I grew up in Tampa, Florida. I got my permit when the DMV opened on my 15th birthday. I got my driver’s license when the DMV opened the day after my 16th birthday (damn Sundays). I was obsessed with driving since I was about 12. I still love to drive. I still love cars. My first car was a 1996 Dodge Neon, which I purchased from my parents when I was 16. It was a manual transmission. It was a horrible death trap. I drove that thing wide open throttle about 80% of the time. That car put up with so much abuse that I am amazed it continued to run. I loved that car. My brother used, and totaled, it during my freshman year at Georgia Tech. My parents bought me a bicycle as a consolation gift. I started to love bicycles. All through college I was ‘anti-car’ in as such that I didn't have one anymore. I also found out quickly that you don't really need one. A bicycle can get you way farther, way quicker, than you can imagine. Even in a pseudo-mountainous city like Atlanta (it is not San Francisco, but it is steep). I had always been ‘green’ but this reinforced my beliefs. Not 'green', so much as to protect the earth, but because I hate waste and inefficiency. And I spend, and have always spent, a large amount of time outside. I still, despite being ‘anti-car’, was obsessed with automobiles. I graduated Georgia Tech and had one last summer vacation. When I got back from Europe I went on my job search. And by mid-August I had a job, a job that was 45 miles from my house. So I needed a car, sadly a bike wouldn’t cut this commute. I went to the Audi dealership and, well, loitered around an A3, in the showroom, for about an hour and a half. Sadly not a single person came to see if I needed assistance in purchasing one with the roughly $15,000 I had in cash. I went across the street to the Toyota dealership to test drive a Prius (which didn’t meet a basic requirement of manual transmission in my vehicle search) and immediately pulled a U-turn after turning out of the dealership. This car wasn’t going to drive like I wanted it to. I ended up purchasing a 2005.5 VW Jetta TDI, the week before Hurricane Katrina sent fuel prices from $2.50 a gallon to over $5.00 a gallon in Atlanta. I put about 37,000 miles on my Jetta TDI in less than 15 months. Then on Saturday the 18th of November 2006 I came to a panic stop getting off the interstate, headed to a Georgia Tech football game. The person in front of me bailed to the emergency lane for me to see a stopped car. I was somehow able to completely stop and not hit anyone. But about 2 seconds later a red Nissan Maxima was going about 60mph when they hit my stopped car. I was mostly fine, I had some lingering right eye problem which is pretty much back to normal, but otherwise fine. My poor car was not, it died that day. The impact was so hard that I hit the car in front of me, pushed them into the car in front of them, who in turn hit the car in front of them, who then hit the car in front of them (that is my car and 4 others!). Good thing the following week was Thanksgiving; I didn't do anything. When looking for a replacement car I was dead set on getting another VW Jetta TDI. I loved my previous one. Well that turned out to be more of a challenge that I had thought. The increased fuel prices made them more desired, and their base price was bumped up to match (that and new emissions requirements for 2006). And despite doing a three state search didn't find what I wanted. Dejected I decided to test drive a GTI. Well my dejection ended abruptly and I had found my new car. After a week I had found one, and at a good price, and it was on a lot. I picked it up at about 11:30 pm on November 30th (they wanted that sale that month!). I love my car. When I paid it off after 4 years I went to a Subaru dealership to test drive their new STI. I liked my 4 year old 80,000 mile GTI better than the brand new STI. I did the same with a BMW 1 series a little bit later. I still love my car. If it weren't for Tesla I wouldn't be considering buying a car. Now all I obsess over is this Tesla, well and my new wife. It is a monument of engineering. It is a monument of need based thinking, gorgeous and fast as hell. It is different, and efficient, and green. And well pretty much fits my personality perfectly. At least as much as can tell without actually seeing or driving one. Next post about my history ‘with’ Tesla, and how come I want an EV. I didn't have a digital camera until May 2005 so I have only a handful of pictures from before then.