I’ve had a lot of cars. You’ll know this if you bought my book, in which I detail most of the wonderful cars I’ve owned, and also my 2001 Toyota Prius. For those of you who have never had the chance to experience a 2001 Prius, I strongly suggest you do so immediately, and probably at your local junkyard.
In my time with various cars, I’ve noticed something: some cars wave to each other. What I mean is, you’re cruising down the street, you see another car of the same make and model, the driver waves to you, you wave back, and everyone’s day is a little better because of the entire experience.
Interestingly, I notice this a lot in my Range Rover. I wave to everyone else in Range Rovers, and most of the time, they wave back. This might surprise you, but I believe I’ve figured out why it happens: we’re all such vain assholes that we’re always staring down other Range Rover drivers just to see if the other person is good enough to drive a Range Rover. So I wave, and they feel obligated to wave because I caught them looking at me.
But most cars that wave to one another do it because the owners feel a common bond. A special feeling that says, for instance, we’re both putting up with the same crappy radio buttons. For example:
This was true years ago, but I’m not sure if it still is. Saab owners used to love to stick their keys in the center consoles, activate that strange feature that turns off all the dash lights except the speedometer (in a Jaguar this is called “when it rains”) and then wave to each other in large numbers.
Presumably, this stopped once they came out with that 9-3 that was no longer available as a surprisingly popular thee-door hatchback. But there are still some quirky Saab drivers out there. Do they wave to each other? I’d like to think so. And then they pull over and discuss how to find parts.
Corvette guys always wave to each other. This is kind of cool, because the Corvette spans decades. But they all do it. Even people with C4s.
The reason for this is that, unlike some of the other cars on this list, no one has a Corvette on accident. They all bought the car for its styling, its speed, its sports car handling prowess. Oh yeah, and they’re always looking around to see who notices them.
This one surprises me most. Jeep Wrangler owners – a highly exclusive group that includes roughly 10 zillion individuals – wave to one another. How does this work? Aren’t you waving virtually every second of every minute? Perhaps this is why the Wrangler is considered so unsafe: owners are always taking their hands off the road to wave to one another.
Vintage Cars in General
Vintage car owners always seem to wave to one another, regardless of exactly what they’re driving. Nothing like a Bugeye Sprite meeting a ’64 Impala on the road and exchanging a wave. Of course, the implication here is: We’re both old folks driving these cars, and our wives haven’t made us stop yet, so hello!
I used to love driving Porsches because we all waved to one another. Actually I waved to other Porsche owners, and other Porsche owners waved back. I have friends with 911s who truly believed they didn’t need to waste their time waving to Boxster owners. And frankly, I encountered Boxsters on the road who didn’t wave back, probably because they weren’t even looking and thought I would snub them.
But it was always fun to wave to another Porsche and get a wave back, unless of course the other Porsche was a six-cylinder Cayenne, in which case the driver was too busy talking on the phone to notice.
So, B&B, do you have a car that inspires a wave? What is it? And if it’s a Jeep Wrangler, try to curtail your waving on the drive home tonight. You might hurt yourself.
@DougDeMuro is the author of humor books Plays With Cars, and the operator of PlaysWithCars.com. He’s owned an E63 AMG wagon, road-tripped across the US in a Lotus without air conditioning, and posted a six-minute lap time on the Circuit de Monaco in a rented Ford Fiesta. One year after becoming Porsche Cars North America’s youngest manager, he quit to become a writer. His parents are very disappointed.