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Why Do Car Buffs Dislike Tesla?

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,118
10,602
California
Interesting article in Slate/Quora about car buffs vs Tesla.
He makes the argument that car buffs are enamored with nostalgic memories of good times in the past and will ignore improvements in favor of these memories.
"Because car buffs are almost all nostalgia weenies. Most love a specific marque, often because of something that happened decades before. They obsess about the history. They've owned half a dozen of that marque and wish they could own a dozen more. I've known and know Porsche nuts, BMW nuts (my hand is up), Mustang nuts, and more."
People who don't like dual-clutch automatics and paddle shifters aren't interested in the fastest 0-60 or lap times; they are interested in slower, but more nostalgically pure, shifting.
And people who don't like the Tesla are mostly making **** up that justifies their aesthetic preference for being slower. The Tesla doesn't make noise like nostalgists enjoy because it doesn't waste energy making noise.
People claiming to be true car buffs who don't like the ascendancy of electrics are really nostalgists. They like grease under their fingernails as a signifier—mostly to themselves and a subset of their males friends—of a certain type of manliness. They are stuck in the past, not even surfing the present, never mind inhabiting the future with Tesla.

I think this can be extended to any "change". Witness the fury of some people on TMC who are vehemently opposed the the new v7 UI even though they have only a few snaps of it. They are nostalgic for the old UI and blind to the possibility that the new streamlined UI might be better.


Anyway... an interesting short read:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2015/10/11/tesla_why_do_car_buffs_dislike_it_but_nerds_love_it.html
 

Merrill

Merrill
Jan 23, 2013
3,699
1,259
Sonoma, California
The car buff term is somewhat of a generalization, I grew up sweeping the floors of my dads garage in the 50's. Got hooked on cars because I was around them 24/7. Always enjoyed taking them apart and trying to put them back together, I love nostalgia like the next person but was able to move into the future with the Model S and hopefully the Model X for an all electric garage. Lots of my friends are greasers and love Tesla but would never spend that kind of money. I know many of us on the forum are car buffs and just like most of society we all have our own opinions.
 

anticitizen13.7

Not posting at TMC after 9/17/2018
Dec 22, 2012
3,638
5,761
United States
My observation has been that car buffs who hate Tesla do so for cultural and/or ideological reasons rather than automotive ones. There is little dispute that a Model S has unreal acceleration and handling to match.

When car buffs I know tell me they hate Tesla, they inevitably cite one or more of the following reasons: "global warming is a conspiracy", "government subsidies/taxpayer dollars", "stupid Californians", "Hollywood/celebrities", "Solyndra", "bailout", "greenie weenies", and "rich people". It's almost never about the car itself. There is a very real feeling (unjustified IMO) in some communities that Tesla enriches the haves at the expense of the have-nots, that there's Prius-like smugness from the Tesla community, and that the car is a fun toy for the rich to flaunt in the face of the poor.

Edit: Many or even most of us at TMC are fortunate enough to be well educated. Many here are relatively wealthy too, because the reality is that the owner of a Tesla automobile or owner of Tesla stock has the disposable income to afford these things. This isn't the vast majority of America. A lot of the country never recovered from the Great Recession, and people are angry.
 

Thumper

Active Member
May 6, 2011
1,062
4,029
Portland, OR
I think you are right about the nostalgia for some past happy memory being a big factor for car buffs. I have a friend who has three 5.0 Mustangs of various years. He just collects them and doesn't even drive them much. I've tried to talk him into an S but he declines to even test drive one. He said "It's not my dream". There's the problem, his dream is hardware specific, not performance based.
 
May 27, 2015
975
195
Parker, CO
I am a car fanatic of the highest order. I have decades-old subscriptions to five car magazines per month. (Motor Trend, Automobile, Car+Driver, Road+Track, and Consumer Report) (Stop laughing). I have oodles of nostalgia and love old cars. But I absolutely worship technology, and love having the newest gadgets and features. So when hybrids came around, I was interested immediately. And once Tesla came around, I was in love. Now when I look at old cars, I think about buying my favorite(s) and converting them to electric drive. I've got 1-2 in mind that if time, budget, and garage space allow, I'll try and tackle in a few years.

"Car buffs" who dislike Tesla haven't been in one. That's my opinion. They're biased because they fear the end of ICE. It's not going to happen anytime soon, they can relax and enjoy the best car in the world without fear of losing their loud, belching polluters.
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,850
7,021
Brea, Orange County
I have to admit I have not met a person that hated Tesla. I think people that do have some sort of issue that they project on Tesla to express their anger or frustration.
 

AWDtsla

Active Member
Mar 3, 2013
4,262
3,952
NE
I have to admit I have not met a person that hated Tesla. I think people that do have some sort of issue that they project on Tesla to express their anger or frustration.

Just met someone last night who hated Tesla. Ranting about getting "gubment" money, etc, etc. They are everywhere. Probably a talk radio listener.
 

S'toon

Knows where his towel is
Apr 23, 2015
3,699
3,640
AB
Wait a minute. Liking loud engine noise is the sign of being a car buff? I've been looking at it as a social warning. "Warning, the person driving this vehicle is a complete and utter a**hole. Please adjust your interactions accordingly."
 

anticitizen13.7

Not posting at TMC after 9/17/2018
Dec 22, 2012
3,638
5,761
United States
Just met someone last night who hated Tesla. Ranting about getting "gubment" money, etc, etc. They are everywhere. Probably a talk radio listener.

Exactly what I am trying to say.

Many of the responses in this thread are from people from California and wealthier areas of the U.S. Outside of our enclaves, believe me, there is tremendous animosity towards Tesla and anything perceived to be even remotely "green".
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,573
21,975
Texas
I've yet to meet a person who hated Teslas in Texas. Some don't think they have enough range or cost too much, and some like engine noise, but no one has it in for Tesla. Most don't even think about green or not green.
 

ArtInCT

Always Learning
Sep 2, 2014
1,713
433
Southern Connecticut
I know plenty of older serious car guys. Key word older. For these folks, the computer age has never been their forte'. For these folks, the Tesla, its touch screen and interface is NOT in their comfort zone. In my talks with them at car shows, the overall impression I am left with is that they are intimidated by the Tesla and the direction that the new Automobile (from all makers) is going. They may like the lines, the performance, the concept... but are going to be observers at best.

For this stratum, the Hybrid is a huge stretch....
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,573
21,975
Texas
I know plenty of older serious car guys. Key word older. For these folks, the computer age has never been their forte'. For these folks, the Tesla, its touch screen and interface is NOT in their comfort zone. In my talks with them at car shows, the overall impression I am left with is that they are intimidated by the Tesla and the direction that the new Automobile (from all makers) is going. They may like the lines, the performance, the concept... but are going to be observers at best.

Must be region dependent, as it's often the case that the older guys and gals are more impressed than the younger folks. And many of those folks are showing their '50s and older cars that they've kept for a long time.
 

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,403
3,530
NE Tennessee
I have taken my Roadster to many dozens of car shows and the car buffs line up at my car so much I had to come up with a poster and handouts as I can't field all the interest. By far I get the most interest so for me the article is representative of about 1 person. Don't read too much into it.
 

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