America's Obsession with Cars

By: Kris LeSueur   |   03 Dec 2016
Mustang GT

Cars are as American as apple pie.  It’s hard to see any distinction between car culture and American culture as cars have been such a significant part of our lives since they first came to be.  Since cars are what bring us together, today we will explore our obsession with cars.

Without getting too much into historical semantics, the Ford Model T is widely considered the first affordable American car.  The automotive industry in the US began in the 1890’s and quickly became the largest in the world.  Detroit was the epicenter of American industrialism.  Just a couple of decades later there was a national agenda to build highways all over the country.  We have never looked back.  Cars began as utilitarian luxuries for transport and travel.  Soon they became a necessity for every business and then every family.  Over the years they evolved to become so much more than that.

For many years now cars have been an extension of ourselves.  To some, their car is a part of their identity.   A wide range of automotive sports and pass times have come to be.  Racing sports now have hundreds of iterations, with Nascar, Formula 1, Rally and Drifting being some of the most popular categories.  Off-roading also has many different sub categories now, from monster trucks, quads, and sand rails, to rock crawling, and even amphibious cars.  Let’s not forget hobbies like boating, camping, and hunting where you need an appropriate vehicle to tow or haul.  The custom car and aftermarket industries are booming as well, with more Americans changing wheels, suspension, and performance parts to make their cars more individual whether a daily driver or a trailered show car, and everyone’s style is different.  More women are finding their way into the previously male dominated world of automotive “modding” bringing unique ideas and designs into the fray.  For some, working on or driving cars is a form of therapy.  It’s a way to meet people who have similar interests and bond over your “builds”.  For others it’s the competition that draws them in.  Regardless, it’s hard to recall a fond memory that didn’t involve a car in some way.

Cars and our unbridled obsession for them have changed our society as well.  First it was drive in theaters, then drive through restaurants.  Now we have drive-thru coffee shops, dry cleaners, and more.  Delivery services have proliferated as well, the days of pizza being the only deliverable food available are long gone and with the right app today you can have almost anything delivered to you anywhere.  Our momentum is building too.  With new materials and technologies come new jobs and new industries.  Ride sharing broke the mold and now there are a variety of transport based mobile apps.  Autonomous vehicles are not far from a reality and so we are really just beginning to imagine what the future holds.  Maybe one day your car will fly…

To wrap it up, you can’t imagine the United States without cars.  I know I can’t imagine my own life without my car and I wouldn’t want to.  It’s a beautiful relationship between man (or woman) and machine.  That’s why we think of ourselves as “match makers” rather than sales people here at LeSueur Car Company, because we don’t want to just sell you a car.  We want to introduce you to the right car for you, one that will keep you safe and be a part of memories for years to come.

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