- Photos: Jeric Jaleco

Variety is the spice of life: Why you should aspire to own and drive everything

Take every opportunity you can to expand your palate.

2w ago

Someone tell me if I'm wrong, but if I recall correctly, Jay Leno once said on air that there's a breed of car enthusiasts who may not be the truest distillation of the gearhead ideology. There are "Ferrari guys" and "Porsche guys" there, but to him, they're not exactly true car folk. To Leno, labeling yourself a car enthusiast carries the implications that you indulge in various flavors, and you know what? I couldn't agree more.

Being a car enthusiast, you'll never reach your fullest potential confined to only a single type of machine. Variety is the spice of life, is it not? So why not experience it all? Or you should at least try your damndest to experience as much as you can.

I've met a rainbow of gearheads out there, old and young, who've seemingly spent most of their time fixating on a select genre whether it's being a muscle car fanatic or a JDM fanboy and so on. In a few instances, that genre is all they grew up with and therefore all they know. They can geek out about every facet of a single car's specs but won't have a clue about what the other cars at a Cars N' Coffee are, and I know that sounds like an exaggeration, but believe me, I've seen it.

No, you can't get mad at them for plain not knowing because everyone learns eventually, but there soon comes a divide that separates the genuine enthusiasts from the cultists.

The true enthusiasts often express an interest to learn about new kinds of metal including rival cars that others within their subculture wouldn't be caught dead in. Others simply don't care. Typically, I've noticed a slight superiority complex in folk unwilling to branch out. They seem to think that because their cars are so critically acclaimed and/or capable for what they are, why be bothered with other vehicles if they believe they can outperform rivals? Not calling anyone out (𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩, twenty-something-year-olds in Fiesta STs, 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩), but it seems as though that's missing the point of eyeing other cars.

When I was a wee high schooler, I thought the E92-generation BMW M3 was the second coming of Jesus and that all should kneel before its eight-thousand-plus RPM fury. Prior to that, it was a big, "Fuck you," if you weren't a GT-R fan like middle school me. Now, after falling deep down the rabbit hole of the internet and meeting many friends of various tastes who graciously shared their perspectives, anything and everything can be the best car in the world in their own ways... Except the Mitsubishi Mirage.

Think of it like this: Yes, I love the Shelby GT350 for being a working man's 911 GT3, but man, a real GT3 would be cool as hell too. A BMW M3 isn't as raw or hardcore as either, but I love the way it blends performance with comfort. You know what? I'm not feeling enthusiast-oriented cars today. I need to cleanse the soul of all that rip-snorting anger for a minute and get groceries in a Corolla Hybrid because I could use a mind-numbing decompression chamber right about now, or perhaps an all-electric appliance could do that job better. Huh, actually, I've never done off-roading before. Maybe I'll go hang out with my truck friends and see what that's about it because rock crawling and prerunning look awesome!

There have been countless instances where I've tried something that seemed far from my comfort zone yet I wound up appreciating it in some way anyway. A family adventure earlier this New Year's rekindled my admiration for rugged goliaths on roads less traveled, and I never thought I'd enjoy "normie" cars until I began working at a Toyota dealership and learned how coddled commuters are nowadays. Driving the likes of a Model 3 and Prius Prime have made me an EV advocate (given the right life circumstances to accommodate one, of course), and trying my friends' project cars have heightened my appreciation for all the love and soul poured into homegrown performance.

We should be willing to step out of our usual wheelhouses and experience anything and everything we possibly can for the sake of experiencing it. Like traveling the world or eating different foods, it's a method of developing a more worldly view and expanding one's palate. Even if you tried things only to realize you found them to be flaming hunks of shit, at least you could say you gave it a shot. That's more than some people are willing to do.

If you've never had a simple daily and have only ever known sports cars, go get a subtle econobox. Never tried an EV and still hold reservations about them? Rent one of the million Tesla Model 3s on Turo and go bask in all that Musk. Like Camaros? Try a Mustang. Like Mustangs? Try a Camaro. Go research some supercars and try one out at an exotic rental center, or if you've only ever known near-four-digit power, go yeet a teeny hot hatch through some twisties. Drive cars from different eras and different countries and open your eyes to a world unknown.

I promise that at least some of you will be genuinely surprised by what you've been missing out on, and for those who'll hate it, at least you had the experience, and any experience, good or bad, will make for a fun story to tell. Life is too damn short to only drive one kind of car, so go try everything! Yes, even some of the boring ones too

Question nothing. Just drive everything.

Question nothing. Just drive everything.

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Comments (33)

  • I absolutely agree! A glance through my DT garage shows the variety of vehicles I've owned. My choices were purposely varied and I loved the variety. From my plain little Honda Civic to my big Cadillac Brougham and everything in between. I love ALL cars! Would I want a Citroën 2CV? Not really but I still love them. Would I want a '65 Impala lowrider? A bro-dozer Silverado? A Tesla Model X? A Honda CBR 650? A Peel 45? No but I love them, too! Would I enjoy driving any or all of those for a week/month/year? You bet I would! If it has wheels, I dig it, even if it's not something I'd care to own. And why not? Like you say, life is too damn short. 😄

      17 days ago
  • Agreed! This is why when I travel internationally, I always rent something we don’t have in the US. I love variety.

      15 days ago
  • Any car is fun as long as you set yourself to the moment and expectations from that car. I love driving, any car will do.

      15 days ago
  • I agree

    Thanks to this website's existence, I have gotten to love American cars more

      17 days ago
    • Thanks to this website’s existence, I… uh.. acknowledge the existence of the Dacia Sandero lmao

        17 days ago
    • Watch out you're gonna get pants

        17 days ago
  • I can agree to a point, but the second anything drops an ICE I lose all interest in it, part of the fun of owning a car is getting to tune it and make it better than everyone else's factory model. I have zero interest in any EV that isn't a golf cart with beer in the cooler.

      10 days ago
    • Fair opinion. Aaaaaand that’s a shot of whiskey for the first anti-EV comment I’ve read so far

        10 days ago