By on December 10, 2013


Short of the YouTube commenter base, there is no greater pit of stupidity and vulgarity than in the comment sections. The overall tone of the comments is so vile that, several months ago, ESPN made the decision to force people to use their Facebook login to make comments. So, naturally, people created fake Facebook profiles with names like “Ohessu Thucks” and went right back to insulting each other in the most juvenile and repugnant ways possible.

Sports tend to make otherwise normal and rational people behave in bizarre fashion. After all, “fan” is nothing but a contraction of the word “fanatic.” That guy who paints his face and screams profanities in the stadium on Sunday might be a respected lawyer on Monday. I logged into Facebook on Saturday night after the Big Ten Championship Game to see friends of mine writhing in virtual pain, their lives immeasurably damaged by the failure of 21-year-old men they don’t know to score more points on a football field than other 21-year-old men they don’t know. The amount of personal self-worth that some people put into their favorite sports teams, whether professional or collegiate, is incredibly powerful, and in many cases, difficult to understand.

Of course, sports aren’t the only thing that cause grown men (and women) to act like rabid dogs. Some of us (and if you’re reading this website, you may resemble this remark) lose all sense of rationale and self-control when discussing cars. We have a tendency to ignore all facts, refute all arguments, and stand firmly in our positions even when all evidence is squarely against us. And just like the Yankees fan who lives and breathes the pinstripes, whether it’s Ford or Ferrari, many of us have our own brand loyalties that have caused us to cross over the River Styx to Fanaticism. And just like that same Yankees fan who despises David Ortiz and the Red Sox, we have our enemies, too. BMW fans who hate Mercedes. RAM truck fans who refuse to consider a Silverado. The parallels are striking.
So what causes such blind devotion to these brands? To these cars? It’s much easier to identify in sports.

I, for example, am an Oakland Raiders fan, a loyalty that developed in 1983 when I started to develop a sports consciousness as a six-year-old boy in Ohio. The image of Marcus Allen reversing field against the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl is forever burned into my memory, and as a result, I continue to follow the Sunday actions of men who weren’t even born when that game occurred. The Showtime Lakers inspired an entire generation of men my age with their up-tempo play and Magic-al passes, and we suffered through the Nick Van Exel years just so we could be rewarded with Shaq and Kobe. The Oakland A’s of the late Eighties were some of the coolest teams to ever play baseball. My friends and I bruised our forearms as we attempted to simulate the Bash Brothers’ signature Home Run salute to each other. So before I turned twelve, my sports loyalties were set for life. But what about cars?

Perhaps it was the brand of the first car that caused your inner enthusiast to come alive. I have several such moments. I remember my father pulling his new Lincoln Town car into our driveway when I was five years old, resplendent in a shade that my mother referred to as a not-so-PC “Polock Blue.” (Strictly speaking, it was “Wedgewood Blue”, with the additional “e” in “Wedgewood” presumably to avoid copyright issues — JB) It was a company car, a sign that he had truly Made It. I remember taking a ride with him on a summer day in the front seat of his MG Midget, well before child carseat safetly laws, watching him fumble slightly through the gears. Was the yellow shade of that MG the reason I was drawn to School Bus Yellow nearly thirty years later? I remember the E30 that my brother was somehow able to borrow some five or six years later for a jaunt around Muirfield Village. We had nowhere to go, and all day to get there. I recall sitting in the back seat as we cruised the golf course, the pools, hoping that somebody would see us in it.

Maybe it was the first car that you were able to scrape enough money to buy on your own. I can still recreate within my heart the feeling of driving away from Hatfield Hyundai in my brand-new black 2000 Tiburon. I was 22 years old, and all I wanted was a car that would get me noticed. Sure enough, my date a few weeks later noticed it when I picked her up for the first time from her apartment. “Cool car,” she offered as I opened the passenger door for her. I married her thirteen months later.

Or maybe it’s the brand that opened the door to a new world for you. I remember sitting behind the wheel of my 2004 Mazda RX-8, scared to death, as I waited for the starter to wave me onto an autocross course for the first time. Without even knowing it, I had bought a “class killer.” As I dialed in way too much steering around every corner, plowing through the turns and crunching cones, I knew that I was hooked. Thousands of dollars spent and miles traveled in search of plastic trophies later, that car made way for a more practical sedan, but I still smile every time I see an RX-8 on the streets.

Perhaps you are loyal to the brand that symbolized your own ascension into the rarified air of “making it.” Seeing my four-year old son overwhelmed by the sheer coolness of my Boss 302 on its delivery day was almost too much for me to handle. I knew that it might just be one of his first memories that he will retain as an adult, just as my father’s cars were for me. The same automaker, delivering the same feeling for both Father and Son, thirty years later.

But despite all of these images and memories, I’ve never developed a brand loyalty. My cars have ranged from Volkswagen to Infiniti to GM to Porsche to Ford to Hyundai, and the next car I buy will be the one that speaks to me in just the right voice, regardless of the nameplate. When it comes time for me to either sell my Boss 302 (or do the sane thing and park it in a garage to be driven on Sundays only), I’m just as likely to consider a Ford Raptor or a C7 Corvette as I am a C63 Black or this Supra successor that everybody is whispering about. Some might think that’s a good thing. Others might call me a whore.

So help me understand, B&B. What’s your loyalty and why? Do you even understand it, or is it a subconscious thing? Take us back to that moment that made you an Impala man for life. I can’t wait to read your stories.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!


119 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: “Fan” Is Short For “Fanatic”...”

  • avatar
    David Walton

    Bark you sound like a weenie when it comes to football. ;)

    • 0 avatar

      I totally agree with him. The amount of carrying on folks do about a bunch of players who don’t even know they exist is stunning.

      And nowadays, it’s not like the players even have any affinity for a region. They get traded all over. The idea that a team has anything to do with the locality is pretty ridiculous.

      Anyway, I’d rather play than watch.

    • 0 avatar

      Here’s my own story of my childhood fanhood for General Motors, the cognitive dissonance it engendered, and how I finally gave up (while still a teenager)

      And in this short story, you can read about how my fanhood was–unbeknownst to me–part of the lore of a family who had known me when I was a GM-besotted kid

  • avatar

    Subaru and BMW are my “childhood” brands. My first car was a 1993 Impreza L, 5MT, AWD, plum. It was reasonably cool as a first despite the color because it was AWD and had the 5MT. I had a 2001 Impreza 2.5RS next. It was a car I lusted after when I had my 1993. I loved the scoops and big fogs. I eventually put gold 1998 RS wheels, coupe spoiler, and painted sideskirts. I still love that car to this day and wish I’d kept it.

    When I first started getting into cars, an Army recruiter showed up to my high school in a 1988 BMW M3, bright red. I still lust over that car to this day.

    After becoming an adult and family man, I’ve really developed an appreciation for Toyotas. There are around a dozen in my immediate family and inlaws and they’ve all been great. Obviously, the FR-S and BRZ are basically the combination of all of my pet brands. It was designed by Subaru and Toyota and is probably the closest to a modern day e30 M3 that you can buy. Such a shame that BMW no longer offers a RWD sport wagon with a 6MT. I should have bought one in ’07 instead of the GTI. I’d probably still have it…. or have sold it in fury like I did the GTI after over a dozen times in the shop in under 4 years.

