Hooniverse Asks- What Car Were You Totally Jonesing For Before You Could Drive?

I became a car nut at age 11. It was at that age that I traded dinosaurs for Dinos, GI Joe for Jags and got my first subscription to Road & Track, which I have received continuously ever since. Back then, other than sitting in my brother’s 1971 Audi 100ls coupe, marveling at the sisal mats and wondering what it took to drive stick (a question that would be answered two years later at age 13) I  didn’t get much in the way of immediate automotive exposure. But in my pubescent mind there were certain shapes that resonated, cars that got my heart a beating under the stitched feet of my Hang Ten tees. One of those was the Fiat X1/9.

Looking at that lime green beauty in the lead photo you can see why. Mid engine, exotic, angular and stunningly beautiful, it was everything that the mundane Buicks, Caddys  and Benz’s of my suburban neighborhood weren’t. One day, a friend of my brother’s came over in her X1/9 to take me for a ride. To my 12 year old understanding, it could have been the freaking space shuttle as I had never to that day ridden in a targa-topped car. The seat was only inches from the asphalt and the earthy growl of the engine filtering through an Ana exhaust filled the cabin. It was years later that I would discover that the 1.6 litre four in the Fiat only put out about 60 hp, but at the time it felt like I was rolling in a Ferrari.

In addition to the Fiat, I was pined over the Ford Capri,and the  Opels Manta and 1900. These were cars within the strata of what I thought, someday, I could afford. Cars like actual Ferraris, Porsches BMWs and various V8-powered muscle cars seemed as unobtainable as the planet Pluto.

Despite my predilections, my first car was actually a Chevy Corvair. That car, and the very kind gentleman that helped me get it on the road, taught me how to work on cars, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for my first love, the Italian that thrilled me with her dulcet note, and captured my heart with her unique beauty.

So that’s my story, but what about you – what were you secretly desiring while cruising around on your Shwinn? What car’s wheel did you imagine gripping while holding its  handlebars, and feeling the wind on your face and the speed course through your soul? What car did you hope would wait for you to catch up, so it and you could realize a marriage that only an inexperienced driver could envision?

What car did you want, before you could drive?

Image sources: [picsfiat.com, germancarforum.com]

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45 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What Car Were You Totally Jonesing For Before You Could Drive?”

  1. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

    My first drawing as a child was an F1 car, since then I have been craving to drive any car that will accelerate me forwards in a very rapid manor.

  2. dustin_driver Avatar

    It's funny you should post that little X1/9, because the car I always wanted when I was, like, 10 or 12, was the Lancia Scorpion.
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/Lancia_Monte_Carlo_Milanesa.jpg&quot; width="400" height="280">
    A guy down the street from me had not one, but TWO, rotting in his driveway. I fell in love immediately. I never saw either one of them run.

  3. omg_grip Avatar

    80's Hurst/Olds or 442 Cutlass, and 80's Shelby/Dodges.

    1. muthalovin Avatar

      My first car was a 1990 Dodge Daytona Shelby. It was quite boss when it wasn't throwing rods.

    2. RedBaron89 Avatar

      I lusted after the shelby dodges as well. My dreams were primarily filled with the 89 CSX; who couldnt with those recaro's, bright red paint and all the futuristic pieces like the fiberglass wheels & VNT turbo, plus the fact that it was built by the Texan . They were (and still are IMO) one sexy looking beast.

  4. Jim Brennan Avatar
    Jim Brennan

    1969 Chevy Kingswood Estate Wagon…. No, seriously. I wanted a 3 seat wagon to take to High School, with enough room to carry, well, everyone to the local hangout…
    <img src="http://memimage.cardomain.com/member_images/4/web/2416000-2416999/2416491_1728_full.jpg&quot; alt="" />

  5. thomasmac Avatar

    Find one with a 427/TH400 and the local hangout could very be the drag strip. Wood paneling plus a big block is so much win on so many levels

  6. joshuman Avatar

    I had a poster of a white Countache on my wall as a young teen but the car I really lusted after was the Porsche 911.

