June 5, 2011

Nice Austin-Healey!

This was my favorite car at the "Cars on State" show in Madison yesterday:

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I got the impression a lot of women responded extremely positively toward this car:

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Men not so much:

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I don't have a theory about the gendered response to this car. It's just an observation.

65 comments:

Pogo said...

It's a very cute car, which explains male indifference; a Hello Kitty car.

Shouting Thomas said...

"Gendered" is a shit awful word.

Can you throw it out and never use it again?

Palladian said...

That is a beautiful color, one of my favorites.

Palladian said...
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Palladian said...
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Palladian said...

"It's a very cute car, which explains male indifference"

Then why do straight men respond to cute women? An aversion to cute, feminine cars is especially odd, given the "manly man" tendency to "feminize" their ideal cars, as if they're analogs of sexually-desirable females?

Is it because this car looks pre-pubescent?

Fred4Pres said...

A teal cute convertable. Yes, I can see why women would like it. Most men are going to be drawn to other colors than teal. I suspect if it was cherry red or dark blue, guys might like it more.

It is a good looking vehicle. I am also sure is a chick magnet. Not quite as threatening as a Cobra and not as pretentious (and uninspired) as some yuppie sports car.

Fred4Pres said...

As a straight man, I agree teal is a beautiful color. I am secure enough in my masculinity that I could drive that car.

Okay, send me the keys and registration.

edutcher said...

60 years ago, a car like that was very hot. Even now, I wouldn't call it "cute". Some of those Coopers, maybe.

And I've seen Corvettes with the same color scheme, so it may be a Madison thing.

Pogo said...

"An aversion to cute, feminine cars is especially odd, given the "manly man" tendency to "feminize" their ideal cars"

A manly man wants to look manly in his manly car, not cute.

Men call machines "she" for a few reasons, simple tradition among them. While wanting to look manly in their manly machine, they also do not want to speak of a fond relationship with another man, hence the feminine pronoun. It's a cognitive dissonance hetero men can live with.

A pretty girl would look even prettier in that cute Austin-Healey. Hell, it has big round eyes and a cute smile already.

A man, well, not so much. If you're looking for logic, hetero males and their machines aren't going to get no satisfaction.

obladioblada said...

Loved the Austin-Healeys, but always wanted a Karmann Gia, a real chick car. I had a male friend with an A-H and another with a Nash Metro and remember them more fondly than those with Porsches and 'Vettes.

Fred4Pres said...

I am pretty sure that if that car was a character in a pixar movie would be the cute female love interest.

obladioblada said...

Fred4Pres: The Cobra has that Weiner vibe. An observation, not a criticism.

obladioblada said...

Fred4Pres: No, today it would be the leading man's buddy, the one whose shoulder the leading lady uses. Back in the day of the A-H, the car would have been the leading man, but possibly in a playboy kind of way.

The Drill SGT said...

From a historical point of view, racing colors are dark and solid.

Italian: Rosso corsa (racing red)
Germany: Silver (silver arrows frm Mercedes)
Britan: Green (British Racing Green)
France: Tricolor Blue (Bleu de France)
Scotland: Dark Blue)

as for the AH, men know that under the hood, there sits a dog of a 90hp engine.

me thinks it's a 1955 AH-100

EDH said...

I don't have a theory about the gendered response to this car. It's just an observation.

Maybe it's because the union auto workers that build the Austin-Healy are a bunch of nonviolent pussies.

Lonetown said...

Are you sure thats an Austin Healey.

I don't see the puddle of oil!

Ann Althouse said...

"Then why do straight men respond to cute women? An aversion to cute, feminine cars is especially odd, given the "manly man" tendency to "feminize" their ideal cars, as if they're analogs of sexually-desirable females?"

I think people see a car as their own shell, more like what they will wear than what they will be having as a companion. We wear our cars, perhaps. So, the woman is looking at that car and thinking "I'd look good in that," and the man is thinking "I need to be in something that looks more masculine."

