What Movie Car Changed You?

Illustration for article titled What Movie Car Changed You?
Photo: ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP (Getty Images)

I’m very embarrassed to disclose this fact, but I’ve been writing about cars for a while, so I think I can go ahead and get this off my chest now: The 1967 Impala from Supernatural was a significant contributing factor to my current career path.

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I hate it, but it’s true. 2013 was a time where a lot of factors coalesced all at once. There was a neat old car in a TV show I would watch every day after school. It rekindled my love for 1970s rock n’ roll. I was driving a 1989 Grand Prix Turbo. And then I saw Rush. It was the perfect storm, and suddenly, I was gung-ho about 1970s Formula One, which eventually brought me to writing about cars, generally. And yes, it was because of the Winchester’s stupid Impala.

I guess that’s not really a movie car, nor is it my favorite car from a movie or TV show, but it’s arguably the one that had the most impact on me. It put me in a receptive mindset to the automotive fervor I’d grown up in and largely abandoned, and it came through a strong connection to music.

The whole “movie cars have an impact on people” thing came to mind earlier because I was catching up with one of my very best friends who lives on a different continent, and she’s in the middle of rewatching Supernatural, and I take all my Zoom calls that don’t require a professional background from my bed, which is protectively overlooked by the blue-steeling Winchester brothers. We had a good laugh about it, and now I laugh every time I go to bed in my family home. (No, I do not have a poster of Sam and Dean Winchester hanging in my grown adult apartment. I’ve preserved my teenage bedroom in all its embarrassing glory.)

So, I thought I’d ask: what movie car changed your relationship to cars as a whole? Were you team Dodge Charger or team Mitsubishi Eclipse when you first watched The Fast and the Furious? Did your love of Mini Coopers stem from The Italian Job? Did you start writing about cars as a way to express your undying love for the Plymouth Fury after watching Christine? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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

DISCUSSION

I’ll stand up and admit the impact of The Fast and The Furious. For me it was the Eclipse from the first movie. Yep, the green eclipse, not the Supra.

I was 14 years old when the movie came out and saw it in theaters. I remember playing with cars and being fascinated with engines and especially airplanes my entire life. But my dream car at the time was a Baja/Prerunner style 2 door pickup. I had a Matchbox toy with the big wheels, a spare in the bed and a rollbar.

When I first saw the lime green Eclipse on the screen though, I was smitten. I NEEDED a turbo Japanese car and spent countless hours reading through the auto trader rags to find one. In the end, falling in love with Japanese cars set me on a path of Sport Compact drag racing, going to the local tech school to learn how to make my own parts, a college degree in engineering, minor Internet fame as the guy who owns “THAT 240SX Convertible”, and even my family since I met my wife in college for the engineering degree.