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July 15, 2012

Car Talk

Should Del Sol driver worry about his 'chick car?'

Syndicated columnists

Dear Tom and Ray:
I just learned that I might be driving a chick car. I own a red Honda del Sol, and I really enjoy driving it. Do other guys think I'm less than manly? How can I add some testosterone to this ladylike transport? At least it doesn't have an automatic transmission. Should I worry about this? — Steve

Tom: In our experience, the way guys "find out" they're driving a "chick car" is that some other guy, who's feeling insecure about his own masculinity that day, tries to make himself feel better by saying, "Dude, that's a chick car you're driving."

Ray: Guys occasionally have days like that. Some days my wife dresses me in a pink shirt and matching boxers, and I just have to unload on somebody!

Tom: Yeah, my brother has been known to be a smug, "chick car" accuser from time to time.

Ray: I admit it. I have been known to razz the occasional guy who drives a white Mazda Miata.

Tom: Like me!

Ray: Exactly.

Tom: Not only should you not worry about this, Steve, but you probably are one of the few who, like me, have discovered a wonderful secret: Who likes chick cars? Chicks!

Ray: That's true. Most women tend to be intimidated or put off by so-called macho cars. And they tend to be more attracted to cars they consider cute. So if you're interested in talking to women, a cute car — like the del Sol — is exactly what you should be driving, Steve.

Tom: On the other hand, if you're more interested in attracting guys to your car, then you should drive a "guy car." I know when I test-drive something macho, like an oversize truck or a Dodge Challenger with a Hemi V8, 99.9 percent of the stares I get are from guys!

Ray: That's true. And conversely, last week, when I was test-driving the little Fiat 500, it was like taking a puppy for a walk on a crowded beach! Women everywhere were turning their heads to look and smile.

Tom: At the car! Once they saw that my brother was driving, they put their hands over their mouths and bent forward. But that's not the car's fault.

Ray: No. So drive happily, Steve. And if some numb-bolt tells you you're driving a chick car, say: "Yeah! It's great, isn't it!"

(Car Talk is a nationally syndicated column by automotive experts (and brothers) Tom and Ray Magliozzi. Write to them at the Car Talk website.)

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