Top 10 Worst Vehicles for Meeting Your Date’s Dad

A while back we compiled a list of vehicles along with the types of women they were likely to attract. Was that piece unscientific? Misogynistic? Entertaining? Yes, yes and, if we do say so ourselves, hell yes.

But lately we’ve been thinking, “Even if your ride makes a great first impression on your lady friend, what about the first impressions on her dad?” After all, he’s the one who traditionally has the final say on whether you get to see his daughter again or you get to see the business end of a pump-action Remington. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of 10 automobiles you should probably avoid rolling up in for that pivotal first contact, assuming you aren’t a fan of forbidden romance and/or picking birdshot out of your tush.

Clapped-Out, Trash-Filled Yank Tank

Old American beater

While you might think your Yankee land yacht is cool and ironic in a thrift-store-clothing-kinda-way, those concepts will all be lost on your girlfriend’s pop. He will not see the Amoeba Music bumper sticker and Pastafarianism badge adorning the trunk; no, he will see the acres of iron oxide and the mesa of fast food wrappers atop the dashboard and assume its normal parking space is below a freeway overpass, and that your idea of an RV vacation involves a large basket rolling on four casters and hunting for recyclables. Copious facial hair will not help your cause.

1970s Custom Van

Custom van

Back in the 1970s, some of the most coveted vehicles on a new car lot were full-size cargo vans. No, really! Customizing them was all the rage, especially converting the rear compartments into mobile, shag-carpeted love nests. So you should forgive your lady’s old man for taking issue with you driving one. The fact that he may or may not have been a vanner himself back in the day (or that your sweetie may or may not have been conceived in one beneath the soft moonlight filtering in through a crescent-shaped bubble window) is irrelevant.

Modified Import


Although the import tuner market isn’t quite as big as it once was, it still has a fairly loyal and enthusiastic following. It also has certain aspects of its subculture that, as regular viewers of this site will agree, leave many dads of daughters uneasy, to say the least. We’re not saying he won’t hear you when you explain yourself and why you drive a slammed Integra, but there is a chance he’ll hear, “Blah blah blah bikini contest herp derp Jell-O wrestling yadda yadda yadda,” when your lips are moving.

Chick Car

Volkswagen New Beetle Cabrio

Yeah, yeah, we know, “There are always exceptions to the rule,” but just hear us out. Showing up in a vehicle that has a strong reputation for being a favorite of women (and in some instances men who, er, prefer playing for the other team – not that there’s anything wrong with that) just might get your gal’s pappy asking you questions. Questions of the semi-personal nature. Awkward, party of two? Your table is ready!


Volkswagen Microbus hippie

Speaking of questions, a common query among potential fathers-in-law is how you’d plan on providing for his little princess. Responding with, “The co-op has everything we need,” or words to that effect, will almost certainly have you out on the porch and the door deadbolted behind you before you can say, “Chill, man.” But even if you aren’t that guy, showing up in the prototypical VW Bus or, more recently, an early-‘80s Euro diesel that now drinks the contents of an onion ring’s hot tub will plant the idea in daddy’s head that you are that guy. Harsh, huh?

Lifted Truck or SUV

Bro truck

In many corners of this great land, jacked-up, knobby-tired pickups and SUVs are where it’s at. But, as with most cars and trucks, there are certain stereotypes about lifted truck owners. Some of these include (but are not limited to) wearing baseball caps with flattened bills, having at least 25% of your torso covered in tattoos, addressing everyone as “Brah,” listing “getting wasted” as one of your hobbies, and owning the complete Linkin Park discography. Ask yourself, “If I had a daughter, would I let her date that guy?” Now you can understand where many such fathers are coming from when they recoil in horror at your sky-high F-150.

1970s Personal Luxury Car

Lincoln Mark V

If it seems like we’re dumping on vehicles of the Me Decade, we can assure you it’s unintentional (even though so many automobiles of the period were laughably wretched). Having said that, the personal luxury cars (i.e. the Cadillac Eldorados, Lincoln Mark series coupes and their ilk) of the day have come to be associated with – How should we put this? – businessmen who count ladies of the night as their franchisees. The bottom line, kids, is it doesn’t matter how enamored you are with soft Corinthian leather; your gal pal’s dad will be haunted by the thought of his baby girl helping you make a living wearing soft Corinthian leather.

Panel Van

GMC Savana cargo

Whoa, hang on! Cargo vans listed twice? Yep. Turns out, you don’t need to have Ansen Sprints or a wizard mural on your roadgoing boxcar to give doting dads the shivers. All you need is a plain, windowless van with no stickers or lettering to make them (along with mothers, teachers, homeowners associations, cops, talkradio hosts, actual pervs and serial killers…) uneasy. Three cheers for guilt-by-association!

Old Tiny Hatchback

Yugo GV

We don’t have anything against vintage subcompact cars (Especially when they rock as hard as our buddy Mike Bumbeck’s Starlet.). Neither do a lot of girlfriends’ dads…provided you’re driving an old one while still in high school or college, or you’re fresh out of school and driving a new or nearly-new one. But if you’re still driving a gnarled old Festiva or Tercel when you’ve supposedly made it to the real world, that’s bound to raise a few red flags. And if it’s got a sign for a pizza joint on the roof? Fuggedaboutit.

Late Model Big Luxury Sedan

BMW 7 Series

We know what you’re thinking: “WTF? What are these doing on the list? If I had had one when I first met my woman’s dad he would have believed that I had the financial means to keep his angel happy!” Firstly, classy girls prefer you not refer to them as “your woman” (Or so we’ve heard…from a friend of a friend’s sister’s coworker’s aunt.) and, secondly yes, many dads will get the impression that you’re loaded. The only problem is they’ll question how and/or why you’re loaded.

Sure, you may really be the IT department head at a dot-com juggernaut pulling down six-figures per annum, but what’s to stop the other most important man in your better half’s life from assuming your real occupation is, say, Latin American pharmaceuticals retailer, or a cobbler that specializes in crafting concrete footwear? (This is particularly true if your surname ends in a vowel and he’s never heard of your company.) Even in the Information Age, it’s still possible for people to keep a skeleton or two in their closet. It’s usually a good idea to not make it look like you have any, especially when meeting someone with that much clout.

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