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Insider Report: Watch the exact moment a toddler gets bitten by the bug

Published February 12, 2014

Toddler squeals with delight as Dad does doughnuts
My earliest memories revolve around cars, from having race cars in the garage to watching racing at Mosport. One of the most vivid is driving down our street in a light blue dune buggy, Dad driving as I swung from the roll bar. Not exactly safe, but it was the early ’70s, and things were different then. My Dad claims that he did his best to prevent me from getting interested in cars, but with those memories embedded deeply in my brain, there wasn’t much of a chance that I wouldn’t get bitten by the bug.

I believe that not enough parents expose their kids to the fun side of automotive life, and that the car hobby would much bigger today if more kids were exposed to cars as something exciting rather than just an appliance.

The dad in the video below clearly feels that his kid should be exposed to the fun too. Coming to us from some Russian-speaking area, this guy takes the wee one for a tire-squealing romp around a parking lot. Safety in Russia isn’t all that big a concern as regular readers have seen, so I suppose we can’t go too hard on the guy for having his kid in the front seat, but the passenger side airbag would do a number on the boy if it were to go off. More important is the likelihood that this outing will be burned into the young lad’s memory for years to come. A car enthusiast is born!

Flying In My Fathers Footsteps
The power of childhood memories is made stronger when they include powerful machines. In my case it was racing cars, but in the case of Hagerty Classic Cars VP Eric Okerstrom, it was airplanes. As young as four years of age, Okerstrom would fly with his Dad, who let the toddler take over the controls of a Cessna 170. The senior Okerstrom had been a P51 Mustang gunnery instructor during WWII and his passion for flying stayed with him until his death this year.

Prior to his Dad’s passing, Okerstrom was able to arrange for a flight in a restored P51, while his Dad went for a ride in a B24 Liberator bomber. The highlight of this video for me is the look of bliss on the 92 year old’s face as he “covers” for his Son who is flying alongside with a 50 caliber machine gun. At that very moment, Ted Okerstrom was a young man in the prime of his life once more.

Upon landing, the airplanes are joined by a trio of early Ford Mustangs.

WRC driver doesn’t stick around to say thanks after being helped out of ditch
Not only is rallysport the purest form of motorsport, but it also gives fans the unique opportunity to be part of the action sometimes. Fans can get up close and personal with drivers and cars before a rally and during service, but once the competition starts, fans often play a big part on the road as well. When a competitor goes off the road as often happens, fans frequently are able to come to their aid and help them back on the road. This participation is fine within the rules and just adds to the excitement for rally fans.

During last weekend’s Rally Sweden, Czech WRC privateer Martin Prokop went off into the snow right in front of a crowd, who quickly jumped in to extract the Ford. Using ropes to tug the car out and body weight to aid traction, the car was out in a jiffy. Still on the clock, Prokop didn’t stick around to say thanks, even when a couple of assistants kept holding on to the ropes and went for a bit of a ride down the stage.

Mazda wishes the Miata a happy 25th Birthday
In yesterday’s Insider Report I shared Jay Leno’s interview with the creators of Mazda’s roadster, the Miata. Now known as the MX-5, the Miata embodies everything that driving should be and defines the experience for devoted Mazda fans. To celebrate the car’s 25th birthday, Mazda has released their own story.

15 Seconds With: 2014 Buick Lacrosse
When most people think about the ultimate Winter driving machine, they think about an SUV or maybe an Audi or Subaru. For the past week and a half I have been gliding through the worst that Winter can throw at us in this 2014 Buick Lacrosse with all wheel drive and proper Winter tires. The Buick’s forte isn’t having fun in the snow like one might do in a WRX. Instead, it is comfortable and confident. This might be the most impressive Winter car I have driven this year.

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