Lamborghini was actually the brand that also planted the seed of my future love for cars in general, thanks to a blood-red Countach with one of its scissor doors open I was once completely mesmerized by as a two-or-three-something year old toddler on a vacation with my folks. It also probably represents more than half of the memories I still have from that young age, but I have to admit almost any one of Marcello Gandini's works of art on wheels would leave a similar impression on me.
Considering this is the early 1980s we're talking about, seeing a friggin' red spaceship with wheels as a child was pretty much the all-time high event that could happen to me in any given day, so it's only natural that from that moment I remained hooked on cars.
I started liking Porsche mainly thanks to a poster a friend of my dad's had given me of the Ruf CTR "Yellowbird". It was my only bedroom poster for a number of years growing up and I remember becoming almost obsessed with the shape of that yellow frog-like supercar.
It was probably because of the odd compromise - or better yet antithesis - between its VW Beetle-like front, which was rather cute, and the ultra-wide rear tires that pretty much said the car really meant business. Finding out some years later that the yellow Porsche on my bedroom wall used to be the fastest road-going car in the world only increased my infatuation with the Zuffenhausen manufacturer.
When it comes to my love for the tri-star brand from Stuttgart, the story is a bit more complicated. Instead of falling for the design of one of their cars, like the other two, I first became fascinated with their history, which also pretty much coincides with the history of the modern automobile.
Their long streak of innovations which most car buyers now take for granted in almost any type of modern car made me realize there was more to a car brand than meets the eye on the showroom floor. It also made me more interested in classic cars, especially those from the pre-World War II era.
The things car designers and coachbuilders could do in those early days starting from just a piece of paper, with nothing but raw materials at hand and a tonne of hard physical work are not far from true works of art and this is simply mind-boggling to me. Although modern car designers and builders are much more efficient at transforming an idea into reality, I find that the passion involved in a car's creation nowadays is missing in the majority of times.
Obviously, this is happening because of all those corporate bean counters and the company's shareholders, consequently, but that information is part of a totally different rant I'll just have to leave for some other time.
Getting back to my own history of loving cars, let me just say that if it wasn't for the existence of these wheeled creations I would have probably never found a true purpose for my life until this day. I know that may sound a little more than corny, but I'm telling the absolute truth. I've come to realize that no matter what the future brings, my life's purpose will always revolve in and around the world of automobiles.
And to think that it was all a series of coincidences that started with a slow stroll around a Gandini-designed Lamborghini, after which I had to pick my toddler jaw from the floor. Anyway, I know I may not have the most glamorous story about the start of my obsession with cars of all sizes, so I therefore respectfully ask you, the reader, to share your very own version of the time you made your first steps into the car-loving realm.