I couldn’t really think of a more appropriate opening than a line from Queen’s timeless classic “I’m in Love with My Car.” In just a short and simple song, Roger Taylor has epitomised the depth of feelings many men have for their cars.
If made to choose between their wife and their car, 3% of British men would choose the car. A recent study carried out in the UK by the AA revealed that many men are in fact in love with their cars. Further 15% would rather consider giving up booze than their car and 7% of men would abstain from their favourite food forever if it were required of them in order to be able to keep their car. The overall majority – 79% admitted they couldn’t imagine their lives without driving. So the evidence is pretty strong!
Another study commissioned by Mens Health Network surveyed American motorists and found out that 70% of male drivers prioritise caring for their cars over caring for their own health. No wonder the same study showed 56% of women seriously worrying about their partners’ health. It seems like University of East London has unravelled the mystery. They have concluded that men love cars because they believe they’re part of them. An article by Creditplus suggests that the cause of this affection is rooted in evolution.
Let’s look at some of the most intricate ways men express their devotion to their four-wheeled friends. But before we do, here’s an interesting factoid: most men will have more cars than women in their lives. And by the time they’re old, they’ll name you every car they’ve had since the age of 17 while they won’t be able to recall the names of at least half of the ladies they’ve known. Go figure!
Back to the Caves
Men came out of caves 40,000 years ago (some decided to stay, though), that’s what the scientists tell us. What they tend to elide is that some men are voluntarily returning to their caves. For fairness sake, the caves of today are more elaborate. I call them man caves. It’s the place where the man, under loud protests from his better half, stores his football memorabilia, snooker tables, dart boards, SEGA turbo and other manly whatsits.
Some motorheads have designed man caves with their main passion in mind.
In this example, the man works, eats and sleeps in what appears to be an oversized posh garage. Even a quick glance will tell you that this bloke has got everything he could possibly want, except for one thing. I may be mistaken but something tells me that this chap is single. Call it a hunch or maybe it’s something to do with the fold-out guest sofa.
The second man cave has got a more modern and urban look. Is this man living in a Ferrari showroom? Joking aside, I have to applaud him for a well-balanced colour scheme. His obsession with cars is further accentuated by the swivel car seats and the fact that he’s watching Wheeler Dealers on a 60-inch flat screen telly.
The final bit of inspiration comes from the Cadillac man himself – Tad Pierson – the second most famous Memphian after Elvis Presley. He is a tour guide driving a pink 1955 Cadillac and he has shown the sights of Memphis to many a happy tourist. When he’s not touring the city, he retires to his man cave which screams 1950s and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Tad’s home is set up in a large garage and he sleeps inside a vintage Airstream trailer to ward off the smell of petrol (sorry, I mean gas).
Taking it to Extremes
Ok, it’s one thing sleeping next to a car. That’s normal (huh?) An entirely different thing is sleeping with a car. Did you hear about the man who is planning to marry his Volkswagen Beetle? I do hope the car is registered before 1998 or he might get into serious trouble. I’ll leave it with Jalopnik to explain this in more detail while we’re quickly moving on to things that are more tasteful and appropriate for a car-loving gentleman.
Those who are trying to keep a low profile with their motoring antics, can make a subtle statement with car-themed furniture. The Ferrari beds that most household catalogues sell are likely to be too short for the majority of car enthusiasts, that’s why most of the car furniture comes under the custom category. These examples make the green Top Gear Rolls-Royce sofa look like a bit of an understatement.
Cars should be kept clean
Judging by the established cliché – men like watching women wash cars. However, there’s a strong evidence supporting the assumption that very few men would entrust their wives or girlfriends with the important task of car grooming.
Consider these figures: last year the U.S. car body care industry was worth approximately $8 billion. Mens toiletries and cosmetics? Currently lingering somewhere between $2 and $2.5 billion per year and is expected to reach $3.2 billion by 2016. For every dollar men spend on moisturiser and lip balm, they spend almost $4 on car shampoo and the latest wax formula that guarantees to remove minor scratches and bring back that showroom shine!
Having a pack of car wipes is essential too, otherwise if you don’t have one at hand, you might end up with the same dilemma as the man from the Volkswagen’s viral video that they made a couple of years ago. Not very viral, though. Do I hear another cringe alert coming along?
How is it with you? Do you think you might be among those 3% who’d dump their girlfriend if the car asked you to?