Created By: GuyIncog on June 21, 2013 Last Edited By: GuyIncog on July 7, 2013
Troped

Car Porn (Launching Soon)

Your Cool Car is ready for its closeup.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
A sequence, scene, or even an entire work that overtly showcases a Cool Car - often, several cool cars.

Not every scene involving a Cool Car will be Car Porn. To qualify, the car or cars must be as much of the focus as any of the characters. If stationary, someone will invariably pop the hood, not to work on the engine, but so that others can admire it. Expect a lavish, Description Porn-esque spouting of specs, facts and figures as well. When the car is in motion, it will almost certainly be involved in a race, chase, or some other scenario that will showcase its performance. Expect shots to emphasize speed and danger, with in-car closeups of shifting and pedal work. Bonus points if the racing takes place at an iconic or historic real life racetrack.

Due to a combination of Most Writers Are Male and Pandering to the Base, this trope will often coincide with more traditional forms of Fanservice. An attractive Wrench Wench may be among those working on the cars. Scenes outside of a garage may involve Hood Ornament Hotties, while at an official race, Pit Girls may be present. However, fanservice is in no way required for this trope, and despite the name, it will rarely - if ever - involve sex in or on a car. And in no way does it involve Rule 34 - that would be Cargo Ship.

Often a form of Product Placement, particularly if a car company is bankrolling the work. Also related to Technology Porn, especially when newer cars are featured or the inner workings of various parts are shown.

For similar treatment of other inanimate objects, compare Gun Porn, Food Porn, Costume Porn, Scenery Porn, etc.

Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
  • Initial D is quite detailed in its portrayal of characters' cars and drifting techniques. Cars are generally referred to by chassis codes, and the merits of different models are debated. Each episode featured at least one downhill drift competition.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
  • This is the general basis for the The Fast and the Furious series. As the protagonists (and most of the antagonists, as well) are all car enthusiasts, much time is spent discussing, working on, and of course, racing cars. Cars also serve to help define the characters - Dom has a penchant for muscle cars, while Brian prefers Japanese imports, particularly GTRs.
  • Gone in Sixty Seconds features several rare or exotic cars that are on the list for targeting by the auto theft ring. These cars are even given female names as code names referring to the specified model (such as "Eleanor", referring to a 1967 Mustang GT 500, a model which seemed to always give the protagonist trouble when stealing it).
  • Le Mans, is noted for having essentially no plot beyond the titular event, and features a number of exotic race cars. Most of the action sequences were filmed during the real 24 Hours of Le Mans.
  • Grand Prix is this for 1950s-era Formula One, with actors in period-accurate cars and tracks such as Monaco featured.
  • From an early scene in The Blues Brothers
    Jake: what, the hell is this?
    Elwood: It's a bargain. I picked it up at the Mt. Prospect City Police auction last spring. It's an old Mt. Prospect Police car.
    Jake: Thanks a lot, pal. The day I get out of prison and my own brother picks me up in a police car.
    Elwood: You don't like it?
    Jake: No, I don't like it.
    making a long story short, Elwood jumps the Chicago river with the car.
    Jake: Car's got a lot of pick up.
    Elwood: It's got a cop motor, a four hundred and forty-cubic-inch plant. Cop springs. Cop shocks. Cop suspension. Cop tires. It was a model made before catalytic converters, so it runs on regular gas. What do you say? Is it the new Bluesmobile or what?
    Jake: Fix the cigarette lighter.
  • Days of Thunder was quite lavish in its depiction of stock cars, with shots of drafting, shifting, and "rubbing" intermingled throughout the race sequences. Tracks such as Daytona also figure prominently.
  • One oner in The Bling Ring shows a Porsche convertible tucking its hood in before taking off. Bonus points for the whole car taking up the frame.
  • Combined with Technology Porn in Michael Bay's Transformers trilogy. Justified in that the main characters turn into cars, among other vehicles, so much of the focus is naturally on them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Magazines]]
  • Magazines such as Motor Trend, Car And Driver, and Road And Track feature articles reviewing cars, unveiling new prototypes, or comparing competitive cars from different manufacturers as their mainstays. Closeups of the vehicles feature prominently, as do performance figures.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
  • John Mc Cutcheon's song The Red Corvette (based on an urban legend described at Snopes) devotes some lavish description to the eponymous car. The song revolves around a really Cool Car being sold for dirt cheap, and the Car Porn underscores how baffling it is that the seller would do such a thing, before the last verse reveals the reason.
  • "Hot Rod Lincoln" by Johnny Bond described a souped-up Lincoln Model A in great detail, and its performance in a race.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Car-Centric Television Shows]]
  • Every single episode of Top Gear focuses on cars - reviews of cars, testing of cars, and particularly competitions (usually wacky ones) involving cars.
    • This applies equally well to Top Gear (US) and similar programs in other countries.
  • Pimp My Ride and similar shows like Overhaulin focus on the restoration and customization of cars. Each episode typically focuses on a single vehicle, with lavish attention to the work being done. Details such as the brand names and specs of replacement parts are always provided.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other Television]]
  • Combined with an infodump in the pilot of Adam-12:
    Malloy: You know what this is?
    Reed: (smiling) Yes sir, it's a police car.
    Malloy: This black and white patrol car has an overhead valve V8 engine. It develops 325 horsepower at 4800 RPM's. It accelerates from 0 to 60 in seven seconds; it has a top speed of 120 miles an hour. It's equipped with a multi-channeled DFE radio and an electronic siren capable of admitting three variables: wail, yelp, and alert. It also serves as an outside radio speaker and public address system. The automobile has two shotgun racks - one attached to the bottom portion of the front seat, one in the vehicle trunk. Attached to the middle of the dash, illuminated by a single bulb, is a hot sheet desk, fastened to which you will always make sure is the latest one off the teletype before you ever roll.
    Reed: Yes, sir.
    Malloy: It's your life insurance...and mine. You take care of it, and it'll take care of you.
    Reed: Yes, sir. You want me to drive?
    Malloy: (death glare)
  • Though the human cast did much of the sleuthing, the Knight Industries Two Thousand, a/k/a KITT, was the showpiece of the Knight Rider series. KITT could converse with its driver, drive itself, analyze almost anything, shoot missiles, and other New Powers as the Plot Demands. This left David Hasselhoff to slug the villains, as opposed to KITT squishing them like bugs.
  • Batman has many scenes of Batman & Robin leaping into the Batmobile and going through a checklist.
    Robin: Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed.
    Batman: Roger. Ready to move out.
    closeup on the Batmobile's rocket engine exhaust pipe spewing fire as it races off
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • The Gran Turismo series features hundreds of actual cars in each game, all with their performance and handling characteristics accurately depicted. Virtually limitless options are available for tuning each car as well. Once the player has tuned their car to their liking, they can race on a variety of courses, many of which are accurately modeled real world tracks.
  • Like Gran Turismo above, the Forza Motorsport series offers the player the chance to select any of hundreds of real cars, tweak its performance to their liking, and race it on a real world track of their choosing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • Cars. Yes, the cars are animated, not to mention anthropomorphic. Car buffs were still impressed by the level of detail shown in modelling the characters on real cars. Paul Newman's Doc Hudson character, for example, was modeled on a Hudson Hornet, complete with its characteristic engine sounds.

