It’s the car-related question that absolutely stumped this car guy: If I were a car, what would I be?
Guys, let’s be honest. There are few places left in the world that are still sacred for us. Where can men go to think, to ponder the significance of our lives, or to read a decent magazine? We’re pretty much confined to the garage or the bathroom. And the lighting in my garage isn’t that great.
So, there I sat, reading the latest issue of GQ (don’t judge). I was reading a “first look” preview of the new VW Beetle, which painted the next generation Bug as a manly machine. Now, I’ll admit that the 2012 edition lacks the doe-eyed headlights and dash-mounted daisy vase, but manly? Sure, if you order it right you can get a sweet turbo engine, and the right color combination can make it look slightly less “hairdresser hoopty,” but seriously, manly?
In the midst of reading this article, a question creeped into my head. One which I don’t ever remember asking myself: If I were a car, what would I be? For the first time in a long time, I was stumped. I could easily answer what car I would like to represent me. I could tell you what the ideal car for me is. But to try and apply my traits and personality to a mass of metal, rubber, and plastics? My mind began to wander.
It seemed to be far easier to do this for other people. My wife, for example, perfectly fits as a Ferrari F430: Absolutely gorgeous, difficult to handle at times, but an absolute joy to be with. I also get the “she’s with you?” look everywhere we go, as I would if I pulled up to the valet stand in the Ferrari.
This shouldn’t be that hard, right? There’s thousands of cars to consider, and one has to fit. I decided to break it down a little. Before I figured out which car I would be, I needed to realize a few things about myself. Let’s start with the exterior. Now, I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m not the best looking guy out there. I lack a chisled face and sculpted physique; I’d look awfully out of place in that copy of GQ. With that being said, though, I usually try to look nice. I like to look sharp. It helps people take me seriously, or so I tell myself. I also hold no illusions about my athletic ability: It’s nonexistent. Give me a pair of drumsticks and I can rock your face off. Give me a hockey stick and you’ll laugh your ass off (as I bruise mine). While I’m not athletic, I don’t consider myself terribly out of shape and I’m definitely not overweight. I’m practical in just about every way. I’m not one to indulge in myself: Much of my wardrobe is carried over from college, and some from high school. I might not like to spend money, but I hate cheap. I’d much rather spend a little more cash for a lot more quality.
I’d love to be able to say I’m something awesome like a Mustang GT or Porsche 911 or something, but I couldn’t do that straightfaced. I needed to think of a car that isn’t sexy, but sharp in an understated way. I needed something that wasn’t incredibly sporty, but was competent and a hint engaging, too. I was searching for something that was practical without any indication of cheapness. The wheels were turning.
This is where things, for me, get interesting. I started thinking about the car I purchased just a few weeks ago: A 2008 Ford Fusion 2.3L with the Sport Appearance Package. It’s not the sexiest car out there, but the smokey chrome grille, 18″ wheels, and rear spoiler dress it up. With a 2.3L 4 cylinder engine, I’m not winning many races, but the suspension adjustments keep things fun. What it lacks in engine power is easily made up for in audio power: The 8 speaker Audiophile system, paired with Ford’s wonderful SYNC technology, can easily rock anyone’s face off. The interior is no-nonsense and low on frills, but it’s well built and nicely appointed, without a lick of “cheap” to be found.
I went on an intellectual quest to figure out which car I identified with. I should have started by checking my driveway.