As a young child, I never had the opportunity to experience an auto show. Neither of my parents were interested in cars, and my brother was too far away to take me. For years, I waited until the day finally came in April of 2009: my first auto show.
Sure, I was older than most when they go to their first auto show, but that observation has dawned on me only after I have started to care for cars and the passion behind them. When I traveled to New York City in 2009, I was enveloped with the joy of seeing the shiny and new cars the industry has, and will have, to offer.
Taking the train in, my parents and I walked to the Javits Center from Penn Station. Every block, my heart started to pound faster as I could sense the aluminum and rubber from behind those walls.
Seeing the inside of the building lined with automotive companies' booths and displays, I had no clue where I should begin. Should I go down the list of automakers alphabetically? Should I find the most expensive cars first? The fastest cars? The options seemed endless.
I decided on going from left to right across the room to each display, whether I was interested in the car or not. I did this partly because I wanted to--and partly because my father had told me, "we paid money to get here--you will enjoy every car in here."
At first glance, there was not a car that blew me away. However, I was determined to find a "favorite car" of the day.
And there it was. The 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 had caught my eye, and my heart. I was ga-ga over this car. From its 3.8-liter straight six and 435 horsepower, to its illustrious and menacing rear spoiler, I knew that this car was special.
One of the Porsche representatives came over to me as I was admiring the car and taking picture of it. (At this time, I knew nothing of cars or any lingo.) He asked what I thought of the car and its attributes. Not knowing what to say, I stated, "I think it is an awesome car, I would love to drive it one day."
That was enough for him.
"Come back with one hour remaining and I have something to show you."
So, as he said, I came back to the Porsche booth with one hour remaining before closing. The next hour with this car was the best hour I have spent with ANY car.
The GT3 was cordoned off from onlookers to be able to touch and climb inside. He took down the rope and told me I could sit in the driver's seat. I thought I was dreaming. Not only was this car revealed just a short time ago at the 2009 Geneva show, it was the first day New York had been able to see it.
As I sat in the car, he told me the history of the 911 GT3 and some of the features it offers. I am sure what he said was interesting, but I do not remember a single word of it. I was too busy imagining myself driving this car at my favorite track, Laguna Seca. He also offered to take pictures of me sitting in the car, which I gladly accepted.
I had not been interested in the GT3 before this show, nor had I been interested about cars. After this day, I began my study, my obsession with these machines. Over the short 2 years, my obsession has manifested into what I call "the love of the internal combustion vehicle." This one hour with the GT3 has sparked my interest with cars and the love for them.
I have taught myself a lot about cars ever since, even starting my own podcast on iTunes and a blog where I write about them. Now I help friends and family with their car problems. Now I can fix a car rather than paying someone to do it for me. All because of this one hour with my true love, the Porsche 911 GT3.
What? You haven't heard? High Gear Media is bringing one lucky, talented car enthusiast to the 2011 New York Auto Show. We're searching for the greatest auto-show moment of your life--stories like this one. Once you get your "moment" published, you're eligible to win a trip for two to New York City, along with insider access to the show. Just sign up here and tell us your best auto-show memory, and stay tuned for the winners!