[[folder:Real Life]]
  • A car show. Any car show. Large, city-sponsored events will typically have manufacturers' entire lineups on display, complete with spokespeople eager to talk you into buying. Depending on the event, concept cars may also feature prominently.
    • Events put on by car clubs usually won't have manufacturers or dealers present, but the people who bring their cars to them will be even more eager to show them off.
  • Every form of motorsport - from Formula One, to NASCAR, to lesser known events - operates under this trope. The whole point of racing events is to watch high performance cars get pushed to the limit; certain events may let spectators get up close and personal looks at the cars as well.
[[/folder]]


Rolling Updates, No Launching Please
Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • June 21, 2013
    GuyIncog
    OP here. We have a blank page under this title, so I figured I would submit a description. I'm debating whether to include examples or leave it as a "definition only" page, particularly given the term is at least somewhat subjective.
  • June 22, 2013
    peccantis
    Cool Car + Pandering To The Base (car fanciers) + Technology Porn = something, but we shouldn't call it Car Porn though. Sounds too much like porn set inside a car. Or Rule34, as you mentioned.
  • June 22, 2013
    capsaicinfinity
    I don't mind the title Car Porn, and I don't think it's confusing. We have Scenery Porn, Technology Porn, Food Porn, and the like; I think there's sufficient precedent for tropes with "porn" in the title that don't necessarily refer to X-rated content.

