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Wouldn't Be Caught Dead Driving One

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
Oh, no, anything but that thing!

What car(s) were you, or would you be, too embarrassed to drive, or even be seen in? How would you respond if your favorite aunt asked if you would drive her to wherever in her '86 Eldorado Biarritz, with prodigious amounts of gold trim, vinyl roof, custom Rolls Royce grille, and rear mounted spare? Sure, you could offer to take her in your car, but what if she insisted on please driving hers, because it needed to be driven, in broad day light (to recharge the battery), etc., etc.?
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Comments

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Any Corvette. They're trophy cars for aging white guys.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,666
    Hmmm, good question. I actually don't get too hung up on cars and status, so there probably isn't too much that would embarrass me. I guess if it's something viewed as too effeminiate, like a New Beetle, Cabriolet/Cabrio, or Miata (I know THAT one's going to draw some comments, but c'mon guys, be man enough to admit that you're driving a girly car and don't care...heck, I can drive old people's cars and not let it bother me! :P )

    Or if it's just something that seems easily intimidated on the road, like an Aveo or Tracker or Echo. I've driven my buddy's Tracker a few times, and its one saving grace is that it's black with a tan top and some gold trim and nice alloys, so it's about as tough looking as one of those things can get!

    And anything with too much aftermarket bling, like the aforementioned '86 Eldo with all the add-ons (same applies to Escalades and their ilk that get overly blinged) would tend to embarrass me.

    Or a bad color. I wouldn't drive any modern-day car that's pink, lavender, or any hint thereof. Although I guess a new Charger SRT-8 in pink, with blackout trim would be a hoot! Another color I hate is that school bus/taxi yellow that often ends up on sporty cars. C'mon kids, you spent 10-12 years of your life riding to school in something that color...do you really WANT to keep doing it?

    Still, I'd ride in any of these vehicles without putting up TOO much of a fuss. I don't think I'd actually flat-out refuse to ride in one! For instance, if my best friend suddenly showed up in a hot pink Miata that was his dream come true, I wouldn't rain on his parade.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 21,110
    image

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,666
    okay, now that's something I probably wouldn't be caught dead in! Please tell me that's just a concept, and not a production car.
  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    in my nephew's 91 Civic with the coffee can exhaust and the wheels that cost more than the car.

    I kept looking around to make sure no one I know saw me. The thing was so low people were definitely looking at us. I did not have the heart to tell him how embarrassed I was in it. All I could say was how cool it was and could not wait for him to do the engine swap.
  • "Wouldn't Be Caught Dead Driving One"

    A hearse?
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 21,110
    A hearse?

    Been there, done that. Our radio station used to have a '76 Caddy Hearse we used as a rolling billboard/station wagon.

    They aren't very nice to drive but I guess it's preferable to a ride in the back.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 21,110
    A hearse?

    Been there, done that. Our radio station used to have a '76 Caddy Hearse we used as a rolling billboard/station wagon.

    They aren't very nice to drive but I guess it's preferable to a ride in the back. ;)

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    I would not drive/buy.

    Anything Buick,just too old an image for me. A used one yes, they are good values.A new one is saying you are old and don't care.

    VW Beetle, too girley, and I already have enough vases.

    PT Cruiser/ HHR ,are just trying too hard to be retro.
  • prosaprosa Posts: 280
    I'd be embarassed to drive any car for which the rims are worth more than the car itself.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,699
    My wife's van. I drive it all the time with the wife and two girls in it, but I am ashamed to take it to Home Depot by myself.

    As for Andre's comments, I used to borrow my father-in-law's Miata regularly and it never occurred to me that I should feel like a girly man.

    Now that I think back about that, I wonder what people think when they see two men riding around in a Miata.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,666
    I think the problem with the Miata is that while there are a lot of men that buy it because it's sporty and good-handling, there are too many that buy it to accessorize. Also, I don't know when the "girly-man" image first got associated with the car...probably when more macho looking roadsters came out, like the Z-3? I love the Z-3, but interestingly that's one car that I mainly see women driving!

