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Vehicle Vanity – Why We Buy the Cars We Buy

Published July 18, 2012

What’s in your driveway? More importantly, why do we give a shit? Seriously, the only difference between a Scion iQ and a Maserati Granturismo is the price tag and quality of the ride. And that isn’t really enough when we consider the one unmistakable truth we can’t escape is that all cars rust and die. Yet it seems in life we’re judged by many by the car we drive. For some guys it’s the difference between getting laid and going home to get busy with Palmela Handerson.

All technology we have come to know and love started out rare and expensive. Take your common television set. Once a very pricey luxury that one. But tube TV’s got very cheap over time. Then along came flat screens and plasma and LED. Five or six years ago those new televisions were the price of a decent used car. At this point in time you can buy a 50inch plasma flat screen for $500. Same goes with computers and cell phones. But here’s the strange anomaly about cars: they just keep getting more and more expensive. It goes against the gradual scaling prices of all other common consumables. And it’s not as if there are any dramatic changes in cars. Sure they have new better safety features, but even that hasn’t come leaps and bounds in the past decade like say household computers do. Cars are actually made from cheaper and less costly materials than they once were. In fact when it comes to vehicles it’s as if the auto industry has stubbornly refused to change anything about their products that they’re not forced to change. Certainly the eco movement has taken decades to instigate a trend in the compromise of the hybrid vehicle. It’s taken years and years of brow beating to even get that far.

But it’s not all the automaker’s fault. We play a role in this. We encourage this behavior from the auto industry by allowing them to play to our ego. Certainly there are cars we wouldn’t be caught dead driving. Well actually that’s impossible. Unless you were driving and crashed the car. In which case you would technically be a dead driver. Anyhow you know what I’m saying here. Even as a guy I’ll admit there are times when its obvious a dude is driving a car which is making him feel better about his tiny dangly member. Or at the very least he’s trying to outwardly assert his sexual virility through the display of the car he’s driving. A peacock can strut and fan his feathers all he wants, he still a dumb flightless bird. The ladies don’t get off easy because they do the same. It’s not about their sexuality so much, but they definitely will buy a car for what it says about their personality. Even more so, what it says about their status.

The car industry is like fashion for our ego.

And people will go into debt they often can barely handle for a car they want so desperately. There’s always the lease option but lord knows that’s a financial snare for anyone not getting a vehicle for anything other than a business write off.

But none of it will change. We will always want new cool cars. We will continue to make demands about what it is we want from automakers because the car we drive has to represent who we are after all. Why? Because we’re driven by our ego’s and we seem to love superficial vanity. So keep those cars coming.

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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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