Monday, December 28, 2009


I own a 2003 Dodge Neon, which doesn't get much use since I commute most of the time on the train. It's cute, but not anywhere near as classy or expensive as the car on the left,owned by Exotic Car Share, in which I was fortunate enough to ride in the 2007 Arlington Heights Frontier Days Parade.

Cars have a way of reflecting their owners. Not many rich people drive around in beaters, at least not that I know of, unless they're trying to go incognito.

You can use cars to describe your characters when you write. I used cars as symbolism in my mystery, Two Wrongs. One of the cars was an Infiniti, which Cathy, the love interest for the protagonist, Danny, drove. I won't tell you what happened to her. You can get a hint by the model of the car, or better yet, read the book to find out for sure.

What about you? What do certain cars say about their owners? What kind of car do your drive, or would you like to drive, if you could? Or, if you're a writer, have you ever used cars to help describe characters?


  1. My favorite car, EVAH, is a '65 Mustang convertible, candy-apple red with white interior. No, I've never owned one, and by the time I can look around for one I'm sure they'll be wildly expensive collector's items.

    When I wrote Freezer Burn, I naturally wanted my heroine to have what I could not, so I gave her the Mustang. Unfortunately, three chapters into writing, it dawned on me that a classic like that would not be a good car for a private detective who is trying to be, oh, INCONSPICUOUS.

    Sigh. I gave her a light blue Honda instead.

    Someday, that chick and I are buying the 'Stang.

  2. I love old cars, so a rare 1956 Plymouth Fury is one of the central characters in my first novel. It certainly helps define my main human character, and the car is the glue that ties the story together.

    My personal daily driver is a 1964 Plymouth Valiant convertible.

  3. My personal car, Deiter, is a Passat station wagon. I'm a mom so need the wagon and you can't get stick shift in a minivan. And I only drive stick shift.
    My dream car is a Turbo Porsche 911. I'd paint it purple!

  4. I finally got my dream car - a 1999 burgundy Jaguar XJ8, four door sedan. Does it reflect my personality? Hmmm,
    don't know but it sure makes me feel great! As I frequently tell folks, "I'd rather cry in a Jaguar than on a bus." Yup, I do use cars in my writing to describe people.


  5. My all time favorite car was a '59 Olds 98, Lavender and white with a 396. I would cruise at 115 with plenty of petal left. I was a teenager in the 60's, the age of the muscle car. We lived in the cars. Girls and dates were for the city kids. We had more fun in the car, running the 'ave.

    There is a true story involving two kids (my friend and I), skipping school for three weeks, taking my dads '55 ford and traveling from Iowa to Cleveland (and getting kicked out of Cleveland), that I need to put on paper someday.

    My favorite car is a '63 bird or a goat. I drive an 05 Malibu, not by choice. I keep hoping someone with good insurance rear ends it and puts it out of its misery.

  6. LOL, Unwriter, My 56 Chevy beat the tar out of my husbands 59 Olds. We used to drag race down the main street of our little town. Don't tell my mother. I would love to have that old Chevy back.

    I have never given a character a particular car as part of the characterization, as none of my characters have seemed to care about a car the way I do. For them the car is just a means of getting somewhere.

  7. I drive a Crysler Sebring convertible...I love summers around here! Some day I'd loe to ahve a nice Ford F-150 pick up for tooling around in.

    My hubby is into American muscle cars. He has a '74 GTO.

    In my "country/cowboy" books, the hero always, always, always drives a pick-up. One heroine drives somewhat of a beater to show her finances are limited.

    Fun post.

  8. I sure have! I used a couple sporty, expensive cars to reflect the 'well-off' status of their owners. I also gave my wrong-side-of-the-tracks character an old Camaro. Black. Fit him pretty darn well, I think!

  9. I don't write many stories, but I have done this. My view of expensive cars is not necessarily flattering. In Los Angeles, it seems that many of those how own the flashy, expensive cars think the driving laws don't apply to them.

    As a child, I wanted a Lamborghini. It made it's way on many of my Christmas lists. I never did get one. (grin) Now? I don't really care. I would just like a new car, preferably one that gets good gas mileage. LOL I just don't like to waste things. LOL

  10. I could care less about cars, I just want something comfortable and dependable. Right now, that's a Ford Edge. No matter what I might want for a car, hubby will always buy a Ford. When we first got married we had an old Dodge that died, next car was a '41 Cadillac which managed to get us all way from one coast to the other--then died. 4 flat tires and a cracked block. After that, it was always a Ford.



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