This will be a short piece.
I recently had a conversation with my parents about exotic Italian cars. They ask, “What is the point in owning such an expensive and powerful car in this country? Where can you even drive it?” For context, I live in a typical developing Southeast Asia country. In this region, metropolitan centers like the one I live in have terrible traffic management and infrastructure, meaning traffic jams are a part of our everyday lives.
So why would anyone buy an Italian supercar in a country where you can’t even drive it?
First of all, people don’t buy supercars because they’re practical. Even if we were to disregard how expensive they are, supercars are very difficult to live with day-to-day. They’re impossible to park, they’re petrol guzzlers, they ride incredibly low in traffic (so people won’t see you)… The list goes on. People buy supercars because they can. Owning an exotic car like Ferrari, Aston Martin, or Koenigsegg is a status symbol. Most people with means buy supercars because other people can’t. To hell with the problem of where can you even drive it. Most people who can buy these cars will probably never even take these vehicles out of second gear.
Second of all, there are those who want these cars simply because they’re wonderful to behold. Ferrari is one of the most prestigious manufacturers in the world. Each car is a product of decades of racing pedigree. The level of craftsmanship and attention to detail the metalworkers and painters and engineers give to each car contribute to make it special.
There are people who are passionate about food, about art, and about movies. Sometimes we want things that we just can’t explain. I know I’ll never be rich enough to afford a McLaren yet I know I still want to own one. Even if I had the money, I know it will be difficult to live with but I don’t care about that. These cars are special and I know sitting in one, driving one, and owning one would make me feel special as well. It’s not about materialism; it’s about seeing the beauty in these cars, recognizing that they’re both mechanical and artistic and rejoicing in that.
And also, I want to drive really f*cking fast.