Anyone ever have an issue with driving a modified car to work and being told its "unprofessional"?

Hi everyone. I currently work in IT, and my hobby/passion outside of work is cars...and of course, modifying them. I haven't had an issue with this before, as my car literally sits in a parking lot while I'm inside an office working. Its lowered on coilovers, has an exhaust, wheels, and some other little bits. However, I was talking to a coworker a few days ago, and we were talking about cars (hes not an enthusiast, was just asking a general question about cars). He then asks me, "don't you think your car comes off as unprofessional being lowered and loud?" I responded with "No, I don't really think so...its just something I do outside of work." That got me thinking, does anyone here ever have an issue with driving a modified car and "professionalism"?

Depends on your industry. I wouldn't worry about it in most IT jobs.
I've seen the craziest itasha cars owned by IT people. IT people really don't give a fuck lol.
Just a head's up, OP is probably talking about his stanced Miata.
I work in IT and there was a dude turning a 240sx into a drift car that would bring to work without the hood on. Thing was LOUD but man was it awesome. I think most everyone else felt the same way too.
Loud can be a problem. especially douche loud.
Other than that it shouldn't matter
This. Have an offensively ugly car, that’s up to you, but if I can hear you going to work for 5 minutes and I live 2 blocks away then fuck you.
...unless you ride a Harley, then it's ok. /s
Yes, as a newly graduated attorney at a Silicon Valley law firm I was given all kinds of grief from the managing partner about driving a modified SW20 MR2 with a full roll cage - in particular when he asked me to drive him to a hearing because his BMW was in the shop. He mocked me and told me to get a BMW or something respectable. The guys in the mailroom thought it was dope though. I was ultimately laid off from the job during the original dotcom crash but gladly kept the car.
-shows up in an E30 modified to look like a ute-
Its pretty irresponsible to take passengers in cars with full cages unless you have a helmet for them to wear too?
I love trackdays but I'd get a cab rather than get in that for a lift.
Well yeah I can see why a person might not be happy when driven in that situation. Full caged cars as a daily show a lack of critical thinking, frankly.
man i would tell that guy to shove his BMW up his arse the prick and that he can walk the rest of the way.
To be fair I wouldn't necessarily hire a lawyer that is showing up with a track car. A lightly modified car is one thing but once you're showing up with a full blown cage the client has to question how serious you are (and in your work thats a very important aspect.)
Traded cars with my brother for a while when I had my SW20 (V6, no cat, smelled like a rolling gas station) - he was getting his MBA as a mature student. His normal daily was an Lexus GX460 that I needed to haul a trailer for a few days.
He said his classmates were...inquisitive at his new choice in vehicle.
That's pretty hilarious coming from the guy bumming rides because his car is in the shop...
*Nervously looks at buddy's fire-belching RS4 with race seats and roll cage that looks pretty normal from the outside* "heh, yeah, something respectable".
I think lawyer might be a profession where an "unprofessional" car would matters. Clients are allowed to judge you anyway they like.
John Carmack would have hired you for sure!
He probably wouldn't like my M3.
With that said, I'm in-house and nobody has given me grief over it. We do roast one of our outside attorneys for driving a lifted truck, though.
I've definitely never done burnouts in the parking lot when I've had to be the only one in the office on a Sunday
Oh man, I've got a RHD SW20 GT-S and most people haven't got a clue what it even is, I'm a pilot and I drove it to the airport everyday in the summer and most people just assume its an expensive sports car.
P.S. I also have an aw11 SC, but it does not get the same treatment lol
Daily driving a car that has a roll cage is pushing it. Thats a race car if you ask me. But then again, who's car was in the shop? Oh thats right Mr. BMW, lol!
reminds me of the law firm assistant in Better Call Saul that had an Evo 6.
It depends on your job but also your career aspirations.
Like it or not, often your career is affected by how much the person up the chain likes you and thinks you’re a good fit, or if you’re their type of person.
This can be down to many factors - attitude, dress style, ass kissing, but not always purely on ability and potential. If the high-ups see a person in what they perceive as a childish / ugly car then they may have a negative opinion of you, especially if you are in a client facing role (although I suspect if you were in such a job, and had to take clients out, you’d be in a different car).
