Should we decorate Maria’s car?

There’s trouble in paradise. Maria and I have been having a quarrel, actually for several months now. You see when we bought two identical cars last year, there was a method behind the madness… 

The idea was to decorate the cars as mobile billboards, gaining free (well, ‘free’ after you pay an arm and a leg for the artwork) promotion for Cairns Unlimited everywhere we drive. So far, due to stubborn resistance from one half of the Cairns Unlimited team, we are still only halfway there. My car looks awesome you must admit…

… but Maria is refusing to let me get my hands on her plain grey car. She says it’s important to have one vehicle unbranded, so we can travel incognito when necessary. Who are we; Britney Spears and Michael Jackson?? We don’t need to travel incognito. We need to be make a splash!

I vote PAINT MARIA’S CAR TODAY!  Help me convince this obstinate Spaniard; post a comment below…

47 Responses to “Should we decorate Maria’s car?”

  1. Steve Says:

    Just to make it fair, the first twenty people who post a comment casting their vote for ME will receive in the mail a Cairns Unlimited mousemat and a cool reusable Cairns Unlimited carry bag.

    All’s fair in love and war :)

  2. Joshua V Says:

    I vote yes!! LOL sorry Maria! But that gray is such a bland color!!

  3. Margo Says:

    Yeah, I’m with Steve. Maria’s car isn’t exactly inspirational, plus we could do with a new mouse mat at Calypso. If Buddha votes do we get 2?? ;)

  4. Gail at Large Says:

    Sorry, but I’m with Maria on this one… (and pssssst, you can do a hell of a lot better trying to buy my vote with a MOUSEMAT! Although I might be bribed with the carry bag, as long as it’s in bland grey, haha!)

  5. ena Says:

    Sorry Steve, but MAria is right. I prefer her her like she has right now…… I think it’s better too have a nonnnn commercial car. It’s nicer too…. :) Ena

  6. Steve Says:

    hmmm… TWO votes for me and TWO votes for Maria. I didn’t think it would be so close.

    Maybe I’d better think of a better bribe :(


  7. Max Says:

    Hey Maria, “todo por la patria”! That´s why I would paint the car. A non comercial car is better, but as it´s your own business….YES

  8. Pilar Says:

    Sorry Steve, I am with Maria :-) don’t be selfish you have already one decorated

  9. Mercedes Says:

    I’m with Maria, you already have the balance…one and one!!

  10. Paolo Says:

    Sorry mate, you know I love you, you crazy boy, but I’m with Maria. Less colour, right, but sometimes you need that too. Balance is in the middle, they say… I love yours too, ok? don’t get me wrong, si?

  11. Mark Says:

    Maria - it’s not right to be grey so early in life ! Drop everything you’re doing right now, grab your keys and get yourself and that dull boring car to a paintshop this very instant.

    (Ps - Steve, I think I deserve at least 2 mouse mats and an extra large carry bag for being so enthusiastically on your side. By the way, why did you buy such a crap car twice ?).

  12. Richard Says:

    Steve, Steve, Steve -

    Ah, the blind innocence of the recently-wed male, thinking that you stand a snowball’s chance in hell of persuading your chosen mate to defile her baby for the sake of crass commercialism.

    You say 2 votes each way? Ha! As the old saying goes, first she’ll count the votes, and then she’ll count the votes that count.

    It is as senseless for us to vote either way as it is for you to try to convince her to your way of thinking. And the only thing putting it to a vote will do (besides drawing traffic to your blog) is to firm her resolve to do exactly as she damn well pleases.

    Which she will, I predict.

    Sorry, mate — you lose. But at least you have a damn fine woman sitting in that bland car :-))
    Live with it.

    So saith Singapore

  13. Rob Caudwell Says:

    Hey Steve

    As the old philosophical puzzle goes: “If a man speaks in the middle of a forest and there is no woman within hearing distance, is he still wrong?” ;-). You are completely right and Maria should submit and allow the painting to start. Just think what a positive effect it would have on the resale value of the car! LOL.

    Good luck trying to win the unwinnable! (and save the postage on the mouse mat and carry bag as you need all you funds towards the new paint job) :-). Adios

  14. madsue Says:

    Ha Ha! Stick to your guns Maria!!!!!

    Nope, Steve, your bribe (oops sorry prize) won’t work either!! Maria, of course you could also do the same LOL!!

