(FOX 2) - Can a vehicle make you feel younger? Maybe even sexier?
Turns out, there's a reason that when we need some excitment we turn to a new set of wheels.
"People enjoy driving a car not because it can really be a statement of who they are, a statement of power, a way to show off what they have, what they can do," says psychiatrist Dr. Howard Belkin.
He says the link between cars and confidence is real.
Ford Motor Co. actually worked neuroscientists using artifical technology to measure the thrill of driving. They measured people's emotions and excitement behind the wheel, looking for so-called "buzz moments." And what did they find?
Driving beat out almost every life activity, except for riding a roller coaster.
"The interesting thing about this study: the only thing that exceeded driving a new sports car was riding on a rollerocaster. Driving a new sports car was better than watching sports, dining, kissing and even for the afficiandos out there, it was even better than salsa dancing," Dr. Belkin said.
In the 1994 movie "True Lies" Arnold Schwateneger takes an unforgettable test drive. The movie version of the mid life crisis car is always red and fast, but don't worry if that's not your style.
"If you are a classy guy and you don't mind driving slowly, you want something big, you know maybe a really big, large luxury car is what you really want. If you're someone who's exciting, wants a slightly exciting lifestyle, a fast red sports car, or a fast convertible, may be the thing that really gives you the buzz."
All this makes you think, should I turn to a new vehicle when I come to that half way point in life?
"Everything gets kind of boring. It's been so long that they've been kind of doing the same thing, the same job, the same marriage. They've got a long time ahead of themselves, they want a little bit of excitement. There are functional ways to get out of a midlife crisis and disfunctional ways to get out of a midlife crisis. Sometimes buying a new, fancy sports car - if you can afford it - is a very good way of getting out of a midlife crisis."
Used car seller CarMax asked men and women what car is their mid life crisis car? Mustang and Corvette were the favorites.