  7. Corvette Poncho Avatar
    Corvette Poncho

    When I was a kid, I remember seeing the 84-86 Shelby Chargers driving around and I was hooked. Three different colors available, and all with a silver stripe! Man they were just the best thing in my 10yr old head. Then, the 85 Shelby Z Daytona came out and I was hooked on that. Later in life, I had several Shelby Dodges including a blue/silver Charger. Built and modified them for several years, but in the end, no matter how much I thought they were cool when I was kid, they were horrible cars with a great drivetrain. I've since moved on to other terrible cars in the feable attempt to convince myself that I have found something better.

  8. KAH Avatar

    Europe-Alfa Romeo GTA, BMW 507, Mercedes-Benz 300 SL
    Japan-Datsun 240Z, Mazda RX-3,
    USA- Chevy Nomad(2dr),Ford GT40,Chrysler Turbine
    In 1975 I learned to drive on a 1970 Buick Estate Wagon(455) and bought my first car in 79 a (70 bug). So much for the Jonesing, glad my income went up. 2nd car Opel Kadett (B)Rallye

  9. muthalovin Avatar

    I think I pretty much liked everything motorized between 12-14. At 15, my uncle got a brand new '96 Mustang Cobra convertible in Candy Apple red, and that is the car that I wanted most as I transitioned into driving.

  10. faster,Tobias! Avatar

    Being twelve and not knowing any better, I lusted after a Triumph TR7. The X1/9 was also in the mix of cars I thought I could attain.

  11. engineerd Avatar

    When I look back at my dream cars I find a bizarre mix. The pea green mid-'70s/early-'80s Buick Estate Wagon matchbox car was always one of my favorites. As was the Delorean and Ford Capri. However, there is to one day one car that stands head, shoulder and electronic voice above all others: KITT.
    Yup, before I could drive I loved watching Knight Rider and KITT was where it was at. That started a love affair with the 3rd Gen Pontiac Firebird that lives on to this day. Yes, I'm a Ford guy and I probably won't ever own a black Firebird with t-tops and synthesized voice, but if one were to come available for the right price at the right time I would have a hard time saying no.

  12. Alff Avatar

    Like you, GR, my dreams were tempred by a naive perception of what might be realisitcally obtainable. Hence, this was first on my wish list. Today, I don't remember why.
    <img src="http://ettenw.org/cars/My-Cars/MyCars/images/80%20ford%20fiesta.jpg"&gt;

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      The first thing I recall putting in my "realistically obtainable" mental file was this — $300 bucks to buy and 100 MPG? At 14 I thought, I could do that!
      <img src="http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g216/skatelab_2006/DSC02678.jpg&quot; WIDTH="200">

  13. discontinuuity Avatar

    <img src="http://www.southtexasdiecast.com/hwguide/images/1000/1006.jpg"&gt;
    My folks had one of these, I thought it looked like a spaceship when I was a kid:
    <img src="http://precisionmotorswaterloo.com/ImagesCars/00196250.jpg"&gt;

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      Speaking of spaceship, my parents had a two-tone silver Lumina APV, the first-gen. now THAT looked spacey.
      Apparently they didn't learn from that mistake, and so they went out and bought another after that. Gen 2 this time. That one caught on fire during family vacation.

      1. discontinuuity Avatar

        Ha, my grandparents had the Oldsmobile version. I definitely agree with you.

  14. P161911 Avatar

    I remember seeing the commercials for the 1984 Corvette. As an 11 year old and a big fan of Knight Rider I thought the digital dash was the coolest thing ever. I did finally get a 94 Corvette in 98, luckily by that time most of the digital crap had been purged from the dash. As a 15 year old looking at classified ads the 1st gen Mustangs had some appeal, but not much.

