Hooniverse Asks: What Car or Truck is King of the High School Parking Lot These Days?


I still remember my high school days. Of course mostly I remember the cars, as things like a kid driving his dad’s Aston Martin V8 to school happened. He parked it right there in the lot, next to the clapped out Mustangs and Chevy LUVs. Me? I made do with my trusty ’61 Corvair. Yeah, I may not have had the classiest ride at my school, nor the fastest, most luxurious, or for that matter safest, but I sure as shit had the oldest.
High school is a microcosm of real life and there just as here status matters. I remember well that you were nobody if you didn’t wear Sperry topsiders with no socks, a Lacoste polo, and white narrow wale cords, every single day of the week. Cars too can express what strata of the high school caste system you inhabit. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there so today I’d like you all to do a little intel and let us know, what do you hear is the new hotness when it comes to cars on the campus? What is today’s king of the high school parking lot?
Image: Ness City Schools

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25 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What Car or Truck is King of the High School Parking Lot These Days?”

  1. nanoop Avatar

    How should I know – if I was around school yards looking at cars I’d be that creepy uncle at best…

    1. JayP Avatar
      JayP

      Yeah – I have to pick my son up down the block when I drive the Mustang, for fear if I get to close to the school all the 18 (eighteen) yr old gals (of legal age) would want me to take selfies with them.

      1. theskitter Avatar

        My all-time favorite Junkyard Hell Tirade ™ went something like this:
        It’s a stripped out, beat up, non-turbo RX-7, I think. It belonged to some kid, who got it as a non-runner. Slowly, painfully, he brings it back to life. He takes it to run-what-you-brung. There are no girls, no adulation. It makes a godawful noise, is never fast, and never better than an eyesore. He works and works on all the little things, trying to find the silk purse hidden in the sow’s ear. There are no girls. One day, he comes home, and the car is gone. His parents have had enough. His heart sinks. In its place, there is a white, automatic, V6, convertible, SN95 Mustang. He is as crushed as his junked Mazda. His dad puts his arm around his shoulder and says, ‘You’re going to get so many girls with this thing.’
        (I bow to the genius of whoever the original author was, whose storytelling I do not do justice.)

        1. P161911 Avatar
          P161911

          As a socially awkward, fat, nerdy teenager, I found out that even a hot car couldn’t help some people (mainly me) get a girl. I got a 1977 Corvette in my junior year of high school (1990). It got me all of one date with one girl, who was a complete psycho. I kept the car in college and did get a few dates, it was fun to not let the girl know what kind of car I had until I showed up to pick her up. I also found out that girls preferred the jacked up K-5 Blazer that I also had in college.
          After college I got a 1994 red Corvette in 1998. Funny thing, when I was dating my now wife, everyone who saw the Corvette parked at her house assumed that it belonged to a new boyfriend of her super hot roommate.

          1. theskitter Avatar

            It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good car, must attract attention from other dudes far more than a wife.

          2. crank_case Avatar
            crank_case

            Should have bought a Miata. Ladies love Miatas, or should I say, get a better impression of you. Overtly aggressive looking cars only attract other dudes or as regular cars would say “girls that hate their Dad”. The Miata says unthreateninh, inviting, friendly, fun, confident enough in his masculinity to drive one. The puppy dog eyes pop up lights help.

          3. P161911 Avatar
            P161911

            This was 1990, the Miata was brand new and sold for twice what I paid for the Corvette. That might have been an option when I bought the 1994 Corvette, but I don’t fit in a Miata either. I’ve tried.

  2. dukeisduke Avatar
    dukeisduke

    When I was taking my 16yo daughter to 7:00am band sectionals this morning (ugh), we were driving alongside a nice new shiny black JKU, owned by a stuck-up girl. It’s a real mixed bag at my kids’ school. Everything from old Dodge Rams, to Hyundais and Kias. The coolest thing I’ve seen at the school was a ’65 Mercury M100 Styleside Custom Cab pickup, with white spoke wheels.
    I’m still on the car hunt (looking at a ’05 Corolla and a couple of Kia Spectra5s). The daughter takes her driving test in less than two hours from now. Once we can find some wheels, I won’t have to take her to sectionals anymore. Yay!

    1. Papa Van Twee Avatar
      Papa Van Twee

      As an owner of a Kia Optima (2006), and a 2006 Lancer, I would have gone for either of your choices as well. I like the Spectra5 because it’s a hatch, but went for the Optima because it drives so nice, and the Lancer because I got a good deal.

