Working in software my co-workers probably skew a little geekier than average (I could almost write the same article about sports).
But what’s interesting is that the entry point to cars for geeks right now (regular geeks – not car geeks) is via tech in cars.
Most obviously the Tesla and other such tech-heavy vehicles. What you can do on the elongated touchscreen and what “Easter eggs” the car might have been drawing audiences from the nerd world. I’ve seen more online videos on with techies in Teslas and other electric/hybrid/plug-in hybrid “things” than anything else.
These vehicles have become an entry point for nerds and cars to meet. The downside to this that, because of this trend, the new Ram 1500 is offered with an elongated touchscreen. I can’t help but wonder what that screen does that do to the lifespan of a truck? What if I’m not replacing my vehicle every four years? And, even as a Mopar fan, I can say they have a hard-enough time with power windows – they don’t need to be adding a large electronic fingerprint collector to the dash.
I’m a strange cat. I like old cars. I’m not sure I like new cars or where cars are heading – but some of them interest me. I could see myself owning a Nissan Leaf as, even with all my cars, I don’t drive on a daily basis but my wife does and her commute is under 20 miles daily. And my garage is already wired for 220 thanks to my welder and compressor. I could see some utility to a Leaf – all the ease of a high-speed electric golf cart and none of the dickhead overhead of the Tesla – makes sense.
We live in a world where you are “either with us or against us”. Where have all the average people gone (quote Roger Miller)? I want to be able to drive my 1964 New Yorker but I don’t want to daily it. I also have a lot of fondness for the internal combustion engine. I also like my EFI setup in my 1977 Chrysler. But I’d never put that setup on my ‘64 Chrysler.
I’m lucky that between cycling and public transit I don’t daily a vehicle. And I don’t because I maintain our vehicles and I’m not interested in buying tires as part of maintaining my fleet. Unlike other men in their forties, shopping for tires doesn’t excite me.
Interesting cars excite me. The Studebaker Avanti is interesting, the Nissan Leaf is interesting – and no I don’t want to join your crusade, sign your petition or be part of your Saturday morning “Cars and Coffee” crew.
I want to do what I want with any car I want and that’s freedom to me. At the same time, I don’t need to walk any more cars to their graves to truly appreciate car culture. I don’t know anybody who owns and enjoys horses that rides a horse to work on Monday morning. At the advent of the car, horses were dying in the street.
Let’s put it this way – there are a lot of horses on the market right now and after looking many of them in the mouth not a lot of them look any better than the horses I have at home.
By Angus Sutherland–Car Addict in Residence
Angus Sutherland is a freelance contributor to MyStarCollectorCar. He’s got his hands dirty on many occasions so he knows all about the less glamorous side of the hobby. Take a look at one of his automotive odysseys in his blog The TR6 Project.
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