  15. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    The ones that immediately come to mind are…
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/%2766_Austin-Healey_3000_%28Orange_Julep%29.jpg/800px-%2766_Austin-Healey_3000_%28Orange_Julep%29.jpg&quot; height="180">
    My very cool 20-something neighbor owned a '67 Austin-Healy 3000 Mk III and used to take me for rides in it. Taught me to love roadsters and love British.
    <img src="http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/2/3217/641/20540320001_medium.jpg&quot; HEIGHT="180">
    Original Subaru Brat…saw it at the '78 car show and fell in love with it.
    <img src="http://img2.netcarshow.com/Aston_Martin-Lagonda_1976_800x600_wallpaper_01.jpg&quot; height="180">
    Bought the Road & Track issue that reviewed the Lagonda while on a family vacation. Read and re-read the article over and over while traveling across the country in the back seat of my dad's 6-cylinder Chevelle.
    But truthfully, the objects of my lust were not cars…
    I wanted one of these…
    <img src="http://jetsetserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/vespa.jpg&quot; HEIGHT="240">
    and one of these…
    <img src="http://www.galiffefamily.aviators.net/Galair_Cessna_152.jpg&quot; HEIGHT="180">
    (I actually took flying lessons for a year prior to getting my driver's license. My dad drove me across town to the airport every Saturday morning. Thanks, Dad!)

  16. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    A Monster Truck
    A Lamborghini Countach
    A Ford Escort GT, circa 1993.
    Really, I don't know either…

  17. vwminispeedster Avatar

    My dad's 1952 Ford F-3 tow truck. My sister had already called bids on our dead Panhard PL17 "pinky".

  18. BGW Avatar

    My 10-years-older brother's RX3, even with the rust holes in the floor pan. I liked the way it looked, but I really liked that it sounded so different. I was only 8 or 9 and couldn't have possibly grasped the concept of the rotary or why it was different, but I knew it was and liked it. Especially compared to the B-body Olds & Buick products taking up the rest of the driveway spots at home. A close second was the W123 diesel down the street- again, the funny engine noise hooked me in.
    It's remarkable how conventional and boring my automotive ownership has been. I guess practicality eventually wins out, but screw practicality.

  19. Dorkus Malorkus Avatar
    Dorkus Malorkus

    When I was young I wanted badly to trick out a 2-door Chevette. Stop laughing… drop a V6 in a Chevette and swap in an S10 rear and you've got a decent street contender. Add a full carPC setup, power windows, locks, hatch release, tilt, cruise, fuel injection, etc.
    I had one given to me by my best friend when I was 17 and I remember thinking "if only it had a bigger engine", eventually rust ate that car out from under me. I missed that car badly, but I was on to bigger and better things, including many interesting engine swaps.
    Around my 30th birthday I decided to start that dream Chevette build and started researching what engine I wanted to put in it (very agonizing decision).
    It's been almost 4 years since then and I've owned 8 Chevettes at this point, mostly parts cars. Now we're down to just my wife's mostly-stock daily driver, and my project.
    It's like driving a go-kart in traffic 😉
    My build starts here http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2032642&amp
    and is continued here http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2041851&amp

  20. Rockford_Brodie Avatar

    I watched a lot of TV as a kid and I've always thought cop cars were cool, so I wanted one of those seemingly ubiquitous 70's Mopar B-Bodies. Come to think of it, I still want one.

  21. c0de Avatar

    one car that was ALWAYS on my mind as a kid was the mercedes w115 coupe.
    My father had one exactly like this one, and was probably one the lamest car he had, but to me at that age, it was the coolest thing ever!
    <img src="http://mercedes.pcz.pl/coupe/c114/galeria/coupe-1.jpg&quot; />

  22. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    C3 Vette, absolutely. Specifically the 78 Indy Pace Car, but any of the disco Vettes would do. Truth be told, I still have this affliction, despite knowing that there are many, many better choices out there. I can't help it, the Carter plastic is under my skin.

