. My tastes and needs have changed a bit since I was twelve, but no regrets.

  15. erikgrad says:

    Sentra SE-R. Not that it is a bad car, but I question my lack of aspirations:
    <img src="http://media.caranddriver.com/images/media/165858/1992-nissan-sentra-se-r-photo-166375-s-429×262.jpg"&gt;

  16. P161911 says:

    I guess the 1984 Corvette. I realized the later C4 Vettes with the LT-1 and without the full digital dash were just a whole lot better. I still miss my 1994 Coupe.

  17. Vavon says:

    The Lada Niva! This true 4WD arrived in 1977. That makes it exactly as old as me.
    When I first saw one (I was 5 or 6) doing cool stuff in the local forest, I was sold!
    I wanted that car so I could also drive through rivers and drive over everything.
    As I've started looking for a weekend toy, I decided to finally take the plunge.
    Small enough for my garage, cheap and simple and a true 4×4!
    So the 31st of December 2012 I went for a test-drive in one.
    I was happy as a clam… Already envisioning all the trips I was going to make.
    I ended up not driving it all, because the drivers-seat just wouldn't go back far enough!

    <img src="http://lada-avia.ru/images/model/photo/1311698895.jpg&quot; width=600>

  18. SSurfer321 says:

    Mustangs. The whole lot of them.
    I've owned an '85 LX (4-cyl, slushbox) and a '96 V6 AOD and they were pains in the butt. My Dad owns a '65 and an '05 and the '05 has been problematic.
    Maybe my family is cursed but I have no desire to ever own a Mustang again.

    • CABEZAGRANDE says:

      You kept buying base models though. Those are for secretaries and college girls who don't know better. The non-turbo 2.3 was a steaming pile of useless and the 3.8 in the SN95s wasn't much better. Base Mustangs were only ever intended to be a throwaway cheap car with sporting pretentions. Until 2011 there were 2 V8 Mustangs worth having, the SVO and the Turbo GT that preceded it. And even then most V8 cars are kind of terrible until you mod them. My 06 GT was only an OK car until I put a decent suspension under it. View the Mustang as a blank canvas that's kind of bad until it's modded, because that's what they're about, cheap modification turning an affordable but kind of bad car into a giant killer.

      • SSurfer321 says:

        I've driven my Dad's 05 GT and was unimpressed. That damn car keeps eating rear ends, so I assume it was wrecked prior to his purchase.

        • CABEZAGRANDE says:

          The stock suspension on the S197s sucks. It has more ride height than most trucks and I don't know what the hell they were thinking with the damping curves on the shocks. It was unbelievable how much better my car was to drive with some Steeda Sport springs and some Koni yellows. The stock tune on the engine is hyper-annoying too. For some reason I'll never understand Ford built a ton of throttle lag into the car. An intake and tuner got me a decent power gain and a made it SO much more fun to drive by eliminating the lag. Those mods and some good tires made it an extremely fun car to drive and autocross. And something must be wrong if it eats rear ends. The 8.8 in the S197s is bombproof.

      • Kris_01 says:

        Thumbs up for you. I had two base 2.3 Mustang hatches (an 88 automatic and an 89 5 speed). The automatic couldn't get out of its own way. It was like driving a ten year newer Pinto. The 5 speed offered a little more fun but was outpaced by my same-year Escort 2-door 5 speed hatch, and that was no speedster to say the least.

        Made for an interesting comparison, though. Different interpretations of essentially the same vehicle. From the same manufacturer. Pure marketing strategy. But I digress.

        Now a turbo 4 cyl Fox Stang would be plenty fun, especially one without the special bodykit. Imagine a base LX with the hot engine, like what they did with the 5.0 LX.

    • Arco777 says:

      Perhaps it was due to getting the most underpowered versions available? I've owned a 91 GT 'vert 5.0 and a 90 hatchback LX 5.0. Loved them both though the automatic in the LX sapped fun big time. Now have a 2008 Bullitt. What a car! All the fun with none of the flimsyness and fear of dying in a wreck.

      I would say that without the V8, it wouldn't be possible for me to overlook the cars other faults.

  19. Mr.Smee says:

    Chevy Citation X-11. I was old enough to be thinking about my first new car and I believed Car and Driver's word on this thing must be true. Fortunately, I ended up with a 78 Malibu coupe with V8 and a four-speed. The G-bodies were far better cars than the X-bodies.

  20. racer139 says:

    I had subs to R&T hot rod, car craft and car an driver as a kid on through my teens and had my walls absolutly covered with anything that had an engine. The one that I really like was the xr4ti when it was introduced, what a dissapointment when I bought one in 99 or so. It was an 88 and would nit pick my wallet untill it was empty every month or so there was somthing to replace. I was in my early twenties and my brain hadnt fully devoloped yet, I guess it still hasnt because lately ive been thinking of getting another and dropping a coyote 5.0 into one and replacing every electrical component in it, lights, switches and especially those damn tail light cluster f*+¿$

  21. JayP2112 says:

    My formative years were spent with my nose in VWTrends and DB&HotVWs.
    The turbo'd Beetles and Combis were my lust. Only $2000 for a built flat 4 turbo. 180hp was the top back then.
    I had a chance to take a spin in a Thing with the kid. For the love of God- how did we drive those things?

