Monday, January 18, 2010

Your Car is Talking About You - Do You Know What It’s Saying?

We all know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but we also all know that everyone does - at least to some degree. As Good Guys, we’d like to think that we are chosen as friends or lovers based on the facts that we dress appropriate to the occasion and know to stand when a lady returns to the table, which fork to use and at least a few good jokes for any situation - from bachelor party to boardroom. That may be true (probably isn’t), but like it or not, before we ever get a chance to show off that sparkling personality, the reality is that we’ve already created a number of impressions that may impede (or improve) our chances to shine. And, while we know we shouldn’t put too much stock in what others think about us (especially those that haven’t taken the time to get to know us), we probably still do.

So, as a sort of social experiment, and as an aide to those of us who will probably forever ponder the inner working of a woman’s mind (because let’s not kid ourselves, it’s her perception we’re most concerned with) The Good Guy has selected a group of 30 women deemed desirable by pretty much any man’s standards - that is to say, attractive, intelligent, charming and currently unspoken for. From time to time we’ll poll this panel of experts as to their opinions on a variety of topics in an effort gain insight we hope to be helpful, may instead be disheartening, but in any case might be amusing.

Here is their first topic of discussion and condensed responses:

Q: Imagine you are going on a (basically blind) date - you know little or nothing about your would-be suitor. He rings your doorbell, and you open it to see him standing on your step, while behind him idling at the curb sits his __________. What is your first impression?

1. The Typical Car - ie. Accord, Jetta, Camry, etc.

The basic impression was no impression at all. Words like “typical,” “standard” and “average” were used with alarming regularity. If that’s the impression you’re trying to make, perhaps in an effort to leave her perception a blank canvas upon which your colorful personality might layout the first broad strokes of the evening’s romantic masterpiece - you chose correctly. In that case, play it really safe and go for "champagne" - or as most would refer to it - beige.

2. The Luxury Sedan

This is a tricky one, because today every luxury brand offers a variety of models in a broad price range with sometimes almost imperceptible differences. However, this remains a fairly solid selection, with the higher end models of each line scoring high marks almost across the board. The only concern was whether you can actually afford the car you’re driving, or you’re just another $50k-a -year millionaire. The Mercedes S Class and BMW 7 Series blend performance, luxury and comfort particularly well while turning heads in the right way, creating an impression of sophisticated affluence and style – just don’t add ground effects or 24” chrome rims.

3. The Pick-Up Truck

The opposite sex’s perception of the pick-up driver seems to vary depending mainly upon age and geography. Southern states and rural areas seem to view the pick-up as just another car – and adding burled wood trim, heated leather seats, GPS and other luxury embellishments don’t really do much to raise the bar. Of course you’ll always be facing the fairly large percentage who will view this choice as anything from “Good Ole Boy” to downright “Redneck,” and adding oversize tires, chrome pipe bumpers and superfluous lighting certainly wont help your case there. A potentially telling response came from a charming and seemingly intelligent young woman who proclaimed “I like boys who drive trucks!” Go get her, boys.

4. SUV’s
For the guy who legitimately needs the space, power and ground clearance of the pick-up, but wishes to avoid the “Redneck” connotations, God has created the SUV. Tahoes, Yukons (no one knows the difference) and Escalades (no one cares about the difference) are solid choices for urban and rural Good Guys alike. Get yours in black, with all the extras, for a ride equally suited for the ranch or the strip. Beware back seat DVD players and 3rd row seats, as they bear the unmistakable marks of the suburban Dad (aka Soccer Mom.)

5. Exotic Sports Cars

While the entire English-speaking world knows the statement this particular ride is going to make, they persist in ever-growing numbers. Quickly glossing over the obvious reflections on package-size, height, hairline, age and self-confidence, let’s assume you actually are a connoisseur of performance driving who appreciates the finer things in life and to whom the $150k+ price tag is a reasonable expenditure for an unrivalled 2-seat experience – that still doesn’t explain the flaming red, safety orange or lime green paint job. (Yes, you.) Still insist on your right to driving a growling, low-slung, imported stripper magnet? Show some stylish sensibility and restraint, bypassing the obvious choices and rolling a Maserati or Aston Martin in charcoal gray.

6. Domestic Sports Cars
While fun to drive and affordable, when it comes to the domestic line-up of sports machines, you aren’t making much of a statement with this choice, and what you are saying isn’t all that good. Mustangs have become so prevalent that they barely rank above the Accord in terms of “Guy-ness,” while the over-styled Corvette continues to exude a certain Jersey Shore “this is my Ferrari” attitude, and even the the newly retro Camaro seems caught some-where between “middle-America” and “wanna-be car guy.” One notable exception is Dodge’s recent replication of the 1970 Challenger, with enough horsepower to make some legitimate noise, authentic retro styling coupled with contemporary comforts and a range of rarely seen colors that scream “I don’t give a damn what you think, this is my car!” Hemi Orange is our favorite, but our muscle-maniac respondent says go Plum Crazy.

7. Vintage Sports Car
Almost across the board, this is an seemingly can’t-miss choice, when done right. In fact, apply the term “vintage” to any of the above options to instantly turn your swing-and-miss or boring base-hit to a stand-up triple or more. Don’t believe us? Try telling the next woman you meet you drive a Ferrari, and watch for the barely concealed look of concern-bordering-on horror creeping into her eyes. Now tell her yours is the sleek and stylish midnight blue 1967 330 GTC parked on the front row of valet. Now ask her if she’s ready for another glass of champagne… The same experiment works with luxury sedans and even pick-up trucks to a degree, but don’t try it with a 1972 Honda Civic.

8. The Hybrid
Seriously? We all want the world to be a better place and last a little longer, and 40+ mpg at $3.95 a gallon sounds great, but not when you look at what it really costs you. At this point, you might as well add a Greenpeace bumper sticker, a Jesus-fish badge and an Apple decal to the back windshield. Make that a rainbow Apple decal.

Truth be told, it should and probably will come down to your true personality (or your looks.) And if it doesn’t, they probably weren’t the right one in the first place.

As always, The Good Guy tells it like he sees it, and stands by it. And as always, a little discourse is welcome, so feel free to chime in.

No comments:

Post a Comment