What's Your 'Don't Meet Your Heroes' Car Story?

Photo: Bentley
CountersteerYour true stories of good and bad things that happen in cars.

Your heroes will probably never live up to your expectations. Jake Paul won’t be as selfless as he appears, Paul Giamatti won’t be as beautiful in person and Tom Hanks might forget to thank the waiter. The things we lovecars includedare flawed.

For me, that car was the Bentley Continental GTC. It was the first really high-end car I got to drive and I came away feeling completely unimpressed.

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Because, while the Continental GTC was a luxurious and impressive luxury good when it was made, I was driving a 2006 Conti in 2015. It also didn’t help that I had driven a Volkswagen Phaetonwhich shares a lot of parts with the Bentley —just one week before. And while the Phaeton was awesome, these two cars were way too close for comfort.

This is the fundamental problem with meeting your heroes. You build up impossible standards that the real things can never rise to. In my head, a Bentley was an ethereal, life-changing experience on the road. In real life, it was pretty comfortable and pretty fast but the buttons were from a Phaeton and the software dates back to a year when Call of Duty didn’t have a subtitle.

Now, it was entirely unreasonable to expect a 9-year-old entry-level Bentley to blow away modern luxury cars I had driven, like the then-new S-Class. But my expectations weren’t based on reason, they were based on an image. Everyone knew a Bentley was special, even an older one, so it should feel special.

Modern Bentleys, it should be noted, do live up to the hype. So do modern supercars and ridiculous super trucks like the Raptor, but entry-level luxury cars don’t.

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I’d imagine I’m not alone, though, in being disappointed by a hero car. Tell us about when that happened to you.

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About the author

Mack Hogan

Mack Hogan is Jalopnik's Weekend Editor, but you may know him from his role as CNBC's car critic or his brave (and maligned) takes on Twitter. Most people agree that you shouldn't listen to him.