Many parts of car culture are fantastic. The sense of community, the shared interests, the in-jokes and references. But plenty of others downright suck, or pose a danger to enthusiasts and commuters alike. Yesterday, we asked you for the parts of car culture that you thought needed to end, and today we’re collecting the answers. Let’s see what you said.
Are those moron donks still a thing?
Regular huge wheels/low aspect ratio tires are bad enough—22s on a car so you feel every bump and keep shelling out for busted rims—but this idiocy... Are you effing kidding me?
The idea of taking a car, spending buku bucks on it, and ending up with an undrivable mess that no one with taste would come near, just boggles my mind.
Destroy them all—destroy them with fire.
Counterpoint: donks rule, actually. They’re pure style, incredibly meticulous builds that are instantly recognizable. They aren’t built for performance, the owners are aware of how little sidewall they’re playing with, and they’re unlikely to hurt anyone else. Donks forever.
Rolling coal. Yes we get it, you hate the environment, Prius’, and bicyclists. There’s probably a bumper sticker for that.
I’ve had people roll coal on me, for having the audacity to drive a Miata. The hell is wrong with people?
By My Deeds I Honor Him, V8
Toxic ICE worship/delusion.
EVs are happening. Not just happening but ICE engines as the it propulsion system is over. You might as well embrace it. Stop yelling at all the kids to get off your lawn.
Having driven a number of fully electric cars, I can confirm that they rule. They’re fun, they’re more than practical enough for most people’s use cases, and in many ways are better than their ICE counterparts.
Built Not Bought
This “built not bought” shit. Don’t get me wrong, backyard skills and DIY is awesome. And everyone should learn a little maintenance knowledge at a minimum. But this notion that paying someone to do the job correctly makes you less of an enthusiast or even worse, a lesser person, needs to go away. If it’s money that holds you back, then take the time learn to build properly. Watching one Youtube video doesn’t make you an NHRA mechanic. This attitude just encourages more janky and unsafe car builds which only makes dangerous activities even worse.
There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in your own build, and showing off your own engineering prowess. Things start to go sour when you say that only your build is good, because engineering something at home is far better than engineering it in a factory or an R&D studio.
One of the replies to this comment said that “If a person doesn’t own their own machine shop and have the basic skills to use a miter gauge, I’d rather they be unable to buy more power than they can handle.” I for one do not know how miter gauge ownership makes you an adept high-horsepower driver, but I am incredibly curious to learn.
I’m going to say “Vilifying the thing you don’t like.”
Would I ever create/drive a donk? Nope. Am I happy they exist? Totally. They’re not hurting anybody, they are someone’s artistic expression, and they make their corner of the car community happy. Why pile on the hate?
Calling out a trend you don’t like has got to come to an end.
Except for coal-rolling. But that’s an indictment of the driver.
When I was a kid, I firmly believed that American Muscle was the only true performance. Import tuners were lesser, to be denigrated due to their small displacements. This was a dumb thing to care about, in retrospect. Tuner cars are cool, toxic masculinity and tribalism aren’t.
Do people still do the squat or has it already died?
I, for one, hope it’s dead. I get blinded enough by regular pickups, let alone squat trucks.
Law enforcement cosplay posers.
I have managed law enforcement vehicles. When we sold them, they were beyond broken. There is no reason to even consider them from a transportation perspective. People still bought them. Worse, it like Ford now makes “fake” Explorer (PIU) cop vehicles new from factory. If you know what to look for they are easy to spot (often to much up-trim model options) but that still makes regular drivers act like they are cops. Uggg.
And those making the “purchase” were always the ones you would not trust to safely respect a houseplant, let alone actual humans... and we have that problem already.
Let’s all just remember Mr. Regular’s wise words on the matter.
Overlanding. Overland rigs are generally the worst of both worlds and those pop-up tents are ridiculous. Either build a legitimate off-roader and pitch a tent or buy and RV and go hiking.
My next door neighbor has a 2013 JKU Rubicon with a Ford 1 ton axle up front and a GM 1 ton out back. It has 40" stickies on bead locks, a twin stick Atlas transfer case and a custom welded roll cage. The steering box is from a 1 ton Ram. He camps or stays in a hotel. THAT is an off-road rig. A 4Runner with some A/T’s and a tent on top is not.
Like the donks, I’ll push back on this one too. Sometimes your campground isn’t accessible via Impreza. Other times, you just want the option to go somewhere that isn’t accessible via Impreza — even if life keep getting in the way of you actually going there. Sure, overland rigs are often enormous vehicles that have no business being on public roads, but they can just as easily be made from Crosstreks — the overland idea isn’t the problem.
