A lot of vehicle purchases are made based on passion.
Although we try to convince ourselves that we have selected a particular automobile based on a list of requirements, it’s usually what we want that wins out over what we need.
And for some folks, buying into a particular model line becomes a near religious experience. Suddenly, they can’t understand why anyone would buy another vehicle over their prized possession. These are what we call fanboys and fangirls. Basically, they’re a group of fanatic individuals who will defend their beloved mechanical transportation devices with aggressive conviction.
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And with some vehicles, the fanboys and fangirls are more steadfast than others. Below is a list of the Top 10 cars with crazy fanboy followings on the market today. And before you think I’m writing from a holier-than-thou position, I am guilty of being a whole-hearted fanboy owner of more than one of the vehicles listed below.
10. Chevrolet Corvette
The Corvette is one of the few cars to have its own sub-groups of fanboys for trimlines or different generations. There are the people who will regale you with tales on how this is America’s sports car and has been since 1953. And even here, each generation has its own group of rabid fans.
Then there is the group of current Corvette owners who are quick to bring up which cars the ‘Vette is faster than around a track and how much cheaper it is to buy than the exotics. Other hot topics of discussion include why pushrod motors are better and how well transverse leafs springs work. Corvette drivers are loyal and often buy more than one.
9. Ford Mustang
The Ford Mustang is the Pony Car equivalent of the Corvette. With nearly as much history, it too has a loyal following for each of its generations – yes, even the awful Mustang II. But Mustang love runs deep, as it is more of a lifestyle than just an automobile. Expect owners to have Mustang memorabilia, clothing and maybe even Mustang-themed furniture in their homes.
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Mustang owners love to tune and make their cars faster. A big source of pride is how much faster they have made their cars, using the least amount of money. “This ‘Stang now puts 400 hp to the ground and it only cost me a nickel and a Happy Meal!”
8. BMW M3
Ever since the first BMW M3 came to market, it has adopted a loyal fan base. The M3 to these drivers is more than just a sports car. It’s a sophisticated, luxurious sports car for the higher brow crowd. It’s a proper gentleman’s or lady’s choice.
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Don’t ever try to discuss if a lowly Mustang or Camaro is faster than this Bimmer. The M3 is too good for those American roughians, they’ll say. It would be like Prince William tussling with the WWE.
7. Toyota Tacoma
For those not involved in the truck world, the Tacoma may seem like an odd entry on this list. But talk to a Tacoma owner as to why their truck isn’t just the best compact truck on the market, but the best damn truck period, and you’ll get the point.
Reliability, resale value and off-road toughness are topics Tacoma owners love to discuss. Quick to bring up how many miles are currently on their Tacos, owners will also mention how much cash they could get for their beloved truck if they were to sell it. But since the truck is so reliable and indestructible, they will never actually sell it, which makes resale value a bit of a moot point. Tacoma owners are always happy to defend their trucks over the Big American pickups, and its underdog status is a huge reason for the fanboy love.
6. Nissan GT-R
The GT-R is a bit of an odd entry here, as the strongest fanboys and fangirls are those who don’t even own the car. They are the ones religiously reading the specs and reviews of the car and watching the YouTube videos of the latest GT-R kills.
Although incredibly fast, especially for the money, this has led to a bit of a superiority complex for the GT-R, making many believe it’s faster than it actually is.
McLaren P1? GT-R will beat it. SR-71 Blackbird? The GT-R has a higher top speed. Millennium Falcon? The GT-R made the Kessel Run in less than 11 parsecs.
5. Mazda MX-5 Miata
How can a small, under-powered roadster develop such a strong following? Well, it’s the engaging and intimate way the car drives, and owners are sure to remind you of this every chance they get. Billed as the happiest and most fun car, like ever, in history, it’s more about the enjoyment of journey than how quickly it’s completed.
Mention that a UPS truck will probably lap a track faster than the MX-5 or that it’s a “girly” car, and an owner is sure to respond that “you don’t get it. It’s not about speed.” The answer is always Miata, right?
4. Subaru WRX STI
Subarus are quirky and their owners are damn proud of it. Almost like an extension of their own counterculture beliefs, Subaru owners wear their hood scoops, big wings and unusual mechanics on their proverbial sleeves as a source of pride. Boxer engines, symmetrical all-wheel drive and off-set headers are hot topics of discussion around the WRX STI crowd who love to modify their rides.
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Fast in all road conditions, if a WRX STI does lose a race, an owner is quick to point out that if it were run on snow, dirt or bacon grease, etc., the superior all-wheel-drive Subie would have prevailed.
For such a small, new car company, Tesla has a strong following. In fact, it easily has the most loyal believers per car built out of any manufacturer in the world. Like the first Prius owners, Tesla owners also have that “early adopter” mentality and they love telling other people how awesome and avant garde their cars are. This truly is a lifestyle investment, as owning a Tesla Roadster or Model S involves altering one’s way of life to a degree.
But owners not only brush off these changes, they embrace them. Running on pure electricity saves money and helps the environment, right? And waiting for a supercharger to re-juice the car allows them to slow down their lives and enjoy some free time. Miscalculating the cars’ range and getting stranded on the side of the road allows owners to meet new people…
2. Volkswagen GTI
The Volkswagen GTI is like a compact hatchback version of the BMW M3. It’s the sophisticated compact tuner choice, compared to “unrefined” options like the Subaru WRX, Ford Focus ST and Honda Civic Si. Offering power, handling and refinement, owners will go on and on about German engineering if you let them.
And if a power and/or performance deficit is brought up compared to another car, owners are quick to reply “yeah, but with a reflash and a tune, it can make so much more power,” ignoring that said competitor would also make more power with a reflash and a tune.
1. Jeep Wrangler
Jeep owners, real Jeep owners, easily deserve the No. 1 place on this list. The Wrangler may be the most ill-suited on-road vehicle currently on sale today. With two solid axles, horrendous aerodynamics, laughable fuel economy, utilitarian interiors and the tendency to wander at high speeds, a Jeep is not for everyone. Heck, it’s not for most people.
But for the fanatical Jeep faithful, it’s all worth it once the pavement ends. Off-roading is the main reason for owning a Jeep. Even if some Jeeps never see anything but tarmac, there is a large amount of Jeep owners who do regularly take their rides onto the rustic trails. And if given the chance, will go on for hours reliving their adventures in the bush.
With their “Jeep Wave” and “It’s a Jeep Thing, You Wouldn’t Understand” slogan and bumper stickers, owners have created their own not-so-secret automotive society, one not really matched anywhere else.