Cars and Psychology


So, as I was talking to my Father today, who races his 1967 Mustang, I thought to myself, how much is the need for speed and love of cars hereditary? To give you some background, most of my life he and I did not talk. He was around during the first couple of years of my life and events happened that we didn't have any interactions again until I turned 18. Since then, we have started forming a regular relationship again and luckily we share a connection. Cars. True, he loves old school American muscle and I am a fan of European performance cars but, that does not stop us. We both love how they work and we both LOVE to go fast. He loves it so much in fact he hit 189 MPH in his last race. As, we were talking today I was trying to figure out why he, my half-brother and I all love cars. Now it makes sense that my half-brother is a fan since, he was raised by my father and from an early age was exposed to cars. But, I did not have such an influence.

Sure, my mother knew quite a bit about cars because of him however, she did not saturate my life with them. I started from about the time I was 8 years old, with a Lamborghini Diablo on my wall and a model of a Porsche 911 Turbo on my desk. Every time we went to the grocery store I would pick up the weekly free car magazine and I poured over pages of great cars. Some were your work trucks and beaters but, there were a number of Hummer H1s, BMW 745is, and Chevy Impalas. I read everything I could until I had a veritable catalog of information stored in my head.

Now, I wonder just how much of this was because of him and how much of this was just environmental stimuli. Was it that I always knew growing up that my father raced so naturally I was interested? Was it the fact that people bought me car things when I was young? My favorite picture from my childhood was me working on my fisher price car with a hammer. Would I do that these days? Well, I would only use a hammer if my car was truly misbehaving. I wonder as scientist discover more about the human genome if they will find a speed gene. Is it a part of us or is it something we develop as we are growing up?

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