Online and in the real world there's a thriving, diverse community of self-proclaimed geahreads. But for those not familiar with who gearheads are, Jalopnik readers have provided the ten most common misconceptions about them.
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Photo Credit: Wolfgang Maehr
10.) Gearheads like everything car-related
Suggested By: west-coaster
The truth: Loving cars and usually spending as much time with them as possible are prerequisites to being a gearhead. But just because you love cars doesn't mean everything in your life needs to be car related. Your clock doesn't need to be made of a brake rotor and your aunt really doesn't need to buy you a sweatshirt with Jeff Gordon airbrushed onto it.
Photo Credit: yab design
9.) Gearheads are shady people
Suggested By: Jstas
The truth: While a gearhead may have many cars coming and going from their driveway, and they may drive several old beaters themselves, this does not mean that they're somehow involved in organized crime or other unsavory activities. Tattered clothes and dirty hands? That's from keeping their car in running condition, not from burying a rat.
Photo Credit: william c hutton jr
8.) Gearheads love Fast and the Furious movies
Suggested By: horspowr1001
The Truth: There are many gearheads that appreciate the Fast and the Furious movies for their entertainment value, and many that don't as well. But just because it's a movie with a "plot" (debatable) centered on cars doesn't meant that it's our favorite. And not every gearhead is interested in those kinds of aesthetic modifications, because giant wings and neon underkits don't look great on a 1969 Alfa Romeo.
Photo Credit: Universal Studios
7.) Gearheads don't care about the environment
Suggested By: J-diggity
The truth: Most interesting or fast cars don't get great fuel economy, by virtue of being powerful or old or both. But that doesn't meant their driver doesn't car about the environment. We know many gearheads who telecommute or use public transit during the week and save their precious miles for weekend cruises. Plus, driving a 1985 Range Rover for 30 years is arguably better for the environment than getting a new Prius every five years, due to the immense greenhouse gases released during manufacturing.
Photo Credit: Cov Ltwt
6.) Gearheads are all street racers
Suggested By: Frost
The Truth: If a gearhead decides to race you, he or she may very well beat you. But that doesn't mean they're all running around revving their engines at every stoplight. The vast majority are law-abiding citizens that often drive their cars more carefully because they're actually invested in taking care of their vehicle. That kind of a situation applies to those driving something like a BMW 1M or 1969 Mustang. For those driving a Citroen DS or stock Volvo 240 — well, street races aren't really an option for them.
Photo Credit: Stockholm Open 2011
5.) Gearheads are all heterosexual males
Suggested By: SilverBullettBoxer
The truth: Just like any other hobby or interest, gearheads are a very diverse group. There is no typical gearhead. Just because someone likes cars doesn't mean they're a male that likes seeing girls with terrible plastic surgery posing on the top of a Lamborghini. And if they're a lady driving Subaru, that doesn't mean they're a lesbian. Gearheads aren't masculine or feminine, gay or straight, old or young, black or white, tall or short — they're just interested in cars.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
4.) Gearheads are all rich
Suggested By: Viperfan1
The truth: While some might be, not all gearheads are rich. Just because they have perfectly maintained BMW doesn't mean they're rolling in dough. Owning an extra car for weekends or track days doesn't mean they're loaded, it means that's what they chose to spend their money on. Just like someone very interested in fashion might spend a disproportionate amount of their income on designer clothes, gearheads are simply choosing to allocate their funds to cars.
Photo Credit: ASR Photos
3.) Gearheads will grow out of it
Suggested By: quisa
The truth: Like in #5, there is no stereotypical gearhead. Some are young and some are old. It's not a phase and we're not going to get bored with it one day. While some children that loved playing with trucks as a child might grow up and not be a gearhead, that doesn't mean that a 30-year old interested in cars is stuck in some immature state of mind.
Photo Credit: imelda
2.) Gearheads want to work on your car for free
Suggested By: Demon-Xanth
The truth: No, you're not doing a gearhead a favor by letting them change the oil on your Camry, at least not for free. You've got to pay them in six packs.
Photo Credit: Miroslav Djuric
1.) Gearheads give great car buying advice
Suggested By: Apollon
The truth: A Honda Civic with an automatic transmission might be the car that suits your needs perfectly. However, you'd be hard pressed to get a gearhead to tell you that, because he's busy thinking about all the amazing cars you can get with the same amount of money.
Photo Credit: saikofish