    Last Halloween, I spotted an oval Bug on a rack in a garage. Spoke with the owner and he said he has a 350hp WRX engine to go in it.
    So I'm back to lusting turbo Beetles.

  22. scroggzilla says:

    In the 1980's, while in my teens, I can remember being excited by a Renault Fuego Turbo.

    Which just goes to show how easily teenage boys can be excited by something that's blown.

  23. CABEZAGRANDE says:

    I actually had pretty good taste as a kid, as my main lusts being a 65 Continental, a Cobra, late 60's Mustangs, and the GT40. The posters on my wall were a BMW M1, a Jag XJ13, and a 68 GT500. Growing up around gearheads helps you get pretty good taste pretty early. I guess the one crush I'm least proud about now was for a while I really wanted a third gen Firebird, thanks to Knight Rider, but I'm not really even that ashamed of that one.

  24. Tanshanomi says:

    As for cars, I don't disdain any of them. Even ho-hum underacheivers like the Buick Opel S/C and the Galant Lambda-based Dodge Charger still give me a warm fuzzy. However, Tuesday answer is the KZ440LTD. The first motorcycle I really wanted. Nowadays? Yea, not so much. What a complete turd.

    <img src="http://tanshanomi.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/2-Kawasaki-Z440LTD-1981.jpg&quot; width="500">

  25. Macko says:

    When the 1990 Dodge Monaco came out, I thought it was the best looking new car I had ever seen. I was about 17. I did not rate the Eagle Premier at all, though. I still don't know what that was about. prior to that, I really admired the 1983 Pontiac Parisienne. My first two cars were both Studebakers, though so I guess that might explain something.

  26. Arco777 says:

    The third generation Camaro. I LOVE the looks of the car, but after owning a 91 model, I realize that it is best experienced in 2D. Everything made so cheaply! Truly a disposable sports car for the times. Still, on my bucket list is buying a cheap 91-92 model Z28 and rebuilding it from the ground up my way – keeping the looks stock, but installing a Ford drivetrain, my own wiring, full aftermarket suspension and a heavily reinforced chassis. Perhaps will never happen, but that's the only way the Camaro could live up to my expectations – if I built it myself.

  27. gessvt says:

    1983 Pontiac 6000STE. My buddy's dad bought one new. All of the 13-14 year old boys in the neighborhood, myself included, were in awe.

  28. Andy says:

    My first car was an 82 X-1/9 with fuel injection. I remember it had 45K miles, no rust, and it was $600 in 1991. It was very reliable and everybody loved it. Loved the mid-engine handling when we would race cars around the lake in high school. My sister pretty much destroyed it while I was away at school. Now I have a mid-engine Cayman S and my sister will not be getting to drive it.

  29. lincoln says:


    My first car. At 17 I thought I was the biggest badass in the world.

  30. jeepjeff says:

    My first car loves were the De Lorean and the Mustang II. When I was a kid, the De Lorean was my favorite car. When I was in high school, the Mustang II (now 20 years old) was a favorite. I had no idea how good or bad they really were.

    Now that I know. No regrets. I still like both of 'em. Maybe not as singularly as I once did, but that's just because the field has been expanded to include Pacers, Chrysler A-Bodies, Rambler Americans, 914s and the like. The closes thing to an honest high-end sports car that I could see buying is a 911 S/C.

  31. zsvdkhnorc says:

    Growing up, I loved 70s Continentals, anything Duesenberg, early 80s Corollas, and the '49 Ford and Mercury. I don't regret any of those, and in fact now own a '74 Continental.

  32. Rollwithit says:

    Back in '78 when I was 12 years old ,a screaming chicken made much more sense.

    <img src="http://www.allmusclecars.com/projects/1977/dr77se10.JPG&quot; width="600">

  33. dukeisduke says:

    For me, it was the Citation X-11 as well. The first year it was basically a stripe package, but the next year they added the 2.8 HO V6. Too bad they turned out to be such crapmobiles. Every once in a great while I see a Citation on the road, and I marvel.

    Runner-ups? The Pontiac 6000STE, and the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe and Super Coupe.

  34. Fritzo2162 says:

    I thought the new VW Beetle was the coolest when it came out, because I had a 72 Super Beetle in college that got me through nearly anything.

    Then, I later learned that the only thing the new version had in common with the old was a stupid bud vase. *sigh*

  35. owl says:

    These were my to drool overs: I used to make my own posters – Lancia Stratos, BMW 3.0CSL, Citroen SM, Maserati Merak, Lancia Fulvia HF, Citroen DS. I own a DS and won't part with it. I would pay money (if I had it) for any of the others. No regrets, I was right when I was 13 and nothing's changed in 40 years…

  36. MattC says:

    Fiero 2M4. I lusted after these when I was a teenager (In the 1980s). I had an opportunity to buy a low mileage one in the mid 1990's but wound up buying a Saab 9000 (great car)after the test drive. It was everything that ws right/wrong with GM in the 1980's. Great concept with poor drivetrains, fit and finish, and a general feel of apathy.