  15. Cousin Matt Says:

    Sorry buddy, gotta go with Maria’s logic on this one. What if you guys need to go undercover on an important mission? She’s thought this one through.

  16. alice schaefer Says:

    Hey Guys…I’m still alive too! I say why not compromise and get one or two or so of those stick on signs…won’t be as splashy as Steve’s car, but will still advertise when you want to and you can remove them when you want to. Ta DA! Problem solved.

  17. Magnus Says:

    All for branding! But sorry Steve, need to be with Maria on this one!
    1 car to turn heads is enough, Maria you have my vote. Don’t paint your car!

  18. Sunny Says:

    On aesthetics- I must go with Maria (Steve- I can’t be a hypocrite, I chose the same color as Maria’s car for my own!).

    On business- I’m with Steve.

    Seems like my old trading habits die hard. If Maria paints her car, what if you set aside a certain percentage of incremental revenues going forward for a new car/new furniture/new something fund- which Maria gets to pick, color and all?

    I know, I know, I’m boring- AND bad.

    Hugs to you both!


  19. Rolf Says:

    Its very good to have two cars and it is also good and fair to have one car painted. But sorry Steve, I am also with Maria. Let her drive her car the way she want it to look like. Sometime it is also nice to travel incognito.

    Greetings from Switzerland


  20. phil Says:

    what ya sould or shouldn’t do, what is prudent or otherwise, has nothing to do with it.

  21. Rosemary Slosek Says:

    I agree with Maria :)

  22. Jamette in Oklahoma Says:

    Steve, your car looks great and that is probably the one that I would drive because I hate normal. However, I understand Maria’s side of the argument in that you need a car that you can travel incognito and undercover at times. Besides, you can’t win this one, and is this really the battle that you NEED to win? I don’t think so. So, even though, Maria, I think you are being BORING; Steve, I have to vote for Maria on this one. Peace, Jamette.

  23. Chuck Strauss Says:

    Sorry, Steve, but I vote with Maria — your car is very nice, but….leave well enpough alone. Maybe SHE will want to travel incognito!

    Good to hear from you. For the most part, all is well here in Nelson County, Virginia!

  24. Tashi Buttazoni Says:

    Hey Steve! you’ve got my vote! You only live once, your not superstars and you’ve got to be recognized!! Your business will grow with it, and people will get to know the Cairns unlimited people! Sorry Maria but grey is dull and boring and the “same as the masses”. Let everyone else be dull and boring. You guys are both vibrant, colorful and diverse … live your life that way~! Life’s short eat your dessert first!

    Good health and high spirits!
    Tashi @ GLOBOsapiens Travel Cafe (If I followed the norm of what others in my business are doing, I would be struggling to get by, boring, living life by the book, dare to be different and it will work for you.. :O)

  25. erika Says:

    Hey ozzies !!

    Well well, I have read through the comments, and I think nobody has stopped over on what is to be painted on Maria’s car… now, if it’s the same cheesy thing as on your car, Steve… Maria, stick to your guns, whoever designed that blue??? I know probably th ocean over there is that color, but that does not mean it looks good on a car!!!!

    SO, unless there is a more stylish and pretty alternative, I stick to grey!

    Kisses to both!

  26. Chris Says:


    I was going to tell you to buy her a bottle of wine, some flowers, flatter her to death, and then get the car painted. But, um, brother, you ain’t gonna win this one. If she’s made up her mind you’re done for. Still, I’m on your side and you should definitely get the car painted to bring in more business.

    (Maria, he’s crazy and keep it however you want - just don’t tell him I’m actually on your side!).



  27. Joell Says:

    No way is that car going to get painted. Just give it up!

    That said now get creative. The cars sit in the sun in public places a lot, if your driving them around town etc. So how about you get some sunshades for the windows and put the advert on them? The resale value of the car stays in tact, you just keep the sunshade.

    Hope you get lots of business while the Yanks are in town.
    Cheers from Colorado,

  28. Peter Says:

    Sorry Steve, but I vote for Maria. Having one car without advertising is a good idea (even if the advertising is your business).

  29. Jennifer Says:

    Canada votes, “Hell no!”

    My entire country would’ve voted, “Hell yes!” if I hadn’tve actually SEEN the paint job on your car, Steve!

