Age and wisdom trump youthful passion, for cars at least

Misguided teenage preference for a particular brand of car may fade later in life

Ryan Eyster

What kind of car do you like? Chevrolet? Ford? Or perhaps Dodge? Many a summer night is spent working on a favorite car or truck.

To find out what students prefer, as well as what people think later on in life, a simple question was asked of nearly half of the student body: If you had $50,000, would you buy a Chevy, a Ford or a Dodge? Our casual survey findings were surprising. Chevrolet garnered the most votes by far with 47, and Ford came in second with 38.

Although Dodge was in last place, the 18 people who voted for it were by far the most passionate about their brand. Ford, in the same inversely proportionate trend, came second in passion, with Chevrolet in last. This is not a large enough sample group to mean anything significant, but we can safely say that at Iola High, Chevrolet is the most popular make of vehicle.

IHS Dodge fans tend to favor the Challenger and the Charger, two flagship muscle cars in production today. As Braden Plumlee so eloquently put it, “I want me a Hellcat.” This is, of course, in reference to the 70- horsepower monster that will haul kids to school in the morning and log a ridiculous quarter-mile time in the afternoon.

Although Isaiah Fawson sided with Ford and would buy a Mustang, “if I had more money, I’d totally go for a Corvette.”

Chase Regehr voted in favor of Chevy, but “for an old farm truck, I’d take a Ford.”

These types of split loyalties wasn’t uncommon, despite students’ quite-vocal opinions about what kind of vehicles they prefer.

Fast-forward a couple decades, and a few local professionals in the automotive industry still have their loyalties. However, this where things got strange compared with teenagers; older car lovers were more analytical and practical.

Jeff Geiler of Model T Haven told us why he thinks Chevrolet is a very different company than Ford.

“Ford stuck with the same design, when Chevy advanced,” he said. “Ford clearly had the better car, but Chevy, Buick, Dodge, all those guys, they appealed to the masses.”

Co-worker Mark Freimiller’s response was a bit more unexpected, considering he owns a Model T restoration company. “Ford and Chevrolet are both great companies, but if you want a nice, clean, classy car, you would go and buy a Chevy. If you wanted a car to get you from A to B, you would go out and buy a Ford.”

Freimiller’s day-to-day vehicle is a 1949 Chevy Coupe, which is “one of the most perfect-looking cars ever made.”

Ford has always been the more popular car worldwide, because the company was around before Chevrolet. Chevrolet began production in 1911, three years after Ford was founded in 1908. The Dodge brothers left the Ford Motor Co. to begin their own organization in 1914. Chevrolets were known to be more expensive in the beginning because the company was trying to compete with Ford and make a more elite car that everyone was going to want. Dodge worked in a similar fashion, but soon began to shift its focus to performance.

All three are the leading American-made brands today. It seems that although high school students seem to be partial to one particular brand of vehicle, later in life,an impartiality to brand develops and unique vehicle features matter most.

When it really boils down, the local shop owners said, many of today’s cars are about the same underneath.

“Well, Chevy makes cars that I’d drive, and Dodge does too,” Freimiller said. “It comes down to what you want in the car.”

Geiler, the Chevy fan, added: “As much as I hate to admit it, Ford makes a few cars I’d buy. Same with Dodge.”