Tag Archives: cars

Buick, Chevrolet, or Dodge?

I walked the perimeter of Ancient Oaks Resort this evening, on errands. I signed us up for the golf league banquet, bought an $8 Mizuno driver to add to my golf bag, begged off from tennis tomorrow morning, and picked up our mail at the park post office. It is really neat living in this sort of neighborhood, where we can walk to everyone’s houses in short order.

Ancient Oaks Resort has 686 sites, all paved and with full hook-ups (water, sewer, electricity, and cablevision). Almost all sites are occupied. Less than 1/3 of the sites have motor homes or trailers. Most sites have a park model (single-wide with or without an added room along its length) on the site.

All sites have vehicle parking in front of the motor home or trailer or park model. And some sites have, in front of their dwelling unit, a car or truck, a boat, a golf cart, and bicycles. The age of residents (minimum age is 55, no maximum age) and their physical condition leads some to opt for three-wheeled bicycles and others for no cycle at all. Some, like us, walk a lot. Others use scooters, golf carts or their cars for in-park errands.

Each time I walk the park I seem to notice different things. Tonight, not for the first time, I was surveying the motor vehicle collection. It is not as varied as I would have thought. Let’s see how well you can guess the makes and models of the cars/trucks in this retirement community. I’ll ask you a series of questions in this short quiz, and give you the answers below.

1. What is the make of car most frequently found in this park?
2. What is the loudest motor vehicle in the park?
3. What is the second most annoying vehicle noise in this park?
4. How many of each of the following makes are represented in the park: Audi; BMW; Volvo?
5. How many of each of the following makes are here: Acura; Infiniti; Hummer; Mercedes; Saab; VW?
6. How many Honda automobiles (cars, not SUVs or vans) are here?

1. Buick
2. Mark’s truck, directly across the street from us
3. Golf cart back-up alarms — How long must people back up?
4. One each [but they’re such nice cars]
5. None [why none?]
6. Two — one Accord, one Civic. But there are many, many CRV SUVs and Odyssey vans.

How did you do? I would have flunked had I not written the test myself. And unless you are in this park you couldn’t have known the answer to #2 although you may, in any neighborhood, be able to relate. You really can’t help but learn, more than you wanted, about when they come and go, you know?

We weren’t surprised by Buick winning first place. And the relatively new and very popular Lucerne models have helped make Buick #1 in this park. If we honored second place, it would go to Chevrolet, helped especially by the Malibu and Impala models but also with some of the ultra small models.

But we were at first very surprised to find only two Honda cars and so few of the other former great imports. I wonder if this might reflect on the marketplace back home, where these folks are from. Toyota and Lexus are well-represented here, but not Honda or many other import models.

Could it be because, as another neighbor suggested, this park is “middle class”? Well, yes, perhaps to a degree. But given one more piece of information about the vehicles I think the answer may be more plain. Where is home to the owners of these vehicles?

Many of the residents of this park are from Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, and other big manufacturing states. I think we can count on one hand the number of residents from the northeast states, but Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan might represent half of all residents. Do you think a retired person from Detroit would be more likely to own a Buick than a Volvo? Maybe so.

When I walk I am not counting, just noticing. I can’t walk and keep track of information very well. Information just leaks out, replaced or over-ridden by fresher content. None of the above is, nor is it intended to be, anything other than my observations and conjecture. Why do people buy this and not that? Marketing people are getting pretty darned good at this, but I don’t know why anyone does anything.