    That blue is hideous…

  30. Lena Says:

    Well, I like that shade of blue, sometimes I even paint my toenails that same shade, but I’m going with Maria on this too. If you only had one car I’d say paint it and advertise, but if you have two, keep one incognito.
    I’m afraid you’re losing this one Steve, the bribes didn’t quite do it man. But great ideas from other people about advertising on her car by way of stickers and sunshades and stuff that can be removed.

  31. Genevieve Says:

    Hi guys, did I see somewhere here that you got MARRIED? when????? saludos desde Burdeos, Gen and Des

  32. annabelle Says:

    Dear Maria

    I think you should do it …..and in Pink for a girl…. are you married?…. if so congratulations to you both
    hugs…the couchsurfer previously known as Annabelle but now known as Carabella and living in France …….xx

  33. Sebastian Says:

    Puuues, Maria, dejale decorarlo ;)
    You wouldn´t let your man driving around in a car more fancy than yours, would you???
    un gran saludo desde stuttgart,
    Sebas :)

  34. Chris Noble Says:

    We’ve got a branded Van promotion running at the moment around Australia - - so I’m with Steve, get it branded !!

  35. Natxo Says:

    YES!! As I told you on facebook, You should paint it!! Vamos marieta, con lo que tu sabes de marketing!!!

  36. Timmi Atteberry Says:

    I am with Steve on this one. Come on, plain gray??? beautiful lady needs beautifully colored car. The baby blue with all the color. thats the stuff AND it’s promotion. PAINT THE CAR!!!

  37. jon Says:

    Oh Steve Mate, are you in deep sh…. er big trouble over this one??? You have commited a mortal SIN. You have called the lovely Maria ‘THAT WOMAN’. You will never be forgiven for that, just agree with whatever she says from now on!!!

    I know its expensive but do it - decorate the damn car, its only a car after all.

    good luck my friends.

    Love to Maria


  38. amaya Says:

    Heyyyy, we are aliveeee, we were not devored by the cheetahs and we managed to bit the scottish and survive in Jordan !!!!
    Now to the point. DONT PAINT THE CAR !!!! This has a name is spanish “HORTERA” when it is not really neccessary. You already have one to comply with the marketing stuff, so pass by twice if you need to but dont paint MAria´s car. It is nice to have an incognito car wherever you go….and it wont make MAria feel uncomfortable when people stare at her everytime she gets on the car (althoug, i know she likes to be stared at , but not in this kind of situations….ha!)She will ALWAYS be reminding you……and you dont want her to be unhappy…
    Remember Steve: you have two lives: the business one, and the private one… is more than business !

    (Maria, will we also get the bag as we are supporting you and you are part of the management in cairnsunlimited??. Ours is getting rotten in this trip……) Pero qué cutres somos todos,eh??..

    Un beso muy fuerte a los dos de los cuatro

  39. David Says:

    Paint it. More advertising can never hurt.

  40. Ruth Lefevre in Oregon Says:

    Sorry, Steve, but I’m with Maria on this one! Your business is apparently doing well or you wouldn’t be able to buy two new cars. No need to get greedy by having advertising every where you go. A sunshade made with business info on it sounds great, though, and/or easily removed signs for the doors. You may have seen the pliable plastic sheeting that’s magnitized so it sticks to metal. Refrigerator magnets are made of it. One of my sons uses the stuff in a “car bra” that he has patented (see I had an Obama sticker made of it before our election.

    Maria is merely saying that she doesn’t want to always be a walking (driving?) billboard everywhere she goes. And when you eventually replace the car that “boring” color will be seen as “neutral” and therefore easier to sell.

  41. Steve Says:

    Well, I really opened myself up for a battering, didn’t I? Thanks to everyone who voted; and by that I mean thanks for everyone who voted for me! The rest of you pfftt..

    The funny thing is that even some of those who supported my quest to have Maria’s car painted ended up hurting my feelings by insulting the lovely Gun Metal Grey colour which currently adorns her car. Joshua and Gail called it bland, Mark and Tashi both called it ‘dull and boring’, Jamette also used the word ‘boring’ and Jer (who didn’t cast a vote here but had his say on Facebook) called it ‘hideous’!

    Ahem… I CHOSE THAT COLOUR! Maria’s car is the third Gun Metal Grey Calibra that I have bought, and I flew 3000 kilometres to pick hers up in Sydney because they are so hard to find in good condition these days. So Mark, I didn’t buy a crap car twice… I did it three times! And when the day comes that a car manufacturer releases a vehicle that is a match for the style and absolute engineering excellence of a Calibra, I may be convinced to trade in on a newer vehicle.

