With Father’s day just behind us and my daughter’s birthday only a week away, this subject seemed like a natural. I know I am not the only daddy with a daughter and a love for cars, but it is an interesting relationship we car guy daddies have with our girls and our cars…and it may be misunderstood a bit.
Right off the bat I want to dispel the notion that we get the girls involved because we really wanted boys. Total nonsense. We get the girls involved because we want them to be with us, to be a part of what we do and like and to strengthen the bond between a father and a daughter that can all too easily slip through our fingers with all the other things that compete for our girl’s attention. If you don’t get some of her time, and she doesn’t get some of yours, the result will be lost opportunity that you may never get back. Some of us are smart enough to not let that happen. And let’s give the girls some credit too. They see us out in the garage or the driveway and see the opportunity to spend some time with the old man…so they come out. Make them welcome. Treasure that time, they grow up all too fast.
The first car guy daddy, his daughter and his car are forgotten to the pages of history, but there are several famous daddies and daughters who dig cars and have even made a nice living in the car hobby. How about Tex Roque and his daughter Shirley? Shirley would go on to win three National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Top Fuel World titles, an American Hot Rod Association Top Fuel World Title and was the first woman to get a competition license from the NHRA after she married her husband John Muldowney. Shirley Muldowney was inducted into the American Motorsports Hall of Fame and was ranked 5th on the NHRAs 50 Top Drivers list, 1951-2000. Daddies, daughters and cars.
Edelbrock may be a name folks have heard of…mostly car folks, but others too perhaps. Edelbrock is a maker of performance parts for cars, trucks and motorcycles run by a car guy daddy named Vic Edelbrock. His dad started the company in 1938 and today it is one of the most respected manufacturers of speed parts. Vic and his daughters Cammie and Christie, walk the walk and talk the talk when it comes to cars, competing in racing events all across the country. Daddies, daughters and cars.
Closer to home, and not quite as famous, there is me, my best friend, my father-in-law and my cousin Rick. All daddies, all have daughters (though cousin Rick had to show off and have two gorgeous ones) and all dig cars.
My little girl has always viewed my hobbies with great curiosity. When she was old enough to get around on her own, she would follow me down the basement to watch my model car building, which she now enjoys too, or out to the garage to see what I was doing with one of our old cars. She may be as anxious as I am to get them both back on the road and go for a ride. She has road shotgun in a number of my old cars during test drives, sat in my lap and steered as we drove them back into the garage and watched with amazement as I coaxed a few of them back to life. Daddies, daughters and cars.
My best friend’s little girl is a budding singer and actress, but her dad is a pretty fascinating character…to her at least. While her other interests keep her plenty busy, she has been spotted out in the garage and the driveway with daddy and her uncle helping get daddy’s vintage Mustang back on the road. She has already laid claim to his 2000 Mustang convertible with many “daddy installed” modifications. Daddies, daughters and cars.
My father-in-law more or less broke my wife in for me. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool car guy and took her to many car shows and always had an old car to go for rides in. When she and I met, well, the stars were in alignment, that’s for sure. Now she comes to car shows with me, there is always an old car around and she has been ready, willing and able to lend me a hand running tools and providing moral support. Daddies, daughters and cars.
I always considered cousin Rick to be a very cool guy. He always had neat cars and always had time for the younger cousins like me. He married my gorgeous cousin Jo-Ann and being a good-looking fellow himself, they had two gorgeous daughters, Julia and Jacqueline…it’s science, you can’t fight it. Anyway, with cool cars around and a daddy who was a car guy, those girls got a taste of the car hobby. Next to a 1952 Buick Super "Riviera Coupe" (Model 56R with Dynaflow transmission) was a squeaky clean ’73 Ford Mustang convertible in bright red. How could a girl resist helping daddy out with that? Daddies, daughters and cars.
You might have your own daddy/daughter car story to tell. You might have a daughter of your own and an old or cool car to share with her. I say do it. Don’t let gender nonsense get in the way of sharing our hobby with your favorite girl or girls. All the girls want is your time and your car can only benefit from another pair of loving hands.