Hooniverse Asks: What’s the best car with the worst owner base?

I don’t love posting Hooniverse Asks questions that aim for negative answers. But lately the Tesla crowd seems to be growing ever more defiant, and for all the wrong reasons. First let’s look at the cars and the company itself. Tesla is a game-changing automaker. Elon Musk forced the hand of the rest of the industry, and he’s doing so for the better. Look, I love a proper V8 but our future is an electric one.

The cars have amazing range. The charging speeds are getting faster all the time. And the performance possibilities are wild. Tesla has turned the electric car into an aspirational machine that’s shaping the minds of the future automotive enthusiast.

Yet the most ardent and vocal Tesla fans seems to have an us versus the world mentality. And I believe it’s harmful to the rest of the EV space. They are quick to dismiss any non-Tesla electric vehicle. They fail to realize that Tesla needs this sort of competition to make its own vehicles even better. But if you speak up against the cult of Elon, you’re quickly dismissed as a Tesla short.

I own exactly zero stock in any automaker. I want Tesla to succeed. I also want other automakers to do well, because this is very much a rising tide and lifting ships scenario here.

That mini rant is a long way to get to my question for today; What’s the best car with the worst group of owners? Tomorrow, I’ll have a similar question by the reverse to stem this pending negativity in the comments below.

50 Comments

    1. I guess this depends where you’re from. My home town in south east Ireland had one of the biggest harley clubs in the country. Most of them were the stereotypical big old dude with a beard, but I remember any I dealt with being really nice people. Used to do a lot of charity drives and stuff. Tend not to be the ones redlining their bike up the nearest higway at 3AM either (not that the potato machine engines could get to those dizzy 5 figure RPMs, but still). I can’t say I’m a fan of their fuel to noise conversion devices, but they’ve never been a bother round these parts. Probably different in the US.

  1. Corvette, especially first owners. They usually don’t get driven like the should until the second or third owner.

    1. Meh, Corvette owners are aging themselves out of significance. I don’t see anyone young driving them, and the old dudes have mellowed out.

    2. Rich enough to buy a really nice capable car, not rich enough to use it up.

      All the better for the secondary market!

      1. You’re easing into the opposite question, which answer is the best owners with the best care who barely can afford expensive base models.

      2. I had a boss who would wash his Vette every Sunday, only to put it back in the garage. He sold it when he realized it only accumulated 200 miles per year. Ten years later, he had a desire for another one. He would take his wife 500 miles for a family visit, then drive home with an empty passenger seat, then reverse the process the next weekend, pretty much every month, plus whatever commuting he did… Things can change.

      1. Fair… but the first couple generations of Prius buyers were pretty out there for self righteousness in a way that Honda Insight (the only other serious hybrid available at the time, I think) owners never seemed to be. Don’t hear too much from them these days though.

          1. We joked when people asked how the Prius worked that from your driveway to the street, they ran on a combination of battery and engine power, but once someone saw the driver, then the car ran strictly on moral superiority.

    1. When I owned a Prius, I was pleasantly surprised by the owner base, at least online at priuschat. It was full of avid DIY’ers and there was info there about doing just about anything that a Prius might need. On the rare occasion that a condescending jerk made it on the forum, they were not tolerated at all.

      Not to say that there isn’t some basis for the stereotype just that the reality I experienced was contrary.

      I suspect that the obnoxious Prius owners have all bought Teslas by now anyway. 😀

  2. The first headline I read today was, “Tesla Driver Arrested for Wrong Way Driving on Bay Bridge”. My immediate question was why is it important to the story that they were driving a Tesla? There have been a number of wrong way driving incidents in the Bay Area over the past year, and no other headline ever mentioned the car manufacturer. People just love to hate on Tesla drivers, I guess. (Off Topic: Ask me how I feel about Tesla’s labor relations.)

    Back in the ’80s I worked at a car museum and the annual Jaguar Club Meet was always the worst to deal with, because of the owners. Things may have changed over the decades.

    1. Well, if the headline was “Bay Area Vegetarian Restaurant Closed for Health Violations”, I would say the detail was relevant. It doesn’t imply that vegetarians are filthy, but given that only about 3-4% of Americans are vegetarian, it’s a descriptor that narrows the subject considerably. Specifying the automaker in this case doesn’t suggest that all Tesla drivers are idiots, but Tesla has what, 2-3% of the U.S. market share? In some parts of the country you simply don’t see them, period– much less going the wrong way.

