Hooniverse Asks- What Kind of Girl (or Guy) is Your Car?

We all assign our vehicles some sort of personality based on their traits. Whether it be the guy with the axe from the Brawny® paper towel wrapper that comes to mind every time your see your F250, or the chick from An Education as you slip behind the wheel of your Se7en, something must come to mind.

We tend to anthropomorphize everything from our cell phones (stop touching it!) to our food (Charlie Tuna anyone?), to even our conveyances. We know that ships have traditionally been referred to in the feminine, but that practice hasn’t transitioned to personal transportation with equal furvor. There’s no common knowledge of the familial form of address that gladiators applied to their chariots, nor has the pioneer’s conestoga wagon been known in the feminine, despite being most commonly referred to as a prairie schooner.
But we all know our cars, and we know what gender they imbue. While it’s not based on the bosom-evoking headlight shapes, or the smirk-inducing pair of truck nuts hanging off the back, there is an immutable character that each possesses, and to which we assign a personality, and yes, even a sex.
So that being said, what pops to mind at the sight of your ride? Does it evoke an address in the feminine? Or, is it butcher than Rosie O’Donnell? Do its idiosyncrasies remind you of someone you’ve known, transferring your image of their personality onto it? What kind of girl (or guy) is your car?
Image sources: [gaffa.dk, vwkombi.com]

163 Comments

  1. I guess I don't anthropomorphize my cars that much. I guess the car (a 2002 BMW M3) is beautiful rather than handsome, and sexy isn't something I would say about a dude. It must be female. I have talked to the car (please don't slide right now!) but I don't have a name for it (weird to me) and I haven't assigned it a gender. It really isn't a person to me (and none of my cars have been.) It is more of a pet (and an enthusiastic one at that), and who cares what sex your dog is? You love it either way, and treat it well.

    1. I like the dog analogy. I've always resisted the idea of assigning my car a gender. It's very competent, enthusiastic when I'm on it, but difficult to read or assign emotion to. It's been named Eggy as long as I can remember (originally 'The Eggbeater'), but never elicits a "C'mon, boy" or "C'mon, girl". "C'mon, buddy" is plausible, but extremely infrequent. While it extends my hands to its front driven contact patches in decidedly quadrupedal fashion, and I am very attached to it, it's more a robotic pair of pants than a proper Gromit.

  2. My car has no gender, but it must be female, because it's dependable and I can rely on it. (Just a joke, guys).
    And I've never named a car.

  3. All my cars are female, all my wife's are male. I don't know how this rule was arrived at, other than I've always referred to my cars in the feminine. I got that from my grandpa, who's '69 Chevy C/10 was named Betsy. My F-150, Betty, was definitely butch. She'd kick your ass, haul it to the junkyard, and not feel any remorse. My Mustang, Maggie, is not as butch. She's got some tomboy tendencies — attacking corners and driving with spirit are high on her list — but she also sometimes enjoys some more "girly" things, like a good washing and some extra pampering.

  4. MY DD is a 2010 Fusion SE with an I4. It's pretty much a no fuss, no muss kind of car. Comfortable, not trying to impress. It does the daily mundane grind without complaint and in a completely unassuming way, yet it cleans up well and is presentable enough for the occasional night out on the town. It's great with kids and their stuff. While not fast, it's not slow either and can muster impressive enough highway speeds. The suspension is not performance-minded but it does nicely on the twisties when pressed. The features like MS Sync, decent audio and power everything make it comfy and accommodating.
    Wow. I just realized my car is a housewife.

  5. My current car is a female. Not timid but not that wild either. The kind of girl who might dye her hair an odd color, maybe has a tattoo or two, and sometimes likes to surf around SuicideGirls.com.
    Not a hot rod or sports car, but just enough to keep it interesting.

