As with most auto enthusiasts the passion for cars starts at an early age. I believe “car people” have it in their DNA from the start and it grows from there. My Dad liked cars which exposed me to some great vehicles growing up. He would change his daily driver every so often depending on what caught his eye. One of my earliest memories was going to the local dirt track to watch a demolition derby, this made a big impact on me and resulted in some trashed hotwheels along the way.
Me in my Dad’s Sunbeam circa 1967
Harrah’s car collection with my older brother
We visited Harrah’s (National Car Museum) where I got my first sighting of a car collection (starting big). During the tour I took photos of cars that looked cool with my micky mouse camera. I had no idea of the importance of the cars and collection at the time but it was obvious the Bugatti Royal was something special. Even a young car nut like me could tell that was something important and was a real treat to see in person.
My Model cars from the old days
Me circa 1975
Checking out the car auctions
As I got older building model cars took over as one of my main hobbies. This introduced me to details on a wide range of cars. From race cars to hot rods and European tourers I just loved them all. I didn’t know at the time but I was building my automobile knowledge base for the future. I learned the difference between an Aston Martin DB4 and DB5 and what a Jaguar E-type looks like under the hood. Later when I owned my own 1969 Jaguar E-type the true functionality of the car was realized but it all goes back to the basic building blocks that were firmly ingrained at an early age.
One summer we took a family trip to Disneyland and I got my first chance to drive at Autotopia. Even though there was a strip of metal down the center of the lane to keep me on track it was the real deal. Pretty cool of my older cousin to let me drive! Looking back I was tapping into many things for the first time (Freedom, Style, Engineering, Driving Skill). I remember it took all my attention and focus to keep the car on the road and by the end of the ride I had a good connection with the car and how it worked. As I meet and talk with collectors it is clear each car has a distinct feel and personality. The first time I drove a Ferrari Testarossa and could hear/feel the engine roaring behind me it was a far cry from the poster on my wall growing up. See video
Driving at Disneyland Autotopia circa 1976 (My older cousin to let me drive)
Driving a Ferrari Testarossa
My automotive passion goes deep. I love all makes and models from Ford, Mercedes, Jaguar, De Tomaso, Ferrari, Dean Jefferies customs, Porsche, Lincoln, Citroen, Lotus, Cadillac, Lamborghini, Chevrolet, BMW, Mclaren, Pontiac, Alfa Romeo, Rolls Royce, VW, Maserati, Fisker, to name a few. I love to hunt down parts, whether I am restoring a car or just fixing one to stay on the road, the online world introduces you to people from all corners of the globe. Now that I have been through a few restorations I’m better at scoping projects and identifying what a cars true condition is. It’s always hard to keep emotions out of the game but the more I do it the clearer it gets. This also gives me a good perspective when looking at cars to not only enjoy their beauty but understand the work that goes into maintaining them.
I really enjoy attending car shows with friends. From Monterey Car Week in CA to the Power Meet in Sweden It is great to see what other people are doing with cars and share in the celebration.
Soaking it in at Monterey car week
One of my favorite past times is to talk with owners about the finer points of their passion for collecting and restoring vehicles. Sharing their experiences is a big part of what makes cars interesting to me and I always learn something in the process. It is my sincere hope that by sharing these stories like minded car nuts will be entertained and take with them a little bit of new information along the way
Michael P. Spicer