Everyone on the side that says "forget what they think" has been spending too much time on the internet, listening to the echo chamber of anti-pretentious virtue signaling.
Those people don't realize that normal humans that don't spend time on Reddit (and there are more of them than not) will judge you and that your appearance, no matter it be dress, posture, fitness, or possessions, all plays a part into how people will interact with you.
That lady didn't let you merge into the lane? Yeah it's because your car looks like the one the pizza-delivering burnout that's living with his parents drives on his way to his part time T-Mobile job.
Your boss didn't give you a raise this quarter? Yeah it's because he thought you were part of building maintenance on account of how often you wear sweat pants and hoodies while all your coworkers wear business casual.
That girl didn't give you her number at the bar? Yeah it's because you're skinny as a twig and wear crappy clothes.
Don't believe for a second that appearances won't affect your life in the day to day, and certainly when you're going against the status quo.
My 4x4 is a rolling wreck and offensive to the eye. I love it for what it is, and I couldnt care less about what others think about it.
If however i went contracting again i would want something tidy to visit clients in.
Do you have to drive to client sites? Or ever have give workmates or clients a lift?
There's nothing like a crusty old Jeep with no doors or roof, sitting in the parking lot of a corporate office, getting the executives worked up.
Only time I give workmates a lift is if we take my car out for lunch. Otherwise, its very rare that I do. I work for a school district, so the only time I'm out of the office is if I have to drive to a school in order to fix something onsite. I haven't run into any issues so far, except for how steep some of those parking lot entrances are lol.
Culture in the States must be very different to Australia.
Half the cars in my dealership carpark that aren't actively being sold are super modified or entirely not appropriate for the majority of the jobs there. Hell, there is a JZX100 slammed on it's guts that scrapes it's way into the head office every day that no one questions at all.
I take my Z to my on-sites and meeting with clients all the time. It's "fairly" loud if I get on it but that's where I would say it's unprofessional. If you're just driving your car like a normal human being and not being a douche canoe then it's not any different than a my bosses ultra lifted brodozer. Of course if I would be driving a client somewhere then I would take my Q50 which also has an exhaust.
Philip? Lol
I've had to take the Cayman to a couple job sites due to timing/emergencies and it always get some sort of comment, but usually positive. I've actually secured more work as a result of it too. Guy was originally apprehensive (the standard "we're paying you too much") but after talking with him for 15 minutes or so he changed his opinion and I ended up getting about a half dozen other jobs from the guy.
A ‘14 Cayman strays from the spirit of this thread, though. I once knew a guy who would show up to offices in his 360 Modena just to give rides to his prospective customers. It worked out really well for him.
I think the question OP is asking is more along the lines of “if your car is kinda a piece of shit, is your work affected?”
Doesn't matter what you drive, people will have something to say. I've driven stock Si with only aftermarket wheels, I have a S2 that makes some noise, driven a STI with full turboback, driven gf's RDX to work, and driven a 997 to work. They all get comment of some sort.
I get it that if you're in a sales or customer facing role that you might be more weary what you drive and how you present yourself. If you're not, I see no reason that you need a "professional" looking or sounding car.
Interestingly enough, I was kind of thinking about that since I just recently put my car on coilovers (and a couple other supporting suspension mods). Although most of the people in my department are very conservative when it comes to cars - aside from a couple exceptions - everyone that I communicate with knows that I have a passion for everything car-related and honestly probably wouldn’t care. That being said, I agree with the previous commenter in that, as long as you’re not being directly obnoxious toward your co-workers about it, it shouldn’t matter to them. To those that it does matter to, they may just be one of those people who have to complain about everything.
Keep doing you man, and don’t let them deter you from your passion.
Thanks! Yeah I'm not obnoxious about it, all I do is park it and then walk to the office. I don't speed through the parking lot rev bombing it haha.
My car actually helped me. Most IT places have car guys. It's easier to get the odd discount or favour from people after having a 30 minute convo about cars. You seem less "Spineless executive" and more "person with feelings and hobbies". That said, some clients didn't appreciate a low and loud crx turning up at their office whereas others liked to see something interesting show up. I went in the middle with my Mazdaspeed 6. Still classy and professional but to those "in-the-know" can still strike up a conversation and kill some time.
