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We are stereotyping beings. “Government workers never do any work.” That kind of thinking is rampant. “Redheads all have tempers.” You know how it is.

I have some car-related stereotypes. Certain groups of people do tend to purchase certain kinds of cars. While walking across the crosswalk down our street a few days ago, with the WALK sign lit, I noticed at about the halfway point that a dark-coloured Toyota Corolla was not seeing us or ‘her’ red light. Yes, I instinctively spoke of the driver (as we paused at the median in fear) as a she. Sorry.

But I was right. She was on her cell phone, and looked a little bouncy with the music. Brakes gave a little squeal and the car gave a short slide toward our shins. She was not aware.

A lack of awareness does not pertain to my previous stereotypes of Corolla drivers. The stereotype involved a girl like this one, likely named Jen, who hasn’t an ounce of enthusiasm for the automobile and about as much respect for the road and other cars. She’s on her way to pick up Gabi who drives a 3-year old Cavalier but yearns to own a Corolla. They’re going to the beach, but have no intention of going in the water. They might splurge and buy french fries, but I can’t imagine they’d dare to eat them all for fear of not being able to wear a bikini next time out.

That’s so cruel and oh so not true. Especially in light of news from South Africa, where on the N1 highway near Johannesburg six men were arrested for driving a little too quickly. Six men in six cars, the fastest clocked at 229 km/h, the slowest at 181 km/h. In between were cars at 192 km/h, 188, and 182.

Vehicles involved were made by Mercedes (no model specified), a Volkswagen Jetta and a Polo GTI, a BMW with no specified nomenclature, an Opel Corsa, and…. get this, a Toyota Corolla.

Now, driving dangerously is not condoned by The Good Car Guy or GCBC. However, I think this is actually a good thing for Corolla’s reputation. Kinda like Martha Stewart going to jail, it only brought more attention to her person and empire.

Excuses came out of three men’s mouths, one regarding taking his son to the hospital. Another said he had to take some people home who lived a fair distance, and another’s wife was at home – pregnant – and in labour. All six men paid fines, were released, and were to appear in court.

Unfortunately, even as the Corolla garners a touch of coolness for being caught doing something real drivers do, it loses a touch of that cool factor for being the slowest of the six.

Nevertheless, the stereotypes I previously held must now be surrendered. Forever laid down at the feet – and on the monitor – of the Good Car Nation.

—- Notes: Mercury Topaz’s have been tested at speeds of 180 km/h. Does that make the ‘iconic’ Topaz kinda cool?