Kids have awesome, vivid imaginations. Many gearheads likely got their start simply by having their minds blown about a vehicle.
A few cars have blown my mind in my formative years, but one that blew my mind the earliest was the first generation Audi TT. It was a car that I drove in games like Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, when I was only 8 years old.
Sure, like any kid, I had pictures of supercars on my wall. But the Audi TT made me excited in ways that a McLaren F1 and a Lamborghini Diablo couldn’t. Maybe it was the fact that it looked like a New Beetle, but squashed and super sleek. As an adult, I adore its timeless looks and engaging powertrain. When I finally bought one last year, it was a dream come true and one of those few moments where meeting a hero was a good thing.
We asked readers to give us the new cars that blew their minds as kids. Here are their answers.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day, our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best 10 responses from the previous Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Dodge Daytona And Plymouth Superbird
1969 Dodge Daytona and its fraternal corporate twin, the 1970 Plymouth Superbird. I thought it was so cool that they would make those radical body modifications based on wind tunnel data and sell the car to the public in order to certify it for NASCAR racing.
Suggested by: JimEmery, It’s Time
In a land of boxy cars, the Ford Taurus looked like spaceship.
1st Generation Ford Taurus. Looked like the space shuttle compared to the boxy cars that were normal of that era. Seemed super futuristic in comparison when it first came out. Looking back at them now its hard to believe that seemed cutting edge, but it definitely seemed like it was at the time.
Suggested by: RideOrange
Dodge Viper GTS
This one comes from a fitting screen name.
1996 Dodge Viper GTS. It started a life-long obsession for 10-year-old me, and although it took a long time for me to save up to get one, I still smile every time I open my garage and see one sitting there.
Suggested by: dodge_viper (see?)
The first gen Honda Insight
It looked like a spaceship to me as a 9 year old kid.
Suggested by: The Driveress
A mind-blowing car for one of our younger Jalops.
I think i am among the younger side of this website. The answer for me is very simple: Nissan GT-R, i was 11 when it came out, the new iteration of the supercar killer, so awesome when it was new that’s still sold today.
2 fast 2 furious was oddily, on of the first movies that brought me into cars, Gran Turismo 4 being the second thing you all can easily catch why i choose this.
Suggested by: FelixTheRoman1997
The beautiful red Ram from Twister still has me wanting to drive one, even today.
The 1994 Dodge Ram front end was a complete departure from what other manufacturers were doing with pickup trucks up until that point. While it is pretty ‘meh’ nowadays, it set a trend that almost all other manufacturers started designing toward in the years after and still carries on today, 27 years later.
Suggested by: skwimjim
Chrysler PT Cruiser
Yes, they’re a joke now, but the hype was second to none in 1999, and for the year or so before these hit the market. They offered retro style and a form factor that was functional. It had an available 5-Speed, and a host of luxurious options in Limited trim. The first year, it was a cool car to own. After a year, every grandparent and rental company had base model versions clogging up the roads. It was easy to hate after a short while, but it was back when Chrysler went from bold concepts to bold designs.
Suggested by: PrinceGnarls, ExGavalonn
Lotus Europa, I was 12.
Suggested by: minardi
In retrospect the plastic was pretty bad but when the Chevy Avalanche came out I was so excited. Living in a family of 5+dog we always had 3-row SUVs with the exception of 1 minivan stint. When it was time for a new SUV my dad would always look at trucks then ultimately get another SUV. I would come with him and when we went to the Chevy dealer I loved looking at the avalance. It seemed so innovative that you could remove the rear window/seats and load something large in the back and also have a truck that could fit a family. The dealer had one on the showroom floor with an ATV in the back.
Suggested by: ArrestMeRed
Oh god, I’m so sorry that I’m about to say this but, the Plymouth Prowler. I was 11 when it came out and, immediately, two appeared in my neighbourhood (one yellow, one PURPLE). I was already pretty into cars by then, having been raised on Car & Driver and Motor Trend, and that thing was an actual concept car come to life. Our neighbour had a red Viper but the Prowler … now THAT was a bonkers-looking car.
Suggested by: Millennial W/ Manual, jonRob5189