We are often judged by the things we have. And sadly, our self worth is often determined by the same measure. This social categorizing does not discriminate between genders, however, men have been judged for a longer period of time by the cars they drive than women have. Even confident men succumb to the siren call of the "status car". I don't think it is just about ego. It may be just as much about feeling that they deserve something that symbolizes how hard they have worked. If that is the case it becomes a symbol of validation more than a vindication.
I drive a nicer car than He does. I always have. When we were first married He had enough cash to buy us a new car. We actually bought it two weeks before we got married. We went to the dealer where I picked it off the trailer that had just arrived on the lot that morning. It was a brand-spanking-new 1982, Mazda GLC Hatchback (of course it was light blue). He had transferred the money into our new joint account, and I wrote a check out for the total price. He drove it to my home, gave me the key, and went home in His '52 Plymouth that he was still driving since high school. It really became my car (until I got a new one and turned it over to Him). It was a great car, (I think it is still running around somewhere).
This pattern of car buying has continued throughout our marriage. When we needed, (or wanted), a new car we would go to the dealer, I would pick it out, He would drive it home, and I would then take possession of it. The cars got both bigger and nicer. It doesn't really matter what make or model they were, or even what price point "nicer" is to us. Nicer translates into newer; newer translates into more expensive, and more expensive translates into safer. As He sees it, whatever car I drive also carries His family, and the safety of His family comes before self gratification. I am sure the sirens call for Him. Just as well, I know He must need, or want, both the vindication and validation that a car brings most men in our society. However, I don't shuttle our children around anymore, and I still drive a nicer car than He does.
He turns the keys over...
...one more reason I love Him.