The Car Guy Is Dying


The enthusiasts of the future need to put down their controllers and take up a wrench. Car nuts, no matter what their calling in life are the last line of defense against the coming appliance-ification of the motor vehicle.

Okay that may be a little overdramatic but when everyone you know starts buying up hydrogen-powered, self-driving, roadspace-hogging technomobiles, I hope you'll have taken the time to prepare. We the enthusiasts are the last line of defense against the coming take-over of those who truly do not care what, how, or even if they drive.

Our automotive passion is dwindling as more and more of the masses see fit to take to the road. You know the stereotypes:

-The recent high school grad/college co-ed who only desires something in their favorite color and "cute" (somehow made into at least two syllables).
-The crossover/SUV/midsize sedan driver who only picked that generic lump of transportation in the driveway because a friend of a coworker's mother had one and it was described as being reliable.
-The technology buff that options the onboard computer systems and wi-fi networks and bases the car he/she picks on its tech-credentials, not its drivability (It's okay guy, the lane-warning system will keep you on the road)


Why do these people and their peers take to the road you might ask? Society tells them it's the right thing to do, then hands them the license to do so. By not having the infrastructure in place to cope with the demands of a more thorough public transportation system, driving oneself and only oneself to and from work everyday is the most viable option. The result of all this is crowding of roads and disinterest in the machines that make it crowded.

What is the solution to this problem? Well, I can't think of one so I'll just say everyone should just drive a Mini E or Nissan Leaf or something like that. Less oil-dependency, a smaller carbon footprint and a smug grin will accompany you on the way to work.

Where does that leave us then; the auto enthusiast? That leaves us behind our keyboards or game controllers pining over the days when we could drive our internally-combusted manually-shifted performance machines down empty roads with a grin that smugness could never induce.

I've seen countless automotive forums discussions reduced to little more than elementary school playground arguments because one cars stats are better than another's even though its ‘ring times were slower and so on. I've spent countless afternoons trying to 100% each of the previous Gran Turismo games and have even bested a minute around Laguna Seca in a Formula car in GT3 A-Spec. As I waited in line at the local Game Stop to pre-order the Collectors Edition of GT5, I had a thought cross my mind. I imagined what the world would be like if every one of us got out from in front of the screen and contributed to the hobby.


I'm sure there are plenty of you out there with a project going on or even a racer but to those who are merely armchair car fans, the time to step up your game is now. The cars we love and love to argue about are slowly corroding as we speak and are being replaced by soulless representations of everything bland.

It's time to go negotiate for that E21 down the block. It ran last time they started it right? Your friend has an old Firebird on blocks in his yard? Tell that friend that although that is the native habitat of said species of bird, that will simply not do! Someone in town had a BioDiesel project that fell through? That sounds like a great project!


The point is this: Unless we as car-people step up to the plate, we are a dying breed.
Drop that e-argument you were having and do something that lends itself to the advancement of the hobby. The passion we have may not carry on for many more generations and the pieces of history we can save now may not be salvageable then.

Now if you all would excuse me, I need to make my daily commute the 2.5 miles to work in my midsize sedan.


This piece was written and submitted by a Jalopnik reader and may not express views held by Jalopnik or its staff. But maybe they will become our views. It all depends on whether or not this person wins by whit of your eyeballs in our reality show, "Who Wants to be America's Next Top Car Blogger?"

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I don't agree that the car guy is dying.

It's just that there used to be a much bigger of share of car owners being 'car guys'

The only thing that has changed between now and 50 years ago is that cars have become more reliable, more durable and require less maintenance. And that means more car owners who view their cars as appliances.

These types of owners don't want to know how their cars work or what preventative maintenance to do... they just want it to work.

And I hate to say this, but this ties in with the huge increase in female auto ownership compared to 50 years ago.

Even within my own family... when my sister was looking for a car, of the cars we tested, her favourite from a *driving* perspective was an automatic Toyota Corolla. But she ended up getting a 2004 Ford Focus ZX5 because she liked the flexibility of the hatchback body style and it had many more features... which I warned her meant that there were more things that could break.

I'd say that Toyota is KING of the appliance-car-owner segment of the market... and that's why I believe they had those sludging issues.

The engines that got sludged up weren't bad per se. Just less tolerant of neglect than some of their past designs.

And I say that because I know that in the majority of cases, people who maintain these cars properly, routinely get 300,000 or more km out of cars with the same engines.

The people that had the sludging I bet are the same ones that think it's a good idea to change their oil every 6 to 12 months... using the cheapest oil.

BTW... You *can* do extended oil change intervals... if you buy the right type of synthetic... not that a non-enthusiast would ever bother to research that.