  • avatar

    Dad worked for Ford. So, there you go. Nice and simple, and the reason we own a Mustang, a Fusion, and an MX-5 (bought with employee pricing back when Ford owned Mazda).

    I have a soft spot for the old XJ Jeep Cherokee – I owned a few beat-up old examples of those and loved it.

  • avatar

    My father was always (and still is) a GM man, so I grew up with an assortment of GM full-size vans, Suburbans, and trucks in the driveway. Me… I don’t have any sort of automotive brand loyalty, as you’ll see.

    My first car was a remarkably slow 1985 Chevy Spectrum that Dad bought on the -very- cheap from someone where he worked. It took me all of 3 days to get into my first fender-bender with someone driving the exact same car in the exact same shade of lovely mid-80s gold. Even though it was pretty slow and not particularly reliable, I could work on it, and it got me through college.

    After that came a ’96 Mazda pick-up (the Ford Ranger in drag version), a ’99 New-Edge Cougar, a ’00 Dodge Intrepid, an ’01 Chrylser 300M, a 2000 Miata (best car I’ve ever driven, still miss it every day), an ’07 Mazda CX-7 (fun to drive, colossally unreliable), an ’08 Lexus RX350, an ’08 VW Passat (current DD), and my wife’s beloved 2012 Nissan Juke.


    Chevy (rebadged Isuzu)
    Mazda (rebadged Ford)
    Mercury (kinda rebadged Ford)

    All over the map, but the one I keep coming back to is that Miata. It was so incredibly well engineered and fun. Just looking at it made me smile. Someday, I will own another.

  • avatar

    I came of age during the late ’80s and early ’90s, the time when Honda was absolutely infallible, with engineering ten years ahead of anyone else’s and demand so high that distribution managers became corrupt. First one of my teachers, with whom I carpooled, got an ’83 Accord and then an ’86 Accord. Later, my mom got an ’88 Accord. The ride/handling balance, ergonomics, and interior quality were just leagues ahead of the competition at the time, including my first car (an ’87 Ford Taurus). I still feel Hondas are uncommonly well engineered, but the product planners aren’t hitting home runs anymore.

    • 0 avatar


      My 2013 Accord Touring will hang with a 4th-Gen (1990-1993) Accord, but it doesn’t feel as sure of itself. Back then, the Accords and Civics handled better than any car in their segment had a right to, as surefooted as a Beemer or Benz of the day, with reliability added on (and rustproofing, unfortunately, NOT included unless you kept up on cleaning the car religiously, especially at the joint behind the rear tire, where the quarter panel and upper bumper joined, where salt would collect, and corrode). My Mom’s 1990 Civic EX Sedan was simply a regular four-door Civic dropped onto a CRX Si chassis! Talk about a hoot! ;-) Beautiful cornering, and yet with just the right amount of footwork and wheel input, controllable oversteer was possible! (An offramp near home was perfect for such hoonery; always done with little or no traffic around during the day in good weather. Good way to learn car control.)

  • avatar

    Are you SERIOUS? I’ve been avoiding sports radio/TV/sites since Sunday morning, so you have to ruin my day on TTAC?

    Back to the point of the article, I think my Jeep fandom began when my Dad bought a Wrangler. I’ve owned 3 vehicles, all Jeeps. I’ll probably continue that even though they’ll never make a “real” Jeep again, it’s owned by Fiat, and the brand will probably change hands half a dozen more times as it continues to make money despite its corporate overlords.

    • 0 avatar

      Ah yes. Jeep has survived a whole string of overlords, most of whom went belly up.

      I’ve admired the raw simplicity of Jeeps and finally got one as a ‘midlife car ‘some years ago. Now I’m hooked. Picked up a 47 a while back to savor the history.

  • avatar

    I dispensed with blind brand loyalty a long time ago after working on many cars of different brands, as well as working for different OEMs, Big 3 and Japanese.

    However, I do have my preferences. Growing up in a hot rodder family and spending a good part of my childhood and teen years at the drag strip, I definitely have affection for American muscle cars. I like the looks, the sounds, how parts are cheap and plentiful, they’re generally easy to work on, and can go fast for cheap.

    After growing up a bit and spending time at other types of race tracks and events, I’ve grown to appreciate higher end sports cars of pedigree. But I still have a hard time pulling the trigger on one. One day when the right one comes by.

  • avatar

    Thanks to having a friend whose dad owned two Taurus SHOs, I have a lot of love for that old Yamaha-designed screamer. No love for the bloated mess that is a Taurus SHO now, though.

  • avatar

    My father worked for Honda, but I can’t say I’d buy anything in their current lineup. I think brand loyalty is pointless. The auto makers don’t care about me, my well-being, whether I live or die. I am not going to invest any of my energy into caring about their fortunes either. Hence why I find accusations of bias on my part as being laughable.

    Now, if I won the lottery, then I would immediately search for a ’92 Berlina Black NSX, just like Dad had.

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      Good choice, although I think I’d go with a white one myself…

    • 0 avatar

      +1, Derek.

      If I won the lottery I’d buy myself a brand new Fiat 500, I’d try to talk my wife into contenting herself with a Renault Duster. I’d also get a bunch of old cars. Ford Escort, Del Rey, Corcel I, Maverick. Fiat Tipo, Tempra, Uno R Turbo. The mind flies away…

    • 0 avatar

      Dad was a GM car guy starting with his new 1966 Chevelle SS 396 through almost the 80s but always had Mopar vans since the LA block with a 727 behind it was near bulletproof. He switched to Mopar cars when I was about 10. If I won the lottery and were to buy new I would get a charcoal SRT Charger (and buy my daughter a Bullet Mustang for eventful track days :) ) since I could then afford the gas and a new Durango, because we tow and fish and hunt. Neither of those have much competition in the price range. Then I would go buy a bunch of old cars as well. Only one Ferrari, an F40 since they were the last of the “purposeful” Ferraris. Probably a 930 Porsche, 1970 Plum Crazy Challenger convertible (white interior), Lotus Elan, GT40 replica, E30 M3, Lotus Elise…

      I used to like the Jaguar XJS (I know, keep a bottle of replacement electrical smoke handy) and the earlier BMW models but most of the new stuff is too lawyer-ed up and too sissified. I don’t need 18 way electronically adjustable kid seats and 12 sub-woofers and engine noise piped into the cabin. No, I don’t watch 3D TV either. You can’t lay your head sideways and still watch it.

      That said, a new 911 would probably be OK yet as well as a late model Mustang V6 or otherwise for a new toy.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly. Brand loyalty means the marketing team has done their job.

  • avatar

    I never got sports much…. I’ll sit down and watch the game with the wife sometimes, but her Red Skins suck so bad this year she’s given up even watching them play.

    As far as cars go; I buy what I feel are worth my money. I never liked Fords, and I never cared for Mustangs, but the damn new one was so great and I couldn’t help myself. I like Jeeps; but only the ones built be the philosophical “big truck in a small body” kind of Jeeps. So I have two of those, one newer, one an antique.

    I think the late 70’s Chevy Malibu’s are some of the best cars ever made. Sure, they need to be de-smogged some, but they’re wonderfully roomy, light cars sitting on a full-frame with front a-arms and rear coils. I love these cars and have a 78′ sedan and 79′ coupe. The latter being my first car.

