The ultimate test: 100 signs you're a Top Gear car nut

Let us count the amusing ways
by Dinzo Tabamo | May 20, 2015

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

NOTE: This piece was first published in the September 2013 edition of our magazine, in honor of our 100th issue.

The passion for cars takes many forms. There are off-roaders, drag racers, circuit people, new-car guys, old-schoolers, aftermarket modifiers, and basic car fans. But one thing binds us all: a fascination for automobiles. Here, we've made a list (in no particular order) of 100 things that most of us have in common as car enthusiasts. There may be some items we’ve missed, and some that might raise your eyebrows. But in the end, we hope this list puts a smile on your face. It’s not a rundown of membership qualifications for an exclusive club--rather, it’s a celebration of an obsession we all share. Because we’re all just here for the ride.

1. You’ve liked cars ever since you can remember, and all you wanted for Christmas and birthdays in your childhood years was just another Matchbox.

2. You still like die-cast cars as an adult, but you now purchase more expensive scale models.

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3. You take time and effort to select the kind of lubricant that goes into your engine. You even prefer more premium brands like Liqui Moly and Motul.

4. A Casio G-Shock is on your wrist. Something about its combination of casual style, rugged design and Japanese tech reminds you of cars.

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100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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5. You know BMW and Honda models by their chassis codes.

6. You don’t care about the latest in men’s fashion. As long as it’s comfortable, clean, emblazoned with a car brand and not riddled with holes--in that order--it’ll do.

7. Your social-media feed is full of motoring content.

8. Manual shifting is not a throwback thing or a faster way to swap cogs (modern automatic gearboxes are faster than you). You just find happiness in slotting the shift knob into its place. When you shift your own gears, no matter what chaos is happening in your life, you feel like you’re in control of your destiny.

9. When you hear the name "Michael," only one person comes to mind, and it's not Jordan or Jackson.

10. But you still think Senna is the best driver of all time.

11. The mere sight of squiggly lines on a map excites you.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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12. You can name the make and model of 99% of automobiles you see on the road.

13. It may not drive you nuts if your car is dirty, but it constantly bothers you. And you think watching your car being cleaned at a car wash is a perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon.

14. You think BMW in-line-six engines are the reason that internal combustion exists.

15. You always wear your seatbelt and tell others to do the same.

16. If you suddenly win the lottery or inherit a large amount of money, you already have a dream car you want to buy. And it’s not a look-at-me exotic like a Ferrari or a Lamborghini--it’s simply something you couldn’t afford when you were younger, like a Honda NSX or a 993-generation Porsche 911.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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17. Letters and acronyms get you worked up. Especially M, AMG, RS and R.

18. You will drive long distances for good food.

19. But you also like to drive for no reason. Maybe it clears your mind, or it relaxes you, or you just like the sensation of forward movement. And there are times when you go wherever the road takes you.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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20. Aftermarket parts have been bought for a car you don’t own yet.

21. You understand the sanctity of the yellow box in the middle of an intersection.

22. There’s a car calendar (hopefully ours) tacked on your cubicle wall.

23. Your Instagram account is full of photos of #coolcars in parking lots.

24. You are able to tell the Porsche 911 variants apart.

25. The smell of vintage vehicle cabins reminds you of your childhood.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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26. You think that the new-car smell is better than any cologne.

27. When you read about a car’s horsepower and torque figures, you have an idea of what those numbers feel like under your right foot.

28. You spend hours perusing used-car ads even though you have no money to purchase anything.

29. Driving drunk is a no-no.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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30. Engine sounds are an aural delight for you. It can be the guttural burble of a big-displacement V8, or the whine of an Italian V10 or V12. When you hear an extraordinary exhaust note, you look for the source.

31. Every time a new Gran Turismo installment is released, you disappear for days from your family and friends. You emerge from your bedroom when you’ve “purchased” one of the near-unattainable cars.

32. You know how to pronounce foreign car brands like Peugeot (poo-jsho), Koenigsegg (kou-nig-zegg) and Renault (re-no).

33. At motoring shows, you actually pay attention to the cars on display instead of the busty, long-legged car-show models.

34. There is no doubt in your mind that buses are the main cause of traffic in this country.

35. You find joy in driving friends home. With dates, it’s practically a matter of honor.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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36. Unlike most of our sedan-loving countrymen, you think hatchbacks are great.

37. Attending a major international motor show (Tokyo, Detroit, Frankfurt or Geneva) is on your bucket list.

38. What motivates you to get promoted in your career isn’t self-fulfillment or love of company. Rather, you want to reach a job level with an accompanying car plan that will let you buy a turbocharged Subaru Forester XT.

39. When a new job offer comes up, the first thing you think of isn’t the salary or your family’s medical benefits--it’s whether the company has a nice parking space and if the route to and from work isn't riddled with potholes.

40. You know that humongous wings have no place on cars that aren’t used in professional motorsports.

41. In family gatherings, the uncles and male cousins seek your counsel on their next car purchase.

42. You’re an Initial D fan.

43. You’re picky about what fuel you feed your car, and you’re happy that Petron finally has Euro IV-compliant products.

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100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

44. You save up to watch Formula 1 races live in foreign countries.

45. It is your steadfast belief that a Subaru WRX STI should only come in World Rally Blue and have gold BBS alloy wheels.

46. You think the Toyota Prius isn’t getting the love it deserves.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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47. No matter how old they are, you can’t get yourself to throw out the back issues of your car magazines.

