By Iain Campbell
Note: This is a follow-up to the article Tell me what you drive and I will tell you who you are
As we move into the world of Sunny and Jesse, the world car market has evolved. The import now rules, though good guys still tend to buy American slightly more than bad guys. Sunny, however, like the old Spenser (surprise!) drives a Subaru.
From being GM buyers, good guys are moving to Fords. (Jesse has a black Explorer) In fact, the Fairlane was long a standard among police forces, though more recently it has been replaced by the Crown Victoria (and the Mustang for some highway patrols).
Bad guys, at least the successful ones, are regular purchasers of Lexus[i] and Mercedes[ii]. In our world, I believe it was in 1999 that Lexus became the most popular luxury car, with sales reaching a million.
Parker still sees the Mazda sports car as the car of the preppy flake. Only four of them are to be found in his entire works, none of them owned by admirable characters (Hal Reagan's mistress Nancy[iii] and Jenn Stone[iv] have Miatas, while Gerry Broz' friends[v] and Rafferty[vi] have RX7s).
Amusingly, as far as color goes, maroon is still dominant in the thug world, and should be considered a clear warning to all law-abiding citizens (e.g. Lou Burke[vii], cop gone bad, rents a maroon car, Lawrence the stalker has a maroon Pontiac[viii] and the Macklin gang[ix] has a maroon van). In addition, thugs are now displaying maroon accessories! Crow[x] has a maroon duffel bag containing the drugs he acquired by shooting the previous owner, Bo, while Macklin[xi] has maroon trim on his sweat suit!
Overall, it seems that there could be a drop in the importance and the closeness of the relationship between a person and his/her car. Perhaps the addition of dozens of imports has diluted the strength of the stereotype. Perhaps the car in American culture has evolved, and is no longer a "guy thing" as millions of women make the influence of their dollars felt at dealerships. Only time (as viewed on a digital dash display) will tell.
[i] E.g. Cathal Kragan in Family Honor
[ii] e.g. Tony Marcus, ibid.
[iii] Perish Twice
[iv] Night Passage and Trouble in Paradise
[v] Widening Gyre
[vi] A Savage Place
[vii] Night Passage
[viii] Perish Twice
[ix] Trouble in Paradise