Enthusiasts are made over years, decades even. Our influences come from many different angles. They come from family, they come from environment and location, and they also come from the Silver Screen or TV,
This post today will touch on the “Hero Cars” of TV and the Big Screen that influence my life and were part of making me a the Car Enthusiast that I am.
My first car experience was through the movie “The Italian Job”, this 1969 movie featured three Mini Cooper S cars that seems to defy anything that cars were thought to do. They scaled stair cases, out run the police, and were completely unstoppable. Being such a small call, and affordable for the majority of the population, they made the Mini Coopers S absolute Hero Cars.
The second on screen car influence that I had actually inspired my very first car. Herbie the Love Bug was a VW Beetle that had a life of its own, and it certainly created a star out of the humble German built car. With the number 53 across the bonnet and doors and the racing stripes down the middle, Herbie was loved by many.
My first car was an old 1959 VW Beetle that my Dad and I restored to it’s former glory, stopping short of adding the Herbie livery.
Heading from the big screen to the small screen, the TV show Magnum PI introduced the Ferrari 308 GTS to the mainstream. Tom Selleck roaring around Oahu, Hawaii with his loud shirts and monster mustache.
Keeping with the mustache theme was Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit, teaming up with truckies in order to evade the Police. Burt’s chosen vehicle was the a 1977 Pontiac Trans Am “Fire Bird”.
The American Muscle tradition in Hero Cars continued with a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am that, like Herbie, had a life of it’s own. Knight Rider was the TV show that re-ignited the idea of a car being alive, and capable of it’s own decision making.
Finally, the car that made the most impact on my life from the screen was the mighty “General Lee” from the Dukes of Hazard. This 1969 Dodge Charger was, and still is my absolute dream car. Sadly due to their scarcity, and us being in the Southern Hemisphere, these little beauty’s cost upward of $100K.
Although I may never own one of these beasts, the dream will always be there.
On a recent trip to the USA with my wife for a vacation, I was lucky enough to see many amazing motor cars. It seems that America has a great number of enthusiasts and an affordability of sports cars for the masses.
Some cars that are simply out of reach financially for Australians, are common in America.
Obviously the American built muscle cars are a dime a dozen and many of them are also rental cars for tourists.
The Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang and the Corvette are some of these cars.
But one car stands alone to me, and seemed rare in the USA as well. That is the AC Cobra.
It doesn’t matter how many super cars I see, and modern sports cars, there is nothing like the curves, the simplicity and the horsepower of a Cobra. Those leg pipes that emit the beautiful rumble of the V8 motor…..I get excited just thinking about it. Haha
You can have all the drive settings in a modern car, automated transmissions with paddle controls, and rocket ship like capabilities……put me in a Manual AC Cobra anyday and I will be the happiest man alive.
One day my dream will come true, and a AC Cobra will be in the Sydney Coupes and Roadsters garage, I’d even settle for a replica….until then I will keep dreaming and admiring them as they pass.
Last year after closing down my business and going back to a “real job” I suddenly had some spare cash and a whole lot of spare time. So I decided I needed to get myself a mid life crisis project.
I had 2 choices……a Harley or an MX5. I chose the MX5 so my wife could spend more time with me.
So after buying this little Mazda MX 5, I absolutely fell in love with it, and this style of motoring. The light weight body, the nimbleness in the corners, reminded me of driving Go-carts when I was young. Although I was having a ball, I was disappointed in the lack of horsepower that these little Roadsters had, so I researched Superchargers, Turbo chargers, and anything else that will make it go quicker. But by the time I have all the information together, I came to the conclusion that for my usage of the MX 5, I simply don’t need more power. It i capable of doing everything I want it to do. And I love it.
I joined the MX 5 club of NSW and have enjoyed drives with them, but many of my friends own Coupes and other sports cars, so this I decided to form Sydney Coupes and Roadsters (SCAR), so there is the ability for a broader group of cars to be able to drive with us.
SCAR is simply a social group of car enthusiasts that get together, go for drives, grab some food and have a laugh.
If you have a Coupe, or a Roadster or Sports car, please contact us, find us on Facebook and Instagram, and come driving with us.