Has this happened to you? Your ride looks worn and nondescript, and you know it needs sprucing up. Yet despite your best work, friends and family run in horror from the results. You may have mistaken model syndrome.

Millions of Americans suffer from carprosopagnosia, also known as Mistaken Model Syndrome or MMS, the belief that the vehicle they own is actually something far more expensive and desirable. Even though automakers often helpfully mark the name and brand of a car in several places using durable materials, sufferers of MMS develop a blindness to those signs, become confused about just what's in their driveways.


The results can be devastating. People with undiagnosed MMS can spend years toiling away on repairs and physical upgrades to a car they don't really own. They can even convince themselves they possess powers simliar to alchemy, as shown above. When they attempt to use their vehicle in polite society, their work elicits confusion and even painful social stigma, leaving them frustrated at the lack of appreciation for their craftsmanship.

In more advanced cases, MMS can take over the decision-making portions of your brain, leading to poor choices in other important aspects of life. Left untreated, MMS often triggers more serious afflictions, such as depression, financial hardship and steep losses in consortium.


Thankfully, once diagnosed, MMS can be cured. A daily regimen of automotive images identifying proper names and models can help suffers reacquaint themselves with reality. Friends and family can intervene, letting MMS patients know in a caring way that they're not suffering alone, and that it's OK to own a Civic. Some patients also improve by physically moving away from temptations that can trigger acute MMS flareups, such as Pep Boys stores.

If you or someone you know suffers from MMS, seek help today.

A public service message for Jalopnik. (H/T to Leo, Jon & rungun800)