I went to a wedding this weekend for a friend of mine from the Formula SAE team at UMD. It was a wonderful time; nice service, beautiful reception, lots of fun had all around.

But he wanted to do something extra special and memorable. When my wife and I got married, it was a couple months after I graduated college, and the end of the FSAE season, so I had a grooms cake that looked like our FSAE racer. In order to one-up me, my friend rented a Lamborghini Gallardo from Gotham Dream Cars to drive around, and bring his new bride home from the church, and generally do some hooning. I'd call that one-up achieved.

But there was a problem, or several, and they started before the wedding. First, he rented a Murcielago, not a Gallardo. But about a month before the wedding he got a phone call that a customer had grenaded the engine in the Murc, a new one was being arranged to come from Italy, and they didn't think it would be ready in time. Sure enough, the week before, they called him and said that it wasn't happening. For an extra fee he could have another Murc trucked up from one of their other locations, or when he came in they would have a 458 or Gallardo available. So he goes in on Friday and they hand him the keys to the Gallardo. What about the 458? Apparently a coil pack fried a few days before, same story, needed to fly one in from Italy, it wouldn't be ready. So the Gallardo it was. Bright orange, with a white and gold stripe, and black convertible top. I did mention it was a convertible, in February, in New York, didn't I?

So he drives the car up through New Jersey traffic, said the fastest he could get up to was 75 before he got shut down in the congestion. Now I've been fortunate enough that I got to drive a 458 some years ago, and I can remember the transmission hunted for gears like crazy during stop and go traffic in Maranello. According to my friend, the Lambo takes a different track - it holds 2nd and slips the clutch like mad. Probably not a good car for traffic.

Anyways, he must have been just behind my wife and I because we hit the same traffic. Took us almost as long to get from Exit 13 on the turnpike to Garden City, Long Island as it did to get from Tysons Corner, VA to Exit 13. But after we arrived and unpacked I went down to prepare for the bachelor party. People are whispering and looking outside as my friend and I greeted each other. Someone finally goes "Tell him about the car." "Ok, look, don't tell anyone yet, but I rented a special car for the wedding." We walk outside into the 10 degree air to oogle this bright orange Lamborghini. It's cold, but I don't care. I oogle. A lot.

We go back in, make sure everyone is there, figure out the ride situation, and head off to the indoor karting track. Everyone is in their assigned cars ready to go, but we're missing one bright orange Lambo. My friend walks across the parking lot waving his arms "Lambo won't unlock, remote must be dead." "Did you try the manual key?" "Doesn't work, they told me about it when I picked it up. Said just use the remote." So we go karting, and in between laps, manage to disassemble the remote. Surprise, it takes a standard CR2032 battery. Does not need to be flown in from Italy. We hit 2 gas stations and a Wal-Mart. Every. Single. One. is sold out of CR2032 batteries. Luckily his dad had a spare one at the house and brings it.


Saturday morning, battery replaced, he gets the car unlocked and started. Puts it in gear, taps the gas. Stall. Does it again. Stall. Does it a third time, gooses the pedal *BANG* *CLUNK* car finally goes. Lambos must dislike cold weather in addition to traffic. Who knew?

But it was all worth it to see the big smile on his face, him and his Bride in the car, top down, snow flakes just starting to fall, peeling out of the church parking lot, "Just Married" written on the wind diffuser behind the cockpit.

Though it still reinforces every negative Italian exotic story I've ever heard.