What is it about cars that elicits an emotional response in us? Is it the power we feel underfoot, power that reminds us we are actually in control of a dangerous machine if misused? Maybe it’s the memory of learning to drive and being popular because you were the one with the car? Or perhaps it’s what it represents – a sense of freedom?
And this emotion is not limited to one sex. Men and women equally have passion for their motors. Not necessarily for the component parts that make it up, but definitely for the finished product, whether it’s a fiesta or a ferrari, an MG or a mini.
Image credits: Telegraph A-Z,
The ‘petrol heads’ are the ones more interested in the component parts. Those whose lives revolve around the engine, great body work, an awesome sound system and the best gadgets. For these people it’s not even a car. It’s a treasure. The emotional response is born of the need to create something better than everyone else; to have the fastest, the biggest, the loudest. And this response stays with them throughout their lives. It may lessen in strength but it never goes away, and they await the day with fevered anticipation that they have a child to pass on that passion to, working on cars together and teaching them all they know.
For some people, its running. For car lovers, it’s getting in your car and going for a drive. That’s the only thing that will calm you down and give you thinking time. Music on, windows down and either a long straight road ahead (if you’re in America, or Northumberland with its awesome arrow straight Roman Roads) or a winding, devilish country road with its twists and turns needing precision and concentration.
But the passion for cars is not always in the driving. There’s this bloke I know who is totally in to cars, has owned loads of different types, tinkered with them to make them better, talks about each one with wistful reminiscence like it’s an old girlfriend he’s still fond of and gets excited when he sees certain rare cars on the road. But he really dislikes driving and gets his wife to do it whenever possible.
Those who don’t get it, who literally own a car because they have to in order to get from A to B, to shuttle the family around, to get to work – those people will not coo at the new car on your drive or clamber in to inhale that new car smell. They won’t understand why you’re stood at your door looking at your pride and joy. Nor will they get why you need to wash and wax it all the time ‘you know, to protect her’. They don’t understand why you frown when someone gets in with mucky shoes. They definitely wouldn’t understand the anguish a guy feels when you get out of a his car after a date only to discover the box of Junior Mints he left on the seat were, um, still on the seat and somewhat squished on your bottom. **Sighs** He never called again; he was, it seems, really very upset.
I for one look at my car and smile every time I see her in a car park, especially when she’s just been washed. I even look at other cars, compare them to mine and decide mine is better. How do you feel about yours?