    Having the ability to take a car apart, name all the pieces, and putting it back together gives me a much different advantage then most when it comes to cars. We have VW Jetta too, and that god awful piece of….. we’re not buying another one of those. The guys I know who also take cars apart for a living will back me up on that, and extend the “awful junk” award to the more premium Audi’s as well.

    So if you ask me which brand is the best, you’re going to get a big depends. I think the 1964 Chrysler Imperial was probably the best built car… ever. Now a 1999 Dodge Intrepid? Perhaps the worst. I tend to buy only American, but if you’re asking about a mid-size car from the 90’s I’d probably go Japanese.

    In the end, I am just way too knowledgeable and well informed to be fanatical. Which, when it comes to sport, naturally I would go with the best teams of the season, but apparently that’s not what you do, and thus, I just don’t get sports….

  • avatar

    Nothing makes me feel more like an alien who has landed on planet earth than telling people I don’t watch football… or that in fact, I only have the vaguest sense of it’s rules.

    Doubly alien-like as I’m from Tallahassee, and now live in Texas.

    • 0 avatar
      This Is Dawg

      Same boat. I’ve been back in Texas for 3 years since I finished school and few people even try to start a conversation with me after they find out I neither have live TV, nor keep up with any sports. I’ve basically concluded that if that’s the only thing they can talk about, I don’t need to talk to them anyways.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Every coin has a flip side.
    And as there are sports teams or cars that provoke passion, the flip side are the ones that create waves of aversion.

    My most despised cars are:
    1982 Chevrolet Celebrity. I bought it used, with only 12k on the clock, and the thing was already junk. Traumatized me enough to avoid anything GM for life.

    1984 Mitsubishi Montero, with a horrible 4 cylinder carbureted engine. The list of what went wrong is way too long. No more Mitsus for me. Ever.

    • 0 avatar

      As I’ve opined on this forum before, my family was OldsmoBuick in the 1970s and ’80s, until my 1984 Sunbird’s head gasket blew ($500 on a commuter college-student’s budget was a bit much), then my Dad’s 1986 Century 2.8L V6 developed a severe hesitation/throttle lag when cold; years later, it was discovered that a TSB existed to cure the problem, but the Buick dealer didn’t have a clue about it, throwing part after part at the problem, and then wouldn’t reimburse afterward. My Dad tested an Accord, and is now on his fifth; I’m on my third. (In the post up-top, I mentioned about early-’90s Accords being poor-man’s Beemers; I recall an auto-show story a salesman told my Dad where a couple traded a 3-Series Beemer on a pair of Accords, and unlike some trumped-up story, my Dad actually verified it independently!)

  • avatar

    I have my personal preferences, but loyalties that would blind a person to reality and reason are pointless and ridiculous. Anyone who would allow an interest in a particular car brand to degrade into an us-versus-them pissing contest is a fool.

    • 0 avatar

      Just out of curiosity, what are your preferences?

      • 0 avatar

        BMW, VAG, Honda, Mazda.

        I owned an RX-7 and I do like rotaries, although I’d never buy another one.

        I also owned a Falcon in Australia, which left me with an odd fondness for the antipodean fullsizers (even though my Falcon was a beater.)

        If I had to choose sides in the domestic wars, then it would probably be Ford. But I won’t choose sides.

        That being said, none of that influences my views of the industry.

        • 0 avatar

          I hear you. There are a number of people who can’t seem to believe that my personal preferences for automobiles and my outlook on the industry and its players can be distinct.

          • 0 avatar

            The older I get, the more that I see that there are certain individuals who will never allow facts to get in the way of a good argument, and who can’t distinguish between facts, analysis and wishful thinking.

            (Yeah, I’m jaded. Don’t worry, you will be, too.)

          • 0 avatar

            I fear I already am, and you’re probably twice my age. I envy my father, who remains a true car guy after decades of work on the legal/regulatory/compliance side of things.

          • 0 avatar

            Someone once said: “The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time.”

            Or something to that effect… In any case, I’m not sure if the years make one more jaded or just lower the intensity of one’s enthusiasm.

  • avatar

    Bark M. — you are a true enthusiast who recognizes good cars regardless of nameplate. That’s the way it should be, but as your sports fan analogy illustrates, most people get “imprinted” with a brand or team, and then a few take it to extremes.

    Since I am “buy and hold”, I haven’t owned many cars. My preference is toward fun cars — older Honda and Acuras, and modern Mazdas. I did enjoy a rented Camaro convertible… not so much a rented Saab 9-3 convertible. Still looking for a chance to drive a Mustang convertible.

    For me, a car is neither about showing that “I made it” nor about getting from point A to B (that’s just a happy coincidence). I consider a car a part of the family.

  • avatar

    No brand/marque loyalties for me, I like them all to one degree or another. Now when it comes to types, its another story.

    Fanatics of any stripe are afflicted mentally. And if your an absolute Ford/Chevy/etc person, your a step down the evolutionary ladder, and will not get my respect regarding your critical thinking. If your automotive prejudices are colored by race or or nationalism I place you even farther down the evolutionary ladder and are dropped from further consideration.

  • avatar

    I would have less of a problem with tOSU if I could walk through Columbus wearing the logo of my alma mater without fear of getting a milkshake thrown at me or stabbed in the eye with an ice pick.

    • 0 avatar

      Let me guess..”that school up north,” right?

      I suppose it’s the same thing in Tallahassee, etc.!

      Stabbed in the eye with an ice pick? I’ve heard that’s TAME at certain times of the year!

      (I grew up in the Detroit area, rooting for Meeechiiigunn, then moved to the Toledo area, and my brother ended up going to OSU, but married a UM grad (who he claims he’s converted..UH, UH)! What’s good for the goose, and all that!)

    • 0 avatar

      Go Blue!

  • avatar

    I used to be a big Mopar fan. My dad always bought either Mopars or AMC’s, and my first car was a 1987 LeBaron that he bought used from his favorite Chrysler dealer (he went to high school with the guy who owned it).

    My first new car was a 2001 PT Cruiser. Which sucked. It had a ton of electrical gremlins – transmission controller, gauge cluster, air bag light that would come on when it rained.

    That killed any loyalty to Chrysler products. I traded that in for a Ford Ranger, which I loved, but Ford didn’t make anything I wanted when it was time to upgrade, so I ended up with a Nissan.

    And I no longer consider myself a loyalist of any brand. I’ll buy the best vehicle for my needs at the best price when it comes time to buy another vehicle.

  • avatar

    My loyalty is to what my Dad called “Hip National Bank” – your wallet.

  • avatar

    I’ve always been attracted to somewhat stealthy performance bargains: an ’83 Rabbit GTI, a ’92 Taurus SHO, a ’97 SVT Contour, an ’03 Lancer Evolution, and currently a ’10 GTI. True automotive enthusiasts should have respect for all vehicles, and not disparage automobiles unless they are truly wretched like the Yugos or the early Hyundais.

    Unfortunately, automotive discussions too often end up with snark, condescension, and the thing that turns me off the most: judgementalism. I particularly dislike when threads denigrate to “all Fords suck” or “you have to be some kind of idiot to drive a German car out of warranty”. And that includes the tedious “all anyone needs is a manual transmission station wagon” zealots. If you profess to truly love cars, then practice what you preach, dudes! Stop accusing everyone who drives a BMW to be a “poseur”, or dissing people because they prefer driving a CUV. And for god’s sake, stop clinging to decades-old nuggets of conventional wisdom that are no longer true. Not all VWs are rolling pieces of machinery ready to fall apart any moment. Not all Buicks are “old people’s cars”. V6 Mustangs are not “secretary’s cars”. And so forth.

