I have here an e-mail from Mike Nauer, a loyal Jalopnik reader from Nevada. He writes, and I'm quoting here: "You must get a lot of chicks in that thing. Am I right? Eh? Eh?" I get the feeling that Mike would also like to wink at me and jab me in the ribs with his elbow just to make sure I "get his drift," but you can't do that over e-mail.
The "thing" Mike is undoubtedly referring to is my Ferrari, which is bright red and really low and basically an excellent way to tell strangers that you think you're cooler than they are. You'd know all this if you followed me on Twitter, where I post pictures of it constantly. For instance: this weekend, I posted a picture of a dog sitting in the passenger seat, and a clever reader replied: "bark twice for faster." I was still chuckling about that, days later, as I tried to remove dog vomit from the CD slot.
Anyway: back to the e-mail from Mike. Like many men, Mike assumes that owning a Ferrari automatically means women will fawn all over you. I hear this a lot. There are thousands of men, probably millions of men, who believe the reason they haven't hooked up with a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model has nothing to do with their unkempt hair, or bad breath, or the fact that they have stains on their clothes older than many NBA rookies. Instead, they think it's because they don't have a Ferrari.
Well, guys, for those of you nodding your heads, I'm here today with some bad news: having a Ferrari won't get you women.
Regular readers will note that I've covered this topic before, back in July, when I wrote a column entitled Sports Cars Don't Really Attract Women. In that piece, I mentioned that my old Lotus Elise never attracted women. Instead, it only attracted men, who would approach me at gas stations and tell me stories about how much they wanted a Lotus, but instead they got a Nissan Sentra that's a lot like a Lotus because the previous owner ripped all the foam out of the seats.
But I've decided to devote some new attention to this topic, because this time I've really upped the ante. I mean, let's be honest: you probably read the old column and thought: Of COURSE women don't notice that Lotus! It's like a bright orange children's toy! But if you got a Ferrari, I bet women would THROW themselves at you!! So I got a Ferrari. And guess what: women still don't throw themselves at me.
Now, before I go any further, I would like to state that I'm perfectly aware there are some women who really appreciate cars. I know this because every time I write a column that mentions any sort of gender differences, I get e-mails from women who are the eighth-mile Clay Surface Drag Racing Champion of somewhere like New Brunswick, and they're aghast at the very idea that I could be so disrespectful to the fairer sex.
But I think we can all agree that those women are the exception rather than the rule. That's because the rule – in general – is that women just aren't that interested in cars.
Any man who has ever taken his wife to the Pebble Beach Concours knows this is true. What happens at Pebble is, you're walking around amidst a sea of exotic cars, cars that won famous races, cars that are one-of-one, cars worth millions of dollars, and you turn around to discover your wife is 20 yards behind you, where she's managed to find another wife and strike up a conversation about shoes.
This same thing happens on the road. Even if you're driving a Ferrari with the engine at full melodious throttle, passing most women elicits the exact same reaction it did in the Lotus. This primarily involves women briefly looking up at the car and then thinking: Hmm. I wonder if I have any text messages.
And here's the other thing: even if your car does get you noticed by the opposite sex, it's often the wrong type of women doing the noticing. Here I'm referring to women who see the car and don't think "Cool!" but rather "Rich!". To find out which one you've attracted, I strongly suggest striking up a conversation. The moment she says the words "my car only has a V4," it's time to excuse yourself and drive away quickly.
So, Mike Nauer, I do get your drift. But unfortunately, I don't get "a lot of chicks" in my Ferrari. In fact, I don't really get any – and for further proof, you should really watch my video. If you need me, I'll be vacuuming dog hair out of the center console.
@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars. He owned an E63 AMG wagon and once tried to evade police at the Tail of the Dragon using a pontoon boat. (It didn't work.) He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer, largely because it meant he no longer had to wear pants. Also, he wrote this entire bio himself in the third person.