7 Most Overrated Things In Car Culture

Because I'm not scared of angry comments.

2y ago

This list is inspired by a recent episode of Sniff and Smith that reminded me of a series of articles I started sometime ago featuring automotive sacred cows I wanted to slay. I didn't get past the second, so I'm going to go the cheaper and less time consuming route of a click-baiting listicle.

7. Ferrari.

Oh yes. You'll be hard pushed to find a brand with more passionate fans. Despite the fact that so very few can actually afford to buy one of their cars.

The reason so many people can't afford one is down to Ferrari's business model of false scarcity. Basically, Ferrari builds some of the finest sports cars in the world, but only a few at a time in order to build up the brands exclusivity. That pays of in crazy profit on each of the few cars the brand builds. Ferrari then licenses the brand name and logo to make a a large chunk of money selling tee-shirts, hats, and overpriced branded anything you can think of. Including theme parks.

It's as clever as it is cynical, but thankfully Porsche exists for the true enthusiast with some money in their pocket. For well under a $100,000 they'll happily sell you a mid-engined sports car that's well beyond your ability to get the most out of.

6. The Mazda MX-5 / Miata

Many cars have a 50-50 weight ratio. All of them are faster than an MX-5 and tall people can sit in them. People can bang on about how the MX-5 is a momentum car as much as they like, but we all know the truth. Within the first few weeks of MX-5 ownership, car enthusiasts are on Google searching for ways to get more power out of the engine and working out if they can budget for a turbo.

The Shelby Series 1 roadster looks like TVR had a Dodge Viper described to them and then tried to build it.

The Shelby Series 1 roadster looks like TVR had a Dodge Viper described to them and then tried to build it.

5. Shelby badged cars.

Caroll Shelby has reached almost folk hero status in America, but the reality is he was a decent racing car driver who's career was halted by health problems before he became famous for putting a big engine in someone else's car. Subsequently, he became really famous for Ford Mustangs with his name on them. The most famous of which, the Shelby GT500, he actually had exactly zero hands on involvement with.

He also stretched to putting his name on basically any old Dodge vehicle down to, and including, the Dodge Dakota and the best forgotten Dodge Shadow. Basically, Shelby knew how to turn a dollar by signing his name on a glovebox. And, at one point, by putting his name to a brand of chilli and a men's deodorant.

4. JDM

JDM stands for Japanese Domestic Market. Nowadays it's just the vehicles that won't appeal to other markets and cultures that aren't Japanese. Back in the 80's and 90's, sure, there was some stuff that was very cool and didn't make it to many countries due to either financial or certification issues. However, nowadays, there’s a reason something is only sold on the Japanese Domestic Market.

And your Honda Civic is not JDM, mate. Just stop it.

3. Elon Musk

Musk made an absolute fortune as a shareholder after he was replaced as CEO of X.com and the company was renamed PayPal and then sold to eBay. The first company that he made a lot of money from, Zip2, he wanted to be CEO of but the board of directors wouldn't allow it. Eventually though, Musk found a way to become a CEO. He bought Tesla.

As CEO of Tesla, Musk is a man that consistently over-promises and under achieves. He's built Tesla into a bubble by over-promising and under-delivering. Right now, he's sitting on a company that got in ahead of the curve. However, without the production capacity he needs or the demand he predicted, his slice of the pie is going to start diminishing very quickly as the big boys such as Jaguar, Audi, and BMW start dropping EVs they have the production means to build.

2. Slow car fast is better than fast car slow.

Of all the trite sayings in the world, this ranks high as one of the dumbest. Yes, we can agree driving a slow car fast is better than driving a fast car slow. However, people don't tend to buy fast cars to drive slowly. What's better than both of those is driving a fast car... Fast.

1. Drifting.

Let's just all come together and admit the truth about drifting. It's an amazing display of skill, but only actually fun for the drivers. Watching drifting is about as exciting as watching your neighbors wash their Prius. It's so boring I can only justify 3 sentences on the subject.

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Comments (181)

  • We can add Muscle to the list, I'm a victim of the Muscle culture as well.. but I'm one of the only ones to admit that Musclecars are in fact overrated

      2 years ago
    • Well.. depending on your definition of "muscle car".. The "purist" definition being two doors rear drive big v8 American made in the 60-70's.. Translates to " my 330i could eat it".. Those "muscle" cars.. Now if you get real and start with...

      Read more
        2 years ago
  • My Honda Civic is proper JDM m8. I'll even prove it with my baked bean can exhaust which makes an extra 48hp, just you wait and see

      2 years ago
  • 0-60 times. That is all.

      2 years ago
  • Drift. Is. Not. Boring!

      2 years ago
  • Ok... I'm all for playing Devil's Advocate, but you crossed into partisan trolling with this quote:

    "It's as clever as it is cynical, but thankfully Porsche exists for the true enthusiast with some money in their pocket." So we're supposed to pillory Ferrari for "selling out" and profiting off the name and logo with non-automotive products, but celebrate Porsche for selling out and blazing the trail for all other niche brands to lose their identity by providing all those "enthusiasts" driving sedans and SUVs with hideous Porsche-branded options? Really? Porsche is the home of true enthusiasts? The Cayenne, Macan and Panamera are where true enthusiasts go to dull their enthusiasm. Yes, I'm a tifoso, but I was fine with what you said until that last sentence.

      2 years ago