The Things That Make You Go Vroom

I'm in love.

I’m in love.

I’ve never written it here before, but I work in the automotive industry.

I’m not a “car guy” in the traditional sense of the word—I can’t fix much, and I’m mostly lost under the hood.

But I do like things that go fast—not a diehard racing fan, but I do like it.

And I do like things that are beautiful—and my time working closely with hot rodders has taught me to appreciate the automobile as much more than just a transportation tool to get us from Point A to Point B.

I’ve learned to appreciate the art of vehicle design.

From the original lines and curves made at the factory level, to the work done by custom car builders—the exquisite restored and custom hot rods you might see on television or at car shows.

I’m also learning to appreciate what cars say about the people who own them. Little reflections of themselves.

While I’m not a big fan of mini vans, wagons or compact cars, I’m perfectly capable of appreciating utility and good sense.

So this is less about daily drivers than it is about our ideal vehicle collection in an ultimate fantasy sense.

Maybe you care. Maybe you don’t.

Maybe you like cars. Maybe you never think about them.

But I do think someone’s taste in music, in food, in art, in a variety of things, can tell you a lot about them.

I always want to let you get to know me as much as possible without making it weird. (Too late?)

So, I’m going to share with you my five favorite cars, if I could outfit my garage with anything I wanted. (I’m not factoring money, otherwise I’d simply choose the five most-valuable cars and sell them like a champion of smartness.)

I hope you’ll celebrate or criticize my choices as you see fit.

And I hope you’ll share yours.

The Cars That Make Matt’s Little Heart Race

 1961 Chevrolet Impala Bubble Top

I could totally get a girlfriend with one of these.

I could totally get a girlfriend with one of these.

And all the girls say I’m pretty fly… you know… for a white guy. This would probably be the car about which my son would tell his friends: “He never drives it! He just rubs it with a diaper!”

1959 Buick LeSabre

She's beautiful. More than any other car I've seen, she needs to be appreciated from every angle. Stunning.

She’s beautiful. More than any other car I’ve seen, she needs to be appreciated from every angle. Stunning.

In the history of the world, no car has had sexier lines than the ’59 LeSabre. I’m not sure I’m skilled enough to parallel park this thing. But that concerns me less than having one of the most wonderfully unique cars around. Truly an artistic masterpiece.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

OMG, OMG, OMG.

OMG, OMG, OMG.

“Oh, Matt. Is that yours? I’m sorry. I don’t know why my underwear won’t stay on. This is so weird.”

This is the first and only car in my lifetime for which I was on pins and needles waiting to see. I was not disappointed. So fast. So sexy. So awesome. I need one.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with snorkel kit

The only thing that can stop you with one of these is gas prices. So awesome.

The only thing that can stop you with one of these is gas prices.

Perfect for summer. Perfect for winter. Perfect for driving under water. Perfect for the zombie apocalypse. When I bought my Grand Cherokee, this is what I really wanted, but I live in the suburbs with a young son. *shrug*

1964 Plymouth Belvedere

The most aesthetically versatile car ever. Love the classic black racing wheels in the back. A lot.

The most aesthetically versatile car ever. Love the classic black racing wheels in the back. A lot.

I can roll up to a hot rod event with tatted sleeves wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. Or I can smoke you at the local drag strip. Or I can roll up to a black-tie event dressed in a tuxedo. And look totally awesome and normal in all three scenarios. THAT’s how rad this underrated classic is. The Belvedere is probably not for everyone. But as you may recall: I love underdogs.

And that’s it.

My fantasy garage. I apologize for the discomfort down below ladies. Gorgeous steel and brawn has been known to have that effect.

Even on guys like me.

What do my favorite cars say about me?

Well, I like classic looks. But I want modern performance. I am HEAVILY biased toward American automobiles, even though there are some phenomenal cars built overseas, particularly in Europe. In the final analysis, I don’t really know what my fantasy garage says about me, but I hope someone will weigh in with an opinion.

What are your favorite cars and what do they say about you?

