We tend to think of people as sexy, rather than their belongings, but when it comes to cars, all that goes out the window. We try not to judge people by their autos any more than we do by their faces, but as we all know, it has an effect, whether we want to admit it or not.
It’s on my mind as I try to complete a story where cars figure centrally to the narrative and upon embarking on this story, which had been formulating in my mind for some time, I took the time to poll friends to find out what they thought were “sexy” cars. What I found was that there was no agreement on the whole. What was sexy to one friend was abhorrent to another (let us not bring up BMWs ever again).
For many, simply having a car is a luxury. Many do without. Those of us not living in the lap of luxury, but with sufficient income to afford a car, generally go for reliable, which means “utilitarian” in most cases rather than “sexy” — and do the best we can with it. Personalizing our cars with attractive accessories is often the most we can do. After all, we spend more time inside them than we do looking at the outside most of the time.
But when we dream, we do tend to dream of fancy cars that fire the imagination in a a way our Honda Civics don’t. Jaguar is a popular model, Lamborghini for those with a love of speed. I have a fondness for classics because I grew up around them: the ’60s Aston-Martin is a fave (as it was of James Bond), an early ’60s T-Bird, or a ’66 Mustang with a Pony Interior (almost had one once…). My dad has a ’56 Corvette that’s copper and cream. You can swap the hardtop with a canvas rag top. we used to have a ’55 Chevy that we drove back from Texas, where cars tended to last a lot longer than they did in the snow and (more destructively) salt of Michigan winters.
Of course, automobiles aren’t just methods of conveyance and self-portraits: they’re where a lot of people have their early sexual experiences. It’s an American tradition: the back seat. There’s still a few drive-in theatres around, too — one of the few places teens can genuinely be (sort of) alone in the confines of the car, steaming up those windows without adult supervision. Of course you couldn’t predict people knocking on the windows when they see the sure sign of steamy passion.
What’s the car of your imagination? Is it one you remember fondly or one you’ve never had? What makes a car sexy for you?