Most of us have our preferences when it comes to car-buying. Perhaps those preferences are the result of satisfying experiences which made a particular automaker deserving of our esteem. Maybe we’re simply continuing to honor the preferences of our parents or families, through another generation of drivers. But if you’re anything like me, your preference comes from the impact that a particular automaker made on you at a young and impressionable age.
Having been born in the late-1970’s, one could argue that I grew up in the peak era of Hollywood automotive. Like everyone else my age, I coveted the General Lee from “The Dukes of Hazard”, K.I.T.T. from “Knight Rider” and the “A-Team” van. That said, I was still young enough where I was regularly exposed to Starsky & Hutch’s Gran Torino, as well as the iconic Trans Am from “Smokey and the Bandit” and, of course, the Mustang Fastback from “Bullitt”.
Bottom-line, my automotive preferences were formed at a time when cars were cool (and more than a little bit ‘badass’). Fast, powerful, and portrayed with personalities all their own, my love of these vehicles are what largely keeps me from buying a vehicle that might be considered ‘sensible’ (or as I like to call it ‘boring’).
Now…I’m not criticizing those responsible efforts to embrace improved fuel economy in more sustainable hybrid and EV offerings. I’m not challenging the utilitarian value and safety of today’s SUVs and crossovers. But, at the end of the day, my next car buying experience will inevitably be another trip to the Dodge dealership for yet another muscle-inspired vehicle.
To-date, I’ve owned two Dodge Chargers (2011 & 2007, respectively) in my adult life, acquiring the second one after I had inadvertently flipped the first. In my early twenties, I raced both a 1970 and 1972 Dodge Duster, on both road and track. There was also my first car, a 1983 Charger (which, for obvious reasons, we prefer not to talk about)…the pain of which stems from the fact that my first car was supposed to have been my uncle’s 1972 Dodge Demon (until he sold it).
At the end of the day, my taste in vehicles will eternally be influenced by the aspirational badass-ness of the vehicles that excited me as a child. Some might imply that my fixation means I’m emotionally or developmentally-stunted in some way but, let’s be honest, we may never know an era of entertainment that boasted such impactful vehicles.
Now, I’d be lying if I didn’t share that I’m considering making the change over to a truck (RAM, of course) but I’m still tempted to pull the trigger on a Challenger, once and for all. The only reason I haven’t done so yet, was because of my young daughter. With her turning thirteen now, a two-door doesn’t seem as damningly inconvenient…plus, how could I say no to becoming part of this legacy?
But enough about me. What are your preferences in terms of automakers and vehicle styles? And where did those preferences come from?