"A teal cute convertable. Yes, I can see why women would like it. Most men are going to be drawn to other colors than teal. I suspect if it was cherry red or dark blue, guys might like it more."

I object to calling that color "teal." Teal is much harsher color. I'd call that aqua or turquoise.

Chip S. said...

That's not a true Austin-Healey. Its grille is much more smiley-face than the original design, and its entire front end has been made rounder and therefore more feminine. The color completes the transgendering of a classic design.

Michael K said...

Austin Healeys had one weak spot. A fraternity brother had one in the 50s. They have an aluminum body and, if someone sits on the fender, it never looks the same. That color probably turns the men off. Most of A-Hs I saw were silver. I have a feeling that is not an original.

The Drill SGT said...

We wear our cars, perhaps. So, the woman is looking at that car and thinking "I'd look good in that," and the man is thinking "I need to be in something that looks more masculine."

The wife bought herself a powder blue Honda 2000 convertible. I dislike the color as well. she paid cah and asked for no input.


Chip S. said...
That's not a true Austin-Healey. Its grille is much more smiley-face than the original design, and its entire front end has been made rounder and therefore more feminine.


Take a look at this one

Titus said...

No man should ever drive a Cabriolet.

I watched Gran Torino last night. Now that is a man's car.

virgil xenophon said...

That car was THE hot car in the late 50s, early 60s. My favorite color scheme was metallic gun-metal blue viz the teal with the same white/creme "insert." Only REAL problem was that your feet were right up against an all too thin fire-wall and one needed asbestos boots to drive the damn thing for any length of time beyond going around the corner to the 7-11 for milk. LOL

ricpic said...

I love the two tone paint job. Used to be common. Fifties Chevies, Olds, Pontiacs. Creamsicle cars.

DADvocate said...

When I was in high school and college I lusted after one of these. I considered them the classic roadster. Clean, simple curves with perfect proportions, I'd still love to have one. The Sprite and MGs were too small. I tried to drive a Sprite once and couldn't operate the pedals due to my knees hitting the bottom of the dash. Sprites were for short people.

Titus said...

If I was a straight guy I would have my headlights on my car painted like two giant tits...to show I like the tit.

My plates would say something like HT4PSY

Chip S. said...

DrillSgt, Fair enough. I didn't get a pic resembling that in a full page of google image search results. It looked for sure like the car had been modified to hold a bigger engine.

I drove a 1960 version of those once, and concluded that automotive engineering had come a long way in 50 years.

Hagar said...

No British sports cars of that vintage are cute, or "women's cars," unless you mean ladies with black grease under their broken fingernails who love the smell of engine exhaust.

There were a few of those, and they could drive too.

Fred4Pres said...

Ann, we are talking about the same color, at least as depicted in your photograph (unless I am color blind). So the word "teal" you consider harsh, but aqua[marine] or turquoise are okay?

A guy is less likely to drive it if it is called aqua or turquoise.

Okay: Teal

Okay, I think you are right. It is closer to aqua or turquoise. I want the cobra now.

Hagar said...

I don't think there are any responders on this thread that had ought to be driving a Cobra.

Hagar said...

Or for that matter, a Austin-Healy, though for different reasons.

Darleen said...

that has always been my dad's dream car ...

for a few years in the 70's I drove a 1967 MGB-GT and I loved that car (dark grey, wire wheels)

Palladian said...

According to Austin-Healey, that colour is called Florida Green. This is a chart for 1965, but "Florida Green" was available on the Austin-Healey 100 from the 1955 model year.

virgil xenophon said...

I can't remember if it was the "ice blue" or the "Healy blue" w. white inserts that I remember I liked so well on that car, Palladian. Of course hard to tell from the swatches on the internet..

David said...

I got the impression a lot of women responded extremely positively toward this car.

