The Rich People’s Ten

Here’s an article for those who want to pass for wealthy:

What does the car you drive say about how well you’re doing? There are particular brands that suggest the person behind the wheel is a high earner, according to a new report. It has revealed the 10 vehicles makes that are owned by those who earn in excess of £75,000 a year.

Well, two things jump to mind immediately.  Firstly:  in these Bidenflation times, 75k (UK, Euro or US) isn’t “wealthy” anymore.  (175k, and now you’re getting close.)  Secondly:  the truly wealthy don’t care about how they look — in fact, they often try to disguise their wealth because they don’t want to be targets.  (And ignore the article’s tinges of wealth envy;  they’re Brits, and wealth envy seems to be genetic Over There.)

But just for the hell of it, let’s go with the DM’s definition.  Here are their top ten:

1. BMW – 16%

2. Audi – 15%

3. Ford – 14%

4. Mercedes – 12%

=5. Toyota – 8%

=5. Volvo – 8%

=7. Nissan – 7%

=7, Vauxhall – 7%

=7. Volkswagen – 7%

10. Land Rover – 6%

Unlike my normal outpourings on this website, wherein I just read SOTI and then offer an opinion thereon, I decided to do some actual research for this one.

You see, I live in an upscale area, loosely defined as North Dallas Metro (north Dallas, Plano, Frisco, Allen — and, in a stretch, McKinney, Parker and Fairview).  There are areas of all the above that are not high-income enclaves — e.g. where I live — but within these areas there are also enclaves where the cops will pull you over just for driving around in a car that isn’t one of the models I list below.  (Pickups with trailers full of lawn equipment, for obvious reasons, get a pass.)  Areas such as Park Cities (Highland- and University Park) and Turtle Creek in north Dallas;  Willow Bend, Normandy Estates, Kings Ridge and Wolf Creek in Plano;  and Adriatica in McKinney:  all are examples of said enclaves of wealth.  Total population of the areas (estimate):  about 1.25 million.

So yesterday I took a long drive around some of these places (except where I was stopped by gates, Q.E.D.) and took a highly unscientific but I think nevertheless representative survey of what kind of car these knobs are driving.  I included the doctors’ parking garage at Plano Medical City, street parking on Plano West and the valet parking area at Willow Bend Mall, just for the hell of it.

What struck me is that you can’t just group the cars by brand;  you have to include the model for the study to make any sense at all.  (Example:  Audis are like Fords in Plano — but the Audi A8 and S8 aren’t;  ditto, Mercedes are like Chevy — but Maybach aren’t;  and Maseratis and Porsches are commonplace, until you get to the Quattroporte and upper-end 911s, which are not so common.)

Here’s what you need to drive in this North Dallas Metro area if you want people to think you actually live there instead of just driving through:

  • Mercedes G-wagen (G550 or the AMG, $150k):  I counted half a dozen of them, all driven by women, i.e. they’re the family’s second car, ditto
  • Audi Q7/8 SUV ($80k):  lost count, easily more than twenty though, but every single one was driven by Mommy, as were
  • Range Rover ($130k):  about a dozen of the big ones (forgotten which model), three of which were parked outside the Beretta Gallery in Highland Park, and two outside the Orvis store on Preston Rd
  • Bentley ($250k+):  two Continentals and two Bentaygas;  one Continental was parked outside my Sooper-Seekrit address when I picked up my mail
  • Maybach ($175k+):  I counted two sedans and two SUVs — all parked outside the North Point Mall
  • Mercedes S500 or SL 500 ($125k+):  lost count, more than ten parked just in Legacy West — they are the Audi A4 of Plano
  • BMW 7-series ($120k+):  maybe a dozen
  • Porsche 911 Turbo ($200k+):  five — one was parked in the student parking lot at Plano West High School
  • Rolls Royce:  only one, parked in the driveway of a house in Willow Bend
  • Tesla:  almost as popular as Ford F-150 trucks, out here (ugh)
  • Ferrari:  only one 488 in the doctors’ lot at Baylor Hospital;  I suspect that Ferraris are mostly weekend cars, not everyday drivers.
  • And on the above note:  I suspect that a Saturday morning drive would reveal a lot more high-end car models than as indicated, because there are a sprinkling of “exotics” (Lambo, Maserati GT, Aston Martin and so on) which I’ve seen on a regular basis during my travels herein.

Some other brands were represented, but Lexus and the smaller Mercedes sedans and SUVs are a dime a dozen, and as for the smaller BMWs… think VW in any German city as a definition of popularity.  There are a ton of the bigger, high-end SUVs:  Toyota, GMC Denali, Escalade etc.  Cadillacs (outside of the Escalade) seem to be almost non-existent, at least while I was driving around.  I saw one Caddy CT (4? 5?) in Plano West.