48. All your friends ask you to identify the car logos in logo-quiz games.

49. Female friends call you if their car's check-engine light comes on to ask if the vehicle will self-destruct. And even if the girl isn’t particularly pretty, you give her your best car advice.

50. Be they Ray-Bans or Oakleys, you never leave home without a good pair of driving sunglasses.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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51. You collect or dream of owning serious car-themed timepieces like the TAG Heuer Monaco or the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona.

52. Your car doesn’t have stickers of accessories and mods that it doesn’t have.

53. You’re aware the Italians are just milking you, but you still buy Ferrari merchandise, anyway.

54. A supercar wallpaper adorns your computer’s desktop.

55. You know when a motoring website or publication (including ours) has made a mistake. And you feel compelled to tell the editors about it.

56. The number of a mechanical specialist is listed in your phone book. If you have trouble with your air-conditioner, electricals or engine, you know whom to call.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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57. Something in your car has been modified. While you don’t believe in accessorizing to compensate for what’s missing in other areas of your life, one of these things--if not all of them--in your car isn’t stock: the wheels, the audio system or the suspension.

58. You know how to do "hanging" without resorting to the handbrake method.

59. Being a good motorist is only one side of the equation. You also know you need to be a good pedestrian. You don’t dash across the street when the perpendicular traffic light turns green. You don’t do that odd dance when deciding whether to cross the street or not. And you use footbridges whenever available so that cars don’t have to treat you like a chicane.

60. You open your car's doors for women.

61. Every now and then, you just crave for a road trip, even if it’s just to Tagaytay or Clark.

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100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

62. When someone mentions "donuts," you think of Russ Swift and tire smoke, not fried and sweetened bread.

63. You spend so much time in car shops for modifications that the owners already treat you as family. And then you find yourself hanging out in the shop even though your car is already so modified that the only things left stock are the cupholders.

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64. At any given time, you know the current fastest production car in the world and its top speed.

65. You know the Fast & Furious movies are bordering on being science-fiction, but you still watch them and ogle the car porn.

66. When you’re bored, you use BPI Family Bank’s online auto-loan calculator and work out how many meals you need to skip in a month in order to afford a Honda CR-Z.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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67. A lot of priceless conversations between you, friends and loved ones have occurred inside automobiles.

68. Your appreciation for cars cuts across generations, nationalities and price segments. You can admire everything--from European exotics and American muscle to Japanese hatchbacks and Korean SUVs.

69. You like the challenge of buying a used car to restore and upgrade. This is what you call fun.

70. You like wearing Adidas Adi Racers or Onitsuka Tigers because the slim profile makes it easier to work the pedals.

71. When you hear the words "Some say..." you already start snickering.

72. You have your own theories as to who The Stig is.

73. You wear shirts that say "Multi 21" and "Leave me alone...I know what I’m doing."

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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74. Bookmarked on your web browser are Speedhunters, Jalopnik, Autoblog and (ahem).

75. You use Waze.

76. The dates of major local motor shows are marked on your calendar. And nothing else but a family emergency can occupy those days.

77. Your son’s name is Sebastian, Kimi, Fernando, Lewis or Ayrton...

78. ...and his first word is "vroom." And you shed a tear the first time he said it.

79. You think the Toyota Hilux is the toughest pickup in the universe.

80. After watching the latest Top Gear episode, you call your best buddy just to talk about the show.

81. It takes you six months to choose a keychain for your new car’s keys because you want it to be perfect.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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82. You think the BMW M3 is the greatest sports coupe of all time.

83. You insist on bringing your family to Mass before noon, so you can watch the F1 race in the evening uninterrupted.

84. Instead of a mistress, you have a project car that the wife doesn’t know about.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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85. You also own a bike, and you like to ride.

86. You played Trump Cards as a kid.

87. There are several motorsports-themed items in your wardrobe.

88. You will trawl Banawe or Evangelista for hours looking for a TRD or Nismo radiator cap. Even though this will not boost your car’s performance in any measurable way, you enjoy every moment of your search. It’s the male equivalent of searching for shoes.

89. The DVDs and Blu-rays on your shelves include Ronin, The Italian Job (both the original and the remake), Bullitt, Cars, Mad Max, Gone In 60 Seconds, Talladega Nights and Goldfinger.

90. You like wandering around Handyman and other hardware stores to see what tools and accessories you can get for your car. Even if you don’t need any.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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91. In automotive online forums and on Facebook pages, you only post helpful and positive comments, and you never foment discord. Deep inside, you know that trolling is only for insecure individuals.

92. You always have a playlist of your favorite driving music ready. And it usually includes something from the Eraserheads.

93. You experience profound joy in discovering new roads.

94. You’re a responsible motorist. You’re not prone to road rage. You give way at intersections. You exercise patience in traffic, knowing you will get to where you’re going eventually.

95. You don’t believe everything the folks at the casa tell you. And you ask around or get a second opinion if you feel something’s amiss in how your car is being serviced.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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96. You’re happy that car brands like Volkswagen are finally coming to our market. And you’re eager to see what models they will bring in.

97. You never use cars to impress women.

98. When you see car displays in malls, you have to sit inside to inspect the fit and finish of the cabin, and try out the space in the backseat.

99. You have a name for your car.

100 signs you’re a Top Gear car nut

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100. You don’t exactly know why you love cars, but you just do. It has to do with the way good art appeals to the soul, how a new experience ignites the senses, and why you work to attain something you yearn for. Cars stir something in you, and you know that no matter what you become, they will always be a part of you.

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