    1. I would say the same about my truck, S10 super crew, without the famous nuts.

  6. I've thought about this a surprisingly large amount.
    My daily driver, a 2003 dark blue Mazda Protege5 is clearly a braindead man of some type. He's married to a GPS called Mrs. Tom, a TomTom GPS that actually keeps changing because I keep buying the newest ones. This man is a beast of burden- he lifts heavy loads, autocrosses, gets driven aggressively, and generally abused (save for maintenance) but takes it all in stride. I'm very pleased with his performance thus far.
    My garage maiden is Belle. She's a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 4 door sedan, kind, cancer-surviving, triple-bypass ignoring grandmother with the heart of an ox. No matter how torrid, painful, and brutal her life was, she just refuses to give up living. The body creaks and groans with every bump. The white from the walls of tires has long since faded into a gray even more depressing than an overcast sky. Inside her surprisingly rust free frame, sitting atop heavy duty suspension, beats an exhausted yet persistent 305 small block. It has a mismatched cam, gigantic heads, an awful intake manifold, awful connecting rods, an amazingly terrible fuel pump, a radiator with rocks in it (don't ask me how, I have no idea), and extreme amounts of surface rust, every time it dies, a bit of fuel in the float bowls and it just springs back to life. When it does live, it shakes the house with a thunder that Zeus would be proud of. Belle, my recently arrived RWD beauty of yesteryear, survivor of a torturous time, refuses to give up on what little she has left and brings a smile to my face every time I walk into the garage. A true champion anyone can be proud of.

  7. My '88 Toyota 4×4 Pickup is Truck-E, thanks to Wall-E. He's nice and all, but doesn't much. Likes to get dirty and do his job. Definitely has a heart, and has a hidden heroic side.

        1. Who knew that the elderly loved tennis so much?
          And Texan, I've always thought that the 68-72 Chevy pickup had a handsome, older gentleman visage. It's just an honest look that has no pretense about it.

  8. My F-150 is the loyal family dog. Responds well to commands. Looks the part. Enjoys going for rides, but is will to be in the back yard all day. Drinks lots of water. Reasonably quick, compared to others. Mean when it wants to be. Getting on in years, so a few problems, but nothing catastrophic. My truck is like my dog. Dependable, loyal and fun.

  9. She's a girl (and a Mustang), but her name is White Castle, and honestly I associate her more with White Castle than any human traits. She's not good for you or the environment; driving her right is completely satisfying but also leaves you feeling a bit dirty (like eating a fifteen pack of WCs); she's a little bit low class but a whole lot of fun; and she uses a lot of oil. She's even the same shade of white as the White Castle boxes.

  10. Ah the 951. She is akin to a smokin' hot 80's girl. At one point she was "simply irresistible," but now the hair seems a bit much for most people. I still love her though. Also she appears to have IBS: I keep finding puddles on the driveway.
    Oh yes, and she has no name, she is simply "the 951," much like Prince was "the Artist."

  11. After a bit of reflection, my '02 Neon shall be named Pam (from "The Office"). Sort of pretty, but not hot looking. Dependable and sort of fun with out a lot of attention needed.

  12. Hmmm…
    '06 WRXagon: short-haired, sporty, tomboyish girl. The kind where you're never quite sure which team she's playing for, but you hope to god it's yours.
    '00 Wrangler: Ain't no way this is anything but a dude. Probably like a younger park ranger, but one with one tattoo and one scar.
    '67 Country Sedan: Older gal, lots of kids, but will drink you under the table and knock your ass out given the opportunity.
    '64 Falcon: Honestly, haven't owned or driven it enough to get a real impression. Maybe a long-distance pen-pal girlfriend would be appropriate.
    '82 BMW 633csi (the Uberbird): Former Olympic-qualifier distance runner who since fell on hard times on the wrong side of town. We found her in a homeless shelter with a drug habit, but got her cleaned up and now she's back in competition.

  13. 2g DSM (eclipse GSX)
    He was named Bud when I got him and he was already labeled as a dude. It just doesn't feel right changing that. To me, he is like a introverted troubled athlete. He has his battle scars. He still can get up and move when he feels like it but you know there is something lurking underneath that silence … unforeseen issues known only to him that bubble to the surface just long enough for you to know they are still there. Yet, he soldiers on without much whining to the outside world. So he is Larry Bird with a bit of substance abuse? (a lil oil between changes mostly).

