Did Your Parents Get You Into Cars?

Our love for The Cars runs deep, and sometimes traces back generations

Some families bond over sports, or food or travel. Some do it over music. And still some other parents and their kids bond by stooping over an open engine bay and admiring what’s inside. Did you inherit your love of cars from your parents?


And if you did, what cars make it into your family’s metaphorical scrapbook? I know for certain that I owe my love of cars to my dad. He was a pickup and SUV driver through all of my childhood, going from a Mazda B2000 to a Jeep Cherokee, before going to a Ford F-150 SuperCab. These were all early to mid ’90s machines, which mostly explains my love for that era of cars.

He eventually traded that F-150 SuperCab for a SuperCrew, which felt too much like his previous truck to be memorable to me. But even then, nothing can beat that Jeep Cherokee for fond memories. It was easily the most memorable, because going anywhere in it felt like an adventure.

It was a Laredo, and it had all of the “fancy” trim that came with that. It had factory fogs and chrome mirrors, just like the one in the photo above. It wore a 4X4 badge better than any SUV I’ve seen since, and it even had a manual transmission. It was also the first car we ever owned that had power windows. My dad had to scold me to stop using them because I couldn’t help but marvel at how fancy our Jeep was.

Man, I loved that Jeep. It really was a holy grail for a budding jalop like me.

I would go on to try to recreate the experience of owning that Cherokee, though it was not as successful. Things are different when you go from being a passenger (and/or being a kid) to being a driver.

I quickly learned that long highway drives are best spent in a sedan or wagon, and to this day I still argue with my old man about the benefits of a sedan over a pickup or SUV for longer journeys. One day, I’ll convince him to settle into a nice Acura. But what about you? Was it your parents that got you into cars?



It was the moment my dad picked me up from middle school in his 1989. For context, this was roughly 2002, in the US. I hadn’t yet realized not every household had a diesel sedan with a manual transmission and pneumatic suspension.