Home » What Cars Are You Into Now That Kid-You Would Say Are Wack?

What Cars Are You Into Now That Kid-You Would Say Are Wack?

2020 Dodge Grand Caravan
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Shout-out to any nine-year-olds reading The Autopian, but I’m confident we’re almost all adults here and can agree that our tastes have changed since graduating from kid-dom to full-fledged Serious Grown-Up Person. Your favorite meal is an aged cut of beef served at a restaurant that doesn’t have pictures on the menu, not a burger at a place with an indoor playground. You don’t stab straws into Ecto Coolers, you sip expertly prepared Old Fashioneds. As for what you drive (or aspire to drive) well, it probably doesn’t have a giant bird on the hood like the machine kid-you dreamed of owning along with a luxuriant mustache. (Ladies, insert your own examples, I have no idea.)

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To each their own, of course, but odds are you’re less into maximum horsepower and more into precise handling; more concerned with comfort and convenience, less dazzled by decals; not into scoops and wings, more impressed by crisp lines and classic proportions … you get it, and I don’t feel like coming up with more of these ying-yang things. You might be really excited to have a new Honda Odyssey on order. Maybe find yourself thinking about how sharp Camrys are these days. Ever spotted a nice 12th-gen Cadillac Eldorado and thought, “boy, it would be great to do a road trip in one of those”? We respect aaaall that. Adulting!

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom
Countach Kid
Wikimedia.org images: Countachinfo.de (top); Mr.choppers

So tell us: What cars are you into now that kid-you would say are lame? Or flip it: What cars blew your mind as a kid that you now regard as cringemobiles? Heck, they might even be the same car. That’s the Countach for me. Naturally, lil’ Pete thought the scooped, straked, winged, and widened LP5000 was the ne plus ultra of bedroom-poster supercars, infinitely superior to the unadorned LP400. Not even close! Suffice it to say, I learned the error of my ways long ago. I’d still happily take either one though. Obviously. [Editor’s Note: I used to think the Audi A2 and BMW i3 were short and ugly, but now I adore them. I also used to think the Ferrari 360 was a bit boring looking, now I can’t get enough. -DT]. 

To the comments!

Topshot image credit: Dodge Caravan via Chrysler; excited guy by wayhomestudios/Freepik

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Bill Garcia
Bill Garcia
11 months ago

I grew up loving German and American sports cars, now I’m older and never having owned either…

…all I want in my garage is a reliable PHEV minivan (none available yet AFAIK) and my Wrangler for me to tinker with

DRFS Rich
DRFS Rich
11 months ago
Reply to  Bill Garcia

Not sure if it’s a reference to unreliability or not knowing but the Pacifica Hybrid is a plugin.

Ricki
Ricki
1 year ago

I like the occasional hot hatch nowadays, and younger me would have been appalled by just about anything foreign or with more than two doors. It’s just more that my tastes expanded beyond the muscle car years.

F40 is still the poster dream car, though. I don’t think I’ll ever change there. That was the exception then, and it’s just one of a stable of dreams now.

McLovin
McLovin
1 year ago

None. 80s kid me would be thrilled. Hot hatch (Yaris gr), dream car (NSX).

Mike F.
Mike F.
1 year ago

The first cars I remember thinking were super-cool were Corvettes (’68-’72), Porsche Carrera RSRs, and the JPS Lotuses. Not much has changed.

Robert Pridgen
Robert Pridgen
1 year ago

None. I maybe an adult, but my inner child tends to run the show.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
1 year ago

It took me several times to figure out what the headline was trying to communicate, before I jumped to the article and figured it out. Hope I’m not alone, there.

Anyway, my automotive tastes have largely stayed the same since I was a wee lad. I’m less into big trucks with big aggressive tires now (but if I had the spare time to go to the various off-road parks and such around I’d be into them a bit), sports cars are more eye candy than something I’m shopping for, and crossovers are a thing now that they largely weren’t in my youth (but being that they’re essentially taller station wagons they occupy the same place in terms of raw practicality for people and things in one vehicle, but with everyone having a seat belt. And airbags!).

Experience has taught/reinforced the joy of practicality, and age has demonstrated how much a PITA (sometimes literally) very-low and very-tall vehicles can be. I want to easily be able to get me and mine in a vehicle; have it reliably start; safely, comfortably, and effectively get us to our destination; and allow us to get out easily as well. Being able to get into vehicles and drive them has allowed me to learn that – as capable and reliable as they are – a pre-2024 Tacoma and 4Runner aren’t for me due to their high floors/low seats, and that up until about 2014 GM’s trucks and big SUVs had the steering wheels offset from the pedal box which kills my back to drive for more than a few minutes (and the door handles being at my hip/thigh are some of the worst placements I can think of), and the A-Team’s sweet van has a very uncomfortable driving position and very little front legroom (same with most of the full-size vans).