  14. Eleanor. She is petite, light on her feet, low on maintenance and easy on the eyes. At least she will be when I'm done whipping her into shape. Oh, and she is 42.

  15. Mine is the fat girl from high school. Everybody knew one. She's a little heavy, so she's not particularly light on her feet, but she's incredibly sweet, and a great friend when you finally get to know her. She is reliable, agreeable, and never argues. I love my little fat girl.

  16. I figured out a secret some time ago; If I name my cars and give them personalities (complete with voices) my wife (who is a sucker for rescue animals) can't STAND the thought of me selling them. Hence, 9 vehicles!
    Brownie (World's greatest Crappy Old RV) – Big Burly caretaker of a brute. Soft heart, gruff voice.
    Obie, Wife's MGB – Young Sweet boy with squeeky high voice, loves his mommy. (Really my car, but we say it's hers)
    Bluebie, Datsun – Shakespearean Gentleman, very polite, sounds a bit like the Shmoo.
    Art, Dodge truck – Mumbles a lot.
    Sharky, 67 Polara with Teeth for grill – Only says "RAWER!!"
    Lazarus, aka Killer Bee MGB, Normal man's voice, somewhat British
    Piggy, 77 HD Ironhead – Biker of course
    Sakisan, GPz550 – Japanese ninja (Hai! Ikimashyo!)
    Abby, MGBGT, our lone feminine vehicle, she's built a little differently than the other MGBs.
    Smarty-pants, wife's smart-car, says "Beep-beep, ZOOOM!" Became definitely male when we added a center sport exhaust. 😉
    Ok, so now you all know I'm crazy…

  17. The '72 Vista Cruiser is like an aging, former NHL power forward now playing out the rest of his career in the minors – it's huge, heavy, ugly, and carries quite a few battle scars, but thanks to that stonkin' 455 and posi-trac rear, its still surprisingly fast – and it won't hesitate to beat you into submission.
    The '65 Triumph Herald is an old British codger carrying around his oxygen tank – definitely showing its age and practically on life support, it takes a fair bit of coaxing to get it to go anywhere, it leaks every fluid it contains, and never moves very quickly, yet staunchly refuses to give up the ghost. It still always puts a smile on your face with its ever-present cheery and rather unassuming charm.
    The '79 Kawasaki KZ1000 is the fun, kinda nerdy girl who, after you take the time to look past the glasses and blend-into-the-background style, turns out to be hot as hell and one crazy-fun ride.

  18. I think the only vehicle I've ever truly felt deserved a name/gender was my '88 Honda Magna. I named her Claire, but can't for the life of me remember why. I guess it just sounded right. My next bike after that was an '82 GS1100 streetfighter that almost certainly was a skinhead-brutal and unforgiving. Never got a name.

  19. Sure, I'll play. '97 Q45, black, lowered, Work Euroline DH wheels. He's a Yakuza that's getting on a bit in years and more at home making deals than doing battle, but he can still mix it up if he needs to. Hasn't quite made it to boss, but he's getting there, got a few trusty boys under his command, and most of the gang speaks of him with respect. Likes his sake, and has expensive tastes in personal care. Good singing voice too.

  20. The Alfa is like the high maintenance women that, if you're fortunate, you get to date but choose not to marry. Temperamental in the extreme but well worth the hassle on the fairest of days.
    The Subie Turbo is like the Japanese culture that spawned it – fast moving, lots of shiny lights, some just plain weird elements and the sensation that it is neither as timeless nor robust as its euro countparts.
    The Ram pickup is a steer – big with no balls.
    My wife's minivan is "Pat" from the old SNL skit. Neither male nor female but it makes no difference because it completely lacks sex appeal anyway.

