How often it is that a young man’s first love affair is with an inanimate object.  Chances are it will be a motor car. Also probably his first big financial investment, and it will be a great source of pride and joy. He will lavish love and affection on her, and will spend long hours cleaning, polishing and tinkering around under her bonnet. Did I say “her”?.  How come it’s not a “him”?, or even an “it”!!

Well, there is history behind the references to transport in the feminine gender.  The first boat builders were men, and over time they endowed their craft with all sorts of feminine traits. A broad beam for stability, a stately bow to crest the waves and a woman’s carved head below the bowsprit. They dressed her in billowing sails (think clipper ships) and “she” sailed the seven seas. Never “he”. This continued with steamships, railway steam engines, airplanes and, of course, flying boats. Always as much about the looks as the performance. And the look was often the shape, the female shape.

It has been the same with motor vehicles, and you are more likely to have one of these than a boat or a plane. In fact you will buy quite a few in your life, and the shape and style will be a factor in your choice. Why would you buy an ugly car?  It’s great to approach your new car and admire her lines:  the love affair continues.    Having a car leads to a lot of driving to and fro, and you will spend more time looking at the backs of cars than the front.  This is because when you are in traffic (an all too frequent occurrence), the cars approaching you go past quickly, while the ones sitting in front of you seem to be there forever. So, this will focus your attention on…..The Rear End!!

You cannot possibly know if the car in front of you is a comfortable ride, runs well, or has all the latest gadgets. But you do know a great rear end when you see one. After sixty years of driving I would rather be stuck behind a Cadillac El Dorado or a Tesla anytime. So, when your mechanic tells you that she’s a bit tired and could do with a tune-up, but still has a great rear end, is he talking about your car…..or his lady??

PS: DISCLAIMER ALERT.   I am neither a misogynist nor am I a chauvinist. My two wives and five daughters would attest to this. I just find everything about cars fascinating, but mainly the shape!!


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