Think of the car you dreamed of as a kid. The car you had stuck on your wall or would constantly read about. You may have had models of it sitting in your room. Regardless, that car was most likely a car that was designed to perfection. It wasn't something you saw on the road every day. It was built to achieve something. Dominance on the racetrack, or even a top speed record. Maybe it was designed to give the best driving experience possible, or even be a radical concept that pushed the boundaries and questioned the limits.
Not everyone's childhood (or current) dream car is the same, although there are some cars that grab more attention than others.
The Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari Testarossa are cars that were many kid's poster cars. Their beautiful design, record breaking speed and even their exclusivity grabbed the attention of car enthusiasts young and old. At the time and even now, these two superheroes define the term 'automotive mastery'.
Sports car and supercar manufacturers like Ferrari, McLaren and Lamborghini are automotive giants when it comes to creating a stir and attraction towards their cars, because as humans, our dream is to have the best, the coolest looking.
Companies like Mercedes, Lotus and Porsche want to create the same affect on people, although they focus slightly less on a flamboyant form, and more on function. Of course, the same affect still applies. I remember seeing the new Mercedes AMG GTS at the Melbourne Car Show when I was 11 years old. Nothing could distract me from it's sleek design, long hood, and clear performance ambitions.
Then there's the underdog affect. Who doesn't like an underdog right? So when car manufacturers that are used to making fuel efficient runabouts like Nissan, Subaru and Toyota make a sports car or even performance version of a cheap humble car, and it performs well, people are bound to be interested. In addition, cars with innovative and rare technology, like the Mazda RX7 and it's rotary engine, are bound to cause a stir. Not everyone likes new things, but there are definitely going to some enthused by an underdog doing something completely different to its competitors. And there are, just look at the following the RX7 has now!
Motorsport lends itself to be a great proving ground for these underdogs. Paired with a good team and talented drivers, these underdogs make their mark in not only motorsport, but young car enthusiasts minds. The BMW E30 in DTM, the Nissan Skyline GTR at Bathurst and the Ford GT40 at Le Mans are historic examples of David trumping Goliath. In addition, the first successful sports car project from an underdog car company often are just the beginning of multiple motorsport and automotive triumphs. They are rarely left to be one hit wonders.
And frankly any car looks awesome in war paint!
The past 30 years have been years of change when it comes to how the younger generation fall in love with their dream cars. It began with anime shows such as Initial D and old videos of Japanese street racing and Nurburgring lap times, and now the digital age of social media and car culture websites like Super Street and Speedhunters, modified versions of cars have become more and more mainstream, to the point that dream cars are being decided upon by the younger generation because of modified creations seen on the internet.
I remember seeing Sung Kang’s Rocket Bunny 240Z on Speedhunters. It ignited my passion for the old Japanese shakotan and Kyushu style of modification, and the 240Z soon became my ultimate dream car.
It will certainly be interesting to see what the young generation (younger than myself) of today dream of having in their garage, and the reasons why they choose that certain car. It’s also exciting, particularly in this era of automotive change, what the future poster cars will be, what will make them special and which companies will make them, inspiring young kids of the future.