  23. KillerZomBee Avatar

    I started driving illegally with my crazy uncle at a very young age up in the mountains. Yet I remember dreaming about several very specific cars as I screamed up and down the dirt trails on my bicycles, making racing sounds and scaring the wildlife. Even taking out the trash became an opportunity to pretend I was doing wheelies, in my dream cars, and most people thought I was a disturbed young man.
    1957 Ford Gasser, had to be yellow with red flames, preferably a Ranchero
    <img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5I46KRk8g2Y/Sn-BXMv4j2I/AAAAAAAAByc/OLfN0LrtXOQ/s400/BLOGGASSER2.jpg&quot; width="500"/>
    1970 Datsun 510, midnight Blue with chrome wire wheels
    <img src="http://image.modified.com/f/15577187/0303_uscc2_06zoom+1972_datsun_510+side_view.jpg&quot; width="500"/>
    1965 Ford Falcon Gasser, midnight Blue, that belonged to a neighbor
    <img src="http://wildmusclecars.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/65-Ford-Falcon–525×339.jpg&quot; width="500"/>
    1965 427 AC Cobra, You guessed it, Midnight Blue
    <img src="http://www.resimlerden.com/ford/AC-Cobra-427_big.jpg&quot; width="500"/>
    1960s Peterbuilt, Again in Midnight Blue
    <img src="http://i374.photobucket.com/albums/oo187/Wade_Ashton_10/peterbilt-optimus-prime-ebay.jpg&quot; width="500"/>
    But most of all, a 1967 Datsun SSS, Baby Blue Bluebird,like the one I learned to drive in, which took me 30 years to find a replacement.
    <img src="http://clunkbucket.com/wp-content/uploads/datsun_bluebird_lead.jpg&quot; width="500"/>

  24. Black Steelies Avatar

    As a kiddie i was attracted to the Germans. It would switch between BMW and Mercedes and i never really knew which one I liked most because to me they all looked the same [most still do].
    Grew up a little, learned about 'merican muscle and fell in love with the '70 Chevelle SS 454. Something about the way it looked and I knew a 454ci engine was monstrous. Heard one at a show later and surprised the guy by telling him some specs.
    A little more and I was reading a few car mags. I was like 15 when the RX-8 came out. Also liked the way those looked and how I knew nothing about them or their Renesis rotary. Probably the first Japanese I lusted over. One of very few indeed.
    Most of these cars still top my wish lists. I would take any variation of the cars above in half a heartbeat.

  25. Maymar Avatar

    I had a couple loves – the Viper lasted for several years (preferably a GTS, blue with white stripes), but I also had a thing for the original Neon and the Jeep YJ.

  26. CptSevere Avatar

    This is kind of a tough question, because as both a kid and an adult my taste in machinery is all over the board. I remember as a little kid, I went nuts whenever I saw a tractor. Thought they were the shit. Any tractor. I still like them. Hell, today I spent the afternoon running the skid steer at work, great fun. Then, I liked Army trucks. Still do. I've liked British sports cars since I was a kid. The one specific model of a car I remember jonesing for was a '64 Cadillac convertible. To this day I think it's the most elegant Caddy from the sixties.

  27. James Avatar

    The first car I remember falling in love with (when I was twelve!) was the early 70's Lotus Europa. British Racing Green with yellow stripes. Oh yes.
    Other afflictions i had before I got my license:
    1990-1995 Toyota MR2 Turbo
    VW Corrado SLC
    1990-1996 Nissan 300ZX
    ….come to think of it, I still want all three of those, ten years later.

  28. Kraig Avatar


  29. MarionCobretti Avatar

    It was the mid eighties, and my mom was shopping for a new car. We were at the Chrysler-Plymouth dealer, as she was looking at a minivan to ferry us around. I spotted a car sitting inside the showroom. It was a shocking shade of bright blue. Its tires were absurd–they seemed twice as wide as anything I'd ever seen. The rest of the thing was all scoops and bulges and spoilers, and inside it had sinister black leather seats and orange guages. TURBO was written all over it. Yep, I was Jonesing for a Conquest TSi.

  30. lilwillie Avatar

    A Senior in High School had a '69 Leman's that I just loved. He was a gear head, I was a little Freshman gear head. Some how I get in good with the Senior Gear head crowd (helped having the family shop) and they would take me with on Road Trips. I always loved riding in that car. 326 cid with a Powerglide. 80mph in first gear. Just flew. Once I got my learners permit he let me drive one night. I was grinning for a week after that one.
    He still owns the car and lives in the area. Always nice to see it cruise by.

