The Millionaire Next Door

Drivers of High Performance Sports Cars: Enthusiasts or Show Offs?

You may have read the news reports about the convoy of up to 30 high performance sports cars that was recently escorted down the Garden State Parkway (NJ) to Atlantic City by two NJ State Troopers.  According to the reports, the cars were traveling in excess of 100 mph!  Makes of these cars included Porsche, Lamborghini, and Ferrari. 

One may get the impression that all the people who drive these exotic sports cars are high on the “glittering rich” scale.  As profiled in Stop Acting Rich, the glittering rich are those who display expensive artifacts and can afford them.  They want to tell everyone of their substantial success.  However, according to my national surveys of the high income/high net worth population, more often than not people who drive high performance sports cars are higher on the “car enthusiast” scale than on the glittering rich continuum.  These car buffs have affection for cars that have extraordinary handling and engineering characteristics.  Take George aka “Mr.Testarossa”, for example.  He told me that when he drives his Ferrari from Chicago to Florida he never listens to the radio, IPod, etc.  He just listens to the hum of the V 12 engine for entertainment!

There is another related myth, the Napoleon myth, about people who drive expensive sports cars.  ” Oh, Porsche drivers.  They need a car like that to compensate for their small stature.  You know, 5’3″, 130 lbs.”  According to my data, however, Porsche drivers are nearly all male, on average 5’10” and weigh approximately 185 lbs.  In other words, they are nearly identical in physical stature to the typical male American millionaire.

3 thoughts on “Drivers of High Performance Sports Cars: Enthusiasts or Show Offs?”

  1. Porsche driver here: 5’11, 165 — also a PAW, albeit at the somewhat lower end of that scale. Having read to “Stop Acting Rich,” I had a very hard time reconciling my lifestyle, spending habits and personality with the profile of sports car drivers/enthusiasts featured therein.

    Good to hear there is another aspect to this that wasn’t covered.

    I have no second-home, no boat, can’t name a fine wine, wear a cheap watch to match my cheap haircut — but, ah, my little car (bought quite used) is the guilty pleasure for which I feel no guilt.

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