    Now to be honest, I still look at used Fiero's every now and then. One thing about the car, it is has a general resurgense and a proper aftermarket. Plus the engine bay can basically handle anything you want to stuff into it (GM 3.1, 3.4, 3800 NA and SC, 305, 350, Quad4, Ecotec, and the list goes on and on. I have even seen a VW Vr6 engine powered Fiero). So I look at the car a a blank canvas with plenty of options.

  37. MattC says:


  38. HycoSpeed says:

    I had a wide ranging taste in automobiles, most of which I still have an interest in, however weird they might be. Two that immediately come to mind, both from the same time period:the Ford Festiva and Ranger Splash.

  39. Maymar says:

    <img src="http://www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au/images/car_spotters_guide/1993/1993_Ford_Aerostar_Eddie_Bauer_Extended.jpg&quot; /img>
    When I was little, I had a thing for the Ford Aerostar. Don't really know why. I still don't question it has some merits, but I'm assuming it wouldn't drive that differently from a Chevy Astro, and the ill-maintained Astro I drove for work was mildly terrifying.

    • Age_of_Aerostar says:

      I've been away for too long, work uses up Hooniverse time….. but felt I needed at least to say something here, even if it's 9 weeks late……. I understand, I may be the only one, but I understand.

  40. ptschett says:

    20 years ago, I was 12 years old, and had a "1993 Cars" paperback book printed by Consumer's something-or-other. (Not Reports, but another outfit.) The main part of the book was set up with the even pages having their write-up about the car, and the odd pages having their ratings & the car's specs; the back of the book was a more-or-less complete listing of each car's options & sticker/invoice/fair prices.

    To judge from what combinations I highlighted in the back of the book, my taste was generally horrible. Examples: GM J-cars? Yes please. Dodge Intrepid? 3.3L base model in, effectively, government-fleet spec. Etc…

  41. mallthus says:

    I'm not going to lie. I still want one even though I now know it's so, so, wrong.

    <img src="http://www.ridelust.com/wp-content/uploads/1989_aston_martin_lagonda.jpg&quot; width=600>

  42. peter_ayers says:

    Maybe it was the giant tail lights, I don't know what was wrong with me…

    <img src="http://www.productioncars.com/send_file.php/chevy_beretta_z26_front_red_1994b.jpg&quot; >

  43. Chris Garza says:

    Triumph Spitfire/GT6. No foot room for anything beyond very small feet, and the cabin heat is uncomfortable & can be dangerous since even having a heater on inside my house can cause me to overheat dangerously if I'm around it long enough…

  44. Kris_01 says:

    I remember thinking that the new Dodge Intrepids were one a hell of a car. I was 12 and it was 1992. As I cast my mind back to that fateful-in-so-many-ways summer, I remember that my family's stable of vehicles consisted of an aging poverty-spec K-Car that Dad bought new in '86, and a used Fox body '84 Ford LTD Brougham with every concievable option Ford could throw on it. Yes, even the fake-convertible-top Cambria-Cloth roof tratment.

    LTDScott, eat your heart out. The LX had the power but goddamnit that Brougham had the comfort!

    Anyway, on visits to the Dodge dealer when Dad would have the oil changed or tires done on the K-Car (literally the only option on this car was the auto tranny – even had 13" rims with mini-hubcaps), I would grab new vehicle sales brochures. I remember lusting after an Intrepid in the WORST way. What a good looking car, and so removed from what we were then driving. No less than three computers! Hell, we didn't even have ONE! 16" rims? Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ, this car would turn on a dime and give you nine cents change with steamroller meats like that! I didn't know what the hell Cab Forward meant but dammit this car had it, so why didn't we?

    I bought my first Intrepid, a '97, last of the first gen models, in 2005. I didn't keep it long, and somehow, I understood why Dad stayed with the MalaiseMobiles as long as he did.

    I'm Kris, and I've always had a thing for K-Cars.

  45. pizzahoon says:

    <img src="http://www.mygenerallee.com/gary%20schneider%20general%20lee.jpg&quot; width="600">

    Coming from Europe, these cars were like exotics here! And watching the good ol' Dukes tearin' it up just made my night as I went off to bed as a little kid! Also Mercedes was one of my favorites, because dad drove an old w126 S-Class and at one time had a 190D

  46. eam3 says:

    My tastes haven't changed much. As a kid I loved a family friend's BMW E12 and a neighbor's BMW Bavaria. The Ford GT-40 and Ferrari 308GTB were on my wall as well as a 2nd generation Trans Am (I cut out the page from a 1974 Pontiac brochure). I'd still be quite happy with any one of those today.

  47. Jarod says:

    Maserati BiTurbo.

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