Hardly any Jaguars, of any stripe.

I remember driving Mr. Free Market around a few of these Rich Phartte areas, and his comment was that the houses’ architecture was pretty Nouveau Riche;  but as I told him, there’s almost no Old Money in the North Dallas Metro (as Brits would define it);  wealth outside the Awl Bidness is generally self-made or else first-generation-inherited, e.g. Troy Aikman (north Dallas) and G.W. Bush (Bluff View/Preston Hollow).

Anyway, there you have it:  what to drive in the North Dallas Metro area if you want to announce that you’re wealthy.


I have often thought that our transportation problems can be largely solved by the re-introduction of the pared-down small pickup truck, similar to the Toyotas, Datsuns and Mazdas of years past, i.e. the 1970s:

Then I came upon this article, which talks about Toyota’s current attempt to do just that, the result looking something like this:

The 70s light pickups look almost dainty by comparison, but that’s because Nanny Gummint decrees that even the simplest and most basic of cars need to have all sorts of safety equipment included.  (By comparison, the earlier pickups had about as much safety equipment as a skateboard.  My old Mazda pickup from that era didn’t even have seat belts.)

And as for selling such things for only $10,000?  I’ll bet Mr, Free Market’s country house that not one American car manufacturer would even give lip service to the concept.

Not when a loaded F-150 sells for $75,000 and yields about $25,000 profit.

Afterthought:  my last Chicago car was a Mazda B4000 (similar to the Ford Ranger of the early 1990s), and I loved it.  I lost it in the Great Divorce Of 1996, and Ex-Wife drove it until (I think) 2012.

All the power I’d ever need, complete reliability, plus room for guns in the little extended cab.  If I could get its clone (11,000 miles on the clock as it had when I bought it, for $9,000) I’d grab it now with both hands.

Most Desirable

The Englishman has suggested to me that the top candidate for “Most Desirable Car Ever Offered For Sale”  is this one (and follow both links for pics and descriptions that will make you drool):

(click to embiggen)

My humble suggestion for the title, however, is this one:

…but then again, The Englishman is even more conservative, more of a traditionalist and more nostalgic for Times Gone By than I am.

If you can imagine it.

Wrongly Blamed

Oh, this is rich:

Rowan Atkinson has been blamed by the House of Lords for the plunge in sales of electric cars.  The Mr Bean actor, 69, described the green machines as ‘a bit soulless’ in a comment piece he penned in June last year. 
The Lord’s environment and climate change committee has since been told the actor was partly to blame for ‘damaging’ public opinions on electric vehicles (EVs).

Not that the opinions of the House of Lords should be taken seriously — on just about any topic — but it’s ridiculous to blame Atkinson for a sales slump of cars that are manifestly not fit for purpose (in so many ways).

“Soulless” is the least of the reasons why not to buy a fucking Duracell car, and most certainly so when one recalls Mr. Bean’s habitual choice of vehicle:

And lest we forget, he was also an “early adopter” of the EV type:

…and by the way, it was to this thing he was referring.

No man should.  Not even Mr. Bean.


Reader George K. writes:

“When I was in high school, the scion of one of the wealthy industrial families in my hometown returned from heading the European division with a Mercedes 190SL roadster in British Racing Green. I still think it is one of the sexiest cars I have ever seen.
The 190SL doesn’t get the love it deserves because most people have never seen one (I don’t think that many were sold in the U.S.), plus it was always overshadowed by its 300SL big brother.”

The only knock on the 190SL was that it was underpowered — certainly true when compared to the 300SL.  But like Reader George, I love its looks:

Also, unlike most sports cars, the 190’s trunk is large enough to hold several rifle cases (or golf clubs, if you’re of that persuasion).



Here’s an interesting question posed by Jalopnik (no link, fuck ’em, the woke assholes):

We’re talking (say) 1970-1974 here, and no extensions either way.  Fortunately, the average age of my Readers being 75+, the early ’70s should be easily remembered, assuming of course that we can actually remember that time and not have lapsed into total senility (like me).

Early 70s… oh yeah,in my case that would be the last two years of high school and the first two years of college failure.  Easy-peasy.

And if you can’t remember what cars were available back then, here’s a little list which might help.  (Remember: cut-off date is 1974.)

Remember:  “daily drive” means it can’t fall to pieces after 10 miles (which should rule out most Fiats, Alfa Romeos and pretty much all British Leyland cars).  Assume they’re brand new off the showroom floor, in the standard configuration of the time, unmodified.  And to make things more interesting, you get to pick three:  one for you, one for your wife and a weekend / “date” car.  (Yeah, I’ve bent the rules a little.  Whatever.)

Here are mine:

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