It’s not a question of why guys love cars but rather why they are so drawn to them. We are born car enthusiasts.
Every man is a car enthusiast whether they know it all not, and that’s because cars were ostensibly created around our unique, albeit masculine, personalities.
It’s a well known fact that men love cars, and as a man, some of my fondest childhood memories involve cars. While most children were content with playing with their conventional toys, my idea of a good time was going out after the day’s rain had stopped and molding cars and motorcycles out of mud. They were fine pieces of art, and I was quite pleased.
As I got older and the necessary resources became available, I transitioned from making mud cars and motorcycles to sketching them. From sports cars to minivans, I was indiscriminate in my art. I devoured automotive magazines and websites with insatiable appetite, and would talk non-end with anyone willing to partake in a conversation.
My passion for cars eventually ‘drove’ me into the world of entrepreneurship (pun intended). Naturally, I gravitated towards the automotive niche, with my first project taking the form of a successful automotive blog (AutoTribute) that has grown to be a voice in the industry.
Although my peculiar history with cars is an extreme example of the love affair between a guy and his car(s), there is obviously something that pulls men toward cars. This is not to say women don’t like car — it’s just that they seem to love cars in a different kind of way.
The question isn’t whether or not men love cars but rather why they do. Well, I did some investigating and uncovered the following ten reasons why every man is naturally a car enthusiast at heart.
1. Cars make us men
Men love to drive and admire cars. It’s that simple. In fact, we love cars so much that we do most of the driving wherever we are in the world.
Next time you’re out and about town, take notice of the couples and see who is usually behind the wheel — the man or woman? There is a good reason for this.
According to a study by the University of Minnesota, driving is one of the ways guys assert their masculinity, for better or for worse. It supposedly helps us feel more in control over our own destiny, and buying our first car continues to be a milestone of becoming a man, even though fewer guys are buying cars.
A love to drive is core to being a car enthusiast, and all guys seem to have a natural predilection for manning the wheel.
2. Cars improve a man’s self-esteem
Yes, guys associate cars with growing up, but why? A 2003 study from the United Kingdom found that men get the most self-esteem boost from car ownership — and that boost gets bigger as the value of the car in question goes up.
Women also enjoy psychosocial benefits from having a car, benefits such as feeling of autonomy, protection, and prestige, but only men derive measurable increases in self-esteem.
Conventional wisdom has it that women are emotional buyers while men rely on their cold-hard logic, but when it comes to cars, it is men that are the emotional buyers. While many women focus on convenience and what a car can do for them, men care more about how a car makes them feel. Is it a wonder that sports cars and supercars are almost purchased exclusively by men?
Sure, there is such a thing as the “female car enthusiast” (Supercar Blondie comes to mind), but these high-octane unicorns are rare indeed.
3. Cars make men feel alive
Men love cars because cars understand us. They give our primal urges a 4,000-pound steel sword to wield, sometimes with disastrous results. While women have more accidents per mile, men sustain far more traffic fatalities and serious injuries, largely due to overconfidence, speeding, and testosterone-laden aggression. Men account for 73% of all road traffic deaths in the world, a whopping three times the rate of women!
Cars and driving in general were not part of our evolutionary history until recently, but the tendency for boys and men to approach life in a more aggressive and risky manner goes as far back to when man first walked on two feet. It is part of our evolution, which is why we romanticize anything that embodies power, fearlessness, speed.
From Formula One to the drag strip and real fast and furious street racing, the automobile has provided an outlet for man’s ancient gladiatorial impulses. Call it infantile if you want, but cars are a focal point for testosterone, and few things feel as good and fun as going fast in one.
4. Cars are man’s best friend
The intimacy between man and car is so deep that men don’t simply own cars — they have relationships with them! Yes, dogs are a man’s best friend, but I would wager that cars come a close second.
We anthropomorphize our cars and trucks by giving them names, talking to them, and treating them with the tender love and care befitting of a newborn child. To our car enthusiast within, they are sentient beings with unique personalities, quirks and needs.
This phenomenon can be explained by century’s worth of scholarly research. According to one recent study, part of the bizarre bond can be attributed to the higher likelihood of men finding it difficult to identify and verbalize emotions — this is just a polite way of saying we are tongue-tied, emotionally stunted clods when compared to women — and automobiles not requiring any of hemorrhage-inducing” emotions to function.
As orderly systems of steel, cogs, wires, heat and electricity, they are rational machines of cold logic, allowing men to switch off their inferior and often inconvenient right-cerebral hemispheres for a moment..
When a car-loving man sees his four-wheeled darling for the first time, he will often first see the beauty and the power it projects before giving any thought to concerns like fuel-efficiency, practicality and even cost. Once again, there is a reason why it’s generally only men who buy sports cars and supercars…
5. Cars are an extension of man
In 2018, the automotive aftermarket industry was estimated to be worth a mind-boggling $296 billion in the United States alone, and for good reason. Buying a car and working on it isn’t just a hobby or an escape from everyday life — it’s a quest for individuality
The burgeoning aftermarket industry provides everything a guy needs — high-end rims, seat covers, lift kits, you name it — to fully customize his ride to reflect his unique personality, struggles, beliefs, viewpoints, and desires.
