Hey, Dad, Is That a Shelby GT500!?
My son is a car kid. He’s obsessed with anything that has four wheels, two doors and a big engine, and well on his way to becoming a bona fide “car guy” in about 10 years.
He sketches better cars at 9 years old than I’ve ever been able to. He’s convinced that he’s going to grow up and design cars for Ferrari someday. Naturally, I encourage that dream the same way I did when he decided he wanted to be a Seattle Seahawks quarterback. For his ninth birthday he wanted a Ferrari cake, which my wife made, from scratch, into a delightfully delicious and near-perfect Prancing Horse confection.
One of his favorite hobbies is looking through the used car listings and searching for elusive supercars.
When we visited my in-laws’ house last week, he’s the one who noticed the Porsche 911 Carrera S parked next door, and spent the next 10 minutes circling it and breathlessly repeating the word “Wow.” He’s also spotted a red Tesla Roadster from a good 50 yards away and screamed “Lotus!” when a bright orange Elise went by in the opposite direction on a rural highway.
My kid knows his cars. Which is why I was so surprised when he came home yesterday, casually asked a car question, and then slumped his little shoulders when I told him the answer.
“Dad,” he said, out of the blue, “A Shelby isn’t a Mustang, right?”
“Well, yeah, it is, kiddo. You mean like a Shelby GT500?”
“Yup, that’s a Mustang.”
“Darn,” he said, looking towards the ground.
“Oh man, did you lose a bet, Bud?”
“Maybe. So a 1969 Shelby GT500 is a Mustang?”
“Oh yeah. That’s the ultimate Mustang.”
“Hmmm,” he said, looking toward the front door. “Good thing I didn’t bet any money.”
What he did bet was a Hot Wheels model of said ’69 GT500, which is now proudly owned by the boy living next door.
I guess my little “future car guy” still has a lot to learn. Oh well, when he’s all grown up and living in Maranello, it’ll be fun to remind him of the day he misidentified the Mustang.
Do you remember what car started your obsession? Mine was the Toyota Pickup driven by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future.