According to PJ O’Rourke, of the machines invented that are guaranteed to arouse desire in women, the best a man can buy is the Mercedes-Benz 380 SL. O’Rourke is wrong: the way to a woman’s heart is clearly a ’67 Alfa Romeo Stradale, but that particular debate is for another time.
What is clear is that few cars today have the power to get you laid. It isn’t hard to see why.
When you turn 17, it’s an unspoken rule that the boys who pass their driving tests first and get cars are the most attractive. It’s something I learned even earlier: by age three, I’d built up a formidable collection of dinky cars, and had the most girlfriends of any boy in my local nursery.
My level of attractiveness peaked a few weeks later, when cars were replaced by dinosaurs as that season’s must have. I had plenty of those, too, but no girl wants a man with a triceratops in his pocket.
It’s been downhill since then, and it’s a situation currently mirrored in the UK car industry. Sales are dropping, manufacturers are panicking, and cyclists are running out of people to be antisocial towards.
But that’s not the only thing on the decline: According to a study in The Atlantic, the young (well, not that young) are in the midst of a sex recession.
Now, think about it. Fewer cars sold inevitably means fewer 17 year olds getting laid. This, in turn, means more pent up teenagers who carry over their frustrations into adulthood; It is from here, I believe, that many of our socio-economic issues arise.
But why are fewer cars being sold? Well, for a start, because they are expensive. That’s not news, exactly, but as wages stagnate and new taxes are levied every few years, the cost of running these machines isn’t spare change.
For the outlay many people make when buying a car, they want something functional, something useful. But, ultimately, they also want something to be proud of. Something to show off. Something that is beautiful. Something that will make other people want them.
And today’s cars are anything but that.
Cars are extensions of their owners, and today’s are the automotive equivalent of abstinence. Sure, you might argue, the drive is more important than the aesthetics, but most women wouldn’t sleep with a man if his appendage was boxy, grey, wider than it was long and went round and round in circles, no matter how good a ride it was (though given sex toy evolution in the past few years, evidence suggests I could be wrong on this).
Low emissions, quiet engines, overpriced with chases like an upturned skip. Who’s turned on by that? From Dacias that look like boulders to Hondas with interiors the colour of gruel, I have yet to come across a car, made in the last twenty years and widely available, that would persuade someone to bang its driver.
And don’t even get me started on those soulless German creations. People who like them have no taste, and either engage in dull missionary or sad-act swinger parties. The teutonic efficiency and monotonous design of Audis and BMWs isn’t arousing, and no amount of leather interior can make ‘Vorsprung durch technik’ sound sexy. You’d get more enjoyment slipping over and landing on a pineapple than dating someone who fantasized about a VW. Which, in honesty, the average VW driver probably wouldn’t mind.
If products don’t appeal, they don’t sell. It’s natural selection: Ugly cars won’t be reproduced. The car industry needs to sharpen up if it wants to reverse its sales dip, and give us all something more shapely. Car manufacturers have within their power the ability to create aesthetically pleasing things that rev their own engines and rev other people’s. That’s the way to reverse the decline.
Enough of blaming Brexit or the global economy; people are attracted to the attractive. It’s time car companies started coming up with better-looking cars that can cruise and race, and that set consumers’ hearts racing along the way.