  3. Lokki Avatar
    Lokki

    I had to pick up a friend’s boy from high school as a favor one afternoon and my impression was that every car there was an SUV being driven by mom/dad on kid-pickup duty. The only exception was me in the Alfa. The kid I picked up was more interested in his phone than my car and there was barely room for the huge backpack he had….leading him to mutter about how small my Spider is.
    If asked again, I’ll tell his mom to just use Uber like the other mom’s do.

    1. Vairship Avatar
      Vairship

      I love how parents tell their kid never to get in a car with a stranger – and then send an Uber driver to pick up their kid…

  4. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    I was going to say that I had no idea, but then I remembered that I did take my daughter to school quite a bit for the last couple of years, even if I haven’t for the last 4 months (new job). She goes to a private school with grades K4-12. (We went with cheap rent in a family owned house in the bad school district, hence the private school) So the selection there might be a little biased towards the top end. Most interesting, old Range Rover. Common with the guy jocks, jacked up pickup trucks (newer and nicer than mine, with a few 3/4 ton diesels). Several 4-door Wranglers. A few new Camaros and Mustangs, a Porsche Boxster (1st gen), assorted Japanese SUVs.

  5. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    I started working when I was 14. Worked a really good paying co-op job in college and got some help from family. Also, cars where sort of cheap at the time and we don’t have ridiculous taxes on cars like Europe. Also, I got what I paid for the K-5 Blazer from the insurance company when it got totaled 10 years after I bought it. Old Blazers don’t depreciate.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar
      Sjalabais

      Sounds about right. 🙂 I also started working from age 13 (paper boys and beach entrance cashiers of the world, unite!). But it didn’t pay anything close to buying and maintaining a car; and my parents had put everything into a house. Slight differences.

      1. P161911 Avatar
        P161911

        I am an only child, and basically an only grandchild. That helped a lot, especially the only grandchild part.
        I worked at pharmacy all through high school. I could truly say I worked for a “drug dealer”. I made enough to pay for the car, payments, and maintenance. I think my parents covered the insurance.

  6. Alff Avatar
    Alff

    Cool kids don’t drive.

    1. nanoop Avatar

      Why should they indeed: when they are staring in their phones they are social – just not with us.

  7. Scoutdude Avatar
    Scoutdude

    I’ve got two tails,
    Up first is the public school my children went to. I live in a more or less rural area with a great disparity in affluence. There are lots of expensive homes and lots of trailers and old farm houses. Many of the cars are your basic mom, dad, or grand parent hand me downs.~10 year old Accords, Camrys, CUVs and SUVs and the occasional minivan from mom or dad and the ~20 year old Buick or occasional Cadillac. Then you have the rich kids in their new Mustangs from a GT convertible to the basic V6 cars or a new or near new BMW or Audi. Next up are those kids from the trailers or the houses out in the woods. There you see the older lifted pickups or SUV with Rangers and Cherokees leading the way but a couple of 70’s-80’s full sized Ford and GM trucks. The best was a girl who drover her dad’s lifted on 33’s Scout II.
    I am now a coach for a not cheap catholic girl’s HS. It is in the city and it doesn’t really have a parking lot to speak of. There are just about 30 spaces and 10 of those are taken up by the school’s buses, minivan and pickup. One is reserved for kitchen staff and another for the head of the school. A new addition is being put on and one of the parking lots that had 10 spaces are being used by the contractors to accept delivery of materials and store them. Despite that this year they added a second space that is auctioned off to parents for their daughter. That is due to the fact that last year a parent dropped $100,000 US dollars to give his daughter the closest parking space to the door for her to park her Porsche. I don’t know how much the two spots went for this year nor what is even parked in them as those girls seem to run out the door and are gone when I get there 5 min after school gets out. For the rest of the cars they range from the expected new BMWs, Audis, Mercedes ect, but there are also things like C-Max, Outbacks and one of my students last year had a 245. The reality is that many of the parents are quite well off while others forgo that new BMW to send their daughter to a prestigious school with rigorous academics to geive them the best shot at a top grade college. My student that went to Harvard had to share a 90’s Durango with her twin sister.