      Now, if a Tesla driver cut me off in traffic, you can be sure my rant would include the fact that he was driving a Tesla. That would certainly suggest a bit of prejudice on my part. And the Porsche taking up two parking spots at the market? Douchebag. Inherent bias is real, people.

  3. Tesla, no contest. I too want to see the company succeed (if only for the technology to improve), but the self-righteous zealots buying its cars often make me think otherwise. I view Musk and Tesla in much the same way: his mind and aspiration (and Tesla’s cars) are admirable, but his mouth and attitude (and Tesla fanboys) are insufferable.

  4. Maybe it’s a local thing, but every Holden Monaro based Pontiac GTO seems to be owned by someone too slothful, dumb and lacking in commitment to join the Hell’s Angels.

    1. No, it seems that way here, too. Not so with the G8, though. I saw a G8 GXP the other day and was surprised at how great it looked and sounded. Wouldn’t mind owning one, and I’ve never be mistaken for a Hell’s Angel.

  5. I cannot shake my mental association of Preston Tucker = Elon Musk in a different political environment. Tucker was half con man half genius, as is Elon. Both had amazing marketing and fund raising skills and both skated on very thin ice with the SEC. Both came to be viewed by the government as threats to the automotive status quo. The major difference is that the administration during which Tesla got rolling thought changing the status quo was a good thing and supported Musk financially (both directly and legislatively), where as Tucker got crushed for it.

    Elon is a lying nut who can be very annoying, but it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t had some amazing accomplishments. I tend to find the few Tesla owners I’ve met to be true believers, but no usually offensively so. Sort of like happy Buddhists; not very like Elon himself. And a Tesla IS a very cool toy that’s also pretty damn functional.

    In answer to the actual question, I agree with Caltemus that HD owners are in the weirdest bubble and with Number Six that “valet-parked” (not Pit-parked”) Porsche owners are the most condescending. I, as a BMW owner, am pleased to see (since no one mentioned theme that since BMWs have reached the “they’re everywhere like Camrys” status, the porcupines have apparently moved on to other cars.

  6. Dodge/Plymouth E body. Worships at the altar of “big blocks only” and “Mopar Or No Car”. Stereotypical douchebro Murrica! car show guy. And I’m saying this as a long time Mopar fan. These guys are the worst.

    1. Oh, good point. They do unfortunately often fit the stereotype you describe. It’s funny, too, because often I see AMXs and Javelins gathered not far from Mopars at car shows, and those owners are typically the complete opposite. Tough to be anything but humble as an American Motors enthusiast.

  7. Much less of a thing now, but Ireland has always had a pretty strong JDM scene thanks to no real restrictions on used imports. During the “tiger” era, when everyone had loads of cash, EG Civcs were an absolute plague of fart can exhausts, banging the engine off the limiter at 20mph in urban areas, and generally trying to race everybody where the other person was aware they were a race participant or not. Rust and insurance has seen them disappear, nowadays this sort driver has mostly moved to remapped VAG diesels with the DPF removed.

    Toyota “Twin Cams” (AE86s Corollas) have long been the unwanted groupies of the rally circuit here too. You can almost guarantee that at every major rally event, there will be a group of folks near every stage doing donuts on the public road. The worst thing is that this becomes fuel for the moral panic types against the rest of the enthusiast community. Doing donuts isn’t the baby killer its made out to be, but there’s a time and place and it isn’t in front of a crowd, blocking access when roads have already been closed. With rising prices and ageing owners, they’re calming down a bit, but they’ve a rep as our equivalent of Car Meet Mustangs.

      1. Dunno,. there’s about 8 of them in the world according to Wikipedia and I’ve never seen one, plus it was owned by an American businessman and intended for export which makes it all the more bizarre. Something about exporting not very good coal to Newcastle. If you want to talk real IDM, the TMC Costin is far more common with an entire 39 cars built. The one owner I vaguely know online seems alright.

  8. When I was a valet, 911 owners were the worst. Generally expensive car owners got special treatment with the hope of getting a generous tip. Most of the time that panned out, except for the 911 owners. They seemed to expect the special treatment and rarely tipped accordingly.

    It has been over 25 years since I was a valet, maybe things have changed.

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