  • avatar

    I’ve been known to enjoy the occasional Buick V6.

    I started liking them once I was unable to blow them through my traditional means, and once I concluded that I am not a race car driver.

  • avatar

    I have a moderate amount of loyalty to Mazda. I don’t necessarily prefer them to other cars, but they seem to be in tune enough with what I want in a car, that it was one of the final pushes to finally buy a new vehicle.

  • avatar

    After all, “fan” is nothing but a contraction of the word “fanatic.”

    So true.

    Good article, btw.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    As you put it Bark, I’d be a whore. My family always had a Camry/Avalon from around when I was 10, so I do have a fondness for Toyota, and I learned to drive in an early ’90s Grand Prix, so I respect GM as well. But the inner child fell in love with FD Mazda RX-7s and Z32 Nissan 300ZX’s in Road & Track.

    I currently have a Nissan penalty box and love it (for the most part).

    There are too many good cars from too many brands to declare my love to only one. Car brands aren’t like people, they’re like schools of cooking, and I have varied taste buds.

    When it comes to sports, I picked up the affliction known as Tottenham Hotspur from my father. It has steadily delivered heart break for 2 decades now. Thankfully I came to my senses and have ditched both the Leafs and NHL hockey in general. Sports are more fun to play than watch anyway…

    • 0 avatar

      I wanted a 300ZX so bad when I was in high school, with t-tops damnit. The only two door vehicle I had in high school was a Dodge Ram though. Thank goodness for Gran Turismo 2.

      • 0 avatar
        juicy sushi

        It really was a lovely car. Best 2-door GT Nissan ever did. I’d take one today, even without the turbos ( since the original one I fell in love with didn’t have any either).

        • 0 avatar

          I always liked the look of it over the Skyline R32/33, which achieved cult status in the US because of GT2. I drove my friend’s 300ZX a couple years ago, but it was over ten years old and clapped out. He didn’t keep it up particularly well. I won’t judge all the 300ZXs based on his POS.

  • avatar

    Saab. But I’m in remission.

  • avatar

    As a side point, thank you TTAC for NOT requiring “true name ” logins like Facebook. It’s one of the big reasons while I refuse to have a Facebook account.

    Privacy is important, anything, no matter how innocent, that people can find by a Google search of your name can leak personal information.

  • avatar

    I grew up the son of a Chevrolet dealer, and my automotive loyalties are probably more a product of the classic “generation gap” between my parents and me between the ages of 15 and 35:

    1. If its full sized, has a V-8, rear drive, automatic transmission on the column and a bench seat . . . . . I loathe it, and will walk before I’m seen in one.

    2. I have no specific brand loyalty, but an abiding interest in cars that pique my curiosity, drive wonderfully, and hopefully do both at the same time. If they were available, my life would have been a series of Citroens, Renaults, Alfa Romeos (only ever had one chance to buy one when I was actively looking) and Porsches. So far, only the latter has seen my garage.

    3. If I had any brand loyalty, it was during the 90’s when I drove almost nothing but Dodges. And it wasn’t loyalty to the brand but to the dealer. The owner of the firm had been dad’s used car manager back in the Chevy days, and it was run by his two sons, the younger of whom was my best friend back in our school days. Always treated me honestly, the cars were good. That ended when I left PA in ’98, and he later lost the franchise in the Chrysler bankruptcy.

  • avatar

    When looking for my first car, I fell in love with an Audi 5000 and then the brand. Driving through rural Michigan back roads in the winter with the Quattro system was to me what cruising Woodward and Gratiot was to my parents. I’ve owned Audi (and VW) products since then, but I have no loyalties to the brand. I would love a second generation S8, but I can’t wrap my head around daily driving a Lambo engined large German sedan that’s at least 5 years old. For $40K+, I’d rather just buy a C6 ZO6 and a CPO Lincoln as my DD.

  • avatar

    I tend to have serial brand loyalty–First I owned a string of three VWs (’73 Thing, ’90 Fox, and ’94 Golf). Then I moved on to Toyota followed by Honda and Nissan. I still think of myself as a Nissan guy, but couldn’t pull the trigger and buy a used Maxima this year. Instead I went with a 2013 Fusion with the Ecoboost and Sport Package and have not regretted it.

  • avatar

    I love sports, but if the loss of your team has such a profound impact on your emotions, then you have problems. Two weeks ago when Auburn made the return to beat Alabama, there was a shot of a 6 year old boy crying. CRYING! What is wrong with his parents that they have instilled such emotion into this poor child over a football team?!

    • 0 avatar
      This Is Dawg

      This! I’ve had friends break off evening plans becuase their college football team lost. WTH? So you’re defeated as a person becuse someone you’ll never meet dropped a ball a thousand miles away? I’m all for playing every sport I can, but holy hell why do people care so much about each player’s life?

    • 0 avatar

      “CRYING! What is wrong with his parents that they have instilled such emotion into this poor child over a football team?!”

      It could be worse:

      Now ***that’s*** good parenting.

    • 0 avatar

      The kid gets a pass. I think most sports fans are on the young side, and as they age they hopefully care less.

      Here is really crazy fan behavior related to the Auburn/Alabama game: http://

  • avatar

    I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Chevy/GMC pickups. My earliest Car memories are of my Dad’s 80’s Baby blue lifted Silverado. Growing up my Dad always had a GM truck, and still has one to this day (2000 Sierra). That Sierra was the first vehicle I ever drove, and was my DD while in high school.

  • avatar
    Frank Galvin

    I can’t say I have a loyalty to a brand or specific mark. But I do have an undying loyalty to the car and what it represents. Let me explain, and hopefully stay on topic. My parents moved us just in time to start the seventh grade so my mother could be near my dying grandmother. I had been at a small Catholic school for many years and now started at the local public middle school. Being the newest, youngest, smallest, awkward, and having zero athletic abilities was the equivalent of giant neon sign blinking “hit me.” Bullying does not describe the sh**I dealt with. Even after having my face smashed into a urinal, the school did little or nothing to curtail the abuse. I had no friends to speak of after a couple months.

    I did have a grandfather who was a Studebaker man and deadly pint sized black Irishman who could hold a grudge like no other. He was also quite the boxer in his day, a bootlegger during prohibition, and a veteran. He found me a gym where I could learn to box. My father worked his rear end off and was on the road a lot. Although he could not fight my battles for me, he always made sure that I stayed up late with him on the weekends watching the classics. I’ll never forget the nights he came home with VHS copies of Bullit and the Godfather.

    Then there were the guys of Foreign Motors West, a giant foreign car dealer outside of Boston. In the late 80s their showroom was home to Rolls-Royce, Bentley, BMW, Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz, and Peugeot. I would leave school, ditch the bus to walk, and head over to Foreign Motors where I could sit in the cars, take brochures, and pester the sales guys for information. They never asked me to leave. That half an hour spent at the dealership saved my rear end from the brain dead nitwits looking for a soft target.

    I scour eBay at night looking for a Studebaker Hawk, like my grandfather’s. I want to drive the car of the man who helped his father with running liquor and his speakeasy during prohibition, who fought the Japanese and was wounded doing so, who bought back his family home lost to foreclosure in the Great Depression, raised his kids, became a successful businessman, and a heckuva grandfather. The first car I financed was a Mustang GT, thank you Dad and Steve McQueen. I’ll have another at some point.

