I don’t fully understand the hatred that some folks manage to dredge up for “the wrong make” of car. But, then again, I don’t understand the intense hatred that professional sports seems to produce in many of its fans. (Think of the Boston/NYC rivalry, for example, that has turned into outright violence on more than one occasion)
But, in a general sense, I do understand the love that most folks have for their own car, and I believe that it relates to the independence that a car gives you. Whether you are a teenager who is now free to roam without his parents’ supervision, or it is the senior citizen who couldn’t leave the house without it, or just the typical middle-aged person who enjoys being able to take off whenever he/she wants in his/her car, a car represents independence.
I think back to 1958, when my family obtained its first car. Previously, we had lived in NYC, where a car is more of a hindrance than an advantage. But, after moving to less-congested NJ, we obtained a nice '55 Plymouth Belvedere 2-door hardtop. Very sporty for the time, and a very reliable car!
However, we were…not well-off…in those days, and when it became necessary to buy a new washing machine, we had to sell the car in order to buy the washing machine. Yes, that may sound incredible to many younger folks nowadays, but for a lower-middle class family in the mid-late '50s, it may not have been that unusual to have to choose between keeping the used car or buying a new washing machine.
To say that we all went into mourning for our dear departed car is not an exaggeration. We really missed the independence that the car had given us for a year or two, and we all became very saddened by its departure. Luckily, my father found a way to buy another used car within a few months (another '55 Plymouth, ironically), and we were back to being able to take Sunday drives in the country and to take long road trip vacations in the summer.
Brand rivalries aside, cars represent independence for us, and nobody wants to lose his/her independence. That factor translates to love for our own cars, IMHO.