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That's My Girl: My Car and Me

Over time, I have started to notice that our complex cultural foundation consequentially provides us all with curious personality traits. one of the most fascinating is our ability to animate the inanimate. Most of the time its when something goes wrong of course. The classic example comes when you stub your toe on your coffee table, and yet you put all fault on the coffee table as if it got up and moved in the way of your toe. If it was the case that the coffee table had animated abilities, I can imagine it flinging its arms (well, legs) in the air and violently protesting at our inability to accept personal fault for anything we do wrong.

Whether it is blaming a wooden table for your clumsy toe stubbing, or having a ‘conversation’ with your pet (seriously, cats cannot understand you, nor can they speak English), we often enter into some form of emotional relationship with the world around us, whether it is living or not. There is no more prevalent example than that of the automobile. At the end of the day, the car is nothing more than a selection of raw materials, cleverly blended together and combined to create an internal combustion engine attached to a passenger compartment atop a foundation of wheels. Surely a car is nothing more than a means to an end? They take us exactly where we want to go; none of this public transport malarkey. And yet, it is not that simple. Over time, something has happened; an evolution has risen from the darkness right under our noses.

The car is no longer a vehicle. She’s a lady. She’s a friend. She’s a member of the family.

It was just the other day when this realisation reared its devastating head. My current lady has been with me since last September, since she was passed onto me by my dad after he moved onto a younger woman. Since our union, our relationship has blossomed with me growing accustomed to her ways. However, until the moment my world came coughing, spluttering and misfiring down around me, I had yet to realise the truth of the relationship.

This is M'Lady - a 2002 MG ZS

This is M’Lady – a 2002 MG ZS, adorned in the beauty of floral surroundings

A day like any other; how could any other day take such a downward spiral? As I drove along, my usual smooth ride was replaced by misfiring, jerking and what appeared to be an engine that was on the way out. Having your engine cut out on you at 40mph is definitely a moment that sees an exponential rise in clenching. Luckily enough for me, I was able to drag her sorry self into a local car park and call the AA. No, that is not alcoholics anonymous, by the way. I was told that the problem was most likely one of an electrical nature, and repair would involve either replacing the spark plugs, the coil, or something much more expensive like the catalytic converter.

It was as I stepped back to see the AA man reaching into the heart of my car that I realised that she truly is just more than a car to me. It was like watching a surgeon performing open heart surgery upon someone I love very much. The hardest hit came slamming home when her engine still felt so rough; my little girl was fighting consciousness and it was painful to watch. It was finally decided that her ailment was too strong to be cured on site, so now I find myself playing the waiting game. My lady sits dormant until she can be seen and saved. Britain has the National Health Service, and considering what may have to be done to her, I wish there was a NHS for cars. But she deserves nothing but the best, and I will do all I can to bring her back to health.

You notice that throughout my narration of my woes, I referred to my car in the feminine. Ever since the evolution of the mechanical and engineering world, the creations of humanity have often been given a female personality. The most famous of these would be cars and ships. For women are a true force of nature, and they deserved to be respected as such through the personification of our machines.

Cars have become part of the modern family. Many would still call it stupid, but many of us have formed emotional attachments to our cars. They are such an important part of our world, it is only fitting that we project a little part of ourselves onto them. In a similar manner to our pets, we know we do not truly understand our cars. Like the coffee table we know they are but an inanimate object. Alas, we still treat them as one of our own.

If it is as ridiculous as many of you cynics would claim, then why is it such a widespread occurrence to name your own car and give them a personality? Psychologically, the car is a place of both familiarity and freedom; we devote a lot of time, money and love into maintaining our motor machines. There remains few other aspects of our lives that require such an attention and time scale. Saying goodbye to an old car has similar outbursts to that of seeing an old age relative for the final time, or waving goodbye to your children as they go off and start a new life away from the family home.

Such a phenomenon is not limited to those who enjoy the automotive world; the reaches of such an affliction can take hold of any of us. I have known friends who have little to no interest in cars, talk about cars using only their name as if they were a brother or sister. I believe that this is not something to judge, it is something to celebrate.

And as these words of mine draw to a close, I sit and wonder as to the fate of my own machine. For my lady has fallen ill, and it will take life saving surgery to bring her back to her once glorious self. I used to be full of skepticism when people would get so attached to their cars, but now I understand. The motoring world is becoming ever more engrained into the human sphere.

Is it only a matter of time before cars start developing their own personalities? Will there be a future where man fuses his consciousness with the machines?

Only time will tell.

Follow me on Twitter @lewisglynn69!

Keep Driving People!

Peace and Love!


  1. chris glynn says:

    Well written Lew, yoû did my fuschias proud lovely picture

    June 4th, 2014 at 2:07 am

  2. Alastair Bain says:

    Good writing. Enjoyed the whimsical style. I was still smiling when I read the box at the bottom which I thought said, confirm you are not a spanner.

    June 29th, 2014 at 4:42 pm

  3. Bill says:

    Nice article. I can relate to what you describe. My beloved motorcycle is affectionately known by me as Virginia and we go on trips together. I pat her tank when she is starting to run low on fuel and tell ‘her’ its OK she will get a nice feed soon. If we’ve had a really difficult day and arrive at our destination safely she gets a than you pat on the seat. Its silly, I know, but still I do it as it makes me feel better.
    On one occasion I had to deliver my old trade in car to the dealer on the back of a tow truck because it had broken down on the way to pick up my new vehicle (now that’s bad luck) and it felt like watching someone I love been taken for burial in a hearse. Frankly I was so heartbroken that the enjoyment of taking delivery of a beautiful shiny new car was not quite as it should have been.

    June 30th, 2014 at 11:16 am

  4. Christopher Dean says:

    Modern scientific research he confirmed that we can influence mechanical devices with our intention. ( research if still sceptical) The boundaries are not as clear as the old Newtonian mechanistic view of the universe once implied. So acting nicely to your mechanical friends is actually a good idea and you will be repaid with more loyalty and better service. Great article

    June 30th, 2014 at 1:46 pm