More Proof That What You Drive Does Not Define You

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
more proof that what you drive does not define you

A significant detour on the way to work had me spotting this – a modestly priced house on a busy arterial road in a working-class area nestled between two notorious neighborhoods in Toronto. Jane-Finch and Black Creek.

Anyone still bemoaning the Bentley EXP 9 F and invoking the “authenticity” or vehicles like the Arnage Red Label should take a long hard look at this photo. Somebody has purchased a second-hand Arnage. I am willing to bet that based on the dwelling and the modified Mustang V6 sitting next to it that they are not “to the manor born”, do not wear bespoke suits and are more “G’d Up” than “GQ”. The history and provenance of the 6.75 L engine or its hand assembly in Crewe probably means nothing. Meanwhile, many of the wealthiest people I know drive cars that are old, modest or some combination of the above.

Does your car, and by extension, the badge on your hood really define you? I’ve long maintained that anyone who believes so (and is defined largely by brands and other worthless intangibles) is hopelessly lost and lacking an identity grounded in things that matter, like deeds or relationships. Now I seem to have even more concrete proof.

Or maybe this guy just doesn’t believe in real estate and has different priorities than most.

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7 of 94 comments
  • Illan Illan on May 04, 2012

    I say that its dependent on the "Market" the individual is living and the lifestyle he or she has. but i just cant blame anyone having a comfortable, powerful car. a car while is a depreciating value for some of us we spend more time in our cars than in own home. i agree on people who buy cars because of the barand and so not take into value what the car really is.

  • Wsn Wsn on May 04, 2012

    I am defined by my house, because I designed every inch of it. My car (when new) costs 3.3% of my house price. Just a few house down, a guy's two cars would cost 25% of his (much inferior) house.

    • See 1 previous
    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on May 05, 2012

      @Waftable Torque Seeing a pimp in Miami driving a Rolls or Bentley is indeed comedy and it doesn't matter where he parks it.

  • Smallenginesmakemesad Smallenginesmakemesad on May 05, 2012

    2 stories - 1. A couple of years back, I worked out that I now have more invested in the cars in my driveway than we spent on our first house (forget about inflation). It was a big mistake to say this out-loud to my wife.I have not been allowed to buy a car since... 2. My parents have an expensive home (probably $3-4m worth). Until last year my Dad was still driving the same Toyota he bought in 1990. He just bought a new C Class Mercedes and plans to hang on to that for another 20 years.

  • Monty Monty on May 05, 2012

    As far as I'm concerned, if a person can afford something, I'm not going to criticise their choice. Seriously, if a person buys a blinged out F-350 instead of a 10 year old Bentley, what's the difference. Even if the F-350 never hauls a single bit of cargo, why are other people so offended? Our consumer society, and in fact the entire global economy, is based on people continually purchasing goods, and we're conditioned from the start to covet aspirational goods. It's no big shocker that individuals choose to go into debt for cars, houses, toys and vacations - it's part of our DNA. As I've aged, I've become less inclined to chase after perceived status, but some people never learn the lesson and stay deep in debt throughout their life. Again, if that's the choice made, so be it. What I find fascinating are the reactions of other people. We all judge without knowing the entire story. Maybe the Bentley was an inheritance, or maybe the apartment dweller felt the need for a luxury item to feel better about their address. Perhaps somebody's grandparent was visiting, or maybe it's the local drug dealer's car. We don't know the background, so most of us have created a narrative to fit our own prejudices, which is far more enlightening than the photograph itself.