By on May 9, 2010

Bumper stickers are a controversial subject, quite apart from the often-divisive sentiments they express. Most of us are either pro-bumper sticker or anti, and once we’ve decided which we are, there’s little chance of ever going back. Personally, I fall into the “anti” camp. You might think that someone who spends his time writing about the intersection of cars, culture and politics might embrace the bumper sticker medium, but I’ve never been a big fan. Perhaps the limitations of the format are what bothers me: not only does it require broadcasting deeply-held beliefs in ultra-condensed, often over-simplified messages, but it also requires a long-term commitment to the cause in question. Perhaps my political and personal views have changed too often to justify dedicating my mobile real estate to any particular opinion. In any case, this is the kind of bumper sticker I can absolutely get behind: timeless, true and a winking critique of the “flex fuel,” biodiesel and other pious stickers advertising alternative-energy-derived moral superiority. Deep down, perhaps we’re all pro-bumper sticker… some of us just haven’t found the right one yet.

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20 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Truth In Bumper Stickers Edition...”

  • avatar

    They’re awfully handy in pointing out the idiots of the world.
    No guessing required.

  • avatar

    Favorite all time bumper sticker —“Had Ted Kennedy driven a Volkswagen he would have become President.”

  • avatar

    To quote my dear departed father: “Why would anyone want to garbage up their car like that?”

    • 0 avatar

      Robert…and Edward

      I not only hate bumper stickers on a car, I make dealers remover their stupid logos from the car and license plate holder.
      MY investment is NOT the place to promote THEIR businesses.

      Plus, bumper stickers scream out to others my often, very, very often, dumb positions long after I myself have realized it and apologized.
      It’s like an offensive email that I sent and never can retrieve.

      Its better we all follow the saying:
      It’s Better To Keep Your Mouth Shut and Let People Think You Are A Fool Than To Speak And Remove All Doubt.

      That all said, my favorite bumper sticker was on an old 1967 Bug…I BRAKE FOR HALUCINATIONS.

      That one hit home.

  • avatar

    I tend toward anti-sticker, although I like the one pictured and am always fascinated by the thinking that makes a person decide to display one. Anyway, I was kind of amused the other night, as a car before me at a stop sign had a sticker that read, “Maybe partying will help.” Then there was a beat up Datsun, I think, which appeared to be held together with duct tape and bumper stickers of metal bands. In the midst of all the blackness, sculls and various other dark symbols, however, was a large pink sticker that read, “Hopelessly Devoted – The Olivia Newton John Fanclub.”

    Bumper stickers never seemed to annoy me, though, unlike personalized license plates that make some reference to the car. This seems especially chronic with Priuses and BMWs.

  • avatar

    I hate the bumper stickers that contain the phrases or organizations/groups that I have no idea what they are about or mean

  • avatar

    When the ricer craze was at its peak in the mid 90s in SoCal, I used to love the Hondas with the POWERED BY RICE stickers.

  • avatar

    The kin had a groovy Porsche 924 with a small “powered by pineapples” sticker.

    He wasn’t sure of the sticker’s source, he saw it and just liked it.

    Years later, using the Web, I ascertained the source was the Pineapples sail company that made sails for sail boats.

    I reveled in the hate and discontent I created among the brain-dead when they espied my “hang up the phone and drive” sticker” with some behaving in juvenile to outright dangerous behaviors.

    That was around 10 years ago.

    I wonder how many of those responding in various ways eventually caused wrecks or, hopefully, impacted large trees or other solid objects such as bridge abutments thus performing a valuable service to society by permanently removing themselves from the motorways without causing injury or death to innocents?

  • avatar

    “sh*t happens” from forrest gump. Best bumper sticker ever.

  • avatar

    A friend of a friend has one that states “Powered by Hydrocarbons”. He apparently gets approving comments from all sorts of people in parking lots, etc.

    Maybe they think it’s hydrogen?

  • avatar

    My favorite, which was on my ’73 Vega back in the day, was “Honk if you think he’s guilty.” It took a few days to get used to all the people honking at me from behind. And my father HATED it.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Generally when I get new cars I grab the heat gun and take the tape off. Not add to it.

  • avatar

    What is this “gasoline” the sticker describes?

    Though I would never deface my ride, “My Other Car Is A Piece Of Sh*t Too” is my fave.

  • avatar

    Back in the day, if you visited Tommy Bartlett’s Water Show in Wisconsin you were likely to return to your car to find that a bumper sticker promoting the show had been applied to your car while you were at the show. I always marvelled at the nerve it took to do that.

  • avatar

    As briefly mentioned in another thread, I’ve always thought it would be fun to put bumper stickers on other peoples’ cars. So, you find some big honkin’ pickup with stickers that say, “I’ll Keep My Guns And Money, You Keep The Change” and “Ron Paul Was Right” and add one that says, “GO VEGAN!”.

    Someone else pointed out an idea for making little add-on stickers that you’d append to existing ones, so you could take, “War Is Not The Answer” and add on the bottom, “…Wait, What Was The Question Again?”

    Back in the real world, one of the guys who used to work for us had a bumper sticker that said, “Shit Happens When You Party Naked”. Can’t argue with that, I guess.

  • avatar

    I’m anti-sticker too, but one of my favourites is:

    “Sorry for driving so close in front of you.”

  • avatar

    My all-time favourite is “Back off or I’ll fart”, last seen on a slow-moving Caddy with the left turn signal perpetually blinking. Truth in advertising indeed.

  • avatar
    the duke

    I hate bumper stickers because there is very little I care about more than cars, and my car in particuar, if I’m honest. No special cause or opinion is worth the rear-end molesting paint fading that comes with putting a bumper sticker on my car.

    But appreciating clever word play, my favorite one (seen only once) said “Eschew Obfuscation.”

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