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What Was The Coolest Car Your Parents Owned?

Illustration for article titled What Was The Coolest Car Your Parents Owned?
Photo: Tim Boyle (Getty)
CountersteerYour true stories of good and bad things that happen in cars.

For many of us car enthusiasts, our love of fast machines was something we inherited from our parents. There’s a good chance someone you loved as a kid had something so damn cool that you just realized, hell, this whole car thing is kind of cool! And I want to know what that was.


Growing up in Michigan, I was pretty much guaranteed to be interested in cars. My entire family worked in the automotive industry (with the sole exception of my mom), and we spent our fair share of summer weekends going to car shows.

But it was what was tucked away in our pole barn that really got me interested.

My dad had tons of cars. His pride and joy was a 1971 Barracuda painted Hemi orange, which was his first car pretty much ever. We had a Trans Am. We had a 90s Mustang GT. Our 1989 Grand Prix Turbo was our daily driver long after I moved out.


I have to say that the Mustang was my personal favorite. Red with white stripes, a roll cage, and a giant, doofy spoiler on the back, it was the epitome of speed—or, well, at least it looked it. It was the only car we owned with a manual transmission. And the best part was, I was promised that car for my sixteenth birthday.

While that never actually happened (by the time I was old enough to drive it, the car had been sitting in storage for over a decade and had been firmly demolished by mice), I still have a thing for that car. It was gaudy as hell and ugly as sin, but I’ll genuinely never forget the thrill of strapping into the back seat when my parents took me for a ride.

So, I gotta know. What was the coolest thing your parents owned?

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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Chris Tonn

Among many other Datsun/Nissan Z-cars, my dad had this awesome ‘84 300ZX Turbo. The shades alone were cooler than I could ever hope to be.

I later recall him taking me along as he sold this Z (I think..he had a couple of red Zenki Z31s over the years). Met the buyer in the parking lot of her place of employment..a gentleman’s club. Yes, she was a dancer.

He had to teach her to drive a manual. The lewd jokes just write themselves.