I take it you contracted in Florida or Arizona? Even here in Virginia they were all rusted out by ~2015 lol, and we hardly get any snow. The amount of snow we do get is more than zero though, so no old Mazdas. Even if we didn't have a state inspection for them to fail, they'd have surely been gone by now anyway due to repairs exceeding the value of the car. Great cheap fun if you can keep em clean, but man I wouldn't buy a Ford-era Mazda with a single second of history north of the Tennessee-Alabama border.
I'm in engineering and being a "car guy" has opened more than a few doors for me. It's exactly like you say, a way to humanize myself.
I don't know how loud your exhaust is, but the vast majority of people (including those at the office) don't like loud exhaust systems and view the people that have them as idiots. Even as an enthusiast I view obnoxiously loud exhaust owners as doucebags.
At work we used to have one guy with a stupid loud exhaust who booked it as soon as his shift was over which was a half hour before we went home. Almost enjoyed the sound of his car as it meant my work day was almost done.
Also had another dude who would hop the speedbump on his moped on the way out every day.
I personally don’t. At least, not until they sit in the work parking lot revving the crap out of the engine, and banging it off the rev limiter.
Just a week ago there was a post on here where someone's coworker got an e-mail from HR about their 2005 Camry being an eyesore, bringing into question their financial status. Sadly people at work with nothing better to do, like their job maybe, find something to complain about even if it's none of their business. Individuality won't always be appreciated by those trying to fit into a mold.
Pretty sure that post was fake.
Well, talk to HR about them buying you a new car, and then they wouldn't have to look at your old, busted up Camry.
I heard that was fake, but my response 100% would have been, "Thank you for your concern, now may be an appropriate time to discuss my compensation"
I've usually had company cars working for insurers (doing claims, not selling it) to project whatever image a Corsica/Stratus/Lumina/Camry/Taurus/Fusion projects, but I once worked as an independent adjuster where they had the opposite problem as OP when a co-worker got shit for buying himself a new Escalade as his company car.
I drive around project partners from other companies and coworkers fairly often. Picking something that fit my position and office culture was part of the purchase decision.
My bosses drive a Ford Explorer and GMC Arcadia so I didn't want anything that would be seen as above that. I even considered an Edge ST just to fit in with all the SUVs.
lol, i was in the same boat. Had a Z4, 540i , E class and CLS, always parked in the same spot, nobody said shit. When i got cream white Porsche i had people i never met from various departments bitch at me at how i am stealing money from people and selling drugs etc... i don't even know what drugs look like aside from movies, i just like cars. Long story short, they created a new rule at my job that we're not allowed to park on site, all because of my Porsche since management was apprehensive about it too, they said it's too flashy
It’s definitely crossed my mind, but at the end of the day, who the hell cares? It doesn’t change who you are/how professional you are as a person. You’re not driving around customers or anything.
It doesn’t change his professionalism but company/corporate politics can be brutal and someone else’s opinion, even if it is a terrible opinion, can potentially impact a raise or promotion.
The owner of my company who has plenty of money drove around a beat up 1994 Volvo 850 for years and years. Even after he stopped driving it, he held onto it. He actually just sold it to a guy in our warehouse for $400 because his wife forced him to finally let it go.
He didn't drive it, he just kept it. If someone needed a loaner car at work for some reason, the Volvo was there for anyone to use. The fucking thing has well over 300,000 miles on it and it still runs fine to this day.
And he has now been driving the same Lexus since 2003. So I guess I'm saying, the quality of someones car at my work doesn't matter for shit. Not saying the Lexus is shit but he could very well afford a new one. The one he's driving now is definitely showing it's age. But again, it keeps running and he's hardly had to put any money into it other than standard maintenance.
I mean that's a pretty big assumption. Maybe he is doing doughnuts on the parking in his break time and he's deliberately not saying that part.
I don't think it matters but I can see people having an issue if its for a customer facing job like being a real estate agent where you have to drive to clients and such when you're expected to show off an image. Granted if you were in that sort of work you probably would have already procured a more "presentable" car.
No one has ever told me my car is unprofessional, and it's an anime gundam fighter in a sea of beige and gray. Actually adds some variety to the office parking lot.
