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My wife used to believe that the purpose of the stick shift in her Dad's car was to stir the gas.
When I was little I heard my mom and her friends talking about "driving stick" shift but I didn't know what that was, so I imagined them balancing on walking sticks and hopping along.
I used to believe that my parents drove the car like a plane - push on the steering wheel to go faster, pull to go slower
I used to believe that since I couldn't see the people driving in other cars, that the cars were driving themselves.
I used to believe the turning signals in a car were the car's navi AI. I always wondered how it knew where we were going.
I used to believe that when your car flashes the blinking lights, that meant it would explode on that side.
I used to think that a carpool was an el camino with water in the back that you could sit in and relax while you were driven around.
When my mom told me "This car won't move until you buckle your seatbelt," I thought the car literally wouldn't move. Maybe there was some sort of electronic locking system that wouldn't let you put the car in gear if all the seatbelts weren't buckled, or something. It never occurred to me that she just meant she wouldn't drive it anywhere.
I had been at a low rider hydraulic car show when I was about 7 and I had noticed that all of the car badges were written in Italics. I then connected the two together and assumed that in order for a car to have hydraulics, the name had to be written in italics and any car that had italics, had to have hydraulics.
I thought if you got on a road it took your car wherever you intended to go almost like a train track.
When I was a child, my Father told me that he had to go get a new "sticker" for his truck. The only "sticker" I knew of was a grassbur. I got into the truck, and asked him where the new sticker was. He pointed to a paper thing on the windshield. I asked him again where the "sticker" was, and was yelled at and hit.
when i was young my dad told me that convertables converted into stuff and i thought that a car could convert into a dog!
When I was a kid we used to take a lot of road trips, and when we got stuck in traffic my mom would always say, "look at this traffic jam." I was about 4 or 5 and I would look at the window for "traffic jam" but didn't know what she was talking about. Then, while playing outside, I saw some puddles in the street with oil floating in them, and I came to the conclusion that this was "traffic jam". I told this matter-of-factly to all my friends in elementary school, until my older sister made fun of me for it.
When I was little I believed cars ran by magnets that someone dragged underneth the road.
I used to think that the actual lanes on the motorway (freeway) made the cars go faster - like the inside lanes had some mechanism to tell the car to go faster than the outside lanes.
There was a garage on our block with a sign above the door that said, "All cars must come to full stop." I thought that "Full Stop" was the name of the garage and that every car in the world was obliged to come to it at least once.
i used to believe the moon was following our car while driving at night.
I used to believe that my parents were very slow drivers because all oncoming vehicles appeared to be going much faster.
When I was 4 or 5, my uncle told me that a squirrel lived in his car engine and ran in a squirrel cage to make the car move. He told me to look for it in the glove box. When I opened the glove box, my uncle would act surprised and say "It just ran out, did you see it?" but I never did.
When I was younger I used to belive that when was traveling somewhere with my parents that when I closed my eyes the car would start flying and we'd get to the destination faster... I always tried to catch the car flying but I couldn't when ever I oped my eyes the car was still on the road :)