Our world is made up of many diverse cultures, traditions and ways of life. From food to language, sports traditions to spiritual ones, we live on a planet that is rich with diversity and awash with things that make each person, nation, region and people who we are. Of the many things that transcend these differences, specifically in places where roads are advanced and multitudinous and readily available, cars are most certainly one. Whether it is for business or leisure, collecting or restoring, cars are part of almost every culture known around the world.
From Ford to Ferrari, Mazda to Maserati, Volkswagen to Volvo and every motor vehicle in between, cars and associated sports, pastimes, and even toys, cars have a cross-cultural pollination position that is easy to see but not necessarily as simple to dissect. Beyond the natural preference for cars manufactured in a particular nation, breeding loyalty from those who live or come from there, cars have a more far-reaching and wide-ranging impact.
Motor vehicles mean a lot of things to a lot of people, often spanning cultural divides that are otherwise not easily breached or bridged. It can variate from a Royals Royce as an incredible status symbol or the creation of car inspired slot games that some of us enjoy. People love their cars and are often wedded, as it were, to one make or another, but how much of this is to do with national pride or allegiance, and how does this love of cars permeate so many cultures around the globe?
Status Symbols for Stars and Starting Out Vehicles: Cars as Cachet
For young people, be they in the US, Australia, the UK, Spain, Malaysia, India or any developed country that you can name, getting a first car is, at least culturally, the start of their freedom, the gateway to adulthood, the key to being able to go places without the need for parental taxi services. At the other end of the scale, there are many cultures that see the vehicle one may drive as a status symbol, or at the very least an outward sign of your wealth, position or even your class.
Some people buy the most expensive cars, highlighting their success in life as well as their personal preference. Others buy cheap, second-hand cars, often their first post-test pass vehicle, and highlight their personality by pimping their ride with high end car speaker systems. Regardless of whether you collect classic cars, have a garage full of expensive motors or are rattling to work in a beaten up second hand one, cars can be seen as cachet to many.
When you consider high end car manufacturers, the Aston Martins, Ferraris, Jaguars and Bentleys, to name a few without exhausting the list, they are often advertised by the rich and famous. Not only does this advertise the wealth of such people, but it also has something of an aspirational quality to it in terms of marketing. If can own an Aston Martin, for example, then I am doing well in life and that luxury car is showing people just how well I have done. Not every wealthy or well-heeled persons is ostentatious in this way, of course, and not everyone with plenty of money wants to spend it on luxury cars, but it is hard to deny that many cultures do see vehicles as a status symbol to be sought after.
Recreation and Sport: Where Cars Bring People Together for Fun
From the almost indisputable pinnacle of motorsport that is Formula 1 racing to the phenomena of console based online car games such as the simulated versions of F1 racing and more, cars have a funny way of bringing together global communities. Often disparate in location, age, social status, financial status and almost every metric, fans or motorsport and the wider gaming community who love car games are united in and by their shared passion: cars.
People from Europe, Asia, Australasia, North America, the Far East and many points in between love F1, Moto GP, and many other globally popular motorsports. Whether they love the Ferrari or the Honda, it is the car that brings them together and makes them part of a community, regardless of who they are or where they are from. The same is true of online game fraternities, where people play and talk about car games around the clock and around the world.
As we see from all this, cars are so much more than just a mode of transport. From casual recreation such as a game of Grand Theft Auto to the worldwide gatherings that F1 creates, people are united by cars, and more specifically their love for them. Add to this the many classic car conventions and jamborees and you will soon appreciate the essential thesis of the article at hand, that cars can cross cultural divides and why they have such a key role in cultures around the world.