  21. A Bi-polar Nazi Barbie doll with a bad coke habit.
    Cute little BMW Z3 with the original 1.9L body and no fender flares, only a small little lip spoiler on the trunk. Under the hood is a slightly warmed up S52 with about 280HP exhaling through almost straight pipes, no mufflers, just resonators, LOUD. Sits on a slightly lowered suspension, with 17" black wheels (black car), steamroller tires, with the original 4 cylinder 3.45 axle ratio it is usually revved up pretty high.

  22. My '96 Thunderbird would be a Cougar. She looks better than her age, likes running after younger cars though she has some miles on her, and she seems happiest when her diet is 10% ethanol.

  23. Ah, Violet.
    I'm still figuring her out. '89 244DL, of course.
    She's definitely an alternative sort. The sort of chick who, for whatever reason, couples a butch haircut with librarianesque glasses. She doesn't wear black, though you'd expect her to.
    She drinks, but not heavily. Gets a bit rowdy after her second round. She's fine with breaking the law or getting dirty, but she can present herself fairly well for a night on the town – but only if she needs to.
    She has a mild speech impediment, and is a bit defensive about it. Her friends are few but close. She claims not to need positive reinforcement, but in truth it makes her feel wanted. She doesn't fit in with the pack, and keeps a dry sense of humour.
    I've put way too much thought into this, so here, have a photo.
    <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/majuww.jpg"&gt;

  24. Slightly tweaked 1999 Subaru Legacy GT:
    The trashy, cheap but hot skank you cave into picking up after your 6th beer–and are not disappointed.
    Unrestored, slightly modernized 1972 Mecedes 250 (w114):
    WWII veteran who went to Harvard on the GI bill, then fell victim to a quiet, lonesome post-traumatic stress disorder. Weathered, slow, cool, dignified, and educated, until you push the old man around a bit. Then he gets a little rowdy before retuning to his aloof state of composure. You can beat him senseless and he'll just come back for more because he's seen worse than anything your whipper-snapper ass can bring.
    Wifey's bone-stock 2001 Legacy Outback H6:
    Fugly, tree-hugging lesbo. Smart and endlessly useful, punch her where it counts and she will jump up and kick the fat asses of minivans, V6 Mustangs, ricers and most aging 325's.

  25. Both my vehicles are boys. The Tundra's name is Yoda while the Mini's name is Oliver. The truck was named by a friend and the car was named after a kind of majority rules thing amongst a few people…

    1. You accept, surely, that an adorable hatchback styled after a historic British city car and named after Richard Hammond's beloved Kadett is an awesome proposition however you slice it?
      I imagine there are a fair number of Toyota products out there named Yoda. Of course, I also doubt that most Toyota drivers give their vehicles names, for the same reason that they don't name their electric stoves, refrigerators, or lawn tractors.

  26. I'm terrible at names, always have been. I have a hard time deciding on names for pets. Thankfully for those there's always someone else to help out.
    As for the cars….
    "The 84": 84 RX-7 GSL-SE. 177k miles. My daily driver, and I think of her as the grumbling older woman. Even when she was young, she was stronger than her sisters, but all were starting to look dated, and now 26 years later she's still complaining. Never left me stranded, but threatened to a number of times.
    "The 8": 04 RX-8. Wife's car. no drama, no fuss. no gender. "the family sedan". fun car with plenty of personality compared to most, but outshined by the rest of the garage.
    "The 93": 93 RX-7 R1. 73k miles, engine currently out and mid-rebuild process as funds allow. Hope to have her back on the road by summertime. She's the hot girl you never thought would give you the time of day, but surprisingly says yes to a date. You have to be careful, you never know when she's going to turn on you (2nd turbo kicks in mid corner? hold on!) but learning to take her anywhere near the limit is exhilarating.

  27. My DD is an '04 Tundra. The black sheep of the appliance family, he's definitely a no-nonsense somewhat sarcastic older brother type. He'll pull you out of a scrape, but you know you're going to get reamed afterward. He knows his place, but get his ire up and he'll take on all comers. He ain't no pretty boy, got his share of scars; ain't afraid to get dirty. Everything a pickup should be.

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