Stephen Cox blogs about being a Ford fan, racing a Chevy and not buying the popular concept of brand loyalty.
I am a Ford fan. There, I said it. But I have little comprehension of brand loyalty; at least not the sort of fanatical allegiance so frequently seen among muscle car enthusiasts. I don’t even understand it. It is therefore eternally amusing to run across those typical chest-thumping car commandos who claim that every automobile that is not manufactured by their favorite company is a despicable pile of horse excrement!
Let us begin with an uncomfortable fact. We all have one thing in common… our favorite car company probably doesn’t know we exist. I have been a Ford fan my entire life, yet the company failed to send me a Christmas card last year. I bet you didn’t get one either. That is because you and I are just nameless, faceless advertising targets among millions.
The only kind of loyalty that makes any sense to me is economic. For instance, I grew up in a staunch Ford family but I get paid to drive a Chevrolet racecar. As much as I love Mustangs
and Torinos, my allegiance is not so blind as to ignore a paycheck. I don’t even wear Ford apparel. They don’t pay me to advertise for them. Why on earth would I do it for free,
let alone pay them for the privilege?
That is a pristine example of economic loyalty. I don’t fault the Ford exec for his prejudice because his livelihood depended on it. But he failed to consider that mine did not. As much as I love their cars, I owe Ford nothing. It would have been supremely stupid for me to decline a paying ride in another brand of racecar simply due to its origin of manufacture.
Photos: David Newhardt/Mecum Auctions.
Stephen Cox is a racer and co-host of TV coverage of Mecum Auctions (NBCSN), sponsored by: http://boschett-timepieces.com/