What Are Your Car Superstitions?

Do you have any strong thoughts on the color green?

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Photo: Toyota

The automotive world is full of superstitions, with lists of spooky racing beliefs abound online, covering everything from how you get dressed in the morning to the color of your car. But those superstitions don’t always stay on the track — they can follow you home like poltergeists, influencing your every thought behind the wheel.

Racers seem to have the wildest superstitions, partially due to how long they’ve been kept up. The inherent evil of green cars, a common racing belief, dates back over 100 years — to the younger brother of Chevrolet’s founder. From Portable Press:


Just a few months after winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1920, Gaston Chevrolet died after crashing into a car he didn’t see. His car had been painted green, so from then on it was considered bad luck to drive a green car. (Very few drivers went with green for decades, until 1952…when Larry Mann crashed his green Hudson Hornet into a wall, and died.)

Pictured: fear incarnate
Pictured: fear incarnate
Photo: Bill Abbott, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The green car superstition, in fact, goes far beyond racing. At least one Jalopnik writer has a family member who won’t even drive near green cars on the highway. The curse runs that deep, apparently.


You may not believe in the evils of green paint, but what do you believe in? Do you hold your breath as you drive past a cemetery, or lift your feet off the floor of your car when you drive over train tracks? Will some unknowable harm befall you and your passengers if a padiddle goes by without a punch being thrown? Do you have a bunch of large, sharp rocks glued to your steering wheel? If so, please take them off.

Leave your favorite superstitions in the comments, and we’ll collect our favorites for a slideshow later in the day. If you don’t have any of your own odd beliefs, pick one from a friend or family member — or even a favorite racing driver.