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48 thoughts on “The Things That Make You Go Vroom

  1. Dear Matt,
    The cars that makes my heart go pitter pat is the 1982 Pontiac Trans Am Black with the Gold Bird emblem on the shaker hood T-tops. My Ultimate Dream car is a Bugatti Veryon.
    Your Friend,
    Anastasia

    Like

  2. David says:

    Oh dear, you’re going to force me into a very narrow, easily ridiculed corner! I do like the aesthetics of lots of cars, but few of them appeal to me as something I actually want to drive. I’m fairly practical about cars so, other than Porsche 911 from the late 60’s (it looked cool without being super flashy), my tastes are odd. I really like cars that have station wagon features (utility) without being truck-like. My Subaru Forester fits that mold. As a bonus, it’s a car-sized thing that my too-tall torso fits into. Also, I’m a major fan of the SmartCar after seeing one parked next to a Forester once in Europe. It’s just a simple vehicle built to only serve the primary purpose of a vehicle: getting me and a little stuff from here to there.

    So, yeah, I’m boring. So what!?!?! Oops! This high horse is way to easy to climb up!

    Like

    • Matt says:

      You do not like the Smart car. You DO NOT.

      The Subaru Forester was rated Car of the Year by Motor Trend or somebody this year, so there’s nothing bad to say about that car at all.

      How tall are you? SMART CAR!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

      Come on, now.

      Like

      • David says:

        I do like the smart car. It’s real!

        Seeing the Forester and Smart Car side by side, they were almost exactly the same height except the Smart Car rode a little a lower. I’m 6’4″ with proportionately short legs (34″ inseam) and I’ve sat in the Smart Car and felt almost as comfie as in the Forester. I’ll probably never know what it’s like to be in a car with perfect headroom, but it is just about as good as in the Forester. I wouldn’t drive it cross country, but then that wouldn’t be it’s purpose.

        My brother, slightly taller and with longer legs, salivates over a Mini Cooper so I guess we’re genetically disposed towards clown cars!

        Like

        • Matt says:

          You’re hilarious.

          People should like what they like.

          I can’t believe you can fit in a Smart car. That’s amazing, and a testament to their vehicle design, actually. There’s a guy at my office who drives a yellow one. It has Rudolph nose and antlers on it.

          I feel certain no one will ever have sex with him because of that choice.

          You can overcome, though. You have that artistic guy in the mountains thing going on. That works, I think!

          Like

          • David says:

            You called me ‘artistic’!!! That was exactly what I needed to hear as I sit here at work crunching numbers. I win!

            I will never do the Rudolph ears, however, most Smart Car drivers ’round here are the enviro-preachy types. I agree with their philosophy but wish they’d be a little more laid back about it. Yelling drives me away!

            Like

  3. mewhoami says:

    My top choice is very similar to one of yours. It is the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. Not only is it stylish and beefy, but it would take me where ever I want to go. I love the mountains, 4 wheeling and nature, so that Jeep is the perfect choice for me. The second on my list, you mentioned also. The “2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray”. That car is top notch! I could definitely see myself cruising down the highway in that. I was almost drooling yesterday looking at a picture of one.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      We’re car buddies, you and me.

      Love them both. The truth is, I’m not skilled enough to restore these classics, and I don’t have the money to do it, either. Boo.

      In the real world, the Wrangler Unlimited and ’14 Corvette would be my ideal two-car garage.

      Love your choices. :)

      Like

  4. bgoffe2013 says:

    Nice!!

    Mine are: ’68 AMX & ’05 Harley FatBoy (have them),
    ’34 Ford Roadster, ’72 Pantera and ’65 Corvette.
    Guess my choices say that I’m not interested in taking more than 1 passenger.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Ha!

      They also say you’re an educated car guy. Nice work.

      Don’t see a lot of AMC or Pantera fans. Really good stuff.

      For the record, if the C2 (my favorite is the ’63 split-window because I’m a little cliche sometimes) was a resto mod with updated suspension and interior and all that, it would be my favorite Corvette. Big fan of the second-gen Vettes.

      Appreciate you sharing, Bryan. You ALSO picked cars that make girls do bad things, so having more than her around will just end up cramping your style…

      Like

  5. mel says:

    I really like the ’88 Iroc Z… I wonder what that says about me?

    Like

  6. OHkls says:

    My boyfriend in high school owned a ’71 Monte Carlo that he would let me take sometimes. While I wouldn’t say it’s my dream to own one, it was a blast to drive and I have many fond memories of that car. I was more upset about losing car privileges than I was losing about him when we broke up :)

    Like

    • Matt says:

      :)

      That’s funny. And I do think we romanticize certain cars because of past experiences with them. A lot of people dislike Corvettes. But I grew up with them being my favorite sports car. And that has stuck with me.

      Appreciate you sharing that story.

      ’71 Monte > ex-boyfriend.

