Professors need some way to get from their writer's group meetings to their wine and cheese department parties somehow. Thankfully, Jalopnik readers know just what cars are perfect for a prof.
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Of course, a tenured physics researcher is going to have a slightly different garage than a second-year classicist, but there are some general qualities that apply to all of academia. The trick to a perfect professor's car is that it should be practical, understated, and maybe a little snooty when it comes to the environment. I should know — I grew up riding to campus in the back of my dad's mustard yellow Volvo station wagon.
Photo Credit: Vicki Burton
It's intelligent, a bit eccentric, and maybe a little elitist. Great professor's car.
Nothing matches tweed jackets with elbow patches like a slightly wonky British roadster. Adjusting carburetors is also quite relaxing after
grading a week's worth of papers getting a TA to grade a week's worth of papers.
Doc Brown was a professor, right?
It's not that professors lust after Subarus, it's that they lust after practical, affordable, reliable station wagons to haul all their children/bicycles/camping gear around.
You can't show a professor a picture of a needlessly complex, weird, old British sedan without them drooling.
Not all professors are eternally broke eating nothing but granola and maybe some steamed organic vegetables. Those are grad students. Some professors get a few dozen patents in their field of chemistry and follow them up with military R&D work. They can afford a nice-ass car, and what's a more professor-friendly than an Audi R8?
Professors used to buy beige Mercedes diesels by the truckload, but now the one nice, German diesel wagon you can find comes from VW.
Of course, while a VW TDi is nice and practical, most professors secretly long for an Audi wagon. They want to look cool, but not be too shouty about it.
Volvo stopped sell us Americans the V70 in 2011, but the professorial desire to own a boxy, offbeat, conservative Swedish wagon is unquenchable. You can find profs in used Volvo wagons back through the 240.
Suggested By: For Sweden, Photo Credit: Volvo
Professors usually have sort commutes and can easily find little charging outlets in ‘EV Only' parking spaces on campus these days. But that's not why the Leaf is at the top of the heap, as reader TheCrudMan explains.
Around the other professors this car is SUPERCOOL. It's like the Ferrari 458 of professor's cars. It makes everyone who bought a Prius look like they bought a Hummer, and he can turn on the air-conditioning with his iPhone and his Professor friends think that kicks ass.