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Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Be Like Dean! Let Kids Touch Your Car!

Posted March 04, 2021 12:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: sports cars

The Austin-Healey "Bugeye" Sprite is an undeniably cute car. But Dean Stribling's 1961 Sprite is cuter than the average Bugeye. Dean makes sure of that when he shows the car. With a pair of XXXL googly eyes adorning the headlamps, there is zero doubt that his little sports car is smiling.

When kids get to the show, that Ferrari or Daytona Hemi mean nothing to them next to the happy little red sports car. Beyond the decidedly non-OEM peepers, Dean legitimately loves having kids check out his car up close and personal.

You've got a small "Look, but don't touch" sign on your car? Dean has one for the windshield that says "Yes! Touch! Yes! Get in!" In case you don't catch that, he also has a placard he displays with a caricature of his big-eyed Bugeye that declares "Bugeyes Are Fun! Kids Welcome!"

With the COVID-19 vaccine program in full swing and a little bit of hope, car shows should start filling our calendars again soon. When they do, we need to invite kids to play with our cars. Come inside, sit down, grab the wheel, flip the switches, and rattle the shifter. Please, get sticky fingerprints all over the body. I am sure they'll wash off. If the finish on your car can't survive a brief brush with cotton candy hands, is it really that good of a finish to begin with?

Show season will come back, and Dean will be there with his Sprite. This summer, I want you to be like Dean. Don't ever forget: Bugeyes are fun!

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#1

Re: Be Like Dean! Let Kids Touch Your Car!

03/04/2021 3:47 PM

This is the kind of thing that helps inspire the future enthusiasts. Way to go Dean !

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#2

Re: Be Like Dean! Let Kids Touch Your Car!

03/07/2021 7:56 AM

Whenever I am at a show or cruise night, and a kid is all excited, I will ask a parent, "Would you like a picture of him/her in the driver's seat?" I always get a surprised look and a yes. Then I talk the kid through opening the door - the handle is inside. When they get in, rule is they have to put the seatbelt on, hold the steering wheel in one hand and the shifter in the other. The parents are as happy as the kid. I also make a point to respect their privacy - I never take a picture of someone's kid in my car. That's their photo, with which to do as they see fit. My car's probably on Facebook a lot more than I know. I'm not on that left coast waste of time so I have no way of knowing and don't care.

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