I had two Austin-Healeys when I was young and quite gendered myself. I can confirm the accuracy of that statement.

David said...

My first Healey was a 1958 100-6, yellow and black. We called it the bumblebee. The second was a 1963 3000, red and black. AH had a lot of color choices, and the two-tones worked well with the sculptured look of the car.

They were fun to drive, quick for the day, and sounded amazing. They also leaked oil, got the carburation easily out of adjustment, had chronic electrical and fuel pump issues, scraped mufflers and tailpipes all over the place and leaked in the rain.

No matter. The females loved them and often got confused and thought they loved you too.

shake-and-bake said...

As Drill SGT noted, it's not the color or the shape, it's what's under the hood. If that car had a Cobra- or Corvette-equivalent engine plenty of guys would be interested.

Big Mike said...

From the grill, that's the Austin-Healey 100, which makes it somewhere between 55 and 58 years old not 60, edutcher).

I think the 3000 Mark III, which had essentially the profile, was perhaps the best-looking British sports car all time. But the downside of the big Healeys was their low ground clearance -- I don't know anyone who ever owned one that didn't hang it up somewhere.

ken in sc said...

I agree with those who say that the color is the reason for the difference. BTW, I love A-Hs. The first sports car I ever rode in was a 56 A-H. It was British racing green. Oh, and it was in 1956--I was nine years old.

Lori said...

I know it's not the same car, but what woman wouldn't like to imagine herself as Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief?

http://www.drivepast.com/posters/main/tocatchtalbot.jpg

MadisonMan said...

Few would fit in that car. It was made for midgets, apparently.

David said...

MadisonMan said...
Few would fit in that car. It was made for midgets, apparently.


They had surprising leg room. Note the long hood. It was close to the ground though.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Its the color of the car.

Had it been red or black, it would likely get more guy attention.

2-tone white and blech, not so much. Wonder if that was an original paint scheme.

James said...

It is indeed a real Austin Healey 100. With the 4 cylinder engine it is more of a looker than a goer. The men would be more interested in the 6 cylinder A-H 3000, a picture which Chris S linked to in his comment.

It is a real Austin Healey, but the color is all wrong and they have the windscreen laying down funny. That being said, even a 90 hp engine will make a car as light as the 100 move quick enough.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

@Shake n bake

"As Drill SGT noted, it's not the color or the shape, it's what's under the hood. If that car had a Cobra- or Corvette-equivalent engine plenty of guys would be interested."

Well, not exactly. Seen plenty of blown small blocks of 500 + HP dropped into Vegas/Monzas wearing fresh grey or red primer that looked like hell.

Regardless of what kind of mill is under the hood, if the paint color sucks or the car is in prime, I'm not impressed.

AllenS said...

I have a 1966 Austin Healey 3000. I bought the car (used) in 1968 after I got out of the Army. Sometime in the early 2000's I restored the car. I have some pictures of the car, hopefully, some day I'll figure out how to present my projects to everyone on the internets.

Robin said...

I don't know why the men at the show did not respond to this car. Perhaps a generalized ignorance of the great classics of the now-defunct British automobile industry.

Don't Tread 2012 said...
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Don't Tread 2012 said...

Classic Austin Healy 3000 MK III

Hagar said...

I drove a TR-3 for two years.

Which is why to this day I do not leave the house without ~40 lbs. of tools and assorted bits and pieces that might come in useful in the back footwell.

BJM said...

That's a chick ride, THIS is was chick magnet.

jimbino said...

I had a red AH 100-6. It was a real pussy wagon. The most fun car I ever had, though it was a pain to snap the side windows in and out.

It would be a great car to have here in Texas, where we haven't had rain for 9 months. I drove mine in Chicago, but the winter salt on the roads accelerated the electrolytic corrosion where the steel quarter panels met up with the aluminum trunk (boot) lid. The heat from the straight-6 was so powerful that I could drive hundreds of miles at 5 degF in winter with the top down.

