Growing up my family was pro-GM. It is not like they were outwardly cheerleaders for the General, but nearly every car owned during my youth came from one of the company’s divisions; a Pontiac 6000-LE, a Chevrolet Astro, a Chevrolet Cavalier, a GMC Safari – the list goes on.
So naturally, due to these internal influences, all I really knew growing up were American cars – particularly those from GM. My knowledge of Firebirds, Camaros, Grand Prix’s, Grand Nationals and Corvettes was immense. Other makes, especially those overseas? Not so much.
What Are These Wonderful, Winged Warriors?
But that all changed when I was a teenager thanks to cable TV. One day I stumbled across newly created channel called ‘Speedvision’. Being an admirer of all things motorized, I instantly fell in love with it. I would watch hours of motorsports from all over the globe, day-in and day-out.
My world expanded as I discovered Australian Super Cars, Japanese Super GT, British Touring Car Championship, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, and many more. But one motorsport discipline really caught my eye and changed my life – World Rally Championship.
Sure, I had a rudimentary understanding of rally racing thanks to video games and car magazines, but this was the first time seeing it live in action. I was mesmerized. These ordinary looking compact cars with big wings were flying through forests at ludicrous speeds. They jumped and slid around with no regard for the laws of physics.
Timing is Everything
My love for rallying quickly grew. It didn’t hurt that I got into the sport during one of its golden ages – the mid-1990s. It was the height of Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz and Tommi Mäkinen. Watching these drivers pilot their cars was magically. But if I’m honest, it was the cars themselves I was the most intrigued by.
Vehicles I had never heard of before quickly became my obsession; Subaru Impreza WRX, Mitsubishi Lancer EVO, Toyota Celica/Corolla WRC and Ford Escort WRC. One in particular stole my heart though, the WRX.
Why the Subaru? I do not know. Maybe because I was the least familiar with the brand. Maybe I just really liked the State Express 555 blue livery. What I do know, is that the more I learned about the WRX, the more hooked I got.
It sparked a life-long lover affair. At first, wishing for the vehicle to be sold in North America, and once that happened, the determination to buy one. To this day I have owned three different generations of Subaru WRX and I’m sure more will find their way into my driveway.
More Than Just a Subaru Thing
But Speedvision did not just turn my previous GM-bias towards Subaru. It opened my eyes to the vast automotive world. It created a drive in me. A need for greater automotive knowledge. Without it, would I have spent my entire career in the automotive industry? Would I have sought out the opportunities to be an automotive writer? Maybe. But either way, there is no denying the influence the original Speedvision had on shaping my automotive infatuation.