Point is, I'm not sure how someone can equate professionalism with what you drive. Maybe in some extreme circumstances, but with what you described, it doesn't sound any less professional to me.
If op had a job where he drove to clients houses I could see an argument for a professional car. In the IT world most be people don’t give a damn what your car is. They only care if you can make it to work so you can reset the router to make the internet explorer work again.
“My car is an anime gundam fighter”
I’ve never heard anyone say something so weeb and so badass at the same time.
You're still driving a new car. I could see some issue with a rolling rust bucket in some professions like real estate or something where appearance matters.
All it takes is an obnoxiously loud coffee can muffler, and everybody at the office will think you're a douche. Rightfully so, probably.
Anything fast and furious looking is unproffesional looking in my opinion but if the customer is not going to see your car then what does it matter?
Most people at work have compliment my car
If they have a problem with it, they've kept it to themselves
I wouldn't necessarily take a non-car co workers opinion too heavily unless they are the business owner. Its hard to say without a picture or clip of how loud your car is. I have an exhaust on my 911 and its boardline annoying for leaving work. I have also seen some truly ugly car mods that I would prefer to not be in the parking lot if I was the owner.
A good number of companies expect people to completely abandon their personalities and become total drones.
But since they're not going to buy you a company car, it's not your problem.
In your case though, it just sounds like your coworker is a bit of twat.
When you park the car in the office parking lot, it ceases to be “outside of work”.
As soon as others can hear and smell your exhaust, they are allowed to have an opinion about your car
I’m also in IT and sometimes I feel like my car is a bit too loud and flashy (lowered M2 with bunch of carbon fibre bits).
To give my two cents, I am getting an internship for a software company. When I went in, they were trying to show us how open they are on accepting all kinds of people. Like you could have your hair dyed and stuff. Then a guy said he saw me in my car in the parking lot and said it was sick. (Old mustang). So I think it is all good.
Coworker is jealous and there is a 90% chance you will be switching companies for major advancement anyway.
Unless you drive an itasha or run fart cannons I don't think people can object.
Stanced wide body with vape coming out the windowsssss
I am in sales and definitely think my daily driver has to be professional and say the right things. But if I were in It and the customer did not see my car and can not see how it would be an issue unless your car was just obnoxious.
its not the modifications that are the issue, its that the car is a "pos"
enthusiasts might know what a MR2 is, but to most people they see a clunker from the 80s.
if you had the same exact mods in a modern BMW M4 or a Porsche 911, noone would bat an eye
Whole bunch of people are saying "It's okay to be an enthusiast, I park my (insert BMW/Porsche/Maserati) and no one cares..."
Well yeah, it's because those are objectively desirable cars to the general public, the majority of who are your co-workers and management. This sub can circlejerk "respect all builds" all they want but normal people see a charmless, clapped out old car that is affront to their professionalism.
ThEiR OpInIoNs sHoUldN't MaTTeR!
I used to work as a clerk in a law firm, drove a comfy Camry and would give lawyers in their 50's rides to the courthous. Fast forward to now, there's no way any of them would want to catch a ride in my current BRZ daily. It's too low, too hot in the summer, they'd probably hurt their hip or rip their pants getting in and out of it.
So yes it matters. People shouldn't ignore that certain lifestyle choices affect how people view them. Drive what you want, but don't think that people don't judge you.
Loud exhaust, yes. Everything else, no. I ditched the exhaust as soon as I realized I was an adult at age 23.
No issues for me. When I put on Forester XT wheels I got some positive comments, and one guy asked me if it was a real Spec B, followed by asking for a rev, but overall people are generally pretty chill about that stuff here.
Perhaps "unprofessional" was actually just a euphemism for "douchey". We're car enthusiasts and love exhaust sounds because they imply a car has performance credentials and/or impressive mechanical components. Other people might just think you enjoy being obnoxiously loud and are therefore "unprofessional".
But if it's a car that people would associate with being loud anyway like a sports car, they might be more accepting. If you modified your Accord to be lowered and have a loud exhaust, then it might be seen as "unprofessional". It's just a matter of perception.
Yeah I can see where people may think that. I mean, I dont think its douchey to modify a normal car like an Accord. Its not like I have a straight pipe on it...its a custom exhaust with Vibrant exhaust components, so it isn’t too loud until you really get on it. Cold start is loud, yes, but it dies down quick.
