In one of our podcasts (back when we all lived close enough we still did podcasts) it was pointed out that I have a mild affliction for cars. I’m not sure where the mania stems from, but I’ve always thought it was fun and see no reason to change. I have owned my fair share of automobiles and have driven just about everyone’s car that I know. There is just something about them, the speed the power, the profound engineering that goes into making great big heavy things fast – and they are faster now than ever before.
Case in point – I grew up with pictures of the Lamborghini Countach on my wall – the LP500s and 500QV to be precise. It was my dream car, nothing embodied speed, power and pure sex appeal to me more than that car. I remember it being the primary reason I loved to watch Cannonball Run 1&2 over and over. Didn’t hurt it was pretty girls driving it in the movies either. But that car, that was pure speed, had a huge V12 engine and a body that was shaped like a knife. It put out 420 horsepower, weighed 3,280 pounds, went from 0 – 60 in 4.9 seconds and had a starting price of almost $100,000 in 1985 – that is more than $205,000 in today’s dollars (says my friend, the internet).
Fast forward to today and you can get a 2013 Mustang GT that has 420HP, weighs 3,622 pounds, does 0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds and cost right about $30,000 base. What a difference 27 years makes. It astounds me that for that price, I can get a Ford that is by all accounts a heavy car and out run my Super Car Hero of my youth. Hell, if you really wanted to count your pennies, you could spring for the 2013 Mustang GT500 which has 650 horsepower and can go over 200MPH (something my Lamborghini never accomplished).
I admit, I had a political worry when there was an administration that was pushing the green initiative hard and putting stricter standards on the car manufacturers. But, for every Prius I see, I also see the new age of speed and muscle and it feeds my soul. The automotive landscape has become more extreme and that is not a bad thing. On one end you have the hyper frugal and on the other you have the hyper powerful and an ever growing mix of vehicles in the middle sweet spot. That is a wonderful thing, when you can have a hybrid driver getting his +40 MPG at 65MPH sharing the road with 200MPH muscle cars getting their 12-14MPG (highway of course).
As a self-proclaimed car nut, am pleased at what I see out there – I just wish I had more time and money to sample all this automotive excitement. In the end, it doesn’t matter what you choose to drive, as long as there are the choices for us all – only two rules: 1) if you have the option, drive stick and 2) please observe left lane courtesy, it is the gentlemanly thing to do.
If life is about moving to the next adventure – why not move there really fast? I personally like moving with a big thundering engine under the hood, but that’s just me. As they say, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey – and there is plenty out there to make the journey its own adventure – Drive On I say.
And in case you were wondering, given the choice, I would still take the Lamborghini – if I didn’t, my ten year old self would come kick my ass.