    There's a guy at work who drives a Miata, and has been for years. He's anything but a girly-man. Now I'm not saying he's a "man's man" either (whatever that means...I guess that could have interesting connotations in and of itself :P ) But he's like my height, 6'3", but must weigh around 250. Older guy too, like mid-60's. And British. He seems like someone who would drive like a Jag or BMW or Benz, or maybe an Acura, Infiniti or Lexus. But he drives that Miata. And it's his only car, too! He says that winters can be a real interesting experience!

    As for hearses, I think it would be way cool to have one! At least, and older one like from 1976 or earlier. The downsized ones just don't have the same mystique for me, and the ones they make nowadays are a joke!
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    "Now that I think back about that, I wonder what people think when they see two men riding around in a Miata."

    To take that a step further, my father-in-law has a 92 Miata in the sunset yellow color (not really a manly color). His is pristine with 30K miles on it, as well as a set of wheels, exhaust system, and cold air induction. When we visit, he will often insist that he and I take it for an ice cream run. I feel kind of fruity riding in that bright yellow car with him, but we always have people stop us to ask about the car and to look at it.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,699
    Sorry to say, but people likely think you are the "boy toy."

    I rationalized that people would notice the roll bar and such and realize that my FIL and I were in a real sports machine.

    I felt far more uncomfortable when my boss and I went to lunch in his rental PT Cruiser. I would have rather ridden in the cargo area covered by a blanket.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    "Sorry to say, but people likely think you are the "boy toy." "
    - - LOL

    "I rationalized that people would notice the roll bar and such and realize that my FIL and I were in a real sports machine."
    - - I have used the same logic with his exhaust, wheels, and he has roll bars as well.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I had my Subaru (a few years back now), the dealer I had it serviced at was a combo dealer with Cadillac, and the service department would give out free loaners - sounds like a deal right? Except the Cadillacs they lent out were several years old, and the most awful cars I have ever seen. Those wire wheels were such a mistake. Anyway, one of those times I got a mid-90s Caddy, a Seville, with wire wheels and all. I was meeting friends later and a couple of them said I looked like a pimp in that car. I refused the loaners from then on!

    Another one I wouldn't be caught dead in: VW Golf convertible. There never was a more consummate chick car than that. Might as well pile a few friends in there with you, people are going to think you're gay either way. :-P

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,699
    I had a friend in college who drove a yellow Rabbit convertible. He claimed he was as straight as an arrow. He is still single in his mid-30s and moved from Atlanta to near San Fran. Draw your own conclusions.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,666
    I had a buddy in college who had a gold 1980 Accord hatchback. I used to rag on it all the time and make comments about being embarrassed to be seen in it. But that's how college kids can be...they're going to rag on each other no matter what! Heck, some of my buddies were embarrassed to ride in my '69 Dart, because it was older than any of us!

    A few years later, I was driving a '68 Dart and one of my buddies thought it was the coolest thing. It was primer-black with an aftermarket sunroof and had these little dog-dish hubcaps. It also sat up a bit in the back. It looked downright evil, like it could make "Christine" wet her panties! Anyway, we worked together and I used to give him a ride to work, as he didn't have a car. Well, I bought a '69 Bonneville from my cousin for $400. Big, gaudy gold thing with a black vinyl top and fender skirts. He was actually embarrassed to be seen in it! No lie...he rode to work ducked down in the back seat of it! :surprise:

    It died on me the next time I tried to drive it to work, and I had it towed home and didn't mess with it for a few years. My buddy and I had a falling out (not over the car, but other things) so he never had to suffer the "embarrassment" of riding in the Bonneville again!
  • ross1962ross1962 Posts: 229
    Any Corvette. They're trophy cars for aging white guys.