I often wonder why some men do the grotesque things they do to their cars, but I now have a better appreciation for their work. The elaborately-decorated, wretched-looking lowrider you might see at the corner stop or a convention may be an enthusiastic claim of pride and a statement of ownership, while those ubiquitous, rather useless massive spoilers could be symbolic of the growth and expansion one undergoes through live. Just try not to judge like I once did, OK?
Besides buying a car for status, an increasing number of guys are getting cars for the image or message they convey. The Toyota Prius, for example, has become a symbol for the environmental movement, and driving one not only makes a strong statement, but it’s also proof that the owner practices what he preaches.
6. Cars are perfectible
We live in a messy world in which many things are out of our control. Our fellow humans will disappoint us almost without fail, and when they do, cars serve as an outlet through which many men can impose order, completeness, and even perfection.
How many times have you heard of a man bringing an old clunker to a Platonic state — so immaculate and, dare I say, virginal as to make you shed tears of disbelief — after putting in the hard work? How about the countless tuners who spend every waking hour and every spare dollar they have pushing the limits of what their car can do?
There is no perfect car, but whether it’s a 20-year-old stuffing a monster turbocharger under his Honda Civic, or some old geezer polishing his Buick Riviera Boattail, any shortcomings a man sees in his car is just an opportunity to kick things up a few notches towards a more complete condition.
Don’t like something about your car? Change it! Our inner car enthusiast will certainly have a difficult time saying that about a woman.
7. Driving a car helps men relax
Ask any car enthusiast, and he’ll tell you that his car helps him relax in more ways than one. Yes, working on a car to bring it to your idea of perfection can be therapeutic, and many guys use it as a source of blissful meditation, but just going for a drive can also serve as an escape from the hustle, bustle and stress of everyday life, including family life.
Electronic safety systems and GPS have taken some of the pleasure and sense of discovery out of driving, but behind the wheel is still one of the few places a man can feel like he’s in complete control. In fact, a BMW study found that men are completely relaxed when driving their car because they feel like they have nothing to prove. There’s no pressure, no criticism, and no stress — just the miles of road to devour.
Driving for long distances is one of the few activities a guy can do alone without people questioning why he wants to be alone. It is the closest some of us will ever get to achieving zen.
8. Cars are a status symbol for men
With the influx of women into traditionally male sectors of the workforce, and the corresponding increase in competition, it can be argued that many men feel a stronger pressure to justify their existence both at home and at work. A beautiful fast car is a relatively easy way to prove to our judgmental world that he is valuable and downright winning at life.
After all, whereas you can buy cheap knock offs and still look presentable with clothing and other fashion accessories, there is no hiding a brand while driving a car. You wear your status on the road, and everyone knows which cars are the most expensive.
Of course, many men buy expensive cars (even if they can’t afford it) just to show-off or project an image or wealth or importance, but not all wealthy people opt to drive expensive cars. Billionaire Warren Buffet, for example, probably wouldn’t consider himself a car enthusiast, but he sure does love Cadillacs. He drove a 2006 Cadillac DTS for over a decade before deciding to replace it with a Cadillac XTS, a car priced around $45,000!
Apparently, his daughter Susie told him the old DTS was too embarrassing.
9. Cars attract women to men
How can we talk about man’s love affair with cars without mentioning sex? We can’t! And that’s because a lot of what guys do is intended to impress and attract women.
Our efforts might not be in vain, as it turns out. In a fascinating study by British luxury-auto insurer Hiscox, one in which 20 men and 20 women, ages 22 to 61, were exposed to recordings of revving engines from a number of supercars and high-end sports cars, as well as a tepid Volkswagen Polo for contrast, the women ended up being sexually aroused by the snarl and cackle of the high-performance sports car.
Girls like badass cars as much as they like bad boys, but its not necessarily the car itself that turns them on. Conventional wisdom has it that cars are chick-magnets only if they suggest money, status, and success, so not having a decent car puts men at a major disadvantage in the dating and mating game.
It goes way back to our evolutionary history: males as mates are valued for their wealth, power, and therefore, capacity to provide for offspring, and cars are a quick but not always reliable signal to females of our material affluence and tribal status. It’s just the way things have always been.
10. Cars are better than women
I am a bit tongue-in-cheek when I say this, but in many ways, cars offer everything many men want in a woman. Not only are they in harmony with our emotions, but they are also confidence-boosters and help us relax when we’re in an unhappy or depressed mood.
Cars accept us for who we are and don’t ask us to change. They make us feel like we are in charge, and driving them give us a sense of freedom and dominance.
They respond to our slightest touch and respond in a predictable manner. Cars don’t say no and don’t mind if we check out other cars.
Cars don’t talk back. Okay, that’s not entirely true. In something is wrong, your car might express itself through a smelly odor, strange noise, or check engine light, but it won’t argue with you about why the garbage wasn’t thrown out.
While some cars are high maintenance, if you take good care of your car, it will take good care of you.They reciprocate a man’s contributions.
Cars are technically not sentient, but they are the most alive non-living thing ever made.
Are you a car enthusiast?
Cars are a piece of art that make our lives easier and more wonderful. They are a sanctuary and a home for many men. It’s hard to imagine a world without the automobile.
But not every man is the same — what one values in a car another might not — and you might not entirely agree with our reasons why guys are car enthusiasts by nature, at least when compared to women. So do let us know to what degree you consider yourself a car enthusiast and, particularly, how much you love cars in the comments below.
And the next time one of your friends complains about their clunker, please share this post with them so that the can appreciate what they have.