I'm in IT as well, drive a modded car (exhaust/rims/bolt ons) and definitely gets some glares in the carpark. But who tf cares. I'm just careful on the throttle not to be too loud. As long as you're good at your job your car shouldn't matter.
Nope. I'm management in the architecture/civil engineering/planning world and have driven a modded Speed3 for the last 8 years. Have driven my bosses over the years in it multiple times. Not a single negative comment. Just stay out of boost near the office and no one will know or care.
I feel it depends on your industry and if your position is customer facing. If I was a sales engineer, I definitely wouldn’t take my clients in my wrx with a muffler delete due to how bumpy and loud the ride is. There are a couple guys at the company I’m in that are driving GTR, Focus ST, Mazda Speed 3, Chevy SS, and occasion a Lamborghini if the VP shows up lol.
It depends on the job. I used to do landscaping, and people would pull up in some truly crusty trucks. I would not expect a lawyer or finance professional to do that, however.
You're in IT, and most of the IT people I know IRL are at least a little bit into cars. I don't know if I'd add an anime girl vinyl wrap, but your current mods sound fine as long as they're not offensively loud.
EDIT: I will say that the only issue I've had with coworkers about my car is them making fun of my truck because it's Japanese. They all had full-size Fords or Rams, and I drove (and still drive) my trusty little Tacoma.
Quite the opposite, the old boss used to let me triple park my Cobra in front of the store when I work at Auto Zone.
When attending meetings for business it does make a difference, i couldn't go to meetings because my e39 was dropped to the ground and quite loud with the cutout open, so i usually parked farther away so people don't see it. A Mercedes gives off a more professional look for your company.
As a employee? lol, do whatever, drive a box with stone wheels as far as you should be concerned.
The real issue comes when you have to give coworkers/superiors a lift. I have now been at my workplace for 13 years and change (holy shit) and they've learned to accept it for the most part. They do ask for rides less and less. It's all relative as well... my jeep is almost passable to the average person, my mustang the roll bar and sport seats take a bit of explanation (esp. on first dates...). The bug... oh boy. I picked up a hitchhiker once and watched them contemplate turning the ride down. Most passengers never asked for a second ride. I miss that car.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t get a job offer from a company because of my STi.
They were a small engineering firm with a parking lot out front and one of the guys interviewing me (who already didn’t seem to like me) made a comment about how loud my car was and how he was a NASCAR fan in a way that made me realize anything that wasn’t Big was an unacceptable choice. (Sigh)
Edit : Clarity
My last job no one cared, my current job my tech lead has a C6 and is super stoked to get a C8 in a year or two, and our VP of sales has an old MR2 turbo. Its one of the things we talk about. He also asks about track days I've gone to, its really quite awesome.
I'm an engineer and daily a built motor 550whp speed3 to a pharma company. That said, how would I know if people see it as unprofessional. It wouldn't be professional to call me out :D
There's a surprising amount of car people where I work at a very large company, so I don't think anyone gives a fuck. Hell, today I came in and saw someone's Audi S3 dumped on bags in the front row parking, is it was an issue there certainly wouldn't be so many of us here, lol
If you just commute to and from an office in your car, who cares what anyone else thinks? It doesn't make you any better or worse at IT if your car is lowered.
If you take clients around, it's more important - but that really only extends to the point that your car is clean, safe, and comfortable ... customers aren't going to want to have their spine rattled around in an unbelievably stiff ride that's 1/4" from the ground.
I think "moderation" is the key here. Without seeing your car or knowing the make/model, if it's just lowered with a reasonable volume exhaust, it shouldn't be a big deal. If you have a gutted hoopty with a roll cage, megabass, and straight pipes...that would be frowned upon.
Nope, but my company is pretty laid back and I never see any clients. I actually give my Z06 some credit for getting my most recent promotion. My new manager sees me going to lunch and then chats me up about it later that day. Turns out he's a huge car nut too. We definetly started to get along really well after that.
I too work high end IT jobs, and drive a 'rough' modified car.
Entirely comes down to how common it is for the person to see the car, before they see you.
And how 'tasteful' to the outside world, the modifications are.