    ...and you have a problem with aging white guys because???
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,699
    Isn't that like saying. I wouldn't be caught dating:

    Any beautiful woman. They're trophy wives for aging white guys.
  • ross1962ross1962 Posts: 229
    Another one I wouldn't be caught dead in: VW Golf convertible. There never was a more consummate chick car than that.

    Yeah, it really was. So much so that bad guys would go to gym parking lots and pop the trunk open with an ice pick because they knew there was always a purse in there!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,666
    the aging white guy with the hot chick accessorizing his arm is at least doing something right to keep her. Either love (yeah right) or money. But the aging white guy in the Corvette just looks kinda desperate, as he drives around with the windows up and the top/targa closed, for fear it will ruffle his comb-over. That is, unless he has aforementioned hot chick in the passenger seat with him! :P

    Ross, I knew a guy who had a Cabrio...and he NEVER kept his purse in the trunk! :surprise:
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    While I love the Miata for the car it is, I'm not sure I could actually bring myself to own one. Yeah, I know...totally irrational and I shouldn't care what people think, etc. etc. In my defense though, it also applies to me on the other end as well...I passed up a Camaro Z28 in favor of a Mustang, because I just didn't want to be a Camaro guy. I just don't like muscle shirts... ;)

    So what I did was: convinced my girlfriend to buy one, so now I get all the fun of driving the car without having to tell people "yeah, that's my Miata."

    Interestingly, she thinks it's a proper chick car, and is suspicious of men who own them. :P
  • fintailfintail Posts: 49,664
    Yeah a VW Cabrio would be up there. A New Beetle Cabrio would be at least as bad, especially if in a pastel color.

    An Aztek could be hard to stomach, especially if driving in an area with lots of mirrored glass buildings to catch your reflection. Nauseating...

    Some small SUVs like RAV4 and CRV can be just as girly as the VW too, IMO

    And some Corvettes are OK....vintage ones anyway. 80s ones with cheesy ground effects and gold wheels are the worst.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    "And some Corvettes are OK....vintage ones anyway. 80s ones with cheesy ground effects and gold wheels are the worst. "

    I love Vettes, but I think nothing ruins them quicker than putting a spoiler on the back. I hate that. :mad:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,666
    that I really like is the 1972 model, which still had chrome up front and in the back. And even here, I still kinda picture them as sort of a Larry Tate car. At least Cotton Top had a looker of a wife, so midlife crisis taught him well. I just feel bad for the first Louise Tate, poor sweet thing getting dumped like that for a younger woman...odd that Larry would marry another woman by the same name! But it wasn't just a man thing on that show, after all, Sam had two Dicks! :P
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,666
    had an '82 Corvette. Pace car edition. Yuck!
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Pace car editions are only cool if you have a reason for owning it, like you actually DROVE it as the pace car in a given race...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,666
    I wouldn't mind having is a '56 DeSoto pace car! From what I heard, it was actually a bit of an embarrassment for the Indy 500 because it was the first pace car that the racecars had trouble keeping up with for that first lap!

    I think the actual pacecar got the 320 hp Adventurer engine slipped in though, while the pacecar replicas available to the public had tamer 255 hp engines.

    Olds paced the 1977 Indy 500 with a modified Delta coupe. I guess by that time the racecars were tailgating the pacecar to hurry up and get it out of the way!
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    I'd feel very out of place driving a Hummer, or a Buick. But those are kind of generic for this sort of question.

    No Mercuries for me. They're the new chick cars.

    I'd be embarrassed to drive an automatic BMW. My girlfriend's RSX is automatic and driving that makes me feel like a poseur too.

    I'm saving up for a Miata though; that car just feels too good to pass up. I tell myself I'll be fine once I change the wheels.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...any minivan of any make. Those are the equivalent of automotive perdition!
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    ...and you have a problem with aging white guys because???