    • 0 avatar

      Sounds like a “heckuva grandfather!” Not sure if it’s brand loyalty or respect, but that’s a great story and a good reason to own a Studebaker.

      Not that you need a reason–Studebakers are cool on their own.

    • 0 avatar

      That Studebaker Hawk was one of the fastest cars of that era, a fact that would not escape the attention of a bootlegger, bet he had to make a few fast getaways in his day

      • 0 avatar

        The Studebaker Hawk didn’t exist during ‘Prohibition’, but could have been a factor in the Moonshine era of the fifties, except for the fact that they had little interior volume and couldn’t carry any weight with their weak frames.

        Most ‘Studebaker’ Hawks(Flight-Hawk-Power_Silver-Sky) were powered by low power inline 6-cyl. and average power V-8’s. Only the Golden Hawk of the mid fifties and the super charged Studebaker Golden Hawk and Packard Hawk of 57’/58′ were contenders for “fastest cars of the era”. By the time the GT was introduced in 62′, other OEMs’ had eclipsed the power available in the GT’s available super charged 289″ engine. Studebaker closed out its time with the Avanti, Larks, and Daytona’s with ‘R’ engines and performance options.

        When my father died, the mortuary parking lot, cemetery, and later back home at the farm, was like a car show with all Dad’s friends and their hot rods and kool cars in attendance. I was a budding photographer and took pictures of all the cars present, one of the pixs was of three Hawks parked side by side. Unfortunately, I no longer have those pictures.
        I was in HS when the Avanti was announced, I immediately ordered a brochure and it arrived well before the first Avanti was available, luckily, I still have it.

        At the time the Avanti’s hit the showrooms, I was attending a Junior Achievement class in downtown Tacoma. Just down the street from the building where I attended JA was the Studebaker dealer, I walked by the new Avanti in the showroom window twice a day. It was a white one, just like on the cover of the brochure.

        Like Cadillac, Studebaker had many automotive firsts, one being the first American production car with disc brakes. Corvette Sting Ray’s wouldn’t get them for another two years.

        While I have no Studebaker cars, I do have a Studebaker ‘Victoria’ carriage from the late 1890’s. I’m still looking for a low wing Hawk, Speedster, or Starlight Coupe.

        • 0 avatar

          I know the Hawk wasn’t around during prohibition. I should have said that it “would not escape the attention of a *former* bootlegger”

          I share your passion for the Avanti. I too had that brochure. Had there been a Studebaker dealer within walking distance of where I lived, I know I would have camped out there just to look at it

  • avatar
    Brian E

    Being a fan of an automotive brand makes sense to me as long as the brand embodies some philosophy that lines up with your thinking or preferences. I’ve been a Honda fan for a while based on how they approach product design and engineering. I won’t buy a car that’s obviously less well designed and engineered than I would have done myself, no matter how enticing the brand, performance or luxury doodads. As Honda slipped over the past couple of years, my fanaticism has waned, and I’d likely look to Mazda or Subaru if I had to replace my TSX.

  • avatar

    First off, great article, and interesting discussion.

    I have a brand loyalty, but it’s a result of an engine loyalty, however misguided that may be.

    As the spinning Dorito in my avatar gives away, I’m a rotary enthusiast. (Currently 1 RX8 and 3 RX7s in the fleet)so I have become a Mazda fan as a result of their loyalty to my engine of choice.

    A large number of my friends are current or former RX7 owners as well. The theory being we band together for mutual mechanical support.

    I due tend to be a serial loyalist for daily drives however. Currently on our 4th Subaru.

    First car and first motorcycle were both Honda’s (1st Gen CRX and CBR600 respectively) as were my second car and motorcycle (Civic SiR Coupe and newer CBR600) but since then they’ve made no cars I’ve wanted outside of the S2000.

  • avatar

    My cars of choice are those with “soul”. If that’s too new age, then call it cars that the people who made it, made with enthusiasm. Or with the love of an artist expressed as design skills of engineers working in the medium of personal transport.

    Take the RX-8. Dimes to dollars, I’ll bet every Mazda employee wanted to work on that project. Take a small detail, the trunk hinge, for example. I’ve yet to see a more clever, functional and elegant design in any other car. It’s a masterpiece! Layer after layer of this, from the carbon fiber drive shaft, to the mating of the front and rear doors, to one of the first front strut braces on any production car. And minor stuff, even metric nut sizes for nuts meant to be removed, odd sizes for nuts welded in place.

    Different times, different solutions, but with my 1959 Benz 180a, 1969 Triumph GT-6+, 1978 Datsun 260 2+2, 1984 GTI, 1987 Quattro, and yes, even up to my 2013 Volt – with all of them, I get the feeling that each part was the product of somebody who cared about what they were doing.

    Products of “just another job”? No thanks.

    • 0 avatar

      >> My cars of choice are those with “soul”

      Yes, I like cars with thoughtful designs. Some are practical like gas struts to hold open the trunk which makes for more cargo space (Mazda). Some are engineering designs — in the case of the NSX, the gas tank is near the center, behind the driver, to keep weight distribution even as the gasoline gets burned. And some designs are just cosmetic, like on Acura’s wheels, the caliper logo lines up with the valve stems. Trivial, yes, but thoughtful.

      In contrast, the 2010 Toyota Corolla has its clock down near the bottom of the center stack. Absolutely thoughtless and soulless. Later models moved it back up to the dash.

  • avatar

    Mom and Dad had a ’64-1/2 D-code, 3-speed manual Mustang coupe, first new car either had owned. I rode home from the hospital in it. Grandma had (and a cousin still has) a ’66 Anniversary Gold Mustang (one of ~50 made, one of less than a dozen known to still exist, only one I’ve found with a Dearborn build, not San Jose) bought new in a convoluted transaction (as it was a special promotional car). Uncle is the 2nd owner of a ’59 Fairlane Galaxie 500 Skyliner retractable hardtop (he’s had it since ’69; original owner was a customer at our family shop. Every single receipt that car’s ever generated is accounted for. And it’s unrestored original), had a ’65 Thunderbird ragtop (and later a ’57 ‘Bird, and a ’73 Cougar convertible, and, and, and), has a ’56 ‘Bird and is restoring a ’57, and just picked up a ’57 Ranchero.

    So, yeah, my thing for Mustangs came naturally and early. I’ve driven other makes. I’ve owned other makes (I’ve got a ’97 Neon race car in the garage next to my ’65 Mustang right now). I’ll probably own other makes in the future. But I will never be without my Mustang(s).

    Is it logical? Not entirely. But they’re cars with some personality, and they appeal to me, so I have them. I just celebrated 30 years of owning my ’65.

  • avatar

    I don’t have a brand affinity but I certainly have a brand ‘dis-affinity’…I cannot stand anything made by Toyota, Honda or Nissan…at least not the ones I have driven. They are utilitarian and reliable – why they had to achieve that at the expense of driver’s pleasure I will never know but they did succeed in doing exactly that – and that is what I will blame the lack of interest in good sporty rides in the new generation, on

  • avatar

    I don’t have much of a brand loyalty, if I like one car from a brand I’ll probably have an interest in its other products, but not to a blinding degree.