Still, with all the corrosion and degradation of the fabric top, I have to say that all that fine pussy has aged faster than my fine Austin Healey.

Saint Croix said...

It's hard for me to say as your damn camera is not to be trusted.

On the first picture, it's "nice boobs, no ass" on the car.

In the second picture, it's got an ass like J.Lo.

Mike said...

I'll go with Virgil Xenophon. My favorite color for any of the Healeys, whether the 100 or the later Big Healeys was a silver or white panel insert and the grey blue on top.

I took at look at your picture and thought "that's all wrong". That sort of color scheme and that sort of color belongs on a 56 Chevy or a Corvette--not on a Healey.

Aside from the fact that Healeys would rust like mad in bad weather, had a hotbox for your feet, electrics by the Prince of Darkness, finicky carburetors and steered just like a truck at low speeds--there was nothing much not to like about them.

Genny said...

My father told me this when I was a very young girl. A real bonding experience:

There was a young man from Boston
Who bought himself a brand new Austin,
Held 5 gallons of gas
And room for his ass,
But his balls fell out and he lost 'em.

I miss my Dad.

survcon63

Fred4Pres said...

Hagar said...
I don't think there are any responders on this thread that had ought to be driving a Cobra.

6/5/11 11:50 AM



Ouch. That is what happens when you start talking color for cars. And I agree the AH is a chick ride, and BJM did have the chick magnet.

Penny said...

Gotta LOVE cars!

Whether you like 'em or not...

Penny said...

Blinkin' hard here.

Would prefer you think of that comment as an "homage" of some sort.

Ha ha What the hell do EYE know. I merely walk the streets.

Conserve Liberty said...

I had a '66 3000 MkIII (BJ8) as my college car from 1974 to 1977. I bought it from an older gentleman down the street from our house - I had cut his grass for years and I essentially returned all his money to him - who had bought it new.

While the car didn't help me get dates, I can assure you that in the mid-70's at the University of Virginia, my car was very well appreciated by the young ladies of the time. When it ran.

I drove my girlfriend's 914 as often as I drove my Healey.

Penny said...

For most of us, through most of our lives, cars are a way to get from HERE to THERE.

And then, FINALLY,...or is that..."ALL OF A SUDDEN"... we appreciate all sorts of classic cars for doing it in the style to which we never became "accustomed"... but admire, nonetheless.

What the hell do EYE know?

I just walk the streets.

jane said...

Ann, you're right!
As a teenage bride I was starry-eyed and knew nothing about men or cars. My new husband had already owned a TR3 and an older Porsche in the years before we met. We were poor and I was still in school but he was determined to sign us up for an expensive sportscar. He favored another Porsche. I didn't like the look of those (then). I liked the Austin Healey and figured if we had to get one, it might as well be one whose look I found appealing. We got the 100 which was a pain with it's windows but fun nonetheless. After a couple of years we upgraded to a 3000 which was the rare original color of Golden Sand. It had rollup windows... a real luxury. It was also a pain to maintain, but he loved that car. Me? Oh, did I mention I didn't know how to drive it? Yeah, there I was working long shifts at a job I hated, to pay for the man to look cool in his fancy car. Later, when I tried learning to drive a stick on a "normal" car, I realized that our Healey had the touchiest clutch ever. Btw, I later became devoted to the stick shift and liked nothing better than a good car on a mountain road. (Good, not fancy!) My take on our Healeys was that they were fun but expensive toys.

I admire young people who make good choices in life from the getgo. Experience is a fool's school and I spent a long time there.

Mick Havoc said...

It is a classic car.

But is is no Morgan Plus 4

John said...

Men didn't respond to that car because they are philistines. Austins are beautiful.

James said...

It's the color.

Mel said...

I think its the color. Yesterday I saw a Honda Shadow with the same color and told my husband I thought it looked sharp. He was unimpressed.