    I'm 28. I have a few decades to go before I need to buy a Corvette to pretend I'm not getting old.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    Don't you think aging black men would be interested to drive one?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,666
    I think BMWs and Benzes tend to fill that role better, at least around in these parts.
  • ontopontop Posts: 279
    Wouldn't drive one. May be a good car. Just exudes "I'm cheap".
  • fintailfintail Posts: 49,664
    Yeah I wouldn't wanna be caught dead in a Hummer either. With the way I ridicule them and their poser-drivers...

    A souped up Honda or equivalent (fart can, retarded sheet metal spoiler, bodykit etc) is also very much not me.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,023
    ... one of those "modified" cars with the loud coffee can mufflers, low suspension, a wing on the back that looks like it was made in a high school shop class, little blue lights on the hood and has badges from other cars (once saw a Camry with a "type-R" badge on it).

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    I think even worse than the usual Fast N Furious-ified Civic hatches would have to be the family sedans with the grafted-on park bench wing or the fart can.

    Humorously, I sometimes notice upstanding-looking, middle-aged types at the wheels of these. Makes me think they handed down their old sedan to their teenage son, and needed to borrow it back for some reason. "Son, we're canceling your subscription to Superstreet magazine!" :P
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,666
    I think the family sedans that are modded and starched up like that are kinda cool...I guess it's because I look at them as being a spoof of those little fart-canned Type-R Fast & Furious types. I guess the difference is the F&F wanna-be's really think they're cool, but they're just fooling themselves. The ones in those family sedans might not be exactly cool, but they know they'll get a good laugh!

    I've pissed off a few F&F Type-R kids with my '79 NYer, because ever since the exhaust pulled loose behind the catalytic convertor (and ahead of the exhaust), my car makes enough noise to drown most of theirs out! It's also good at setting off car alarms in the parking lot. :shades:

    Oh, and of course I picked up another 50 hp or so when that exhaust pulled loose. :P
  • fintailfintail Posts: 49,664
    The sad thing is that the plain jane 4cyl 92 Camry etc you'll see with all the lame-o tacked on junk is not trying to be ironic, its driver really does think it is cool.

    There was a car where I used to work that fit this description - a c.92 lowline Subaru Legacy with a big sheet metal spoiler. No other mods, not even wheels. LAME

    There's a car in my garage thats also like this...a c.2001 Civic LX, with hubcaps and all. It has nothing but a fart can, and is driven by a very airheaded looking and acting young woman. LAME

    I still think it would be funny to get a really outrageous streetracer style Civic and put an ancient Mercedes diesel engine in it.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,666
    to take something that you normally wouldn't think would be fast, like my '79 NYer or my Grandma's old '85 LeSabre, and then slip something like a Crate 360 or 455 under the hood. But keep it stock looking on the outside, right down to whitewall (but low profile and wide enough to handle well) tires and wire hubcaps!

    When I had my Grandma's LeSabre, I had given some serious though, years down the road when its 307 finally got tired, of slipping an Olds 403 or maybe even a 455 under the hood, instead of just another 307. But alas, the 307 was the LAST thing on that car to die! :cry:

    Oh well, I still have the NYer, and there's always hope...but its 360 is still running strong (well strong for a '79 unit)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 49,664
    I've loved that idea for a long time. I've dreamed of doing something like that to a fintail - but a fintail is pretty lightweight and never came with anything more than a 3 litre inline 6, so I don't know if it could handle the torque.

    If not, I'd do it to something heavy and sturdy like a W126 (80s S-class), certainly one with diesel badging.

    I'm thinking of a unit like an AMG twin-turbo V12. I'd make the streetracers wet themselves.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,023
    Believe it or not many years ago She Who Must Be Obeyed and I went car shopping and we were at a local Honda dealership looking for either a van or an SUV. After talking with the salesman he took me out back to show me this ultra ugly CR-V that was modified in the same way :cry: . This thing was brand spanking new and it was completely riced out. Seems the dealer got it on a blind trade from another dealer and was stuck with it.

    The salesman showed it to be mentioned a price to which I replied "Are you going to give me that much to drive that thing?". The salesman was telling me they were having a hard time selling it and told me I could have it for a price that was something like 60% of MSRP.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    Is one I would never want to be seen in.