    My only loyalty are to cars that aren’t too hard to service, and that can be banged about a bit and still work. So basically stuff thats decently engineered and moderately durable. As much as I admire Subarus with boxer engines, Mazdas rotary engines, engineering halo cars like the first gen Prelude, I’d never want to own one as a regular driver just because I’d probably grow to hate them, awesome as secondary cars though.

    I actually have more of a preference for older sedans like Valiants, Novas, Falcons, Panthers, B-bodies, Volvos, etc. Just general anonymous old beaters that still serve their owners loyally.

  • avatar

    I don’t really care about brands. I don’t care at all about ball sports – completely lost on me. What I care about are cars. But they have to “feel right” to me when driving. I can’t really define that, but I know it when I feel it. European cars nearly always feel right, Japanese cars almost never do. American cars never did, but some do now. I could see myself in a Regal Turbo, but I would never even consider a Camry, for example. The new Mustang is on my shortlist for 2016, we’ll see how it feels. The old one was pretty darned close, a dose of sophistication will certainly not hurt.

  • avatar

    I’m pretty loyal to Consumer Reports.

  • avatar

    I don’t have any brand loyalty when it comes to actually spending money. I do, however, when it comes to generalized internet comments. Also, when making unjustified yet eerily accurate snap judgements about other drivers on the road, usually, but not exclusively, negative ones.

    Why do people in general have an actual love or hate relationship with a brand? Because we’re a bunch of tribal monkeys who like to put on airs when we compare ourselves to our actual peer groups. We’re dicks. We’re also not as special smart as we like to make ourselves sound. See also, politics.

  • avatar

    I’ll admit it. I’m an Ohio State fan and yes it did suck with what happened in the Big 10 Championship game. Bummer. You know what though? I didn’t play the game, I wasn’t there in person, I didn’t have anything invested in the game and it’s just that- a game. Why get mad? I just said “bummer” and moved on. Besides they still get the Orange Bowl.

    I used to be really bad with sports…. I’m a San Diego Chargers fan and if things were going great, well yeah! If they lost, I let it get to me too much and at my former place of work I’d get singled out for more insults and abuse. Really stupid on my part. It took a pathetic loser to show me what I was like…. this guy was a fat alcoholic, loudmouth boorish idiot who is a Green Bay fan. He would ridicule fans of all other teams and get in your face when they would win, yet when they lost, he would drink himself into a stupor and call in from work and when he did show, he got insulted and he would often leave in a huff. No thanks. I’m still a fan of the Chargers, but if they lost, so what? I didn’t suit up and run onto the grass at Qualcomm so why should it get me down?

    Guess what? When I grew my thick skin about sports, the taunters went somewhere else. Granted there were 2 that still would try to get on my case, but they were trying to get me to leave as I would stand up against their crooked department (long story) but all that did was help me find a better job. There were many reasons, that was just a small piece of it.

    Car wise, I’m a Ford guy. I love the Mustang and it’s heritage and I owned one and would be more then happy to own a 5.0 6 speed as a weekend toy. I like the new Fusion. I borrowed a ’06 Fusion and it was an agreeable car that I think was much better dynamically then an similar Camry. I love P71 Crown Vics…. I could go on and on. I also love enthusiast Datsuns and Nissans and I’m a raving Nissan Skyline fan.

    Doesn’t matter though. I still bought a Jeep because that’s what I wanted. I’d rock anything that I like, be a Ford, Nissan, Jeep, Alfa, Toyota…. whatever. Bring it on car makers!

    • 0 avatar

      I stopped caring about sports in the 90’s. When Jordan retired from Chicago, when Aikman, Smith, and Irving retired from Dallas, when Joe Montana didn’t even retire in a 49er uniform… I just didn’t care anymore.

      I still taunt my youngest brother (a diehard Redskins fan) every chance I get, but I honestly don’t give a hoot anymore. Well except for Duke basketball. I despise them like Khan despises Kirk. That hate just seems to live on forever.

  • avatar

    Our family farm trucks were all over the map, ’56 Chev 3/4 ton, ’55 GMC 2 ton, Ford 641 tractor, ’58 F8 Ford Five Yard, ’39 Chev 1 ton, ’60 F 450 Ford 1 1/2 ton, ’99 Ford 3/4 ton, Mazda B2000, and a ’58 20 ton Link Belt bridge crane/dragline. Then I had a ’56 F100 Ford 1/2 ton, ’60 Biscyane, ’62 Type 1 and 2 VWs, ’67 Type 1 and 2, ’80 Subaru GL wagon, ’89 XT Coupe, ’94 Mustang GT, ’98 and ’03 Expeditions, 06 Mustang GT, 2010 Sport trac Adrenalin. I e no idea what our next. ’80’s Subaru’s were (nearly) indestructible, the best hands down.

  • avatar

    Make a car with every feature I want and a stick shift, and I’m your fan. Don’t, and you’re dead to me.

    Such is my love/hate with Toyota. There’s not a single vehicle with a Toyota or Lexus badge that I’d spend ten cents on, but I am in total love with the 2014 Scion tC.

    I’m not a loyalist to any brands, only specific cars that I know my heart would desire. If you had told me 3 weeks ago that I’d be driving a KIA, I’d reply “LOLWTFDUDE” but as it turns out, I’m quite enamored with this 2010 Forte Koup I get to spend the next several years with.

  • avatar

    I grew up in the era where the Montreal Canadien’s were the perennial Stanley Cup victors. My roots were French Canadian so cheering for any other team was sacrilege. As I’ve aged I’ve lost interest in any sport that I am not personally involved in.
    When it comes to vehicles I do tend to have a few soft spots. My dad was a commercial trucker/logger and he loved Mack trucks. To this day I still love seeing “B” model Macks.
    He was a Ford pickup guy but did not have a strong loyalty to cars. All of the pickups I’ve owned have been Ford’s but that was because I always managed to get a better deal under a blue oval sign.
    My parents owned a ’68 Galaxie 500 2dr hardtop with a 390ci 315hp motor. I passed my driver’s test with that car and ever since then I like 60’s era Galaxies and Fairlanes.
    I’m not really loyal to anything but as mentioned, I do have some things that press my sentimental buttons.

  • avatar

    Yeah, you know those football fans who go to games dressed in nothing but a Speedo and the team colors, who otherwise only wear branded clothing and say things like, “We’re goin’ to the Super Bowl!” when their team wins?

    They’re the same ones who will turn around and tell Trekkies to “get a life.”

    That there is my definition of the word IRONY.

    You also see this sort of idiocy in the Brand Loyalty Blood Feud – “I’m a Ford man, by God, so I hate people who drive Chevys!”

  • avatar

    I have my attachments to certain vehicles because of experiences I’ve had, but even when I had my first car, I never understood all the hate for “the other brand” on the forums. I bought my car because I wanted it, I loved it, had great memories with it, but I never bought into the delusion that it was somehow far superior to the other cars I didn’t buy.

    Just as I see no point in worshipping a team or political party who neither know nor care about me personally, I don’t believe in being a “Ford man,” or the whore of any other nameplate. I’m glad that there are people who tattoo brand names on their body, because they save me having to talk to them to figure out that they’re idiots.

    If we look carefully, we see that the vast majority of people are herd animals, avoiding as much as possible having to do any independent thought. Watching pro sports or a political debate makes this alarmingly obvious.

