They sold me self-esteem

I moved to my current place about 5 months ago and there is this automatic car wash place right next to it. Price is alright, facility is average, but there is something that makes its business better than its neighboring competitors.

After the car goes through the rollers and jet sprays, it rolls under this tunnel of pressured air to dry the car. While your car rolls in the noisy air, you will notice a long horizontal mirror on your left, about 5 feet from the car. You see your car, all cleaned and shiny. But more importantly, you see YOU in your car.

I guess driving a car is like getting a hair cut. You will never see you driving your own car like how you can never give yourself a decent hair cut. And since my car is kind of rare, I really want to see another Honda Prelude in action. It will be awesome if I’m in it too!

Car is usually something precious to the owner. It’s more than just a product. Owners tend to be proud of their own cars. It’s rare that car owners get to see themselves in their cars, so it definitely makes them feel good about themselves, like a woman looking at herself in the mirror in her new dress or something.

Yeah, so for a couple of bucks, I not only got my car cleaned, but got some “feel goodâ„¢” too.

interesting observation / analysis mr cow.

but i must say, i think my hair looks pretty good

Are the carwash facilities pretty comparable other than the mirror?
I think it would be really interesting if the others were noticeably nicer, but this one still won out.

Would you call that an “out-of-auto experience”? Seeing yourself from an unconventional point of view.

Not totally unrelated, but have you ever seen a videotape of yourself giving a speech or presentation. You wonder who is that goof ball dancing behind the podium playing pocket pool in their pants. Just the opposite effect of seeing yourself in your own car…

Interesting observation Cow. Both narcissistic and voyeuristic at the same time.

Cleverly the mirror is set up such that you will only see you in your car, not another driver in their cars.

Of course looking at those layers of fat in the mirror when you step out of shower isn’t exactly going to be pleasant, it’s different when you’ve got well defined muscles to flex around.

If I’m a shrink, I’d recommend my patients to go to that car wash more often.

Of course looking at those layers of fat in the mirror when you step out of shower …

awwww, mannnnn… … . reminds me, I need to get that dent pulled out of my left front fender.

so much for that ‘feel good’.

Since when are Honda Preludes rare ? :slight_smile:

I get your point though. I always used to love cruising by mirrored buildings in my '69 Benz after a car wash!

Nice observation on simple added emotional value to a product/service that can help differentiate among commodity product/services.


ah the beautiful rare BEI BEI

huh? is that some Prelude owners code?

(off topic- i remember a buddy in school had a TYPE SHO prelud, that someone taped a vinyl sticker on the back to read TYPE SH@T. haha)


sorry inside joke, the cow knows what’s up

You know how Michigan is making everyone switch from the blue plate to the white one? They sent me a new one with the wrong name!!! It’s “Bei BeiY” now.

Damn it!

Prelude is pretty rare here cus nobody cares about them, and hence the ceased production.

off topic- i remember a buddy in school had a TYPE SHO prelud, that someone taped a vinyl sticker on the back to read TYPE SH@T. haha

Someone actually made a vinyl sticker for that purpose???

off topic- i remember a buddy in school had a TYPE SHO prelud, that someone taped a vinyl sticker on the back to read TYPE SH@T. haha

Someone actually made a vinyl sticker for that purpose???[/quote]

Just using some sign vinyl letters we had in the shop… happened to be a pretty good match to the typface though.


hand wash is way better than automatic wash.

especially when it is the same price.
but they dont supply a mirror.

Clever idea. Yes there is something fundementally ego driven about cars. No matter what someone says (unless perhaps a car is a TRUE A to B device and they drive a Malibu or a Kia), there is always the “I think/hope my car makes me look cool” factor. I’ve been hopelessly obsessed with cars since I was like 10, and I have to agree. Even those who like to modify cars for the viseral/functional aspects are “trying to look cool” in their car to some degree. It’s never been my main intention with any car I own, but yet that motivation is still there. I’d never drive a car PURELY for the sake of drawing attention to myself ("Look at my tight chrome spinnaz yO! :unamused: ), but there’s plenty to be said for the idea of lowering a car to the point where there’s almost ZERO wheel gap and it looks ready to pounce.

