News Culture

Quick Question: What’s a Stranger’s Most Annoying Opinion About Your Car?

Just like cars: When opinions run too rich they just stink.
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Your Fox body Mustang Cobra needs a cooler shifter. Your third-gen Camaro Z28 could use some ground effects. Respray your Bullnose F-150’s two-tone with a solid color over at Maaco. Opinions among car people are like catalytic converters: nearly everyone has one, and when they’re full of themselves, they almost always stink. (Like rotten eggs, coincidentally.)

The bad car takes are everywhere, but they miss wider when they’re about your car. You know, the car you paid real money for, wrenched long nights on, and cajoled into life on a cold morning like only you could do. Someone sharing a bad opinion about your car just feels like criticizing your kid’s haircut. Just who do they think they are?

My first car was a 1985 Subaru GL with a Teddy Pendergrass cassette stuck in the deck, no room, and worse power. It was a pile, but it was my pile and no empty dirt field within five ZIP codes was safe from it when I was a teenager. I’ll never forget the day my auto shop teacher Mr. Butterfield told me that as a 6-foot-tall high schooler, I may as well be a cheerleader by driving it. I still don’t know what he was going for there. His opinion about that was bad or worse—and I’ll spare him the details of our conversation then about my GL’s half-sealed bearings.

There are worse opinions out there: Taking issue with an off-roader’s stereo, saying everything is better with ITBs, or complaining about the steering feel in a minivan. Let’s hear yours. Sound off in the comments and tell us what’s the most annoying opinion someone’s ever offered to you about your car. 

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