Most car enthusiasts own at least one piece of gear with their favorite brand’s logo on it. It can be a T-shirt, a pen, a hat, or a garage sign, for example. It takes a much greater degree of dedication to get a car-themed tattoo, and a study suggests this sky-scraping level of obsession is most often found in Volkswagen, Jeep, and Cadillac fans.
Compare the Market analyzed Instagram hashtags and posts to compile a list of the most commonly tattooed brands. Volkswagen came out on top, with 5,507 posts; note that anything related to the Wolfsburg-based brand earns it a point, whether it’s a logo, a cutaway diagram of the Beetle’s air-cooled flat-four engine, or a Touareg V10’s firing order. Jeep finished second with 2,139 posts, followed by Cadillac at 1,775 posts.
Surprisingly, the fourth spot is occupied by Pontiac, which appeared in 1,609 posts in spite of the fact that it hasn’t built a car since 2010. Holden appears near the very bottom of the top-20 chart, ahead of Lamborghini, and its result might be influenced by the fact that General Motors announced plans to shutter it earlier in 2020.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz are in sixth and 12th place, respectively. Alfa Romeo doesn’t appear in the top 20, though its decades-old Quadrifoglio logo (pictured) can easily be mistaken for a symbol of Irish luck.
Searching for posts that show a tattoo of a specific model uncovered even bigger surprises. According to the same study, the most-tattoed nameplate is the Chevrolet Impala, which appears in 823 posts. Odds are the earlier generations, like Dr. Dre’s famous six-four, are more often tattooed than the final-generation model, which unceremoniously went out of production in February 2020 without a direct replacement waiting in the wings.
Second place goes to the DeLorean DMC-12, which has transcended its status as an esoteric fiasco on wheels thanks to its role as a time machine in “Back to the Future.” It appeared in 800 posts. Chevrolet’s Corvette takes a distant third with 180 posts, followed by the Volkswagen Beetle (147 posts) and the Mini Cooper (116 posts).
All told, car-themed tattoos are relatively rare. To put some of the aforementioned numbers into context, searching Instagram for the hashtag Volkswagen yields over 15 million posts, while the hashtag tattoo appears in over three million publications.