What Are Your Best Car Memories With Dad?

This is the son of our guy Tom McParland, staring intently at a broadcast of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The kid has it figured out.
This is the son of our guy Tom McParland, staring intently at a broadcast of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The kid has it figured out.

Without a bit of help or guidance, there are a lot of us who probably wouldn’t have ended up so fascinated with cars. In many cases, the love for cars probably runs in our blood. So, let’s celebrate Father’s Day by sharing stories about a person who likely had a lot of influence on us visiting this website today—dad.


Last month, you all had amazing, sometimes tear-inducing stories about how your mothers impacted your love for cars. If I didn’t read every single one of those comments, I probably read about 95 percent—they were incredibly heartwarming, and I had a full face of tears several times.

Please, don’t feel pressure to bring anyone to tears with your story after reading that last paragraph. It’s just fun to come together and talk about some relatable memories, and that’s why this post is here.


Whether it be just wrenching advice or the entire reason behind your collection of classics, go ahead and tell us your favorite memories of dad. On top of that, if you have kids yourself, how are you passing on the legacy?

(We would have shared our own, too, but a trip to drive the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class this week put me behind schedule and lacking sleep—thus, I didn’t get a chance to collect stories from the Jalopnik staff. We’re depending on your great stories this time, and we can’t wait to read!)

Staff writer, Jalopnik

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Definitely when he taught me how to drive a manual.

But wait! There’s more to this story. See, dad didn’t like making things all that easy. So while most people I know learned to drive a manual in a little sedan or something; what’d I get?

A bigass Ford flatbed.

Dad was a real estate developer and since I was about 12 years old; I spent my summers doing construction on one of his work crews. Turning 16 was a big deal because now I could do all the shit work much further from the nearby subdivisions I previously just rode my dirtbike to. And oh the money he’d save not having to pay someone to pick up and deliver building materials to work sites.

So not long before I turned 16, he drove me out to a bigass field outside of town in that monstrosity, said “Alright boy, you’re gonna learn to drive this today.”

Much like his methods of teaching me to swim (tossed me into the deep end and yelled “Come on back, boy!”) or ride a horse (“Son, she ain’t gonna like you but you just hold on and don’t let go”) ... my only instruction was “That’s the clutch, that’s the break, that’s the gas.” As a motorcycle rider since I was super little, I was pretty familiar with the idea of a manual transmission but damned if it wasn’t WAY different. There was a lot of “Goddammit boy! Give it gas!” “Son! Let the clutch out!” “Upshift! You’re gonna blow up the goddamn engine!” ... and eventually a lot of laughter and joking around when everything came together.

And as was always the case after a Papa Faaip and Little Faaip outing; it concluded with chili dogs at his favorite diner in town.

It was this day 17 years ago dad died due to injuries from a car accident. Sure do miss him.