Shows to watch when raising an enthusiast

Ask any car enthusiast and they’ll tell you, the need for speed isn’t restricted to when one is behind the wheel. Car culture permeates most parts of our lives, whether it’s the latest driving game or the newest programme on TV.

The question arises “What to watch when raising the next generation?” For an infant, “Wheels on the bus” may be enough of car themes to, initially, generate some sort of interest but what should you watch to keep that interest alive.

Carquirks has a list of the best car shows for the next generation of car enthusiasts:

Wacky Races (ages 3 and above)

Wacky races
Clockwise from the top: Dick Dasterdly’s Mean Machine, Penelope Pitstop’s Compact Pusscat, Peter Perfect’s Turbo Terrific, and Prof. Pat Pending’s Convert-a-Car (Image source: Creative Commons)

Kids love cartoons. There is no question about it. This classic cartoon comes from the same era and creators as the Flintstones and Jetsons cartoons and features some of the weirdest cars ever. The objective of the races is to destroy your opponents’ car and win the race, somewhat along the lines of Jason Statham’s Death Race, but without the gruesome deaths.

The various and seriously quirky cars, their equally quirky drivers, combined with the morality lesson, ‘cheaters never prosper’, will have your children enthralled. Warner Bros. has announced that the show will return in 2016 on Cartoon Network.

Speed Racer (ages 5 and above)

The Mach 5 comes with a plethora of cool gadgets that allow the car to jump, find traction on any surface, and even turn into a submarine (Image source: Creative Commons)

One of the most iconic car based animated shows, Speed Racer was originally a manga that was adapted for TV. The show follows the exploits of Speed Racer (named Go Mifune in the Japanese version) and his racing career in the Mach 5. Centred around the themes of family and honour (and racing), Speed Racer is a must watch for children who are interested in the world of cars.

The Wachowskis, makers of the Matrix trilogy, wrote and directed the 2008 Speed Racer movie that, unfortunately, was quite the commercial and critical failure. In recent years, the film has gained a cult following as it stays true to the anime that inspired it and developed the genre of adventure action films from a cinematographer’s perspective.

Initial D (ages 10 and above)

Takumi’s AE86 has been reproduced by fans with the iconic black and white finish and with Fujiwara Tofu Shop printed on either side (Image source: Creative Commons)

The Japanese have a knack for this sort of entertainment. Another manga turned animated series, Initial D, is set in the illegal world of street racing in Japan, with a focus on drifting skills. The protagonist, Takumi Fujiwara, races his Toyota Sprinter Trueno, more popularly known as the AE86, against a variety of opponents and in different conditions. Following the theme of many an anime, his goal is to be the best in his chosen field.

The show is grounded in reality and the animation displays each car and skill with breath taking animated precision. This isn’t surprising considering professional race car driver and pioneer of drifting, Keiichi Tsuchiya, helped with editorial supervision. The anime gave the AE86 a cult status and helped to inspire the current Toyota GT86.

Top Gear (ages 15 and above)

The three idiots will be back in later this year, but on Amazon Prime, with their show The Grand Tour (Image source: Creative Commons)

This is a no-brainer. With the current Top Gear, hosted by Chris Evans, bombing utterly in terms of viewership, enthusiasts fondly remember Clarkson, May and Hammond’s tenure as hosts. One shouldn’t forget that the first three seasons on Clarkson’s Top Gear weren’t the most entertaining either. Only after the hosts and producers began incorporating wacky antics and steering away from being a boring review show, did it gather steam.

Let’s be honest, this the perfect show for budding enthusiasts. Chris Harris on Cars and Fifth Gear are more technical and review based while the older Top Gear is known for the nearly Wacky Races like challenges that the three hosts had to perform. It definitely has a place on this list thanks to the passion for cars they brought to the programme. I’m not alone in hoping their new show on Amazon Prime brings the same delight.


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