My father was a bit of a car nut.
He introduced me to the term "kicking the tires" at the local dealerships. We weren't a particularly brand loyal family either. Dad cycled through Chevy V8's and even an '86 Corolla (At the time this was the new hotness!).
(The image is from a Toyota brochure circa 1980's, and isn't the exact car that he had)
My first car was the epitome of reliably bland. A 1990 Toyota Tercel (Thank wikipedia for the image of exactly what my lump of a car looked like). Un-killable in nature, and undeniably inept. Soon after crossing into 430,000 km's on the odometer, the boredom drove me to a dealership for a trade in.
It was at a Honda dealership that I found my current automotive love. A 1996 Acura (Honda) Integra, low mileage, fully loaded. She was not as she sits in my garage today (Don't you love the red wiper arms?). Bringing her home, I began sifting through the tuner rags of the day. My car was spared from a horrid kit, and overly large wheels, thanks to finding Honda enthusiast sites on the inter-webs. My local club site (Club-Integra) featured a crew of devoted Integra fanatics who were helpful and very knowledgeable.
Hell, my club came out to my wedding (Even the wife approved. She's a bit of a go fast fanatic herself)
Thanks to these guys and some friends from the local Toyota scene, I got into Autocrossing the Integra. And I must say, the best $20 you can spend on your car is upgrading your driving skill. And next month I'll be at the track (Mission Raceway Park)… Though not in my car. (Hint, something high powered, and tube chassis!! Update to come!)
Some time later, I was working at Electronic Arts in their EA Canada office, when I got wind of an upcoming Need For Speed project that featured tuner cars.
My attention turned fully to getting onto that team. I took a short term internship at Blackbox Games, and worked on what would become NFS: Underground.
Following that, I returned to work on NFS: Underground 2 and every subsequent iteration (With my favorite to date being Pro Street!). It was on this team that I would come in contact with some of the most influential people in my car nut life. Working under a renowned designer (Andy Blackmore), and a team of some of the most talented artists I've ever seen, I've lived out childhood dreams of taking my drawings and seeing them realized in a video game.
Now I've just taken possession of a 20'x40' garage (As well as the house that's on the property), so I'll have to make the time to attend to that B-series motor in my ride.
Or perhaps I'll get my wife's Subaru Legacy sorted. I've put that off for too long.