Is Car Culture Dead? Uh, No

Illustration for article titled Is Car Culture Dead? Uh, No

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we've got reports from Hemmings, The New York Times, and Vanity Fair.

Is Car Culture Dying, No?Hemmings

We've gone a round on the poorly-headlined NYTimes piece about car culture, but here's Hemmings taking a thoughtful look.

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It seems the statistics offer up less a snapshot of youth priorities today than they do a kind of Rorschach test, leading the observers to layer the stats with their own insecurities, biases and opinions. Besides, these are simply statistics, and stats rarely tell the whole story. Perhaps outside pressures not addressed in the survey (college, extracurricular sports, the Great Recession, high youth unemployment) have as much or more influence on whether young people get their licenses than a simple matter of interest. Perhaps that lost 18.1 percent wouldn’t have become car enthusiasts anyway.

What Is It Like to Drive a $500,000 Rolls-Royce Convertible? Just Like You’d Imagine, Only Much, Much BetterVanity Fair

Illustration for article titled Is Car Culture Dead? Uh, No
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Crazy rich car culture isn't going anywhere, either.

But in the Drophead Coupé, nothing is impossible. You do not drive this car; you are granted the privilege of riding in—or, considering the fact that the seating position and outward demeanor are on par with that of a Caterpillar earthmover, on—it. As such, its progress on roadways is nothing short of hegemonic. It is Solomon’s Carpet as warp-drive steamroller, glissading you from location to location on a buoyant zephyr of Siberian goose down and the pulverized bones of its adversaries. “Is the car even on?” passengers kept asking, often while we were under way at extralegal speeds.

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Philip Caldwell Is Dead at 93; First Nonfamily Member to Head Ford NYTimes

Illustration for article titled Is Car Culture Dead? Uh, No
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Phillip Caldwell, however, is dead.

About as wild and crazy as Mr. Caldwell was ever said to get was an occasional recreational spin around the Ford test track at the wheel of a tractor-trailer. He filled his home and his office at Ford with 18th-century American antiques, and his civic and cultural activities included serving as a trustee of his alma mater and of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

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DISCUSSION

victorioussecret
Victorious Secret

Every single time I hear about car culture dying or being dead or being killed to death I get just a bit upset.

I feel like asking the Pope for a Papal Edict that allows me to perform a witch-hunt on everyone that says the aforementioned things and burn them at the stake for uttering such false bullshit.

Car culture never died. Car culture changes.

It changes with the economic environment and with that is cool at the time. These days for my generation it seems to be stancing and in some part the emergence of drifting in a more mainstream manner.

People still have near daily meets and cruises. We still have large gatherings and great car shows and shines. We still get the benefit of manufacturers putting out some amazing cars (some we 'poor' millenials can actually buy) and we have decades worth of amazing old cars at our disposal in order to express what we like.

I just don't get it.

Is it rose tinted old farts who think their days were better? Is it rose tinted older farts of my generation who got into cars at the tail end of the previous 'era' who think it was better and that all young people suck?

Honestly. Its confusing.