What Did Your Mom Teach You About Cars?

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Photo: Bill Pugliano (Getty Images)

We’ve done a few Father’s Day features here at Jalopnik, but we usually don’t give much attention to Mother’s Day when it rolls around. I get it—when you think about car enthusiasts in the traditional sense, you think of dad passing the wrench to his son and teaching him the value of hard work… or something like that. But I want to know what your moms taught you.


My mom was never really a massive car person. She still isn’t. She’s always been practical in her automotive purchases, she doesn’t relish doing basic maintenance by hand, and she’s never really had an allegiance to a specific brand (much to her GM family’s chagrin). But my mom gave me so much else through the vehicle of, well, the vehicle.

I’ve written about it before, but my mom was the one who slogged through the accumulation of hours behind the wheel needed to get my license. I’d learned the theory, but she was the one who taught me the practical application. We were required to spend 50 hours in this little machine, which forced us to start talking. And while I doubt it was her intention, she taught me that the driver’s seat can be a place of catharsis and healing. There are very few things in life that can’t be eased by a quick trip behind the wheel. And that’s always been something I valued. It’s not conventional, but it’s an important aspect of my relationship to cars that I probably wouldn’t have experienced if it wasn’t for my mom.

Not everyone has had great automotive experiences with their moms. I have one friend who’s spent her life unlearning her mom’s desperate fear of driving, which kept her confined to rural areas in order to avoid highways. I have another who has been the one to try rectifying her mom’s terrifying driving habits. That’s part and parcel of the moms and cars experience, too.

So, let’s talk moms. Tell me how she left an impact on your relationship to cars.



My mother taught me to drive.

Dad and I had too similar personalities. It turned into two assholes yelling each other before we left the driveway.

My mother is an asshole whisperer.