Saturday, August 16, 2014

Confessions of a Car Kid

In spite of my mother’s hopefulness and her dressing me in skirts every other day when I was in grade school, I was still something of a tomboy. I played with Barbie, but I also played with Tonka trucks in the sand box. My favorite gym classes were floor hockey games – square dancing? Not so much. On Saturday afternoons, I helped Dad load up his truck for the race track that night – on Sunday mornings, we unloaded. My favorite car as a kid? A metallic blue IROC Z – as well as my dad’s 1967 Mustang Shelby GT500 (I miss that car – and so does he!).

Like this one! (wikimedia commons: order_242)
Having been brought up around auto racing and cars in general, it was tough not to be a car kid. I remember my first foray into racing photography: one of the sponsors for Dad’s team wanted some photos taken in front of his parts store, which happened to be on a busy street with very little parking out front. So, we improvised: dad dropped the car off in front of the store in the median on a Sunday morning (early!) while I set up a ladder on the sidewalk so I could get more than just the side panels on the car. Somehow, we pulled it off – the photos were pretty cool too!

I’ve always loved going to car shows and the races, AM perusing of car dealerships before they open, Sundays in front of the TV watching NASCAR, Thursday Night Thunder on ESPN…

The kids (
It’s carried on through my adult life. Dad’s now got two Mustangs that we take to car shows, and even if we leave the ponies at home we still walk around. I still love going to the races (with camera in hand!), and I still have favorite cars (2005 Mustang in Windveil Blue Metallic – any type! – and any Saturn Sky – I miss that car!). Add to that the fact that I now write about auto racing and get paid for it (it’s not full-time, but I’ve made back my college tuition doing it!)…

I guess being a car kid has paid off. Thanks Dad – and thanks Mom for putting up with us!

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