16 Apr Your Car is a Window Into Where You Are Going?
My first new car was “Me” and one of my favorites; a 1966 Pontiac GTO. I put 50,000 miles on it in one year. It was a massive step up from the used Beetle with the tattered rag top. Since I drove so much by myself, it was my companion. It was a confidence builder and practical because it allowed me to cover more ground quickly. It had a 440 cubic inch engine that made it very good for passing; and braking loose on icy parking lots! :o)
After it was gone I didn’t think about it much for 50 years. But one day I saw a similar car at an antique auto auction and I really got choked up. Now just thinking about it can get me misty. Of course, I couldn’t afford it today.
When my first significant girlfriend took me to the curb, I drove home in a Studebaker like the one shown. That car was not “Me”; it had been borrowed.
Which car describes you best as you are at the moment?
How does the car you drive now reflect your personality?
What part of you is not revealed in the type of car you drive?
What would others logically assume about you that would not be true?
Who seems dependent on their car to appear significant?
Until recently, Warren Buffett, now estimated to be worth 63 billion, drove an old car to hide his wealth and to make a statement.
Like so many others who have been around a while; my last car cost more than my first house. At today’s costs we can’t be switching cars for convenience. “Switching” vehicles is usually costly. If we can look beyond the vehicle we need next to the one we will need after it maybe we can skip a Switch.
If you choose a sports car or coupe when you are young, and you are headed for home improvement projects, marriage, kids or trips with friends, that car will cost you an extra Switch.
By driving more hours a VW driver can reach a distant goal faster than a soft driver in a touring car who needs to check into his hotel by 3 PM. Having an ordinary car can eliminate all the cautions your children would get if you drove a really nice one. You can make due. A promising employee with an executive looking car could appear more ready for a promotion than a person driving a young car. It’s extra cost initially could be offset by eliminating a Switch.
Going all-in on any car can stroke our egos for a while but by owning one you are announcing to your car dealer that is it okay to charge you extra for service and parts.
In addition to having a practical side to our choices, we each need to be unique in some way. Those choices are what make people’s cars so much fun to analyze. Now we differentiate our cars by showing how we vote, play and stay fit. The silhouettes in our back windows show the size of our families. Our 4X logo, trailer hitch ski, bike or kayak rack all tell part of our stories. When a mini-van is parked where the Mini-Cooper used to be it’s a good guess that the baby has arrived.
After safety considerations most people need a basic car that gets good mileage, low cost of maintenance and high resale value. Today modest four door cars that are safer, more fuel efficient and can pass you going 90+ on the freeways are available. Everything beyond that is for show or convenience and will divert money you could have invested. Save your purchasing power for an ideal car and keep it longer but in the meantime, “love the one you’re with”.
Numerous studies have proven that those who can defer immediate gratification for a higher return later are far more likely to succeed in life overall. Reduce your Switches and drive a car type that is plentiful and invest what you saved. Having the cash on hand can give you more security and options going forward.
My Accord does everything well. It’s as much car as I will ever need. It is quick, nimble and cost effective. I just wish it had an antenna like in the old days. The only place I can attach my fox tail is on the bumper and not enough people notice it there.
Any car can get you to Barnes and Noble, but if you want movement in your life you can pick a car that you’d like to emulate. Visualize a car that reflects some of your qualities, the way you see yourself and the way you approach life. It may be best to see the car you pick as an underdog striving to get to the front of the pack; then see yourself as an animated version of that car. It’s okay to pick a car above your price, needs or ability to pay or ability to drive.
I’m dyslexic, anxious and emotionally burning rubber a lot of the time. In some ways I am like a dragster but that imagery doesn’t work for me. So I am going with a rally car. They are a little too cramped and would be impractical for daily use, but when racing they all over the road sliding sideways around the corners in a non-stop adrenaline rush. While I would never have the courage to compete in one, I know it would be a blast. That image makes me happy.
What car would be a blast for you to be like? Adopt it and use it for encouragement and to keep you from taking yourself too seriously.
The one feature that is more important than your route, your destination, or your vehicle in any price range is having a good friend riding shotgun. With the right companion most of the time neither of you will be aware of what kind of car you’re in.
If you have a fun picture of a car with a personality, especially if it was or is “you” send it to us. If we get enough, we’ll do a follow up blog. You can share your pictures here