As a result most of my vehicles have had long roofs and covered cargo areas, and each replacement has (except for my second car) been an upgrade in terms of usability, safety, and comfort. I like that trend. It allows me to be more enthusiastic about my vehicular passions without being burned by them (possibly literally) causing an issue directly with me.

Last edited 1 year ago by Box Rocket
Ben
Ben
1 year ago

3-year-old me wanted a yellow car with popup headlights. *looks at profile picture* 33-year-old me agreed, although he added a few more requirements (like a manual transmission).

I’m really not coming up with anything I like now that I wasn’t in to when I was young. I always liked vans, trucks, sports cars, etc. The only thing I can really come up with is categories that didn’t exist when I was a kid, like crossovers (which I like just fine), hybrids, and EVs.

Maybe small hatchbacks? The ones we had when I was a kid were exclusively shitboxes that left a pretty bad impression, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate the utility of a small car with a giant hatch.

VanGuy
VanGuy
1 year ago

My family always had E-series vans growing up, and I got a ’97 conversion van for a while. Still want to get another one again at some point. That hasn’t changed.

But the vehicle I have in the meantime is a 2012 Prius v. It’s good for mostly opposing reasons (deceptively roomy though), but I still like it for what it is, and if anything I think I’ll miss the eCVT if/when I get something without one again.

Checkyourbeesfordrinks
Checkyourbeesfordrinks
1 year ago

My uncle has 2 cars that I’ve wanted since I was a kid, and still want today (even though I have no idea now where to store them or when I’d drive them): a 1966 Pontiac GTO with the Tri-Power 389ci V-8, and a 1976 Corvette with T-Tops. He bought both of them new and hardly drives either one. I’d prefer the GTO over the Corvette.

I do miss my Chevy S-10 pickup; that thing was a dog but so useful. Awful in the snow with rear wheel drive, WI and MN winters gave it a beautiful orange color on the rocker panels and wheelwells, the clearcoat disappeared way earlier than it should have, and it was a standard cab with a bench seat so it had to go before the kids showed up. But it was my truck dammit!

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
1 year ago

When I was growing up my mom had a “fun car” in the garage that she used to take to track days at Riverside International Raceway before she had kids. It was a red 1965 Corvette Stingray convertible with a 3 speed manual and 396 big block engine that rumbled like an earthquake. I loved that car so much but it became a garage queen when my sister and I got too big to both fit in (or behind) the passenger seat. It broke my heart when she sold it, always thought I would want a C2 when I grew up but grownup me prefers hatchbacks, slow car fast and all that. There was nothing that compared to rolling up to soccer practice and jumping out that beast, though!

Max Headbolts
Max Headbolts
1 year ago

As a child I wanted a Mustang more than life itself. By the time I was making enough money to buy one, I decided I didn’t want to be a Mustang driver.

TJ Heiser
TJ Heiser
1 year ago

As a kid I followed the beat of a different drummer, and I still do. The cars I love have always been the ones that exist in the background, not the ones that typically draw attention to themselves – beautiful or ugly – I seek Personality!

Last edited 1 year ago by TJ Heiser
Root
Root
1 year ago

SUVs. I grew up in the 80’s and hated the idea of SUVs. Always blocking my view, terrible fuel economy (compared to a coupe/sedan), comparably poor braking/handling, and poor ride quality. Why were all of these posers who were never going to go off-road making such irrational purchases? Young me felt that SUVs are dumb, and I was aghast when my (at the time) beloved Bavarian Motor Works came out with their first “SAV”.

Now I drive an X5. Older, wiser, and (most importantly) less-flexible me now appreciates how much easier an SUV is for ingress/egress compared to a sedan. AWD is nice in the winter. I don’t know what my other excuses are, but somehow I’ve rationalized it (it’s a PHEV!). In the back of my mind I have the nagging thought that young me is still right about SUVs being an irrational choice for most buyers, including me.

Farty McSprinkles
Farty McSprinkles
1 year ago

Luxury cars. My back hurts, and my butt likes to be comfortable. I don’t like climbing out of a car that’s low to the ground and you have to fold up to get into it. I spend more time sitting in traffic than I do carving corners on a mountain road, so I want my daily to be comfortable and easy to drive.

While we are at it, turn that music down and get those crazy kids off my lawn!

Ricardo Mercio
Ricardo Mercio
1 year ago

I was a JDM circlejerk kid. I loved the whole big turbo, coilovers, track times and Bride seats obsession. My dream car was an RX-7. My first car was a Miata, and while I loved it, I still dreamt of something harder, something with a turbo, a hard top and a tiny rear seat. Hopefully an inline 6, too, if it couldn’t be a rotaty. The usual Fast and Furious dream cars filled my head, and European cars were expensive, heavy, maintenance-intensive show pieces for trust fund kids. I resented my Miata for being a soft convertible, I wanted it to be a stiffer, more focused hard top.

