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Why You Should Drive A Car That You Like

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On: Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 2:04PM | By: Nick Bakewell

Why You Should Drive A Car That You Like

The world today is full of cars. So full, in fact, that we’ve altered it to suit the car, rather than altering the car to suit it: look at how many tunnels we’ve bored through mountains or forests we’ve demolished to make roads. It may, in fact, be the only thing that remains just as essential to the running and progress of the human race as the computer. This post is aimed at Americans in particular, but that’s not to say that it can’t apply to you if you live elsewhere.

Think about how much time you spend in your car each day, and what you’re doing in it. You go to work, you go to lunch, you pick up the kids, you go out for dinner, you run errands and visit friends, etc, etc. In America, you spend just as much if not more time in your car than you do on foot, and shouldn’t that tell you something? You wouldn’t walk around in a pair of shoes you hated all day, or a shirt that made your skin break out in hives and slough off, so why drive around in car you don’t like? Like it or not, your car is more than an appliance: it’s a participant in your life, just as much as your house is, and arguably more than your dog is. Put it this way: after your house, your car is probably the single biggest expenditure in your life, and you certainly can’t take your kids to school in a Labrador.

I realize that when you’re driving to and from work, when you’re packed into the thousandth Monday morning traffic jam of your life, wishing that you were either where you were (at home in bed) or where you were going (at your desk), you don’t want to be driving. Most people don’t; the car journey is an ordeal to be undertaken, a dolorous irritation that drastically reduces the efficiency with which you can live your life. Ideally this will be resolved in the future: we will have little pods capable of whizzing through the air, whisking the workforce to and fro, leaving the roads free of congestion for those of us who actually enjoy driving. But for the moment, you’re stuck with it, so why not find a way to enjoy it?

If you drive, say, a Honda Accord or (sigh) a Toyota Camry, then I fully endorse your right to be doleful about your morning commute. Cars like these are dreary, boring and bland, and they make you feel as such when you’re behind the wheel. No one who is wracked with thoughts of suicide is going to walk outside one morning, look at their Civic and say, “You know, maybe there is something worth living for”.

But if you were to, say, take care in your purchasing, even if you don’t give a flying proverbial about cars, you might find that it improves the quality of your life a little. After all, isn’t that what the car is for? Just because you don’t care about torque or horsepower or camshafts doesn’t mean that a car can’t still turn you on. Cars are designed by people with extensive aesthetic training, just like your clothes: they have value as more than purely practical objects. Maybe you can find something (did you know that you can get an early 2000’s BMW 3-Series for about $10,000?) whose shape and proportions tickle your fancy.

Or maybe you don’t care about looks, but instead savor the feel of sinking into the plush and exclusive leather seats of a mid 90’s Lexus or Mercedes. The little touches like walnut trim on the dashboard, or the way the air vents rotate upwards when you switch the car on, just make your day (and consequently, you) a little more special.

Maybe what you need is an injection of passion and soul: Subaru Imprezas are cheap, as are Mazda MX-5’s. I once saw a Ferrari 308GTB on eBay for $14,000, only 4,000 miles on the clock. Knowing that when you take that right turn into the parking lot, that you’ll be able to feel your body straining against the seatbelt as you elicit an excitable little growl from the engine: maybe that’s what you need.

Whatever the case may be, the car is a part of your life, and is going to be for the foreseeable future. You might as well find a way to enjoy it; otherwise you’re just wasting a great opportunity.


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