Hooniverse Asks: Have you had any “Meet Your Heroes” moments with a car?

This past week has been rather wonderful. Well, specifically wonderful if I focus on what’s in my garage and not the world at large. Acura pulled a car of out its museum and drove it down my way. I’ve spent the last week with a 2001 Acura Integra Type R. And I’m here to say that it lives up to and exceeds all the hopes I had for it.

I won’t go into detail on exactly why, as there’s a full review on this car coming soon. But suffice it to say that this truly is the best front-wheel-drive car in the land. That VTEC changeover at 5,700 rpm is glorious, and you want to wind the Type R out at every chance you get. This specific car is from the final model year here in the US. It’s Phoenix Yellow paintwork is perfect. The odometer reads just 4,622 miles. And it’s basically the nicest example in the world, outside of some insane-o collectors who may have bubble wrapped there cars after returning from the dealer.

Another time I had a great meet your heroes moment was when a friend showed up with a BMW M5. Not the newer ones, mind you, but a proper E39 M5. I only spent 15 minutes with that machine but it was once again everything I hoped it would be. Wonderful steering, shift action, and engine response all in a perfectly shaped German luxury super sedan.

How about you? Have you ever had the chance to drive/ride/operate a machine that you’ve held in high regard in your mind? Let us hear about it below!

16 Comments

    1. There’s nothing wrong with the performance of the Civic Type R (assuming you don’t have an innate aversion to FWD, as I do). The styling, though… damn, it’s awful. I think back to Preludes of old and wonder what the hell happened.

      https://cdn-0.barnfinds.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/1988-Honda-Prelude-Si-630×390.jpg
      https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/c_fill,f_auto,fl_progressive,g_center,h_675,pg_1,q_80,w_1200/p7f5kzlfue2zqcyyu9ld.jpg

      1. Death of the mid size (well by Euro and Japanese standards) coupe really. I guess they’re just out of fashion or perceived as too self indulgent now. Back in the 80s and 90s, every player in the market had one – Nissan 200SX (turbo version of the 240SX), VW Corraddo, Audi Coupe, Mazda MX6, Toyota Celica, Fiat Coupe, Alfa GTV (the FWD one) etc. now, pretty much nothing, even the Audi TT is dead and the Toyota 86 just about hangs on.

        1. True, but I thought the late-80s Accord sedan looked great as well. I admittedly don’t have much use for coupes, when four doors are much more useful. Back in the 60s and 70s, sedans looked terrible, but these days they are nearly as attractive as 2-doors.

        1. A college friend of mine drove a yellow Prelude Si like that one. It handled like it was on rails. Coming from my sloppy-handling-musclecar background, I was hugely impressed.

  1. Brief, way too short drive in a Lotus Exige S2. One of those “ruins other cars for you for a bit” drives. My MR2 Sypder at the time felt a little soft and vague after.

  2. Two in fact – I’ve always had a thing for ‘F’ series Ferraris, especially the F360 and F430.
    I’ve had the chance to drive both. The F430 was also the only LHD car I’ve ever driven. I wouldn’t let that stop me when the opportunity came up. Hurling it through the hills of Nice was quite an experience with the French owner shouting instructions in my ear – mainly telling me to stay off the brakes! What I got from the experience wasn’t just that I was driving a Ferrari, but the driving lesson was an insight into how the traffic in France works. Basically don’t bother with the mirrors, and stay off the brakes.
    It made me realize that when abroad, driving a car can be just as ‘cultural’ an experience as eating the food or listening to the music.
    The other was an F360, hired for me for a day as a birthday present by my dear wife.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a4abc140aa33a94866c9603e38b552821acab45e792b329eab4dcce4754eca9f.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e9b08f84567d0437b0c3860e97cafe743c91fc1024c4a2965fdccff6ff94a6c5.jpg

      1. In terms of “which car was better” it’s difficult to say. The F430 had a far smoother gearchange whereas the F360 would clunk and bang something terrible if upshifting with any less than 4,000rpm dialed up. The F430 was more refined on the road, and still went like stink. The F360 screamed like a banshee when you were on it.
        In terms of which experience was better… I’m gonna go with the random opportunity leading me to driving a Monaco-registered F430 flat-chat through the hills of Nice. As I mentioned, the experience of a ‘French’ driving lesson was (for me) a cultural insight.
        Never mind that it was firstly the first LHD car I have driven (I’m OK with motorbikes on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, done that plenty of times), secondly a freakin’ supercar.
        TBH I could have been banging, say, a Fiat Panda through the region and I still probably could have walked away grinning from ear to ear.

  3. when i was about 20 i was looking for something more fun or unique to replace my first car, a Maxima with a stick shift. i saw an 87 Volvo 240 with a 5 speed near me on Craigslist. I’d always loved Volvos so i jumped at it….. and found it boring. the controls were mushy by comparison to my bland midsize sedan, the motor was gutless, the interior felt cheap. I’ve been meaning to give the 240 another shot but the desire hasn’t matched up with the schedule since.

    about ten years later i test drove a lovely Amazon wagon. it looked great, everything worked, everything was present, the price was decent… but i just wasn’t feeling it. maybe i could have gotten used to the manual brakes and steering, and definitely i would have had to tighten that steering up, but the overall experience wasn’t super fun, outside of all the compliments i got on my short drive. turns out the old cars i prefer are actually very modern. like the 240, i intend to give the Amazon another chance someday. but who knows when that will be.

    1. An Amazon (especially if a wagon) is very high on my want list. It’s one of my favorite classics. They all just seem to be on the West Coast.

    2. An Amazon (especially if a wagon) is very high on my want list. It’s one of my favorite classics. They all just seem to be on the West Coast.

  4. I’ve driven a couple of muscle car era Ford Falcon GTs including one on a couple of track days, and they drive very well so long as you accept quite heavy steering particularly on the 351C cars. (16:1 ratio, power steering was an option but it was ram type so not great) Ironically I haven’t really driven standard versions but you wonder why they needed softer suspension, although my preference is probably harder than average.

    Had a taste of the more modern stuff like FPV F6 & HSV GTS, just ridiculously fast.

  5. Won a trip to the BMW Performance Driving School in 2011, including a tour of the SAV factory and dinner by Graham Elliot. I drew the short straw and drove an E92 first, before I knew the track layout. A truly wonderful car, better than everything else I’ve ever driven. Steering response is astonishing. Throttle was a bit touchy. Brakes were good enough. Very good driving position. I only regret I didn’t know the track well enough to really exercise that car.

    I also drove the rest of the lineup except the 7 series. And the X6M was so fast and so ungainly; it still is.

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