PUT DOWN THE PITCHFORKS X: Just Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy the Drive
Here's Where I Explain the Whole Point of This Series
A lot of us petrolheads care a lot about what we drive. But, it is important to know that cars are like dogs...everyone can claim to have "the best car in the world" just like everyone can claim to have "the best dog in the world" and still be right.
This is the last of this series. I have many reasons for killing it off, but I'll discuss those later on. After many arguments with the mighty keyboard warriors of the internet, I stopped to think: none of it actually matters. What unifies us as petrolheads isn't even the love of things that run on petrol. It's the love of driving. It's passion. It's soul. It's freedom.
Geez, I feel like I'm writing an Alfa Romeo commercial.
This one is actually quite rare.
But let's explore something interesting: emotion. Emotion drives decisions. If people were devoid of emotion, and only operated as the rational consumer, we'd all work 9-5 jobs, be single, and drive Priuses. And nobody wants to do that. Well, at least none of us here.
Your car is a statement. People judge you for what you drive. Your car is a canvas for your personality. Car stereotypes aren't stereotypes of the cars themselves; they're usually aimed at the type of driver who buys one. Given that no car fully drives itself (sorry, Elon), it is impossible to say that a BMW drives like a jackass. It doesn't drive at all. The owner? That's a different story (I can say that...I grew up with 3, and have been in countless BMWs).
The point is that your car is part of who you are. You spend a tremendous amount of time with it. You don't need to drive a specific car to be better than someone else (Warren Buffet drove/drives a Ford Fusion); just enjoy your car because you love it, not because you want to impress the managing director of your firm.
So, enjoy your car because you love it, not because other people want you to have it, or will look at you differently.
CASE STUDY: The E60 BMW M5
This is a BMW M5. No, not the M5 with 627 hp, an 8 speed ZF auto, and AWD. The one that comes with a manual transmission, RWD, and a great big screaming V10. Sounds like a good recipe, right? Well, not so fast. This car is notorious for engine failure, many of such cases involve the engine exploding. And yet, it is my favorite car ever, without any shadow of a doubt.
So, let me present my case:
It all started in 2007 (for me, I get that there's a 2006 model). I was just 5 years old when I saw one on the way to school. A middle aged man in a business suit had just pulled his car out of the driveway. Said car was a brand new 2007 BMW M5, which was so new that it still had paper license plates, in stunning silver paint. But that was only the beginning. This car was special. It sounded theatrical. Imagine the most soulful aria. Even that would never parallel the audible experience provided by the brand new S85 V10 engine revving out as that businessman hurried off to work.
For years I always wondered what that car was. I didn't know what it was at all for a significant amount of time, as I did not become heavily into cars until 2015 (although I always liked them). For the longest time, all I could think was "I don't know what that car is, but I want one!" I dreamt of that car. I drooled over it, obsessed with what it was. While I couldn't tell you what it was, I immediately recognized it when I saw one.
And that leads me to my final point: The badge was irrelevant. I loved that car because of what it was, not because of the brand it represented. I love BMW M cars because I love the E60 M5, instead of loving the E60 M5 because I love BMW M cars. It's a subtle linguistic difference, but the difference in meaning is highly significant. It could've been a Lada and I wouldn't have cared. I'd still want one.
And that's why I've gone after so many brands in this series: I judge cars for what they are, and a good badge will not excuse a shit car. Plain and simple. No excuses