Three is said to represent the past, present and future. As I’ve planned the launch Third Auto, I’ve spent just about as much time thinking ahead as I have glancing back.
Try as I might, I cannot pinpoint an exact moment that sparked my interest in cars. From a very young age I began compiling mental inventories of makes and models, and soon enough picked my favorites from the crowd. The third-row jumpseat in the family station wagon was an ideal vantage point, as was the view onto busy Norwood Avenue from the bedroom window of my childhood bedroom.
I can remember being enamored with Volvo station wagons which had a windshield wiper on the back window; something I was absolutely thunderstruck by. So much so that I would pretend our Chevrolet Celebrity EuroSport had a rear window wiper, too. I’d accomplish this by clearing the foggy window with my arm, but only in the radius with which a wiper blade would hit. If the Chevy didn’t have a rear wiper at least I could pretend it did.
The fixation with wipers continued as I explored the glorious Monoblade wiper on Mercedes-Benz models in the 80’s and 90’s, which moved with mesmerizing theatrics as it cleared the windshield. Other curiosities included headlamp wipers, found on countless European makes of that era.
Chrysler minivans were another revelation. I was partial to those with woodgrain trim, and found their tall cabins filled with cupholders and cubbies to be wondrous. The massive overhead console with map lights and a digital compass found in some upscale models were especially endearing. A minivan, with its door that slide open and enough space with walk around while in motion, was worlds away from the layout of our Chevy station wagon.
Over time my ability to identify cars from a distance became laser sharp and soon enough I was accumulating car magazines with every trip to the food store. By the age of ten I began helping family members pick out cars to buy. 1996 was especially memorable when the old Chevy wagon was replaced with a gleaming candy apple red 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan ES. I miss that car; the design of the third-generation Chrysler minivans still looks good today.
As years went on, in addition to family members I began helping friends pick out vehicles and also started my own summer job of washing cars in my parent’s backyard. My car brochure collection grew to massive proportions as I’d constantly request material on all the latest models, and then diligently read them in my spare time. For any road trips, I’d usually select a handful of brochures beforehand and take them with me to read along the way.
I’ve continued to closely follow the auto industry throughout the subsequent years and created Third Auto to offer my perspective on industry news, trends, design analysis and more. I hope to provide thoughtful and informed commentary for both auto enthusiasts and car shoppers alike.
Third Auto is dedicated to my supportive family, friends, neighbors and colleagues, who have encouraged me to pursue my interest in automobiles.