No hating on big bling rims, BCL wings and stickerbombing; but there's no arguing that the majority of people don't "get it".
I struggled with his myself in a social aspect.
I'm well enough off, just due to working hard, and I kept hating that my $1k Honda is so much less 'prestige' than the 2019 Lexus of the kid who's 10 years my junior.
Then it hit me one day (not the car :P) that he does NOT own that car. the bank does. He's "Renting to own" by any definition.
I however, own my stuff.
Anyway, I digress, if the mods are ones that people will 'get' or at least brush-off, then no, I see no concern.
Also, if the client is likely to see you before they see the vehicle, then it matters not if they 'get it'.
However, if your first impression is usually how and in what you arrive? Then I'd look at making the mods as tasteful as possible. (Varex instead of a straight pipe, functional low rather than hardpark, etc etc).
But hey, to each their own.
I used to think exactly the same way, thankfully came to my senses and started to enjoy life by buying the cars i once dreamt about. That guy you mentioned that "rents" his car? Guess what, he actually owns it, he can go whenever at any time and he has the keys, even though he pays only $500 for it per month. There's many other benefits to owning a new car, such as modern tech in it, incredibly safe compared old cars, they have warranty and peace of mind and you don't need to wonder if it'll start this morning, it just does.
Before i was driving used German cars and they were mine and i loved them, then i got a great offer for a brand new E class, my first ever lease and holy crap it just opened my eyes...
I mean, i was driving a brand new expensive under warranty luxury car and it cost as much as my fuel bill for my other car which was a V8. The new car was literally better in every imaginable way and cost next to nothing per month, no surprise bills or expenses. If you really are well off and comfortable, get cars on leases and you'll always be driving nice cars. If you were to buy them cash, you would be losing out on a lot more money, for luxury cars it makes financial sense to lease, not buy.
People shouldn't judge you... but I guarantee people will judge you for having a modified car if the mods are really attention getting.
Many professionals have cars they treat as toys... but many of them will drive a "normal" car to the office.
Caught shit from my boss about the Miata’s exhaust being too loud. It’s a Roadstersport exhaust which is fairly conservative. Gives it a nice retro bark, just a little raspy on cold start. Funny enough, my coworkers with bro-dozers never get called out for their diesel diarrhea exhausts.
I bet the car of the guy who asked that comes off as douchy. I think I know what brand he drives...
Subaru? Audi?
There are judgmental people everywhere. It could be cars, tattoos, clothes, food, anything. Ignore them.
If you just drive to work and leave it in the lot, nobody should care. If you need to use it for work, driving to clients, driving to meetings - that type of thing, then yes it is probably unprofessional.
I'm in the nonprofit sector so I think my shitty cars come off as kind of endearing, but that is probably fading away as I get older. Either way, fuck 'em and their QX56s.
If your car/vehicle is part of the job, then yes. For example a delivery vehicle. If your car/vehicle is for you to get to work and back, then no.
There's a Jimmy John's by my work and the delivery driver has a modified camaro. White with black panels, carbon fiber bits, exhaust and wheels.
I think it's awesome and if a pizza driver shows up I'd think it'd be cool too.
Unless you're a lawyer or a real estate agent, your car really shouldn't matter. As an engineer the only time my car ever matters is the 1 time a year I optionally choose to give customers a ride from one site to another.
When you’re a mechanic it’s not a problem. The master tech at my shop drives an older modded Lexus, and the owner drives a half restored old school Chevy truck
My car sits in the lot every day. Mild drop, 19" wheels, full catback exhaust, high flow cats, long tube intakes, big brake kit, etc. Never had an issue.
Helps that the CEO is a car guy who has a Cayenne Turbo, Q8, and a 991, granted he's currently looking at trading the 991 for a C8.
I started at my current job less than a year ago, and have had just the opposite experience. Showing my interest in driving and modifying my car actually helped me get my job. Granted, I work as a mechanical engineer.
During the interview, the hiring manager asked me about it because I had put “automotive repair and modification” under my hobbies on my resume. I told him I had done a full engine rebuild on my car, so he got the impression I was pretty handy with tool and knew a decent amount about mechanical systems. Also turns out the people in my department were all car guys.
