Monday, June 30, 2008

Just because you drive a fancy car...

I was pondering today... (as a Range Rover cut me up close enough to trade paint, the driver unwilling to use his turn signals because that would mean he'd have to put down the mobile phone clamped to his ear)

What's the problem with luxury car owners in New Jersey?

In England, I knew plenty of people who owned luxury cars. Mercedes, Jaguars, Range Rovers and Beamers... And they were all careful, considerate drivers (because they didn't want to scratch their shiny new car.)

In America, however, it seems like getting behind the wheel of a fancy motor means you suddenly have a Licence to Roadhog.

I get cut up, overtaken, undertaken and rattled by a litany of drivers each and every morning on my commute down U.S. Route 1 - but the worst offenders are ALWAYS luxury car drivers.

It's worse when you see them, pulled to the side of the road with their car's bonnet lodged six inches into the boot of the car in front (Ooops. Those fancy German disc brakes aren't quite so effective if you're not paying attention.) Their angry response to the State Troopers is always the same...

"It was NOT my fault. Do you know how much this car's worth? THIS CAR IS WORTH MORE THAN YOUR SALARY, BUDDY!"

I'm not making this up - that's honestly what they say!

I have a fairly British mentality when it comes to luxury car drivers. Take BMWs for example. In England, a 1 or 3 series Beamer equals: Sales Manager. A 5 series equals: Regional Sales Manager. A 7 series means: Premiership Footballer Not Old Enough to Shave Yet.

In a gross display of typical reverse snobbery, I actually look down on BMW owners as cookie-cutter social climbers. People with real class drive real cars. The wealthiest people we knew in England drove a Skoda Estate, for goodness sake!

In America, the decision to own a BMW gets even more ridiculous. For a start, most BMWs aren't built in Munich, but in a factory in Virginia. I mean, to all intents and purposes, they're a damn domestic car.

Then you've got to wonder about the mentality of somebody who chooses to pay the equivalent of my rent every month to lease a monstrous Mercedes... Sometimes when their salary isn't actually that much more than mine (I worked with somebody who lived in their parent's basement so they could afford a luxury Acura sports coupe.)

And finally... What the hell is the point of owning a beautiful built 'driving machine' if you're going to have an automatic gearbox in the damn thing? Really, you're just paying for a gadgets laden dodgem car at this point.

Yep - most luxury car owners in New Jersey are beneath contempt. In order to redeem themselves to society, the following needs to happen:
  • Luxury Car owners must take a British-style driving test and learn how to operate a vehicle properly.
  • Your fancy car comes with fancy 'hands free' Blue Tooth. Your driving privileges are revoked if you continue to wedge your cell-phone under one ear as you swerve blindly between traffic.
  • I own a 5.0 litre hot rod and even I've grown out of tearing away from traffic lights like it's a drag race. And I have the excuse of a manual gearbox. Slow it down, dodgem driver.
  • Quit acting so entitled. Your $1,500 a month lease doesn't mean you're better than other people. It just means you have more money than sense.
And I'd also like to answer some commonly asked questions from luxury car owners:
  • Yes, I understand BMWs are beautifully made cars. The BMW manufacturing excellence dates back to when they were building engines for Fokke Wolfe fighter planes.
  • Yes, I understand Mercedes are beautifully made cars. The Mercedes manufacturing excellence dates back to when they were building staff cars for high-ranking Nazi officers.
  • Your Jaguar/Range Rover is just a rebadged Ford. Sorry, buddy. Nil pointes.
Okay. Rant is over. You can go about your business now.

1 comment:

April said...

We did a European delivery on a 3 series last year (neither one of us is a sales manager :)). Ours was built in Munich. It had 1 mile on the odometer when we picked it up. We actually saved $4000 buying it that way plus we have the memories of a lifetime. My husband doesn't want to buy a car any other way now. And despite his love for all cars European (fancy or not), he has ranted about this same issue. The deed to the road is never included in the sticker price or offered as an aftermarket option. What a shame.