I recently posted a blog in which I noted 10 things that, should they describe you, might suggest that you are not a real car guy. I caught a little flack for the list, mostly from people completely cool with referring to Japanese cars as “ricers.” So it goes.
I also learned that folks with a fondness for Checker Marathons are far less common than I had first imagined. I still want one, though.
This list is much simpler; it is but an automotive-interest litmus test. Should any of the following scenarios apply to you, there’s a good chance that you are a car guy. But, you argue, if you’re reading this, you already are likely to be a car guy. Duly noted.
Still, there are car guys and there are car guys. There’s nothing on this list for a guy who’s just signed his second BMW lease but has never picked the pebbles out of his tire treads with a key or never purchased a bottle of Armor All or owned a chamois.
No keeping score this time, but let us know what “clues” you’d add to the list.
1) Jackie Gleason’s Smokey and the Bandit II Bonneville squad car
You and I both know that the Pontiac Bonneville was rarely pushed into fleet law-enforcement service. But, did the appearance of Sheriff Buford P. Justice in just such a Bonneville cause you sufficient pause so that you felt it necessary to discuss it with a fellow movie viewer? If you actually bothered your date with this distinctly inside-baseball piece of information, you might be a car guy.
2) Whoa! What was that?
If you have ever made a U-turn to follow a car because you couldn’t, at a glance, figure out what it was, you might be a car guy.
3) Shut up. Please shut up.
I recall watching on the evening news a quick wrap-up of some stupid “Most Desirable Cars” list released by some equally feeble men’s magazine. The list was populated with a predictable smattering of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Porsches. After reading the list of cars, the male anchor noted, with intended wit, “I noticed that there are no Volkswagens on the list!” Idiot! At the time, I was a Scirocco owner and longed to own a Corrado SLC. For me, VWs were very desirable cars. If you’ve ever wanted to smash your head through a table while watching idiots talk about cars on TV, you might be a car guy.
4) Any car chase at all
If, while channel surfing, you stop to watch any and every chase scene—even the chase in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, in which Estelle Getty drives a Ford LTD into a Dumpster—you might be a car guy.
5) Why, Kelly Charger GTs, of course!
If you can recall the brand and model of tire your last three cars were rolling on, you might be a car guy.
6) Why are Rockford’s tires squealing?
If you’ve noticed that, during chase scenes, Jim Rockford’s tires occasionally squeal while he’s cornering on gravel, you might be a car guy. Also, if you forgive these minor oversights because The Rockford Files is one of the greatest TV shows of all time, you might be a car guy. (The author doesn’t care that this doesn’t make sense. —Ed.)
7) A solvent tub by any other name
If you rank the petroleum/exhaust-rich smell of an old-school garage or dealership as an aroma ranking close to that of frying bacon, you might be a car guy.
8) He’s back . . . again?
If you’ve ever come to be recognized by dealership salespeople as a “browser” (there’s a way nastier term for this), you might be a car guy.
9) The one that got away
If you nearly as fondly recall the cars you almost purchased as the ones you did buy, you might be a car guy.
10) Nope, it was before that, because we didn’t have the Plymouth yet.
If you find that you can accurately pinpoint in time any event in your past by recalling what vehicle you owned at the time, you might be a car guy.