Fast-forward college, early career, a WRX, B5 A4, and M235i, and I’ve come full circle, now I want the antithesis of what I wanted before: a 986 Boxster. What’s not to love about a Miata with rust-resistant metal and a better-sounding engine and a nicer interior? It’s slower and less cool that a 911, and that’s a-ok.

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
1 year ago

My parents had a Nissan B12 with AC and 5 speeds, later we moved to the Nissan Sentra B13 basic one with 4 speeds only lol but the car that I want so bad one day if I can find one clean, is a 1999 Nissan Altima with leather seats. My parents surprised us one day, our first brand new car from the dealership. During that time in Mexico, having a Nissan Altima meant you were successful, upper middle class that can afford things, that meant to us our ice cream shop was doing great, selling ice cream and buying a fancy nissan altima lol .Those years I was barely a teenager, didn’t care about the car. If you find one that is clean, let me know!

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
1 year ago

I mean, I was into Saturns as a kid so I was always a little different (just like the car and the company , harr harr harr!).

In any event, I never really understood the point of GT cars as a kid. Either get a two-seat sports car/super car or get a German sports sedan. Now that I’m older with no kids, I get it. I love my ND Miata immensely. However, there are times where I wish I had a car with the same theme but more comfortable.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 year ago

Thank you for using my Countach photo and for crediting.

My taste has actually narrowed. My dream car when I was 13 was an Opel Vectra. Now it is a Moretti 750 Grand Sport.

Clark B
Clark B
1 year ago

Station wagons. I grew up in a 2001 Volvo V70 (with the turbo!) and always thought they were lame. It started to redeem itself when I started driving and realized the Volvo would outrun any of the numerous V6 Mustangs owned by my high school classmates.

And now I drive a Jetta Sportwagen TDI. It is a manual but it’s red, much better than brown. And as soon as my Dieselgate warranty goes out, it’s getting chipped. Love me a fast wagon.

Dan Pritts
Dan Pritts
1 year ago
Reply to  Clark B

Came to say this. Dieselgate tdi, now a Buick tourx.

The tourx is great looking and practical but. Nowhere near as fun to drive as that oil burner was.

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
1 year ago

While I still love “pre-loved” cars, I now spend more on them. I used to want the cheapest awesome that I could find. Now I buy for safety and reliability. Why? Because I have kids.

Getting stranded wasn’t the end of the world for me before, but now it is. Safety, while important, wasn’t the be-all-end-all it is now.

Basically, my current car is a testament to what I am willing to do for my kids.

Xpumpx
Xpumpx
1 year ago

supercars were my jam growing up. Stats were memorized and compared throughout the playground. I have lost all interest in them at this point.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 year ago
Reply to  Xpumpx

Same, but I can still remember those old specs (F40: 478hp, 324km/h). And the blue EB110SS I saw two weeks ago is still seared on the inside of my eyelids.

MH7
MH7
1 year ago

Say what you will, I’d still rock a screaming chicken trans am.

In general as a kid I loved anything muscle car. Mainly the 60s versions but the 03-04 mustang gt had my eye as well. These days that’s waned a bit for two reasons-the old stuff is simply out of reach, and the new stuff is too powerful for my use. There’s no point having a 500 hp muscle car if you’re not going to use the power and I don’t feel like going to jail (or crashing if I happen to come within 500 ft of a cars n coffee). At the same time, as cliche as it is, that v8 rumble is part of the muscle car appeal. My mom has an 06ish mustang gt convertible that I’ve driven a bit-that really is the sweet spot for me. Enough power to throw you back, not so much you’ll go straight to jail winding out 2nd gear, with a nice rumble. If only it had a stick.

Getting more into motorcycles really tempered my high end car aspirations, simply because it’s so much cheaper and accessible. A carb’d Harley will fulfill most of your vintage muscle car daydreams for a few grand will being much easier to learn to wrench on. Ferrari levels of performance are available in sport bikes starting $15k new. Cheap dual sports will walk all over any four wheel vehicle off-road unless you’re doing dedicated muddying or boulder climbing. Aspirational bikes are available starting at $10k.

So these days, car wise, my aspirations are much lower. I’m keeping my eye out for a reasonably priced stick shift drop top that my daughter can ride in the back of-TJ, pre 2010 mustang gt, etc.

16 YO me would be pretty thrilled that I have a 400 hp 4×4, and shocked to learn that’s pretty normal now.

Dan Pritts
Dan Pritts
1 year ago
Reply to  MH7

Ditto the screaming chicken. Preferably full smokey and the bandit trim. Black, t tops, and the earlier front than pictured above. Always loved that car.

Phuzz
Phuzz
1 year ago

Young me had some surprisingly modest tastes. I liked the Lotus Elise, but assumed (correctly) I’d never be able to afford one. So instead I set my sights on the Toyota Celica (around 6th gen), reasoning that by the time I had my license, I would be able to afford a second-hand one.
I couldn’t of course, and any that are left now are too expensive.

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