And BTW, don’t knock preludes man. The first car I poured all my heart and soul into was a 91 Prelude Si. The ones with the PIMP flip up headlights. :sunglasses: I owned it for about 5 years, and in the end I sold it for $2,300 to bail my ass out of debt after graduation. :angry: By that point it was rusting AGAIN (even after a full respray), and I was burning oil like crazy. Wasn’t worth workin on anymore. I’d probably still own it if there was any aftermarket support for it. I thought about buying a 4th or 5th gen prelude, but I wanted to get out of the whole Honda world. I bought a 98 Jetta GLX last fall, and I’ve been happy with that thus far.

interesting. i remember a couple of car washes that had those mirrors in MI. in CA, they drive your car through an automated wash and then a squad of people decend upon it and dry it it down and vacuum the interior, etc.

can’t take my other car through those, it sits too low and sometimes gets stuck. :frowning:

i modified that car with a subtle, “sleeper” look in mind (a lost artform, imo). as a “girl car”, it’s more satisfying to me to know what’s under the hood to surprise those gold-chain-wearing mustang/camaros drivers.

My Jetta is too low to get into any of the carwashes that have the rail system to move your car forward automatically. :cry: I tried that once and I think I was up on the sub frame of the floorboard when I drove up onto it! Ironically I want to put coilovers on it this summer becuase now I think it’s not “Low enough”. :unamused: The true measure of the optimal ride height is if you can set your cell phone against the bottom of the front lip and it can’t fit underneath there!

Yeah, there is something to be said for a toned - down “sleeper” aesthetic. I “switched teams” to VWs after I sold my prelude, primarily because a lot of the “euro” crowd tends to like cars that are understated and cosmetically enhanced mostly with factory looking subtle and clean mods. No huge wings, vinyl stickers, giant fart cans, etc. It’s more about choosing things that compliment the factory lines and appearance, rather then tacking shit on that doesn’t flow well. :cry:


i do very little to the appearance other than wheels and lower air dams (factory). if the wheels aren’t light and wide, i don’t use them. usually 10#/ea or less. i rarely put anything on my car unless i can actually use it to further my enjoyment of it.

about the only bling i have is under the hood with powdercoated engine and supercharger pieces.

performance first, then function, form and aesthetic last.

Just curious, so what do you drive Kung Fu?

it’s a '92 miata. i’ve owned the car for about 7 years. i have done many, many roadtrips and track events in that car. i met my wife because of that car. it really only has any value to me. anyways, i have turbocharged that car twice, the last time , running upto 15psi and 240hp to the rear wheels. i have reworked the head and the driveline among many other items. i do all the work myself. when we moved to CA, i dumped the turbo system i built and have decided to try a supercharger. i consider the car my own personal decompression chamber. i still get a kick out of driving it and throwing down the top on a nice day is still as relaxing as the day i bought it.

there are so many interesting things for that little roadster, particularly in the japanese market. not all my to my taste, but i think a lot give the car a whole new aesthetic without being trashy.

i buy new cars for my wife, sometimes we fight over who gets to take the miata. :smiley:

Nice. That’s my next project car for sure. It’s the closest thing to a true British Roadster that’s been built in years, only it happens to have come from Japan. They’re light, RWD, and the suspension is great. I could see a miata being a long term project for me too.

Have you ever thought about the flying Miata V8 conversion kit? It’s kinda pricy, but it literally provides you with motor mounts and all the suspension upgrades. The winner of the Grassroots Motorsports $2,000 Challenge 2 years ago was a 302 V8 powered Miata, and it did 11.7s in the 1/4 mile, and placed 3rd in the Autocross!

I would have bought one this last time around I was looking for a car, but at times like these in Chicago when it’s -24 degrees outside I couldn’t justify it! As soon as I have a house and a garage I can put it in I will buy one as a dedicated “toy”. The Jetta is fun though, I still have yet to decide if I wanna get serious and do a bunch more work on it though. It’s already chipped, running performance cams, exhaust, and intake. Next thing would probably be a Limited Slip Differential and a lightened flywheel and clutch. Then if I took it that far I’d wanna go with a supercharger. A Stage II supercharger on a VR6 can be good for close to 300 hp. :mrgreen:

the monster miata? yes, i thought about it, i drove a couple, but it doesn’t ‘feel’ like a miata when you pitch it into a corner. too much power in an apex makes the car tricky to handle. the ‘new’ trend is dropping ls1 and ls6 motors into it, but people are doing all sorts of engine swaps in them now. the handling is the key with this car, momentum and sheer agility are the fascination, along with it’s drop-top appeal and solid reliability.

after everything i’ve done to the car, it’s only left me stranded once in 7 years and over 100,000 miles.