Any guy who finds himself driving a "chick car" (when, for example, his Ford F-350 supercab diesel is in the shop) must PROVE HIS MASCULINITY to other drivers by:
A. Driving everywhere at 20 mph over the posted the speed limit;
B. Weave in and out between other vehicles repeatedly without using the turn signal.
Incidentally, the police in most major Texas cities understand these rules and will not pull over a guy who has obviously been forced into driving a "chick car" by forces outside of his control.
Guy in Texas
IT MIGHT BE A GUY CAR IF . . .
--Its engine size is still given in cubic inches, especially if that number is over 400
--There was a movie or TV show built entirely around it. Examples include Burt Reynolds' Trans Am, the General ----Lee; the Knight Rider car; and the Dodge Viper. The A-Team van probably counts too.
--The hood is more than five feet long.
--It is a Ford Mustang.
It's not so much the make, model, or color of the vehicle (though pastels and bright shiny metallic colors are dead giveaways for chick cars), but rather how the interior smells (and looks) and where the car is located. The distinct aroma of the male car is a combination of stale, spilt coffee (the spilling occurs due to a female in the vehicle directly in front of you stopping for no apparent reason); windshield-wiper fluid (can't automobile manufacturers engineer a car that can hold a gallon of fluid rather then three quarts? which forces you to place the unused fluid, with the impossible-to-reseal cap, on the floor of the back seat, only to spill it when that same broad from the coffee encounter brakes, again for no apparent reason); and that musky Ben-Gay flavor (due to the soreness generated when you had to push the car to the tollbooth because you ran out of gas, due to that same woman in the car ahead of...oops, can't blame her this time, can we?).
Needless to say, the stains and aroma are distinctly male. As to where the vehicle is located, women always find the spot directly across from the front door (even in Charlestown, MA), while males must hike miles just to find out the next morning we were parked in a tow zone. Also, males tend to pass the same gas station six or seven times during any given excursion (due to the fact that we're lost and haven't the sense to ask for directions). Female cars are easily transformed to male cars, but the reverse is impossible. Trust me--I tried giving my wife mine. She now owns a purple Nissan.
Joel from Framingham
Any car painted in pink, light blue, or champagne is a chick car.
1) Any "sports car" that is available only with a four-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission is a chick car.
2) Any car whose name means nothing is a chick car. This explains why a Camry is a chick car, but a Neon is not.
3) Any car with numbers or letters for a name, or tacked on the end, can become a guy car. For example, F-150 or Civic-SI.
4) Any car that has been refinished with sufficient dents, missing parts, rust, bondo, and primer paint so that it can only be identified from five feet away in direct sunlight can be considered a guy's car.
Hummer says MEN!
The new VW Beetle. A chick car, definitely. And made to be so. How? I know of no other automobile with a FLOWER VASE as standard equipment.
The new Beetle is a CHICK car, in all colors--except black. In black it becomes a GUY car.
I have no idea why.
Anything that has parts from more than one manufacturer, i.e., an AMC body with a Chevy crate engine and a Ford differential, is clearly a guy car.
I am using a pseudonym here because this question hits upon my innate fears. For the past five years I have been driving, and immensely enjoying, my convertible. I drove convertibles in my youth--a Corvair convertible (pre-air-conditioning) and British sports cars--and buying a convertible now was my "safe" midlife crisis. However, I have noticed that other convertible-drivers seem to be of the female persuasion. As a 6' 4", 260 lb. kind of guy, this has been chipping away at my self-confidence. Should I be concerned, or should I just laugh at these petite women experiencing the opposite identity crisis when driving their gargantuan Lincoln Navigators and other tanklike SUVs?
Joe in Chicago
My nomination for a chick car is the Volkswagen Cabriolet. Especially the convertible. All teen-age girls classify them as "cute." 'Nuf said.
Certain car names seem to really put women off. For instance, the Ford PROBE, Nissan AXXESS, Dodge RAM, or LANCER. I don't know a single woman who would choose these cars, because the name is so off-putting.
Nearly all VWs that I can think of are chick cars, with the possible exception of the various vans--even the Golf and (new) Beetle turbo. One major defining characteristic (in my opinion) is the *perceived* reliability of the car. If there's no chance of not making it to your destination, it's a chick car. British cars are all guy cars, by definition, and nearly all Japanese cars are chick cars. Bonus points toward being a guy car if it's uncomfortable. You need to be even more manly to drive a Fiat, for what it's worth.
