Home » What Was The Coolest Car In Your Childhood Neighborhood?

What Was The Coolest Car In Your Childhood Neighborhood?

Aa Maranello Ts
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Growing up as enthusiasts, one of our key points of exposure to awesome cars was simply finding them in the wild. It was even better when a cool car lived in the neighborhood you lived or went to school, because it meant a chance to see it regularly, get familiar with it, and admire it.

Some of us even form childhood bonds with these cars, these roadside sculptures, these monuments to engineering. They can become our favorites, canonized in the pantheon on greats. Best of all, they don’t have to be mind-blowing to rock our worlds. Whether something exotic or something affordable yet neat, as long as it captures the imagination and inspires, it’s cool.

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For about three years, I attended a school outside my immediate neighborhood, and on the way there, I’d see a Ferrari 550 Maranello that lived outdoors in front of a modest home. It was completely unexpected, and yet, there it was — the last pretty manual Ferrari used as a daily driver. The GT cars were always Enzo’s favorites for the road, and I got to see one of my personal hero cars almost every day on the way to school.

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Today we’re asking you what the coolest car in your childhood neighborhood was, or any other neighborhood you frequented for school or friend meet-ups. It doesn’t have to be the most astonishing thing on the books, it just has to have moved you in some way. Who knows? It could’ve even been the beginning of something great.

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(Photo credits: Bring A Trailer)

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DONALD FOLEY
DONALD FOLEY
3 months ago

1953 Studebaker coupe.

Dr. Asteroid
Dr. Asteroid
3 months ago

I couldn’t recall a car from when I was younger but for the last 20+ years, a red Lumina Z34 has sat rotting in a guy’s driveway. The Lumina Z34 is the coolest vehicle in human history.

Dan Bee
Dan Bee
3 months ago

1970ish strong orange Jeep J10 FSJ pickup, parked on the corner right by the four-way stop. As much as an institution as a house on the street. It was there my entire childhood. I came home a few years ago and it was gone. Owners moved (or moved on). It’s life, but still was sad.

Robert Swartz
Robert Swartz
3 months ago

My childhood was in a Mon Valley steel town in the early 70s, and there were a few contenders. A neighbor across the alley had a white Triumph TR3. At the end of the block, the owner of the local Islay’s franchise – the people who gave the world the Klondike bar – had a split window Corvette. And my uncle a block away had a raspberry 911.

But the real winner was the mint, black ’56 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special owned by a rich elderly widow across the street. It was love at first site.

Vee
Vee
3 months ago

Oh man there were quite a few, literally my next door neighbours’. Uh… on my right was the 1993 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning, known locally as “Rudolph The Red Nosed Rocket”, on my left was the 1973 Chevrolet Covette 454, across the street was a 1936 Ford Model A hotrod and show car that won multiple awards, a few houses down there was a guy who owned an International Scout II, further down from him was a guy who had a ZZ30 Toyota Celica that had been modified into a street racer style show car (this was the same year as The Fast And The Furious). After we moved (but before I moved back) there was a ’63 Ford Galaxie 500 two houses down from mine. Around town there was a “mini truck craze” modified 1990 Chevrolet S-10 with integrated taillights, a bed made of speakers, and hydraulics that made a magazine cover, there was an ’87 Fiero GT, a restored ’68 Chevelle, a ’71 El Camino, a pair of Dodge Rampages that sat in a parking lot for a decade, and most hilariously a post-facelift Chevette that somehow survived Y2K and which I still occasionally see after having disappeared for twenty years.

Camp Fire
Camp Fire
3 months ago

Black Merkur XR4Ti. An early model, with the double rear spoilers. I got to ride in it sometimes. Still the coolest car I’ve ever lived near.

Various family members had (5) Fieros and (4) VW-based kit cars. All interesting in their own right. But the Merkur still holds the crown, all these years later.

Brockstar
Brockstar
3 months ago

Black Dodge Viper RT/10. I still remember when it drove by for the first time. I froze as if being approached by a grizzly bear. I recently moved into the same neighborhood and it’s still there as majestic and terrifying as I remember.

Myk El
Myk El
3 months ago

There were some cars that were definitely interesting, if not necessarily cool. Opel GT, Porsche 914, Couple of Corvettes (including my dad’s 1973) but I have fond memories of dad’s 1948 Dodge sedan now, but it was not considered cool in the 1970s.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago

I grew up in a small village in Sweden (about 2,000 people), but one guy had a homemade Sevenesque car with a Volvo Redblock engine. The most amazed I ever was was in 1992, when a Honda NSX showed up once or twice (at the house of someone who worked for the Honda importers), because it was the sole Honda NSX brought to Sweden new – it was never sold there, Honda just brought one example to show off and I guess to lend to people as a perk.

Looking back from now, though, the coolest car was probably the brown late seventies’ Saab 95 (not 9-5) or any other of the many old cars which seemed uninteresting to a kid. My neighbors simultaneously owned a Benz W123, a BMW 1802 Touring, and a Renault 4, for instance.

Darryl Hutchinson
Darryl Hutchinson
3 months ago

Not just one car, but the coolest car collection on my street growing up was a neighbour with 3 great vehicles from the late 1900’s.

  1. Plymouth Prowler (custom paint, black horizontal surface/orange vertical two tone with a matching trailer)
  2. Viper GTS in red if my memory serves me right and,
  3. A Dodge Durango Shelby SP360 as a daily!

I got to stare at these magazine grade vehicles as I drove my rusted poopbox Escort GT nearly everyday.

Isis
Isis
3 months ago

Easily the 1948 Ford Anglia Gasser my dad built and spent all my childhood driving to street rod shows in.

Giulia Louis-Dreyfus
Giulia Louis-Dreyfus
3 months ago

My parents built both the houses I grew up in in Omaha and as newer suburbia tends to go, the car culture wasn’t top notch there. That said, in the late 1980s, there was a guy who lived across from our first house, a starter home at that, who had what I recall being a Porsche 930 Turbo in black.

In our second neighborhood – subdivision if you will – in the ’90s, there was a kid’s mom who drove a 2nd gen Mitsubishi 3000GT. But one subdivision over there was a guy who had a Diablo. There wasn’t a Lambo dealer for 100s of miles from Omaha so it was pretty special to see those at the time.

I’ll add my love of Alfa Romeos came from my Grandparent’s next door neighbor who probably had the coolest car in their neighborhood, a Series 3 (maybe Series 4) Alfa Romeo Spider in Alfa red.

Giulia Louis-Dreyfus
Giulia Louis-Dreyfus
3 months ago

I will add that my Grandparent’s other next door neighbors had a 2nd gen Nissan 300ZX in electric yellow AND a Subaru Brat.

Last edited 3 months ago by Giulia Louis-Dreyfus
Seaway
Seaway
3 months ago

There was a street parked 1984 911 with a giant spoiler. It was red. It was parked in the in front of the same house from 1984 until about 2014. There was also a guy who had a couple Lotus Turbo Esprits, which were pretty wild to see while walking the dog. My neighbor across the street restored Sunbeam Alpines. His next door neighbor has been restoring a 1963 Pontiac Tempest for the last 30 years. The engine, in that time, has never been installed, but it’s been rebuilt twice. The guy in the garage next to mine customizes VW bugs and my favorite is a lowered, louvered, chopped one he calls Color Purple.

I had it good as a kid.

Facundo Piedrafita
Facundo Piedrafita
3 months ago

My neighbor across the street had a red Alfetta GTV for a while, and my grandad’s car was a ’77 Taunus GT.

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