Name: 1974 Volkswagen Beetle
Year(s) Produced: 1938-1980
Number Built: 955,355 (1974)
Class: Sub-compact, economy car
Body Type: 2-door saloon
Engine: O4 1641 cc, 100.1 cu in., 1.6 L.
Power: 70bhp @ 4000 RPM
0-60mph: 27.5 seconds
Top Speed: 71 mph
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Length/width/height: 160.6 in./60.6 in./ (?)
Wheelbase: 94.5 in.
Base Price: US$2,625 (NADA)
Highest Price: US$11,900 (NADA)
Featuring on UK morning show, hosts Philip Schofield and Amanda Holden seem to have their hands full in an interview with Edward Smith – a self-confessed mecaphile who admits to having sex to more than 1000 cars in his lifetime. Now at age 63, Smith claims that he is now settled with the ‘love of his life’: a 1974 white Volkswagen Beetle he intimately calls ‘Vanilla’.
Philip and Amanda tried hard to look serious by asking probing questions about the details of Edward’s sexual history and how it evolved. However, there are instances when it’s kind of hard for the pair not to crack-up. How can they, if you’re interviewing a man who boasted having sexual escapades with Jaguars, Mustangs, and Beetles, and even having the gall to do threesomes with them in car parks and showrooms? You don’t encounter those things every day, that’s for sure. There were also one-night stands with other heavy weights such as helicopters and planes to top Edward’s list of ‘accomplishments’.
According to Dr. Craig Jackson, Head of Psychology at Birmingham City University, ‘mechaphilia’ is quite rare and unusual, and not much is known about how the prevalence of mechaphiles within society, other than the fact that they seem to occur everywhere around the globe, and the cause is not specific to specific cultures. Although mechaphilia is an extremely unusual and rare behavior, the sexual attraction to objects and mechanical equipment is not strictly seen as a mental health problem as long as it poses no threat to others, and does not interfere with the person’s day to day functioning. In the UK, mechaphilia is considered as a crime, with perpetrators being placed on a sex-offenders’ register after prosecution.
Mr. Smith shared to Philip and Amanda that as a teenager, he remembers getting hooked on car magazines the way other men are addicted to pornography. He claimed to have lost his virginity with their neighbor’s Volkswagen Beetle at age 14. He said, “I got tempted one night to step outside to gently caress the car. It did something for me, woke something up inside of me.”
Afterwards, he felt a strong pull towards cars and began to actively seek those that he finds ‘attractive’. “I look back at that thinking that was really risky business. That’s the history, yes, in fact, I cannot deny that there were a number of neighborhood car lots that I would go over to visit,” Smith explains.
When asked about the specifics on how he actually does it, Smith was nonchalant in his explanation. He said: “It’s hugging and holding the shape of the car close to me and talking to it a little bit. The rest is just physical satisfaction… that’s done next to the car.” He was quick to add that he is careful not to cause any scene in public, so he makes sure that he keeps his clothes and that he only unzipped.