Which type of 'Car Guy' are you?

Auto enthusiasts are cut from a different cloth and their fraternity is made up of a great mix of personalities

By George Kuruvilla

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Published: Fri 1 Apr 2022, 8:48 PM

For as long as there have been cars, there have been car aficionados. Individuals who are known to obsess over automotive heritage, vehicle aesthetics, what’s under the hood and even have unique rituals when it comes to their own cars. Besides the very generic sounding ‘car guy’, they are also known by several other synonyms, namely, petrolhead, gearhead, grease monkey and so on and so forth. It may be surprising, but there is a wide spectrum of personalities that fall under the term ‘car guy’. And that is our mission today… to list as many types as possible.

But before we proceed, know that although men are known to love cars traditionally, there are plenty of women who share the same passion. However, for the purpose of this article, we shall use the male gender as a reference.

The know-it-all

First up is the knowledgeable one — a walking and talking encyclopedia on cars. He knows just about every relevant fact or number, be it maximum horsepower, torque, etc. He keeps himself up-to-date with the current automotive affairs and trends, and probably has something car-related to add at every gathering or meal. But besides this bookish knowledge, he probably knows nothing beyond. He may be able to change the tyre, refill the washer fluid and read the instruction manual, but that is about it. Word is, you can trust his opinion on what car to buy. But once you source his advice, he expects you to go with it, else he’ll throw a fit.

The guardian

The protector of his vehicle. He won’t let you lean onto the car even while standing outside the vehicle during a session of chat and chai, let alone sit on the far ends of the bonnet. Food and beverage are strictly prohibited within the confines of his vehicle and smoking certainly isn’t. We may recognise this as OCD, but we have to agree that some of these instructions carry weight.

Brand loyalist

He’s either a Ferrari fellow or a Lamborghini lad. It is rare that he is both. When it comes to these two brands, it means war, a bit like the Android and Apple situation in the consumer tech world. You can also see this kind of rivalry between owners and fanboys of Subarus and Mitsubishi cars; Mercedes and Beemers; Ford and Chevy… the list goes on! Once they choose a brand, they pledge their allegiance and there is no looking back. Criticising their favourite brand may come across as blasphemy.

The clean freak

He gets his car to the carwash as often as he can, maybe once or even twice a week. And he requests the service staff to spot clean areas that have blemishes only visible to his eye. But he makes up with generous tips once satisfied.

The motorsport man

He loves the motorsport scene. He is either an avid follower of any one or more of the big three motorsport championships: Formula One, World Rally Championship (WRC) or MotoGP. He may not be a support staff to any of the teams participating, but he travels to the different race venues, almost like a groupie does with a rock group.

Mr Can’t Touch This

Even on the long haul, a road trip to Salalah perhaps, he wouldn’t let you take the wheel of his vehicle unless you are someone he reveres in the industry or he’s in dire straits. Even so, he shall send several cautionary tales your way throughout the journey. He probably also worries that the men at the service centre do not share his level of love for his vehicle, knowing that they have a sea of vehicles to look after. Regardless, he tries to micromanage the whole operation of service or repair from outside the organisation.

The street racer

He takes traffic light-racing seriously. Whether he is in a Ford Mustang or a Nissan Tiida, he is always ready for the challenge. Either way, this kind of reckless driving behaviour is not something we condone.

The anti-EV guy

He isn’t an electric car fan and feels humiliated on behalf of all the gasoline vehicles every time an electric family vehicle like a Tesla Model S P100D outruns a petrol-powered muscle car like the Dodge Challenger. He probably also doesn’t care a whole lot for the ozone.

The perfect parker

Your friendly-neighbourhood fellow who parks perfectly between the lines. He will repark if he must. He parks away from other cars in the mall to avoid door scratches or dents. And prefers to park it himself, rather than handing keys over to the valet.

The no-mods or all-mods guy

He likes to keep it stock — maybe a few decals on the exterior, but no mods whatsoever. Then, we have the polar opposite, one who wishes to change the aesthetic and mechanical bits as soon as he drives it out of the showroom; and he struggles to get his vehicle “passed”, come time of registration renewal.

The merch guy

It is rare, but there are people who have a special affinity towards automotive merchandise. They love car branded T-shirts, mugs, model cars etc. And every time you see them, you are forced to recall the famous dialogue in the sitcom Friends, where Ross says, “Did a Porsche throw up on you?”.

These are some of the many types of car guys (and girls) you may come across and don’t be surprised if you may have related to one or more of these personalities. After all, there is a car person in all of us.

Popular examples of the ‘car guy’

Jeremy Clarkson, arguably the world’s most famous automotive journalist, who is also an author and TV show host, is known to be an out-and-out car guy. He thinks of Ferrari as an incarnation of the one above. He treats cars like family by constantly ridiculing them or praising them. He has made millions just talking about them and also owns a multitude.

Sabine Schmitz is, or rather was, a bona fide car junkie. She used to pilot the BMW E39 M5 taxi around the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife. Sadly, she passed away in 2021.

Last but not the least on this list is the renowned YouTuber Chris Magello, who runs the channel ChrisFix. You can tell that he is really into cars simply by observing the amount of work he puts into his videos. His DIY repair videos have possibly helped thousands save thousands.


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