  • avatar

    Loyalty is a two way street. I was all set to replace my 2004 Mazda 6 with a new 2014. Then I found out the same car is $5,000 more expensive here in Canada. No thanks.

  • avatar

    Great article!

    As to sports, I do follow it, but most of the time I watch without paying attention. It’s just mindless jibber-jabber to fill the silence. That being said, I’ll watch my local soccer team, Atlético, in the World Club Finals in Morocco in a week. If they win, I’ll be happy. If they lose, it just won’t bother me (years ago it would, nowadays I simply don’t care enough). Anyway, go Galo!

    As to car brands, I don’t have any allegiance to any, but I do know what I like or not. So I will go in to a test drive or evaluation with a pre-set of judgment in my head, but I’ll change if need be. For example, and much to the amazement of fanboys, the Opel Chevies sold in Brazil never did it for me. I always thought there was better out there so I never recommended a GM or was interested in one. Come the Daewoo Chevies and I’ve been very impressed. I would nowadays buy one without hesitation.

    I guess you could say I’m a serial buyer. That happens though as I tend to repeat what I perceive have been positive experiences. In 24 yrs of car ownership, I’ve owned just 3 brands (6 Fiats, 3 Renaults, 3 Fords). For our next purchase it’ll probably be a Renault or GM.

    I could see myself in Ford, Fiat, Renault, GM, Peugeot, Citroën, Chrysler, Nissan. I can’t see myself in a Toyota, Honda, VW. I have little experience with Mazda and Subaru, but they could interest me. It’s not a question of nationalism, but I’m always interested in French,Italian and American cars. It’s been a very long time I don’t see anything in German cars. Don’t like the design, don’t like the ride. I do find most Japanese cars ugly and boring, though like I said, I like some Nissans and am intrigued with some Mazdas and a couple of Subarus.

    I really can’t see cars as status symbols and tend to dismiss brands that embody this philosophy. This is part of the reason I ignore the German ubber trio. I do like Alfa though, maybe because it’s Italian and the design is vibrant or maybe because it’s the underdog. If I ever buy an exotic car it’d have to be a Ferrari. Really not that interested in this kind of car, but if I ever do buy one, I’m sure I’d have 10 other cars (most old, simple, Brazilian and small).

    I also like some body styles over others. I like hatches, sedans, minivans. Don’t care much for station wagons. Pick ups, specially single and extended cabs are ok, but I don’t really like double cabs. Don’t have much love or use for CUvs or SUVs but as the wife likes the idea, maybe one day we’ll have a small CUV.

    • 0 avatar


      It’s nice to hear from a levelheaded soccer fan. But seriously, what is it about soccer (pardon me, football) that makes people want to destroy a stadium, anyway?

      You don’t see the Cheeseheads burn down Green Bay when the Packers don’t make it to the Super Bowl. Though on second thought, maybe they should…

      The worst you get is the Pittsburgh Police Department having to talk half the city down off the roof if the Steelers lose their yearly shot at the championship.

      So what gives, anyway?

      • 0 avatar

        I think it has to do with the culture surrounding this. It gives people with nothing better in their lives something in which to participate, or get the feeling they’re participating in something bigger than themselves. There is definitely a culture meme in this. Somehow, this meme has infected some societies and it’s something very difficult to control and/or eliminate. In our case, I have a feeling we need more police repression. In the World Cup next year here, you most likely you won’t see much trouble as tickets will be expensive and at the risk of sounding like an ass, it does seems this disease attacks those more downtrodden financially. Those with something to lose don’t lose their minds after something so minor.

        • 0 avatar
          juicy sushi

          Thank you for explaining it so well. It’s very hard to appreciate just how much this stuff can matter to those with nothing else.

          It’s still nutty, and I dislike how some people now are glamourizing the hooliganism side (in Europe at least). At the same time, it is brilliant to hear 40’000+ singing a witty song about the other coach’s mother rather than the lame cheering and screaming which is the best North American sports fans manage…

          • 0 avatar

            Well, thanks juicy sushi! It is a spectacle, particularly when those more fanatical get a chance to get into the stadium. The level of fanaticism on display is mind boggling, yet somehow atavistic. It’s attractive and repulsing at the same time, the level or raw, primitive passion some display.

            Anyways, are you going to watch the Club Finals? Atlético’s unifrom is like Tottenham’s (black and white stripes, black shorts). We could always use some extra support as most likely we’ll face the bete noir of Euro-soccer in the final (Bayern Munich).

            BTW, sorry you did lose Bale, but you got yourselves a very good player in Paulinho. Not as flashy, but from a tactical side a brilliant player.

          • 0 avatar
            juicy sushi

            Yeah, Paulinho is nice, but we love our other Brazilian, Sandro, even more (he sings, plays guitar, does karate and destroys opposing midfielders).

            Paulinho is great though, and with the other youth we picked up with the Bale cash (Eriksen, Lamela and Chadli) I think we might have a bright future.

            And I will absolutely cheer for you guys against Bayern Munich. The underdog is always more fun :)

      • 0 avatar


        Its funny you bring it up, my brother the Pittsburgh Police Officer went into a very interesting anti-yinzer rant in October right around the time the anomaly occurred (Pirates in the playoffs). He said he hoped the Steelers continued in a tailspin just so (1) he wouldn’t get called in from his zone (outside of the stadium area) to work many games and (2) I quote “to knock those drunken yinzs down a peg or two”.

        • 0 avatar

          Anomaly indeed. How the hell did the Pirates make it that far, anyway?

          I thought the whole team was essentially a tax writeoff for their owners, AND that any success on their part would jeopardize their cut of the Yankees’ money.

          • 0 avatar

            It would be nice if they just left the stillers fans up on the roof to jump. Maybe once that happens, the remaining people will pay attention to the city rotting around them. Instead of building a moronic one-stop subway line UNDER the damn river, throw a little attention to the disaster that is the public schools, or the crumbling bridges, or maybe, just MAYBE make a highway that actually goes somewhere and connects to the other highways.
            What an awful place.

  • avatar

    A two-part story deserves a two-part comment.
    I never have been a spectator sport fan, if I have the time I would rather play a sport then watch it. Except for my kids and nieces and nephews games of course. Having two kids that played many sports from a young age through college, an old Victorian home, a wife that works full-time, high energy dogs, and trying to stay in shape does not leave a lot of time for watching games on TV. I did not mind that OSU lost Saturday only because most of their fan base are rabid, fanatics, although, more MSU fans lately have jumped on that mindless, bandwagon to nowhere.

    I like cars but they are mostly a moving appliance that get me from A to B AND they are a massive economic driving force. As a one time purchase a house has a larger purchase price but add up all the new cars you buy and the amount can be greater, for me it will be 20-25 cars over 50+ years. These purchases combined with their economic compounding factors (suppliers, advertisers, banks, city taxes, the local merchants, on and on) have been a major economic driving force in this country.

    I am from a 3 generation Ford employee family and the wife’s are full of GM workers. So my appliance cars are all Ford and GM. It is not just my family, friends, and neighbors that have skin in this game. Yes, it is Detroit metro but also all of Michigan, and suppliers and auto plants in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, Texas, Kansas, and more. I am not in the auto industry but I travel on business and have witnessed the economic devastation and personal hardships first hand.