    Besides being able to drive from Cairns to New South Wales border – a distance of some 1800km – with just one fuel stop, this relatively heavy car with its super economical 2.0 litre engine will top 160km/h in third gear, 210km/h in fourth, and scare the bejesus out of me in fifth.

    Did you know that upon its release in 1989, the Calibra was the most aerodynamic production car in the world, a title which it held for a decade until beaten by such vehicles as the Honda Insight hybrid electric car.

    Erika and Jen, you gals obviously need to upgrade your computer monitors. The blue on my car (which is actually a full body vinyl sticker, not paint) is so beautiful I often catch people licking the car in the carpark, mesmerized by the ocean blue beautifulness of its colour.

    But I can’t help but feel that a number of people missed the point, and somehow thought that my personal desire is to drive a garishly decorated car rather than a stylish and discreet sports coupe in Gun Metal Grey. Once again, let me point out that I chose that colour grey – three times so far – because I like it. The decoration is simply a logical business decision. After all, what’s the point of having a car in the plain ‘incognito’ colour that you like… if there’s not enough money coming in to put fuel in it… or buy groceries.

    David, Chris, Natxo, Mad Max you hit the nail on the head. No amount of promotion is ever enough.

    Richard, funny that you should notice this poll has inadvertently drawn readers to our blog.

    The results were quite revealing in themselves, and you can read into this whatever you like, but of the 33 people who cast votes one way or the other (not counting those *fence sitters* who proposed a compromise) the gender split was as follows: 68% of men voted in favour of decorating the car, as opposed to only 19% of females.

    So a special thanks to the few ladies who supported me. Margo, I hope you have already received your mousemat and carry bag. Anabelle (Carabella) I will take that as a definite vote for me, although a pink sky and a pink sea with scuba divers could be a bit offputting. I will have to confer with our design department on that.

    Sunny, Alice, Joell, Lena, Joell, Alice and Ruth.. those of you who suggested a compromise are of course on the right track. Everything in life is a compromise, and I already had my own plan… which even if I do say so myself is much better than any suggested!

    Amaya, you are one of the few people in this discussion who have seen our wonderful decorated car in person. It certainly is attention grabbing, and I would estimate that TWO cars driving around together would generate five to ten times as much attention as a single one. But I do love your suggestion about simply driving past people twice instead of decorating two cars.

    Richard, Phil, Jon… I can’t comment on the relationships of other men, but in this relationship I wear the pants. Why just last week Maria came crawling to me on her hands and knees after we’d had an argument. Do you know what she was saying? “Get out from under that bed, you coward!!”

    Timmi, I like your style… flattering Maria and telling her she deserves the car to be as beautiful as her. But she’s not likely to fall for such a simple plan. Same goes for your suggestion Chris; all I’d get if I turned up with flowers and champagne is an inquisition. Sebastian, trying to make her jealous could just work… maybe.

    Gen, if you’re not going to cast a vote either way, I am neither going to confirm nor deny that rumour. Vote YES. Vote YES.

    I’m sure that Maria will thank those who voted for her :)


  42. Steve Says:

    … and Rob, I’m still not sure if yours was a genuine vote for me or not…

  43. Tony Sandoval (Baltimore) Says:

    Hey Steve!!!

    Good to hear from you! Did you two get married…did I catch that? If so, a huge congrats!!!

    As far as the car is concerned…someone mentioned something like a door magnet. Something tasteful and removable could make for a nice compromise….since I do believe you need to advertise, advertise…it is your bizz!!!

    That being said (sorry Maria), if something removable is unacceptable…put your foot down Steve….and Maria, suck it up :)~ This is your bizz…when things get really rolling you can buy that Lamborghini Murcielago and leave it the color you dream of!!!

    2 Cents

    T in Baltimore

  44. phil Says:

    i think the original is very restful on the eyes ,as is the owner……both should remain that way for as long as possible!

  45. Stefan Says:

    I love the decoration on the car and … YES, Maria´s car should be decorated and pictures published. YES, please, decorate Maria´s car!

  46. Steve Says:

    Stefan, you are a loyal supporter and obviously an astute businessman. Email me your postal addres and I will send your bribe … I mean, prize!

    Phil, a mousemat won’t be much use to you since you don’t have a working computer. Oh, hold on… you didn’t even bloody well vote for me!

    Tony, your mousemat and carry bag are on the way. Thanks for your vote.


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