  • June 22, 2013
    capsaicinfinity
    If examples are desired:

    Music
    • John Mc Cutcheon's song The Red Corvette (based on an urban legend described at Snopes) devotes some lavish description to the eponymous car. The song revolves around a really Cool Car being sold for dirt cheap, and the Car Porn underscores how baffling it is that the seller would do such a thing, before the last verse reveals the reason.
  • June 22, 2013
    GuyIncog
    I'm inclined to keep the Car Porn title, as the phrase is already in use to describe works that fit this trope - why try to change it? Plus we already have similar tropes for tech, scenery, food, guns, etc., so it's simply going along with established precedent.
  • June 22, 2013
    StarSword
    TV:
    • Combined with an infodump in the pilot of Adam Twelve:
      Malloy: You know what this is? Reed: (smiling) Yes sir, it's a police car. Malloy: This black and white patrol car has an overhead valve V8 engine. It develops 325 horsepower at 4800 RPM's. It accelerates from 0 to 60 in seven seconds; it has a top speed of 120 miles an hour. It's equipped with a multi-channeled DFE radio and an electronic siren capable of admitting three variables: wail, yelp, and alert. It also serves as an outside radio speaker and public address system. The automobile has two shotgun racks - one attached to the bottom portion of the front seat, one in the vehicle trunk. Attached to the middle of the dash, illuminated by a single bulb, is a hot sheet desk, fastened to which you will always make sure is the latest one off the teletype before you ever roll. Reed: Yes, sir. Malloy: It's your life insurance...and mine. You take care of it, and it'll take care of you. Reed: Yes, sir. You want me to drive? Malloy: (death glare)
  • June 22, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^Reminds me of an early scene in The Blues Brothers
    JAKE: what, the hell is this?
    ELWOOD: It's a bargain. I picked it up at the Mt. Prospect City Police auction last spring. It's an old Mt. Prospect Police car.
    JAKE: Thanks a lot, pal. The day I get out of prison and my own brother picks me up in a police car.
    ELWOOD: You don't like it?
    JAKE: No, I don't like it.
    making a long story short, Elwood jumps the Chicago river with the car.
    JAKE: Car's got a lot of pick up.
    ELWOOD: It's got a cop motor, a four hundred and forty-cubic-inch plant. Cop springs. Cop shocks. Cop suspension. Cop tires. It was a model made before catalytic converters, so it runs on regular gas. What do you say? Is it the new Bluesmobile or what?
    JAKE: Fix the cigarette lighter.
  • June 22, 2013
    arbiter099
    Every single episode of Top Gear because it's a car show. Cool Cars and jokes at James May's expense are the name of the game.
  • June 23, 2013
    Himbeergeist
  • June 23, 2013
    AP
  • June 23, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Film

    • Gone in Sixty Seconds features several rare or exotic cars that are on the list for targeting by the auto theft ring. These cars are even given female names as code names referring to the specified model (such as "Eleanor", referring to a 1967 Mustang GT 500, a model which seemed to always give the protagonist trouble when stealing it).
  • June 23, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Music

    "Hot Rod Lincoln" by Johnny Bond described a souped-up Lincoln Model A in great detail, and its performance in a race.
  • June 24, 2013
    peccantis
    Ah yes, not to be confused with Auto Erotica.
  • June 26, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    There's so many Zero Context Examples on this draft that I don't know where to start... ok, I'll start with everything under Video Games. Also Pimp My Ride and The Fast And The Furious, and there are a bunch more that are at least bordering on this.
  • June 27, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    • One oner in The Bling Ring shows a Porsche convertible tucking its hood in before taking off. Bonus points for the whole car taking up the frame.
  • June 27, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Live Action TV
    • Though the human cast did much of the sleuthing, the Knight Industries Two Thousand, a/k/a KITT, was the showpiece of the Knight Rider series. KITT could converse with its driver, drive itself, analyze almost anything, shoot missiles, and other New Powers As The Plot Demands. This left David Hasselhoff to slug the villains, as opposed to KITT squishing them like bugs.
  • June 29, 2013
    GuyIncog
    Thanks for the comments and the examples. Keep them coming. I especially could use more like Bling Ring, Blues Brothers, and Adam 12 - specific scenes from works that are otherwise not car-centric.
  • June 29, 2013
    DA
    Film:
    • All over the place in Michael Bay's Transformers trilogy. Justified in that the main characters turn into cars, among other vehicles.
  • June 29, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Batman has many scenes of Batman & Robin leaping into the Batmobile and going through a checklist.
    Robin: Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed.
    Batman: Roger. Ready to move out.
    closeup on the Batmobile's rocket engine exhaust pipe spewing fire as it races off
  • July 6, 2013
    GuyIncog
    Bump. I'm pretty happy with this. Any other suggestions?
  • July 6, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    The last two paragraphs in the description are messy. Too much info is lumped into them.
  • July 7, 2013
    GuyIncog
    ^ Took out some of the potholes.
  • July 7, 2013
    GuyIncog
    I'll launch this around 9 or 10 ET if they're aren't any objections.
  • July 7, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ It's not that. It's that the "compare" and "related to" parts are just mashed together.
  • July 7, 2013
    GuyIncog
    Last call for comments.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=kqnmsx8s3g56omkgj7kdd9tw&trope=CarPorn