However, in a more white collar job like law or business I could see it being an issue, but an issue dependent on the person. Unless there is something in the employee handbook about having an excessively loud car I wouldn’t worry about it. Or if your car is wrapped like an itasha with a naked anime girl on it.
Individual taste is subjective obviously. And I suppose the wrong person in the wrong position of power or liking your car could be a problem.
I got banned from parking my boat in the work parking lot. Apparently that was unprofessional looking. It was annoying, it meant either needed to go back home and get my boat after work or just park it on the street.
What year is your Civic?
What WOULD drive me up a wall is a modded car that leaks shit all over the place and/or a modded car owner that’s constantly dragging other people out of the office to help with whatever malady the car has that week.
As long as the car is clean (ie routinely washed, no rust, no mismatched panels, etc) and no louder than a stock new sports car, I don’t see what the problem would be.
However, Ive noticed theres a huge difference to the non enthusiast between a really clean old sports car and a clapped out old sports car.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that... but I work in the financial industry and drove a 350Z running a dumped catless headers with turn down tips and no one said anything. I’m not directly client facing though, so I don’t think anyone cared. If I had to go to a client meeting I was usually ubering there or going with my manager who (at the time) had a pretty nice Benz. Someone did get called out for driving a Lambo to work once, though.
I would say about 1/3 my firm is enthusiast. About 1/2 of those track or Autocross. I don't think any of us have roll cages.
I have as the office manager had to talk to one of our ex partners about giving another partner a hard time about his old Civic. We don't put up with it here. That person just didn't care about his daily, his love was at home in the garage being restored. (FJ40)
Most of our clients don't know us on a personal level. Large Software firms, car manufacturers or aerospace companies rarely visit.
I work at a car dealership currently, so no. However, my car is only barely lowered and the only thing that is has on the outside different than stock are a carbon fiber grille and some aftermarket Enkei wheels that are the same size as stock. So it’s still under the radar and most people don’t care.
I drive to work sometimes with a 17 foot bright lime green sea kayak strapped to my roof. Not sure if that says "professional" or not, but since I despise the corporate world anyway I'm not going back there to find out if it matters.
My license plate might be the only thing. THICB0I is hidden in the back
It depends.
I currently daily a 1998 CRV. It's a piece of shit beater I got for $1,100.00 because I was tired of trying to modify my RSX Type S on a Friday and throw it back together by Sunday. I wanted to put down my RSX long term for some modifications.
I've had to attend military courses and the CRV is adequate. Actually really nice as we often drive to the range and my POS beater does great in that. It's nice to throw all my gear into the thing and drive off.
But I have an office job at a Fortune 500 company. I met a VP up for coffee and I was incredibly embarassed to show up in the CRV. So much so, I got there early and walked to my car after he left.
Perception is sometimes reality for most people. I don't think the VP would have judged me, but if I ever had to meet him again along with other big-wigs, I would still be embarassed.
Am currently looking at the nicest German car I can find on a $10k budget, tbh, to find something more reliable, safer, and indeed "professional" as I am having a kid soon. I really do want to come off as a "young professional". It's so much more so because I'm a person of color and I know every perception of "ghettoness" is a disadvantage for me. When I used to daily my RSX, I got shit from my other POC friends, they would call it "ricer" or say I'm going to street race on the weekends with all the other Asian "kids", despite all of us being in our late 20s/early 30s.
I don't speak for all minority men, but some of us... deep inside, we have to aim and settle for the status quo or else we are lumped into being "one of them". And a part of that means we have to drive a certain car, most of the time new. I can't be Asian and show up in my modified RSX or beat down CRV to a board meeting and come off as professional.
Also work in IT. Modified '07 GTI with a K04 and full exhaust. It's loud if you give it the business, but very reasonable when cruising around town. Never had any complaints about it from the job. It's my hobby and it'll take way more than someone telling me it's unprofessional to make me change it or get rid of it. If it came to that, I'd just look for a job elsewhere.
No, but I'm self employed. I have had a former friend that asked if I thought I should be driving a more "grown up" car. Hence the former.
I don’t think anyone should be judged by the card they drive. But we live in a world where almost everyone judges a book by its cover. It’s truly a shame.
No. But then again i don't worry about the opinions of childish clown people either.