  31. MarionCobretti Avatar

    The other car that I lusted after was at an even younger age. This one was a real Mopar. It sat in front of a house down a side street across from the Dairy Queen in our town. I used to beg to go for ice cream just to ogle it. It was junk, and had been hit in the driver's side door at some point. The color scheme was appalling, dark green with a green vinyl top and green interior. Still, there's just something about a '69 Charger, no?

  32. ptschett Avatar

    When I was 13 I wanted this to be my first car. I'd go out and sit in it, work the gears and pretend I was systematically covering every section line in the county no matter whether there was actually a road there or not. A year later I ended up with the '73 Cougar, which probably was the better choice.
    <img src="http://i847.photobucket.com/albums/ab40/ptschett/old%20cars%20on%20the%20farm/DSC03499.jpg&quot; width="500"/>
    I used to get the "199x Cars" books from Consumer Guide or some such, which had a photo, a couple paragraphs about the car, a page of relative rankings in various categories, and then the MSRP and invoice pricing of the models and options in the back. Based on the markups in the 1993 and 1995 books I had some weird tastes. The two door XJ Cherokee I optioned up wasn't so bad, but on the other hand I actually wanted a 1st-gen Dodge Stratus.

  33. DerangedStoat Avatar

    Nissan 300ZX
    I still clearly remember the first time I saw one. It was the first car to make me go "I want one when I grow up!". In fact, the reason I remember it so clearly is because the very first photo I ever took on the very first camera I ever owned (a 24 shot disposable!), was of that car and I still have the photo.
    I still kinda want one too.

  34. rocketrodeo Avatar

    When I was 8, I got my first ride on a motorcycle, a Honda Trail 50. The Trail 70 was SO much sleeker, especially the metallic gold one with the black stripes. I have had about fifteen Honda motorcycles so far and I expect my next several to be Hondas as well.
    I think I have always been aware of Mustangs; I was 2 when they came out, and could identify them at a very young age. The '67 was my favorite, and ended up being one of my fairly early cars. So my Eleanor was, ironically, an Eleanor — a '67 390 GT/A fastback.
    Other than Mustangs, I was totally smitten by Cadillac Eldorados at puberty and stayed fascinated by them, even when they grew to ridiculous size and baroque detail. Hey, when you don't drive, you don't know what makes a car good, do you? I'd still own a '69.

  35. Tomsk Avatar

    GMC Typhoon
    1992-'95(?) Bonneville SSEi
    Volvo 244
    Oldsmobile Achieva SCX
    Mercedes-Benz 300TD (W123)
    Early '90s Dodge Daytona R/T
    Early '80s Chevy C20 with a service body (I don't know why either!)
    I'm sure there were others, but I can't remember them at the moment.

  36. Jim-Bob Avatar

    I fell hard for my mom’s 1976 Chevy Nova, 2 door with a 250 L6/Th350/8.5 10 bolt. It was rusty, and painted dark green with a beige roof ( factory 2 tone!), but man did I love that old car. I remember being 13 and wanting to swap in a L79 327/350hp backed up by a M22 4 speed. My parents were not car people though, and sold off the car for $200 before we moved to Florida. I was heartbroken. My first car ended up being the 1979 AMC Spirit liftback that I got when I was 15 and still own today-21 years later. To this day I still really want a 1976 Nova to play with, but I have neither the room nor the money to build up another car.

  37. SSurfer321 Avatar

    Mustang. Any or all of them. My first car was a 85 Mustang with 4cyl. slushbox and I thought it was the fastest thing on the planet. I eventually killed it and a few years later upgraded to a 96 Mustang V6. Killed that one too (head gaskets kept blowing).

  38. smoke_banshee Avatar

    The 356 my uncle restored in our garage. I spent hours with my hands clamped on the steering wheel making engine noises and shifting gears as i raced to glory. I also pined for the 914's that several uncles owned before they started having kids and what not….the blessings of being the oldest grandchild i guess.

  39. {Scorpio Commentary Avatar

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