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Blog: Do cars make the man or is it the other way round?

I wonder. I seriously wonder. I have only my keen sense of observation and personal experience to back this up but I’ll be damned if something doesn’t happen when we get behind the wheel of our cars, especially over time. 

I’ve owned several Mazdas, VWs, a Ford, an Oldsmobile, a Subaru, and a Volvo so I think I can safely say that I’ve sampled many makes and automotive philosophies. As well, I’ve test-driven over a thousand cars (from all current mass production makes available in North America and a few that are not) so again, call me well-rounded -- but not fat. 

Despite this, when I get behind the wheel of a given car, I notice that a transformation occurs. And this, to me, answers my question. 

Whether I position myself at the helm of a BMW, Infiniti, Toyota, Honda, Chevrolet, Ford, Porsche or Ferrari, I turn into the car’s marketed and targeted audience and hence, an owner -- or so I thought. In retrospect, not always… And do understand that I’m generalizing from here on in. 

This is an interesting reflection, to me, as despite Toyota’s efforts at targeting young hip peeps with ads for the new Corolla, for example, unless forced by parents, no one under the age of 40 is likely to buy one. By the same token, a BMW 435i automatically swells my ego, my attitude goes south and well, and I turn into that a-hole. 

I’m going to harp on the Corolla, if you don’t mind, because #corollattack. 

Without fail (or nearly) almost every time I get near one, something goes awry with said car and its driver. I think in this case, it’s the car. I’ve seen countless different “types” of people at the wheel of these Corollas but they’re all the same or rather, they behave the same. The car weaves from lane to lane or hovers over a line, stays put in the left-hand lane cruising at 90 km/h, and all other types of erratic driving situations you can think of. 

Might as well get back on the BMW now… I know a number of Bimmer owners and none of them are buttholes. So, in this case, it’s not the car… But it affects me. Strange. Shut it, Miranda. 

A car purchase is typically done with equal parts emotion and sense. The emotion part is the one that’ll win out almost every time, and is likely the culprit for transforming us into whatever it is we become once at the wheel of the car. 

Ever notice this transformation in yourself? Know what I’m going on about? Am I crazy?