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Buy, build, enjoy, repeat.

Not necessarily in that order, though…

This has been one hell of an expensive passion, but I think I have to blame it on my family.

While I was growing up (But did I really?), my parents had regular middle-class cars, so nothing fast or out of the ordinary for the time, but both had something in common — they sure knew how to drive a slow car fast!

From driving a VW Bus on two wheels to sliding a Brasilia almost everywhere on rainy days, they had some great times during their youth and early adult years. Then I arrived, and, well, everything stayed pretty much the same.

I was never scared to ride with them, and I still don’t know how my Dad manages to drive a 7-seat Nissan Patrol like he does. Weighting a bit more than 2 tons and being almost the size of a luxury apartment in central Lisbon apparently means nothing to him. I tried, several times actually, but I just can’t replicate some of his achievements. Got close, but never close enough, and somehow I feel happy about that. He’s my Dad, and he will always be the best!

As for my Mom, she raced against the clock for two years straight, between two cities to drop me off in school and drive back to work in time, through rain, fog, dirt and sometimes mud as well. I heard the same thing about another woman, who drove a Group B Audi Quattro a few decades back.

I had my first driving experience when I was 3 years old, barely able see over the dashboard, and I won’t even say a word about reaching the pedals. From 0 to 10, that was over 9000, and I can remember like it was yesterday. Such happy memories!

After all that, I wonder if they were trying to raise a Petrolhead on purpose… But I’m glad they did!

Even though I admire a few other people, my true heroes will always be my Mom and Dad.

Let me give you a warm welcome to my humble collection!

With love,

César Melo

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