My workplace is called Momentum Motorsports, so luckily I don’t have that problem!
Lucky, that must be great working at a motorsports shop! Do they need IT people? I doubt it lol.
Work is only one facet of your life and not the only place you drive a car to. Unless you are responsible for transporting people/Clients or have a brand logo on the side, why should it matter? If they have an issue with which vehicle you choose, then your company should provide a vehicle stipend as part of your compensation structure. Only at that point would I entertain whether or not my car selection was professional.
I'm IT and also a big car nut.
Time to change up your scene, buy an old Lexus, and get into VIP mods. haha
If its not your boss look at them like their crazy and walk away shaking your head. I work in a tech firm, theres more modified cars in the parking lot than not modified probably. Shit someone has a cappuccino here as well. My fav is the makeshift harlequin themed NA miata someone built.
Maybe im just past the point of caring, or most people just dont care here. Never had a problem.
Really wish I worked in a tech firm. It seems tech firms are a lot less “conforming” and more open to individuality.
I was told this MULTIPLE times but it was only an issue a few times.
I was a Service Advisor with BMW with a modified 335i. Upgraded turbos, FMIC, downpipes etc..
A few customers really liked it but upper management would tell me I need to use my employee lease to have a professional vehicle. They talked about what they felt was best for me and I said I would sleep on it.
The next day I drove my "new" that they never saw C5 FRC. Catless, side-pipes, Safari style roof rack with light bars, lazy pop up lights, slightly raised on stock bolts with coilovers and all terrain tires. It was my toy project and I got invited to speak with my supervisor and HR about it. My supervisor said it was bad for us for me to not only not represent the brand but to also drive a "Piece of junk Chevy" to which I said "This car was actually given to me by my grandfather, he was a dirt track racer on the side and this is how he wanted the vehicle to look."
HR then stepped in saying they were just trying to be more brand positive and while he "liked what I was doing" he suggested I just drive my 335i instead to work when possible.
So I plasti-dipped the Corvette mystic monochrome and drove it to days we would have meetings and events. Customers loved the car, and a few loved my 335i. They would bring their modified ones in for maintenance. I actually had about all of our Dinan clients, installs etc all go through me just because they preferred me to the others.
Ended up getting a promotion to service manager as well.
Also the Corvette was just one I bought from a junk yard near my grandpa's place and he let me store it at his place until I could get a proper setup to get it home.
Let me guess, A 4cylinder with a loud fart can? If YES, you are a douche nozzle.
See the comment above or his post history.
If you don’t let it interfere with work in a negative manner, it should not come off as unprofessional. You have an interest in cars, your coworkers may not. So, someone may think negatively of your car. But, don’t let that bother you too much. You put time and money into it, and you should not walk away from it. Just do your think, and respect their opinion since cars may not be their interests.
Edit: What do you drive, and what exactly did you do to it?
My daily is a 2006 Honda Accord. All that I have done to it is:
- Tein Street Basis coilovers
- Custom exhaust from the header back. Has a vibrant resonator and vibrant streetpower muffler
- Avant Garde M220 18x9 wheels
- Window tints and various other small cosmetic mods
I've never cared. I've worked in a professional setting for 15 years now and used to drive my TJ rock crawler into work as often as I could. It started up plenty of conversations, but it was never something I was concerned about in terms of image. I'm now on the other end of the spectrum with my Miata, and I still don't care.
But...I do work in automotive.
I also work in IT, and I daily a lightly modified '18 Civic Type R. I know how this car looks and I don't give a fuck what anyone that isn't a car enthusiast thinks. It's not like I'm driving clients around in the thing, it's my car and I like it regardless of how a non-enthusiast perceives it.
It's your money and your car. Don't worry about what they say/think. If they want you to drive a different car, tell them to buy it for you. I'm at my job (HRIS Analyst) because of my ability to do the work, not because of what I drive. I've driven all types of cars to work and if anyone looks sideways, I just figure they're bored enough with their own life that they need to worry about mine.
Nope. Normies are oblivious. My modified vehicles have always been good conversation starters with some colleagues and clients, but I don’t go crazy on the exterior. If you rice out your car with graphics, a huge wing (even if it’s tracked) and straight pipe the whole thing then professionals will likely look down on it.