Recently a few friends of mine have been looking for decent automobiles – and naturally with me having ties with the auto auction business, I was the first person they turned to.
“Why?” I ask nonchalantly but curious as to where they’re going with it.
“Because – they’re sick! They’re the best luxury cars out there, and I really think it would reflect my personality and lifestyle.”
It’s here I laugh and flop back in my chair putting my hands behind my head.
“Dude….have you looked around lately?” I smirk proceeding to explain my logic.
Everyday I ask this question. There was a time, when seeing a BMW on the road was something enjoyable, unique, different, refreshing….but now, they seem to be the most commonly driven car.
Their advertising displays speed, elegance, class, adventure, durability…and while all of these may be true unique to the brand, ironically there are so many leased units out there, the terms “originality” and “distinction,” have lost their association with the BMW name.
What I’m trying to say is – why is it, that every Tom, Dick, and Harry runs around thinking they’ve got the best thing since silk sheets when they own a car that practically everyone drives? There are so many on the road yet I’ve met many a BMW leasee (or owner) that acts with an air of superiority and cockiness because of the keys that jingle in their pocket.
I think it all boils down to status quo. An obvious statement some may see that as, but I’m being serious.
Think about it – if media such as television and commercials, movies and music are all things that many people as humans listen to on a daily (especially television), the subconscious idea that car companies such as BMW or Lexus, Infiniti or Dodge (their new Challenger and Charger models) attempt to instill seems to unintentionally portray that there is, and should be, a certain way one should act upon acquiring such an automobile.
It was then I continued to explain to my friend there are loads of other ways, and other automobiles, to express your personality and lifestyle choices.
I’ve always been a fan of classics. I love the way each car used to be truly unique – in shape, engine, and characteristics. Customizable, where you could bond with your vehicle and that bond made it feel like it was yours.
Nowadays you see so many cars with automated this and automated that, it becomes so hidden and neatly tucked away from you, that when you pop the hood you’re lucky if you can find the dipstick to your engine’s oil.
Pre 2000’s, auto makers strove for originality and keeping their vehicles “open source,” as funny as that may seem to use a computer term…and though I understand today many cars are made the same to maximize costs and time efficiency, they’re made cheaper with lesser quality materials.
Yet there has been another thing going on – you see many people starting to bring the classics back…the A/C 427 SC, ’69 Ford Mustang, Plymouth Cuda, even the VW Beetle – all slowly being restored and coming out of the woodwork.
Like I said, and as I will always say, life is all about experiences, and it is absolutely unnecessary to pursue an experience television advertisements flash in front of your face everyday simply because they dictate what qualifies as status quo and lifestyle classification.
After hearing this my friend then starts thinking differently, realizing there are loads more options he really likes but just never thought of before.
Long story short he’s a large-sized car fan (go figure wanting a 7 series) and decides instead of dropping $70-$130,000 on a single, shiny BMW, he’s gonna do his research and look for 3 cars he really likes – one of them being a Plymouth Superbird.
Many times I find that hype and enough mass enthusiasm can get people as humans into a real pickle and cause many to lose track of their real desires and dreams.
Truth is it’s not really what anyone else thinks or drives, what commercials or large corporations tell you what’s in or out, or even if your tailor tells you “ostrich shoes are far more stylish this year than your standard cow hide.”
It doesn’t matter how stylish anything is – it boils down to what makes you feel good in your own skin and you alone. Not anyone else.
We have so many choices as humans yet daily, I see many give up their free will and follow in masses. Like Mark Twain said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.”
I’m sure I’ve written that previously, but it constantly needs reiteration, because it’s true. This post isn’t just about cars, but the overall message of what society claims status quo to be.
If anything, it is merely a meter. A measure for what qualifies as social class and what drops below any given rank.
Forget the ranks.
Forget the social class.
Always pursue great experiences yes, but sometimes a ride down the boardwalk on a long board can beat a ride down South Beach in a ridiculous looking stretch limo.
It’s all about the good feeling.
What makes you feel good, without letting the majority of what you see influence your decisions.
Lifestyle? Personality? Like I tell my friends – always, always make sure your personality defines your lifestyle – not the other way around. Keep your eye on the ball, avoid getting caught up in the majority, and stay true to yourself – regardless of what anyone else says.
Also, before I conclude, there’s this really great song (featuring Seulong of 2AM) from DJ Clazzi – the leader of Clazziquai that’s been stuck in my head. Great driving song 😉 Thought I’d share it with you all, it’s got a great beat and the lyrics are well written (which you can find here – thanks Princess of Tea for the post).
Have a great week.