When I was a kid living in Germany, I remember seeing Renault Sport Spiders all over the place. It, along with cars like the Opel Speedster and, strangely, the first-generation Audi TT, jump-started my love of cars. And how could it not? Mid engine, rear-drive, manual, incredibly light, looks like a toy—it’s a recipe for child-inspiration.
Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).