I discovered this phenomenon when I got a Miata. "Girlie car." That's all I heard. They're all over the place in Hawaii with their tops down and sunglasses on. Convertible tops.
PT Cruisers, those are guy--guys who lack the skills to work on a real hot rod.
The Dodge Ram could easily be viewed as a "guy" vehicle. You know the ones--early '80s, a big ram's head on the hood, often brown two-tone with rust high around the wheels. There's no guessing about its gender--it's a Ram. That's an uncastrated male sheep, in case you didn't know.
Two years ago, right out of college, I decided to buy a new VW Jetta. Before making the purchase, I studied all of the appropriate literature and made sure that this was the car for me. However, there was nothing in the public domain that delineated guy cars from chick cars. Thus, I purchased a 1999 "tornado red" VW Jetta ignorant of these two categories of cars. "Tornado red" sounds like a masculine, tear-the-roof-off kind of name; however, as I came to learn, "tornado red" is a code word for "chick car." As I was motoring around town, I noticed a few other cars similar to mineall of which were driven by attractive young ladies! I seemed to be the only guy driving a Jetta of this color. I don't think the Jetta is a chick car by design--I have noticed many other guys driving black, silver, or tan Jettas. However, I do think that the color makes this "tornado red" Jetta a chick car.
Chad "Tornado" Hawthorne
- Full-sized pickup truck. Won't haul kids, but will haul 4x8 sheetrock. Points lost if it's too shiny.
- Cars with twice the horsepower needed. Used to show other guys how manly you really are.
- Ford Mustang (hardtop with V8 only). See above. Also benefit of having no place for a baby seat.
- Chevy Camaro: See Ford Mustang.
- Mercedes 500 Series, BMW 7 Series: No woman would ever spend that much on a car. (She would buy an SUV and have the living room redecorated.) It must be a guy car.
My 16-year-old son and I think the PT Cruiser is definitely a chick car. All show and no go. Smooth round lines and no decent exhaust sound.
If all of that is not enough, we saw one displayed recently in a promotion for Zima. Need I say more?
The Dodge Neon is categorically and definitively a "chick car." Especially if it comes in purple, as mine did. Oh, I didn't buy it purple...no, it was gray that night I made the purchase. It tricked me and turned purple as soon as I signed the sales contract. Neons are Barbie cars: little and cute and rounded in the hips. Even in black, they are feminine and adorable, only just a bit tougher, like Tattoo Barbie.
I talked to one of my former managers at Volkswagen of America the other day. Having been a part of the organization for some 20 years, I check in every once in a while to see how things are progressing in my absence. In the course of the phone conversation, he informed me that VW was attempting to "male up" the Bug. He explained that the effort to turbo the car and add a spoiler were part of a strategy to get guys to buy the car. Seems that the clientele for the vehicle has mostly been women.
I believe the main aspect that determines the male/female state of a car is based on the engine-compartment-(hood)-to-cab-length ratio. A car such as a pickup or Corvette has a large hood-to-cab-length ratio, while a station wagon or hatchback or minivan or most small cars have a much smaller ratio. Of course, the SUV-class vehicles are an abomination and seem to have a guy-car aspect while having a low ratio.
A guy car has a V8 and rear-wheel drive. A gal car would be anything by VW.
ANYTHING by Volkswagen is a chick car. VW realized this years ago and started another company to sell guy cars--they called that company Porsche.
1. Volkswagen Bugs (duh!!)
2. Mary Kay cars
4. Dodge Darts
5. Plymouth Colt wagons (of course!)
My nomination for a guy car is my friend's 1970 Ford F-250 pickup. This truck gets lighter every time you drive it because pieces fall off. He has vinyl kitchen flooring for floor mats, shag carpet for headliner, and burlap feed sacks for seat covers. Very few women are brave enough to come near this thing. "Bubba," as the truck is lovingly named, has a 390 rebuilt Ford motor, a four-speed, and 4WD. This is one heck of a vehicle--too bad the inspection sticker died in '91 and it's relegated to the farm.