You Are What You Drive

Ray Magliozzi

[Ray Magliozzi is the inheritor of Car Talk mantle on National Public Radio. This article was suggested by SB Jerry (Quaker SBs). And what does he drive? “For transportation I drive a 2014 Ford Explorer, only 80,000 miles so good for another 7 years maybe.  That is our road trip car, lots of room which at one point I used for 2 dog crates taking the pups out for hikes in the woods.  Because of its height easier to get in and out of for me.

And what do you drive Silverbelles, Silverpups, Silverbucks, and Silverbacks? What are your choses wheels and what does that say about you? Let me hear from you. Try using the Reply feature at the bottom of this post. Let’s create our own Jungle Car Talk.]

Dear Car Talk:

Have I lost my mind? I’m in love with the Jeep Wrangler. It makes no sense — poor mileage, lousy ratings in the consumer magazines — and yet it’s the car I keep looking at. I’ve always been so practical getting the most reliable cars. And now I find myself in love with a Jeep. Please help me. — Kathleen

I think you’ve just testified to why Jeep is still in business, Kathleen.

You’re right. By all objective measures — unless you’re a mountain goat — the Jeep Wrangler ranks near the bottom. It’s practically barbaric. And yet, they can’t seem to make Jeeps fast enough.

Jeep owners love that the styling and off-road capability of their cars scream “adventure.” And I think your subconscious is telling you that you need more adventure in your life, Kathleen. As you say, you’ve always played it safe. You’ve always bought the most practical and sensible cars.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Tugs at Heartstrings, Strains Neck Muscles -  Forbes Wheels

Something inside of you is rebelling. Something inside of you wants to have an unplanned encounter on a dark, lonely road with a mysterious tow truck driver. And your chances of that increase exponentially in a Jeep.

I think you need to buy the Jeep, Kathleen. Maybe it’ll be a revelation to you, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t embrace your riskier side sooner? Maybe you’ll be inspired by your Jeep to do more adventurous things, meet new people and explore new places?

A pool boy! | Pool boy, Pool, Hot pools

Or maybe you’ll drive it for a couple of years, get tired of cracking your teeth every time you go over a pothole and go back to a Prius?

But there’s only one way to find out. And to be honest, in the big picture of life, this is a relatively low-risk experiment. In the worst-case scenario, if you drive it for a year or two and decide you’ve had enough, you can always sell it. Like I said, there are lots of people who want these things.

You’ll lose a little bit of money, but that’s all you’ll lose. And that’s not so bad. It’s not like you’re abandoning your family, cashing out your IRA and moving to Peru with your pool boy.

And if you buy a Jeep, you’ll learn something about yourself. You’ll find out if people who drive Jeeps really are having more fun. Or, if the grass is just less reliable on the other side of the fence. Enjoy, Kathleen.

One thought on “You Are What You Drive

  1. We do live for better and worse in a car culture.
    We have driven all kinds of beaters and bests in our 52 years together.
    When we were first married we had no car so we thumbed up and down Beacon St in Newton on our way to and from our abbreviated studies at Boston College. One guy in a fancy car stopped and as we got in I commented _”Nice car!” to which he replied,”This is not a car; it’s a Mark IV”. He meant to say it in roman numerals for effect.
    Some weeks later we purchased our first auto for $250 from a kid in Houghs neck = a Dodger 440 slant 6, with push button transmission…he had covered the buttons with beer bottle caps. We named it “Fudgie”. Our friend Chet spilled a half gallon of milk in the back seat during our first friend’s test drive and the smell never abated. We drove it packed with 5 other friends, on balding tires for a memorable weekend in Quebec. The end of Fudgie came not much later when we skidded on an icy road up on to a traffic island breaking the steering box.
    Then we bought a used VW bus, had an epic Spring break (5 adults and 9 month old Joe) trip to Orlando and blew the engine out in Dunn, NC…got taken with a bogus bug engine repair,broke down and got towed 3 times in one day, drove home (17 hours at 40mph max) from Baltimore in a gale with the a case of oil and VW mechanic advice, “Don’t turn this off!” After 2nd engine replacement, needed a new transmission and conked out as buyer drove it off.
    Worst vehicle ever…almost lots of other stories like the car that left home without me one AM (warming up, while I was in house, it shifted into reverse and wnet down the road, fortunately into a chain llink fence, instead of a person or property…1987 Itasca RV = unbelievable number of mechanical problems on cross country trip in 2000 -including , no furnace (got that fixd) , no wiper blades (could not gt that fixed -yeahm RainEx, tape deck,septic systemx 2…on and on ,but we triumphed.
    We really like our 2015 ,25 foot Winnebago Trend we currently travel in…
    And at home new/old Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – running on electric for daily needs as much as possible.
    Happy Motoring to all!
    M&C

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