That in order to be a car enthusiast, you need to only drive manual and build your own car.
I’m a yank who’s only ever owned automatics and Chrysler products, but yet there hasn’t been an automotive brand yet that hasn’t made my jaw drop in some way. I’m a car enthusiast because I see cars for more than appliances, you can see people put time and effort into creating something most won’t care about, and these cars can tell wonderful stories. Not only that, but just cars in general: how they move, how they operate, it has always amazed me. I love talking about big rigs apart of my hometowns history to being at a classic muscle car show and seeing an F430 join the fun, even to see a street legal Mitsubishi Kei truck in New York and quickly chat with the dude who owns it.
Seeing new, manual economy cars even makes me happy, since they aren’t popular sellers where I live for pete’s sake.
Why do I have to feel less valued as someone who likes cars just because I’m not driving a manual car I built myself?
If you’ve ever tuned into our Twitch streams, you’ve likely seen me mention how good modern automatic transmissions are. You might even have heard me say that, if I could afford a current Supra, I’d probably take the automatic over the manual. Gated shifters are good, gatekeeping is bad.
Buying a car as a status symbol. I don’t mean buying a vehicle and having it as a form of self expression or buying something you’ve always wanted, I mean the idea of buying a car purely to boast your status or because it will make you cool. It won’t, you’re still that insecure person you always were, and now you just have an expensive car to hide behind.
This goes far beyond the initial purchase of a car, too. Vitriol is thrown at cheap coilovers, cheap tints, cheap wraps, cheap wheels. As long as you spend enough for something to be safe on the roads (as in, not Rotas), why does anything else matte
Mo Powa Babeh
Race to always more POWAR. 1000 HP? Challenge accepted: here is one with 1200 HP
Power is fun! Fast cars, hot take, are neat. But chasing after higher and higher horsepower, long after it becomes functionally useless to the driver, just becomes a hole into which companies pour time and money. Please, spend 10% of your horsepower budget on making a dashboard material that doesn’t look or feel cheap, but also doesn’t reflect into the windshield.
But Not The Ratatat Song
Aside what was already suggested, I’m going with loud pipes.
Loud exhaust pipes need to die and I wish police would start ticketing the hell out of people that have them.
Whether the loud pipes are on a bike or a car, if you need them to ‘save your life’, then you are an incompetent driver/rider and instead of getting the pipes, you should get some additional driver training.
I understand, logically, the argument around “loud pipes save lives” — motorcyclists often aren’t seen by other drivers, and many feel like going after another sense will help. Whether it actually does is anyone’s guess, but until we can start slingshotting candies into open drivers’ windows to go after taste, loud pipes likely aren’t going anywhere.
Let’s get completely rid of stretched rims and heavily cambered wheels/suspensions. They create excessive stresses on suspension and drivetrian components and also severely limit the contact patch. That means very compromised stopping, starting, and turning, pretty much everything needed to drive accurately and safely.
Not to mention, it makes cars look gimpy and weird. And as an engineer, it drives me crazy.
In my years on this earth, I’ve come to understand a few things. One is that, unfortunately, stanced out cars look cool as hell. The problem comes not with the cars themselves, but with their use on public streets — rims tearing up asphalt, blowouts causing traffic. Keep your stanced car all you want, just don’t daily it.
Doing It For The TikTok
The idea that putting others at risk because you think it looks cool is ok. That covers more than just street racing. It includes shit like the Carolina Squat, stretched tires, severe camber, and any other visual mod that negatively impacts the safety of the car.
While we’re at it, car guys need to stop assuming everyone else is ok with them imposing their cars on everyone. Got straight pipes? Fuck off out of neighborhoods late at night. Got a huge sound system? Turn that shit down near houses and places where other people are. Stop assuming you’re the most important thing around and everyone else should be required to listen to your noise output. It’s low-level sociopathy and we have more than enough of that in society these days without the car scene doing it too.
Putting others at risk is a bad thing. From street takeovers to Autopilot beta testing, you should never be exploring the limits of your car in an area where you’re likely to hurt others — at least, outside of a situation (like a track day) where people understand the risks.
Drifting, it’s just the automotive equivalent of figure skating, but I bet tire manufacturers don’t want it to stop, they probably love all those idiots destroying tires and having to buy new ones so often.
Are you... anti-figure-skating? Anti-incredibly careful car control? Anti-fun? Who hurt you?
Slideshows in car enthusiast website stories. Yeah, those need to go.
Another day working at the Jalopnik. Everyone keeps asking me if they can get rid of the slideshows. Buddy, they won’t even let me get rid of them.