Day’?s Verse:
“I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Luke 3:16

For almost a century now, humans and automobiles have interacted amiably, with cars becoming a mainstay of human society, much like dogs in their prevalence and belovedness. Cars, unlike their ice cream truck brethren, exhibit curiosity and friendliness towards humans; the car’s relatively recent popularization stems more from the humans’ commitment to animal-powered transport than any resistance on the cars’ part.

Indeed, for generations Native Americans on the plains would occasionally catch and ride a car that had wandered from its herd, but they generally released the car after a joy-ride rather than taming it for regular use. One obstacle at the time was that cars had not yet developed the ability to use fossil fuels as an energy source; instead, they combusted dry grass and wood, which resulted in much slower-moving vehicles than we use today. A fast horse could fairly easily outrun the average car, and although a young car less than a year old was known to reach up to thirty or forty miles an hour, by the time it reached adulthood it could only sustain about fifteen miles an hour for any length of time.

Car Mating RitualSince domesticating cars became widely popular, humans have bred cars to exhibit certain traits, including (in the last few years) CD and DVD players power windows, power steering, and leather/heated seats. The most prevalent trait, however, is gasoline-burning, which became so widespread that it all but eliminated any alternative-fuel vehicles. Recent concerns about the pollution associated with fossil fuels, as well as its anticipated shortage, have spurred people to breed cars with other means of obtaining fuel as well. The image at right, discovered in a car-breeder’s vault, shows one of the increasingly prevalent hybridized cars that uses gasoline and batteries for locomotion.

Note that the vehicle pictured is displaying a traditional car mating sign, the raised windshield wipers. Although people breed cars in captivity, cars frequently mate in spontaneously as well. As far as car researchers can determine, vehicles in snowy climates have developed the raised windshield wipers as a signal that they are ready to mate. However, little is known about car mating rituals in the wild, aside from this fact, as cars only mate in the dead of night during storms. Indeed, in domesticated cars only experts can determine the car’s sex, as males and females in most vehicles have become nearly identical.

2 thoughts on “Wheels: A Short History of Car Domestication

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.