  8. crank_case Avatar
    crank_case

    I think it’s US thing, though probably changing. Back when I was a teenager growing up here in Ireland in the 90s, buying a cheap car was no great shakes, there were plenty of MK2 Ford Escorts going for pennies, or 2CVs before they went from “cars for weirdos and social workers” to “OMG, soooo retro” Pinterest fodder or Fiats. A family friend mechanic had a gorgeous Fiat 127 sport for a few hundred, the want was so bad.. The problem was insurance, which is compulsory and was truly insane back then, you either couldn’t get a quote or would be quoted something nuts, like over $5000 for the year for 3rd party cover on top of tax of a few hundred, which you’d need to find again next year. I didn’t go to college and had a shaky employment start, so couldn’t afford to drive until my early 20s, which as you can imagine, was unbelievably frustrating. I near lost interest in cars because I lived in the suburbs of a small town, so even off-road driving wasn’t an option. Plenty of rural young got their kicks from “field cars”, buying one of these cheap cars and getting permission from a farmer to tear round a field. Ireland was even more sparsely populated then and people were even more easy going and willing to let people do daft things). I remember visiting a friend down in west Cork and being allowed to hoon round in a beat up Austin Maestro, there were still cows and geese in the field. The Cows stoicly ignored us, the geese were having none of it..
    This situation gave rise to a truly fascinating subculture in the then new suburb of Tallaght in Dublin. A vast social housing development, then out in the middle of nowhere. It’s all built up now, but at the time it was bleak, no local amenities, lots of undeveloped wasteland, so they organized stock car racing to keep kids off the street and stop them joyriding, I can’t imagine it happening now, you’d have too many people complaining about noise or demanding who is responsible for insurance liability and it would be shut down. Damn, we used to be cool. Read about it here: http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/stock-car-racing-tallaght-1994-it-was-carnage-1.2953713
    That was pre-tiger era of course, so things have moved on a little, at least for kids with wealthy parents anyway. I knew the country had moved on economically when my family moved to a nicer suburb by the seaside and I went to pick my little sister up from school in the early 2000s, a series 1 Land Rover Discovery rolls up, and out get two girls, in convent school uniform. Pretty surreal.
    Things got better for a while but things seem to have come full circle, with massive jumps in insurance. There was a story in one of the national papers of a teacher in her 30s who after her car was written off and she let her insurance lapse for a while, found it actually cost her less to hire cars long term (which includes insurance) rather than pay insurance premiums.

  9. outback_ute Avatar
    outback_ute

    I think the high school parking lot is a US-only thing. In Victoria, Australia you can’t get your licence until 18, so really only the second half of your final year of school or later. Definitely no designated student parking provided, and many schools would be lucky to have any on-site parking or enough for all the teachers.
    At my school with 80 kids in the year there was one who routinely drove to school who had a 1970s Mini (he was a year older than the rest of us), and another guy from NSW where you get your licence a few months earlier would drive sometimes. Otherwise we were in a small town and rode pushbikes or the kids from farms around the area were on buses.

  10. TheIrvMan Avatar
    TheIrvMan

    As a recent graduate of a Canadian high school I can comment on this. There wasn’t a specific king but there was two common categories, late 90’s/early 2000’s economy cars and beat up pickups.
    Common offenders were the Pontiac Sunfire, Ford Focus and 2nd gen Dodge Dakota
    I drove a 1998 Saturn SL2

  11. Zentropy Avatar
    Zentropy

    Judging from the HS near us, it’s BMWs ruling the lot. But today, cars aren’t the door to social and expressive freedom as they were when I was a kid. I graduated in ’91 and managed somehow to be acceptable in a 60s muscle car, even though everyone’s rides were much newer. At least, no one’s exhaust note could match that of my dual-exhaust big block.

  12. Guest Avatar
    Guest

    I’m still in high school, so let me tell you what I see. (This is in rural Alberta).

    The most popular formula is mid-2000s, and 4×4, so there’s plenty of F150s, Escapes, Jeep Liberty’s and the like.

    There’s a few outside this formula (base 2012 Jetta, some 1990s GMCs, but most stick to it).

    The oldest car is my 1990 Taurus SHO, the newest is a 2013 Chevy Silverado.

    You would think that the 2013 Silverado would be owned by some rich jock, but it was actually purchased by a farm kid who somehow managed to scrape together the $30k for it. I respect him for that, and it helps that he takes such good care of it. Seriously, that truck is always spotless. I’m told he washes it whenever he has free time, and never drives over 30km/h on the gravel.

  13. Infamous007 Avatar
    Infamous007

    I work within a quarter mile of one of our local high schools. The cars in their student parking lots….
    Late model Honda Civics, older Honda Accords, VW Golfs / Jettas.
    About 10 Camaros and Mustangs
    And evenly divided truckwise between Silverado, F-150, Ram, S-10, Ranger, Dakota, Tacoma, and Frontier

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