Go to any internet forum about cars and you will see the discussions: STI vs. Evo / 911 vs. Corvette / Mustang vs. Camaro / Turbocharged 4-cyl vs. big V8 / Import vs. domestic / Fast and Furious vs. Laws of Physics.
Most of the discussions involved poring over every spec and using it to gloat superiority over the other. None of this is new.
Why do we do this? Because we are all idiots.
Does any of this really matter, in the big scheme of things? Of course not. Are our lives more fulfilling if the Ferrari 458 out accelerates the Lamborghini Huracán by 0.1 seconds to 60 mph? No. Will we become better looking or richer if the VW Golf GTI Clubsport S laps the Nürburgring faster than the Honda Civic Type R? Because if that were true, I would be cheering for whichever car that is. And it better make me thinner, too.
Sure, one car may have an advantage over another that you really care about. Then you know what? Pick that car for yourself. Someone else may not care as much, and so what?
I’m not saying we shouldn’t be having these discussions, or that competition is bad. Competition is great for enthusiasts. That’s what keeps the manufacturers building better cars for us. “The Mustang has 650 hp? Let’s see what engine we can fit under the hood of a Camaro.” This is good stuff.
I’m saying we need to put it into perspective. Arguing about transmission gears, cubic inches, or display control panel size has its merits. But this is obviously not in the same level as someone standing for peace, equality, and the American way vs. another arguing for the oppression of various groups of people.
History has given us important issues to debate. How about free speech vs. suppression of the press? Human equality vs. apartheid? Democracy vs. reality show? These are ideals worth fighting about. Let’s re-read Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and then come to the grown-up table with reason and an open mind to discuss these issues.1 These issues are as important today as they ever were.
But arguing about the real world gas mileage between the Toyota Prius and the Chevrolet Volt? Sure it can be important in some context. Worth spilling oil over? I’m going to say, nah.
These types of arguments are so pervasive in our society, and not just over cars. We all have our favorites which we associate ourselves to, and to hell with those who don’t agree.
Coke vs. Pepsi / cats vs. dogs / Xbox vs. Playstation / Android vs. iOS / Mac vs PC / Apples vs. Oranges / Plants vs. Zombies / Colgate vs. Crest / XTC vs. Adam Ant / Canon vs. Nikon / Nokia vs. Motorola2 / Little Caesars vs. Dominos3.
If your eye started twitching as you read that list, then you know what I’m talking about. And this list goes on and on.
I mean, really? Pick what works for you and go on with your life. Half the time, the people arguing about these things don’t even have any experience or own the things they are arguing about.
Koenigsegg vs. Bugatti? Sit down, John.4
I understand we become emotionally invested into things. When our favorite sports team wins, “we” win, too. But when that happens, I don’t get a Super Bowl trophy for my mantel5. I don’t even get a gaudy ring—just a good feeling that lasts until their next horrible season and I’m calling for the head of the coach on a platter.
Families have split over college rivalries like University of Michigan vs. Michigan State / Tennessee vs. Georgia / USC vs. UCLA / Alabama vs. Auburn / Michigan vs. Ohio State.
Even the actual states themselves, such as Michigan and Ohio have fought in the past. The history books say Ohio won, but somehow they got stuck with Toledo anyways.
I know some people have their favorites and they are going to stick with them. A Ford truck person will never buy a Chevy truck, and vice versa. These people have made up their minds since before the dawn of time and they’re not going to change it, come hell or high water, or a factory recall. Or reason. Whatever. If you’re happy, fine. Like what you like. Let the other people like what they like.
Today is as good as any day to start being more inclusive in the automotive world. Buy a BMW to go with your Audi. Park your Aston Martin next to that Jaguar at your local Cars and Coffee. Alternate between buying a Hellcat and a Z06 (or for some of us, a Honda Civic and an Opel Astra). There are many good cars out there, and we should embrace them all.
It’s important to remember that the correct answer to the question, “blond or brunette?” should always be
Car guys shouldn’t be fighting over these things. Let’s pick our battles and focus our vitriol on the clueless, gold-wearing bad driver ahead of us ruining our great Sunday drive.
And Ohio, of course.
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
“There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.”
“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.”
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
“Really stupid people are too dumb to realize they’re ignorant.”
Can’t we all just get a long wheelbase Range Rover and a Jeep Grand Cherokee?