    I know that the American manufactures have made a lot of junk over the years and that competition has forced them to make better cars. It is a free country buy what you want, or what your friends expect you to buy, just don’t con yourself that your purchases don’t have economic implications.

    I have had my extra/toy cars in the past and I am not brand loyal on those – a Spitfire, Grand Wagoner, 66 Lemans, 71 Monte Carlo, and 86 Jeep CJ. I have also started to research for a new extra car for under $30,000, maybe a good topic for TTAC. My short list is 2015 Mustang GT, Wrangler 2 door Sport S, Miata, 2014 Mini, RAM 1500 Express 2WD Reg Cab short wheel base Hemi 8spdZF.

  • avatar

    I love the Fanatics of the cars that no one cares about. I was a Saturn S series fanatic and once heard of a Grand Vitara enthusiast.

  • avatar

    My loyalties when it comes to cars are to the brands that serve me best. Being the son of a GM exec my loyalty started there for no other reason then we weren’t allowed to have any other brands at our house and GM products were what I was familiar with, so at that time they served me best. That lasted until 1986 when I bought my last piece of GM crap in the form of a Buick Riviera. I’ve haven’t bought a new GM product since, though I do have a thing for antique Cadillacs and have a couple of those. For the next 20 years it was mostly Jeeps with a side of BMWs, Nissans and Fords. Right now Fords are serving me best, but that could change at any moment. My philosophy, may the best car win.

  • avatar

    Mustang… The old man could spin a good yarn and his favorite story was the Mach 1 vs. the BMW on the autobahn. I’ve been hooked on Mustangs ever since as a form of hero worship I guess.

  • avatar

    I’m conflicted (the bane of being 50% American/50% German and having spent my entire youth in Germany)…while I desperately want the American manufacturing scene to return, my initial “brand stamp” came from a little place called Bavaria. My first memorable ride was in our landlord’s early 70’s while BMW 1600. Something about that squared off box on wheels had me hooked on BMW from then on. I actually sold a 1992 Sentra SE-R to buy a clean 1974 2002, and that became the only car I ever owned that I regretted selling (the 2002, that is). I owned a succession of Bimmers culiminating in my 1993 BMW 325is. God, did I love those cars. But family came along and a two-door coupe just wasn’t in the cards.
    What I can’t explain is my near-20 year fascination with the Jeep Wrangler. A picture hangs up over my desk here in Saudi Arabia, and I await the day that I return to the States so I can buy one. Maybe my “Made in America” creed will allow a little “Hergestellt in Deutschland” with a nice example of an E30 or E32 coupe in the garage as a weekend toy. Man, impressions made on six-year olds burn deep and are hard to shake (which is why, perhaps, the latest offerings from BMW disappoint me so).

  • avatar

    I’ve owned Ford, Jeep, Honda, Toyota, Mazda, and BMW. Mazda is the only manufacturer to sell me a new car. If they ever pair the 2.5L with a manual in the new 3, they are a strong contender to do it again.

    That said, the more I read and learn about cars, the less enthusiastic I am about them. Most everything on offer disappoints in some way. I’ll drive anything that comes closest to what I consider acceptable compromises.

  • avatar

    I am not interested much in sports either, and I get that same strange look when I tell people I don’t follow football or basketball or whatever, it amazes me how ingrained “fan-dom” is in this country. Well, I guess any country, they are insane about soccer in Europe and Latin America, right? I wonder if it is more common among “car guys” to not be so into sports, seems a lot of comments here reflect that.

    As for brand loyalty, I gave all that up years ago when the brands gave up their customer loyalty. I get it, they are corporations, they need to make money and that means they have to chase the market. For the most part, the market sucks, it is made up of people who know nothing about cars and they dictate what I can buy. So I will consider interesting vehicles from any manufacturer who makes one, or I will just drive old classics.

  • avatar

    I follow your sentiments about professional sports.
    I appreciate what they do is difficult, but I don’t understand why people sink millions of dollars into the coffers of the likes of Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment year after year, when there are so many more pressing issues out there.

    But to each their own.

    My “brand” is Toyota, because my Dad put food on our table and put my sister and I through school by selling TMC and Lexus products.
    Which is why any new models that bring a pulse back to that lineup are greeted with enthusiasm.

    On a side note, Dad doesn’t like cars – which is perhaps why he’s been so good at selling Toyota/Lexuses – he knows how the typical buyer of those cars thinks, and what they prioritize (it isn’t acceleration, lateral grip, sharp chassis dynamics or steering feel)

  • avatar

    So far I’ve owned: 2 Subarus, 2 Mazdas (Miatas), 2 Hondas and 1 Buick. The latter was my first car and an old beater that my dad gave me so I didn’t have much of a choice. The 2 Hondas were due to Honda being very popular and excellent cars at the time. Especially after the first ’89 Subaru RX that I owned for a year. :)

    When we came to US in early 90s I remember seeing a red Miata and asking what it was. My uncle told me that it’s a fancy sports car and I’d have to make a lot of money to have one. :) So when I became my own man I bought one and then another one. As used cars they were pretty cheap. But then again as new cars they were cheap as well.

    The last Subaru I purchased because I wanted a WRX for a long time despite the fact that my first Subaru experience has been relatively bad and I wasn’t a fan. Sometimes one must let their prejudices go.

    But when I finally paid a visit to the old country this year the only car I really wanted to drive was a Lada. Why? Because my dad had a beige 2104 back in the day and that’s the car I always dreamed of driving. The 2107 I got to drive did not disappoint. Despite being an old beater it was awesome!

  • avatar

    I don’t have much brand loyalty. If I like it, I’ll buy no matter who builds it. That said, not much love for the General. Way more for Chrysler since Fiat took hold, virtually none before that. Fords are generally my go to domestic, we’ve owned a few as a family, with varying degrees of success.

    My first car was an 81 Regal in 1995, given to me. After that it was an 84 Eldorado. I grew up with car nuts who were mainly given to domestics, so that’s what I looked for. Until I found an 89 Acura Legend L in 1998. Nearly the luxury of the Cadillac with much better ride/handling,uh, everything. My first import, not my last. Might not have looked at it except my folks had a 92 Camry XLE V6. That was our first modern import car as a family. My folks haven’t bought domestic since a CPO Deville Concours in 96. I don’t get worked up if the Chevy beats the Ford or the BMW powered thing beats the Mercedes powered thing,etc.

    As far as fanatacism about sports, I don’t get it. I certainly don’t get the “bash his face in, he’s from xxxx” element. Guys you don’t know getting paid millions of dollars to play for a city or region most don’t live in. “We won”? Really, you weren’t just in a chair drinking beer watching someone play?

    I just don’t get it and I’m from Pittsburgh, so it’s all I see. I’ve been to the store and been asked “Having a bad day because the Steelers lost yesterday” or something along those lines. Nope, just because I’m having a miserable day, my existence doesn’t hinge on a game.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Art Vandelay: And yet again, more of my posts living in your head. You should charge rent.
  • Rick T.: Hmmmm. Looks like a REALLY early fall in Chicago this year!
  • EBFlex: True about Lincoln v Cadillac. Although one thing Cadillac has over Lincoln is the fact that Cadillacs don’t...
  • Lie2me: I know all of this is true, but for anyone to say, “Lincoln was a racist” without any context or...
  • StudeDude: Lincoln should seize the day and use the new RWD architecture Ford has developed to do a new Continental....

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber