Sponsored by the Honda New England Auto Show and A Girl’s Guide To Cars.
All the Cars of Our Lives
I can map out my life from jalopy to newer jalopy. Cars mark the milestones of our lives. My mapped out route crosses 4 decades, two continents and many countries. There are the days sitting in the back of my parents’ old Toyota. I remember being allowed to sit up front as a kid on the bench seat between my two grandparents in their giant car.
There is the long distant memory of staring at the road blip blipping by through a rusted out hole below my dangling feet in the first car I remember. The more recent memory of driving through Cambridge with a screaming infant in the back of my own mom-mobile is proof that not all babies love cars. The time my parents stopped on a snowy narrow mountain-side road in France to put chains on the tires as my father whipped around hairpin turns and my mother’s screams of “Andy! Slow down.” One pre-college weekend when my boyfriend’s car starting billowing with smoke won’t soon be forgotten or forgiven by my in-laws who we left stranded in a tiny Adirondack town with no mode of transportation for hours as we borrowed there newer functioning Subaru.
What’s In a Name?
We all have memories of times and places of our lives. More often than not, we got there in a car. We got from point “a” to point “b” in a car of a particular colour, style, make and model. Do you remember the scent, the feel, the song that played on the radio, the hole in the seat?
When it comes to vehicles there are definitely “car people”. Some of it is status, but that’s not the whole story. Some car people are Honda people, Japanese-designed car people, German-made car people or Porsche people, Tesla people or Vintage vehicle people. Car people care a whole lot about which vehicle they “need” and there is very little chance of changing their mind. Then there are the rest of us. We want a car that functions fairly well, is pretty comfortable, isn’t terrible for the environment, is relatively clean, and comes in a generic subdued colour.
The Art of Buying a Car
Choosing a car is all heart for “car people” they fall in love with a specific idea of what a particular car brand means. The right car is their version of the American Dream. The rest of us choose a car by some odd combination of word of mouth and which dealership was the least unpleasant to work with. We compare the cars we grew up with that were reliable to the cars we think we may want. We see what car seats fit where and which trunks have enough room. Shopping for a car has typically been a rather unpleasant chore, but things are slowly changing.
The Times They are a Changing
The car landscape is changing, and it’s time to start being a bit more strategic about car shopping. We can use our heads and then fall in love with the car that’s just right for us. Not only are the cars changing but the dealerships are too. How we find a car and do research about cars is changing too thanks to all the new car shopping apps and websites. Even more importantly, what each car offers is dramatically different. If you haven’t driven a new car within the last decade or maybe even 5 years, you’re in for a big surprise. I grew up in a family that believed strongly that automatic windows were a total luxury (and maybe deep down I still feel that a little). Now though, the amount of bells and whistles avaialable are not just luxuries but rather safety checks and balances for the driver and her family.
Whether you need a car or not, the New England Car Show is a great opportunity to do a little no pressure research. Cars of the future may not be flying, but we’ve got our eye on bigger and better things like eco-friendly cars, efficient cars, safer cars, and cars that can keep up with the pace of our everyday lives.
Contest rules: Entries must be completed by midnight January 11, 2018. No purchase necessary; contest open only to US residents; winners will be notified by email by January 12, 2018. Winners MUST pick up tickets in person at the Boston Auto Show, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, 415 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210 between January 11, 2018 and January 15, 2018. Winners may be asked to provide identification to receive their prize. Prize value $30 per prize, not exchangeable for cash or other items. Grand prize value is $130. A total of 10 pairs of tickets will be awarded and a total of 1 grand prize will be awarded.