As a child, senior Dylan Bustamante wanted to connect with his dad. To do so, he began bonding with his dad over a common interest: cars. “I wanted to show my dad I loved cars as well by showing him the little toy cars I had,” Bustamante said.

Bustamante bridges family connections with cars

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As he finished packing up his backpack for preschool, he saw an opportunity. His parents were out of the room. The toy car was just sitting there on his table. It was calling his name, so he snatched the Hot Wheel, stuffed it in his pocket, and stormed out of the room ready to start the day.

At around the age of four, senior Dylan Bustamante began collecting Hot Wheels, toy cars that are popular among young car enthusiasts. As his collection grew bigger, Bustamante took meticulous care for his toys, allowing him to create numerous memories with them. 

“My favorite memory with the toys is just playing with them,” Bustamante said. “I used to have these Hot Wheel tracks with roads and I would pretend it was a city. I also liked pretending that the cars were racing against each other.”

One of the reasons why he started to collect Hot Wheels was his dad’s influence. Growing up, Bustamante saw his dad’s love for cars. They had long conversations about his dad’s old cars and what he did to get them. This piqued his interest and curiosity for toys and real cars.  

“My dad is a bit of a car fanatic,” Bustamante said. “He’s always talking about certain cars that he grew up with and how he used to drive them. Seeing his passion for cars and how much he loved the ones he had also made me fall in love with them.” 

Although Bustamante stopped collecting Hot Wheels, his conversations with his dad about his dream cars still continued. In the future, he plans to pass on his toys when he gets older, in hopes of sharing the joy he found with the toy cars with his future family.    

“Eventually I’ll give the toys to my grandchildren because they have sentimental memories tied to me,” Bustamante said. “Personally, it’s hard for me to show emotions, so the best way I can show it is through gifting.”

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