I hate car people. Well, maybe not you in particular, but statistically speaking, you very well may be part of the car culture that I despise.
This is more of a reflection on the community as a whole, if not society as a whole than a fun-filled article with a bunch of pictures. People generally do not like looking at themselves in the mirror or admit that they are wrong, so most will probably not read this to the end due to a subconscious guilt (ignorance is bliss after all) or they might be able to relate and see this point of view throughout their own experiences with the fall of the car culture, and quite possibly will continue reading. Either way, buckle up to figure out why you (probably) suck:
I never thought I would be writing such a negative piece on a community that has been such a big part of my life. But let’s rewind a decade. 10+ years ago, the car culture was quite a bit different than it is today. Especially car forums.
Back then, forums were a place where you could go to discuss content, get technical advice, and learn how to work on and make expensive repairs for pennies on the dollar. I remember my BMW and my friend’s Porsche had issues with their climate control system which would cost 1-2 grand to repair. Searching the forums found solutions for $45 and $0.20 each, and only required a little bit of basic unbolting interior pieces and a fairly easy solder repair. The forums use to be a great place to maintain a car that might be out of someone’s price range from a maintenance standpoint if they had to rely on a stealership for every repair. The knowledge of a global community for a given car enabled those with basic mechanical knowledge to make expensive repairs, and was a great source for advice on preventative maintenance items and upgrades. People were there to help each other out and simply ‘talk-shop’ about cars.
Fast forward to the present, and forums are now dominated by the trolls who use to lurk and hide in the dark, off-topic sections of a given forum, where their true character rarely saw the light of day in normal conversation, and where their inferiority complexes dominated any poor soul who was foolish enough to wander into their traps of arrogance and belittlement.
These basement dwellers (and the inner-troll of many good people) have now come out of the darkness and into mainstream conversations to show the community how superior their intelligence is. Everyone is an expert, but in their endless efforts to demonstrate how much smarter they are than everyone else, all they do is expose how ignorant they actually are. Their insecurities feed on those with differing opinions the same way subconscious racists hate anything different from themselves.
The long-standing brand rivalries between “BMW vs Mercedes vs Audi”, “Ford vs GM vs Mopar”, “Lamborghini vs Ferrari”, “Import vs Domestic”, battles that were synonymous with sports fans cheering for their favorite stick-ball team over another. However, this friendly and superfluous rivalry has turned in to a societal issue of actual hatred and towards anyone with different beliefs, or who owns a different brand/model car, or even differing parts that they have installed. It’s now the norm to hate, put others down, and attempt to discredit them than it is to discuss a topic in a positive light and providing information though personal experiences to benefit the community.
I have seen the separation of the BMW “M”-owning elite belittle the rest of the BMW lineup the same way Z06/ZR1 owners belittle base C7 owners, Hellcat owners berating SRT owners, Shelby or even regular Mustang GT owners hate on Ecoboost Mustang owners, AMG elites crapping on other Mercedes owners and so on. It‘s shameful to have seen people outright call others ‘poor’ when that person either couldn’t afford a higher end model, or could not justify the higher depreciation rates of a premium model for where they are at in their life. All of this sickens me. When did it become socially acceptable to be a bully?
The same goes for car shows. It wasn’t too much longer than 10 years ago when you could walk through a car meet and overhear people praising the characteristics of a given car. I vividly remember a kid who couldn’t have been much more than 10-12 years old, a good handful of years away from getting his driver’s license, talking with passion about the great sounding naturally aspirated 6.3L V8 in the new C63 AMG GT, or the competing 4.0L 8,300rpm V8 in the E92 M3. In the import-tuner community, people either cherished the impressive off-the-showroom-floor drifting capability of the 350Z, or the over-the-top performance of the R35 GTR.