    Ex - I saw a guy at Lowe's the other day driving about a '99 red Toyota Tacoma (2wd, regular cab) with every accessory known to man on it. We're talking semi-truck style chrome exhaust pipes sticking up behind the cab, chrome grille push bar, matching painted bedcover, ground effects with the integrated running boards, chrome wheels, chrome handles mounted to the cab to hold on to as you enter, and painted deflector over the windshield (with integrated parking lights). I am sure I missed something, but even the Lowe's employees were going out to the parking to check it out. It was clean too.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 49,664
    That reminds me...how about a lifted and jacked up truck. Apart from having a very overcompensating appearance, they are very unstable and unsafe. They are even more ridiculous than the little streetracer cars. Every now and then I'll see a really fancy one even in the city...some big F350 or it's Dodge or GM counterpart with every chrome laden overpriced tack-on. 'Urban rednecks' as I say.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,666
    when you see one of those big urban redneck monsters parked, but when you see the driver go out and get into it, he's just some little dude that can barely see over the steering wheel! :P But then seeing these 400 lb heffers trying to squeeze into an Aveo, Justy, or whatever is also a treat to the eye... :blush:
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    I understand that the lifted-truck thing is becoming the next "in" thing with the automotive poseur crowd, as the Fast N Furious fad cools.

    Great...nitwits speeding around in large unstable vehicles. Still, will be more entertaining to come across accident scenes that feature a truck on its side, rather than ones dominated by cheap, shattered fiberglass body parts... ;)
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    The only time I think a lifted vehicle is cool is if it has a good bit of body damage, or its undercarriage is excessively dirty....In other words you can tell that the vehicle was lifted/modified for off-road driving, and is actually getting used for it.
  • A lot of people may drive a particular car to try to hide the fact that they are getting old and grey. A mid life crisis maybe? Corvettes are not the only cars that can fill this bill. I bought a Corvette 2.5 years ago for a completely different reason. Daily, my Z06 provides more performance and fun for the price than I could get from any other manufacturer.

    I don't think drivers should worry about what somebody else thinks. Drive what you like.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,666
    for a midlife crisis story? I used to belong to the National DeSoto club, and the local Maryland chapter. Well, most of the guys in the MD chapter were about 3 days older than God, and, well I was only 20 at the time so I had nothing whatsoever in common with them. There was one guy who was in his early 40's, I guess, and had a 1950 DeSoto Custom. Nice, conservative, boring black sedan. This was back in 1990.

    Well, in 1992 he bought a '55 Fireflite Coronado (spring special model with one of the industry's first triple-tone paintjobs). It was a much more youthful, "cooler" car than the '50, because it was slicker looking and had a 291 Hemi with 200 hp, but it was still just a 4-door sedan. I think he was always a bit envious because my '57 is a hardtop coupe.

    He sold the '50 in 1994, and soon thereafter bought an early 80's LeBaron convertible, in the hopes of catching some fun in the sun type of driving. It ended up being a disaster, and he ended up selling it and buying one of those little Australian Capri convertibles.

    Finally, around 1996 or so, in true midlife crisis fashion, eh said upchuck on all of it, and bought a '72 Vette. It wasn't a convertible, and just a 350, no big-block, but it was a 4-speed, and pretty cool. He sold the Coronado soon thereafter and I think the Capri, too.

    I think the last time I saw him was around 2000, and they sold their house in 2003, so I don't know if he still has the Vette or not. Finally though, it seemed like he found an old car that he really liked and really suited him.

    I've thought about re-joining the DeSoto club. I wonder if the demographics of it have changed any? I just checked online, and the same old guy who used to be president still is. And the VP or treasurer or whatever he is, he's still alive. I know, because he has a cousin that works here.

    I'm 35 now, and my taste in cars really hasn't changed much over the years. I wonder what kind of mid-life crisis I'll end up going through?
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