I am not a petrolhead. Even during my decade-long career as a full-time morning journalist I never claimed to be.
But just because I didn't get overly excited by cars, motorsport or a motoring event doesn't mean that I disliked cars or that I don't appreciate a great car. Or lament a bad one. Even as a kid I would stop to look at a cool car or, at least, a car I thought was cool in my eyes.
Here's a list of those cars and why I liked them it at the time. Judge me if you must, I'm not even ashamed of these choices.
Volkswagen Golf VR6
This car launched when the Mk3 VW Golf range desperately needed something, anything, impressive after the disappointment that was the Mk3 GTI.
The VR6 was a car I latched on to early in life for no other reason than because my cousins were infatuated with it. I knew it was fast, but I didn't know what made it special. It had a bent 128kW engine that was capable of going from 0-100 km/h in under eight seconds. Impressive for its time. Adored today.
Honda Civic (hatch) VTEC
I am clearly a child of the Cape Flats.
The Honda Civics of the mid- to late 90s caught my attention as a teenager. Again, influenced by my cousin who I think still to this day buys Hondas and then slightly spruces each one up. I didn't even know what VTEC means. Now, I can't escape the bloody acronyms.
Volkswagen Polo Playa
I can't explain this one as much. I remember my sister liking this car and pointing it out every now and then, so I just started thinking it was cool, I guess.
I think it was because until the arrival of the Playa, we didn't get the Polo in hatch form, just an old person's sedan profile. What we got was essentially a rebadged Seat Ibiza and with that VW had another popular hatchback to sell en masse. And if you don't believe me, go look at the sales figures.
Ok, so this car was actually cool and clearly my car choices were evolving for the better.
Almost every day at high school, we could see a MK1 Audi TT parked at a building just up the road from our school. I wasn't 100% sure of what the car was at the time, but I remember always stealing a second or third glance at the car thinking that would be cool to own one day. But that was before my life as the matriarch of a five strong plus two dog household.
The car I wish I understood better: Ford Escort MK2
My parents' friends had a MK2 Ford Escort in such great condition. I often admired how clean the car always was and I liked the paint job (but not enough to remember the colour, it would seem. I think it was a metallic blue of sorts).
I never knew what a cool car it would be regarded as, certainly not the cult classic it has become. For all I know, it was cool back then too, but I didn't know it. The exterior and interior were so well taken care of that I'm sure that if one of them still had the car today, there would be some Ford aficionado willing to give a kidney for it.