      Noted.

      Like

  7. Sandy Sue says:

    This explains a lot. In a post a while back you put up a list of how to be a man and one of the don’ts was “never own a compact car that didn’t go fast” (or something like that). I thought that was… interesting. Now I get it.

    And for the record, there are plenty of us female types who don’t care what kind of car you drive (you, meaning male types). It would be nice if you had one, I guess. Or a job.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Sandy Sue. You should meet David! He’s 6’4″, funny, smart, has emotional depth, and loves sensible automobiles!

      There’s just one thing… he has a marmot in his head.

      In all seriousness, thank you. I joke about the cars getting girls because I can’t do it on my own. My Jeep is actually quite nice already. I’m still The Lord of Celibacy.

      I love those cars for me.

      I appreciate very much the women in this world who care about non material things. :)

      Like

  8. How about the 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special? Or any classic Bonneville, really…

    Like

  9. I know nothing about cars. I do however like the 1967 black Chevrolet Impala, but then I’m biased. If I drove again it would probably be a BMW sedan, not sure of year or model. A friend had one, great handling, and hugged the road. To be honest I don’t really think it matters what car you drive though, I look for other qualities in a person :)

    Like

  10. DailyMusings says:

    Great post- such fun! I never really cared what I drove but after 16 years of a boring Toyota Tercel I bought a Mini Cooper the first year they came out in the US – and loved that car. Until the repairs became too costly(BMW parts & labor) and I had to let her go.

    Like

  11. RR says:

    Excellent choices; you have nice taste ;)
    I am not a car person though I have become one via my lil’ guy. Lol. Never in my life did I think I would seek out car knowledge – I had brothers so I had a wee bit of car education – but I have crawled through the shelves at Walmart to score that much longed-for dinky car and scoured the internet for classic car pictures during the last couple of years…and even as a non-car person, I have a hard time staying away from the car show!
    My husband says his favourite car is a 1969 Dodge Challenger – guess he’s a good ole boy – while my heart skips a beat whenever I see a Lincoln Zephyr MKZ!

    Like

  12. I am one of those boring people who (as you referenced) see vehicles only as a means of getting from Point A to Point B. The cheapest hoopty will do. Now that I am unemployed, I rarely drive. I’ve given my (ancient, high mileage) car to my niece as a long-term loan because she needs it and I don’t. My wife has her own car to tool around town. I mostly stay home and apply for jobs online. I respect those who find in beauty in cars, but for me they are a colossal waste of money. I miss living in New York City and riding the buses and the subway.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I love good public transportation! I’ve just never lived in a major metro. Greater Cleveland (where I now live) is the biggest place in which I’ve lived.

      I was thinking about this question about favorite cars at work today and decided to just run with it here too.

      It’s okay to be practical! I could use more of that in my life.

      Like

  13. Great post! My dream car is an audi, but they don’t make them to fit nine people :(.

    Like

  14. knace says:

    The grill on that 59 Buick is really amazing. Very cool car.

    I drive a Volvo cross country station wagon. Whenever we see another one my husband always says. “Freakin’ pretentious elitist VOLVO drivers!” =) I don’t care! I <3 my Volvo! But if I won the lottery, I think I would buy a Saab convertible- the old kind- not the new indistinguishable from any other car kind of Saab- which I'm afraid is even more pretentious than a Volvo.

    p.s. The other day I was out driving with my son and we pulled up behind a hot pink Camaro and E. said "That is a very 80's car…..I would be totally cool with it if you and dad bought me a car like that." lol

    Like

  15. I am in love with that ’14 Corvette. It is elegant and looks like sex on wheels. I like Impala’s too (that sound they make, engine purr, OMG) not that I know much about them. The one I heard and loved was 1963 sleek and black. I have wanted a Ducati almost forever (any would do just not yellow dear God if ever you decide to gift me a Ducati please make sure it’s not banana yellow, it’s just wrong). No idea what this says about me. In reality, the car doesn’t make the man. But cars can be very sexy.

    Like

  16. Vishal Gaur says:

    well written :)
    I wrote several songs, sayings, poems and quotes on
    gaurvishal.blogspot.com

    giving a try to article writing, please have a look at my first post on wordpress link:
    http://vishgaur.wordpress.com

    Like

  17. mewhoami says:

    I drove a Ferrari and thought of you and this post. Okay…it was a dream, but close enough. https://mewhoami.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/riding-in-style/

    Like

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