Video Above Courtesy of JBH and Classic Car Club Manhattan
It's June of last year and I'm getting antsy to drive. While the summertime is greeted with joy by most car enthusiasts and car people in general, it is met with genuine sadness from me. The reason? This is when CCC points are at their max. I'm talking a take a Ferrari out for the weekend and lose all your points situation. Many of you out there assume that the club is only for wealthy bank CEO's and hedge-fund guys, and there are plenty of those guys in the club, but many members, such as myself, make a modest salary and are not "rich" by ANY means. Really. So while the masters of the universe are out there hooning McLarens and GT40s in the Hamptons for the weekend, I'm sitting in my apartment wishing I had studied economics and had a life sucking job in the banking industry.
But this summer would be an exception. Ever since the GM autogasm (more to come on that), JBH had introduced me to some awesome roads North of the city. Since that introduction, that area has effectively been my "test track." I do pretty much the same route in every car so I can compare them easily on the same roads. Not only that, it is f*cking beautiful. It is both a drivers paradise as well as the passengers.
Since it is so gorgeous, and since my girlfriend had never visited the Hudson Valley, I wanted to make it a point to take her out, in a club car, to catch some scenery. What I had in mind was an old school convertible; maybe the 68 Firebird, or the 66 Mustang with a 302 under the hood; Low on points, and not really handling machines where I would feel the need to stick it to every corner; however, those options were not available on the day we chose. The only thing really ready to drive, was either the e90 m3 convertible, or the Jag F type v8. Having driven both before, I decided to go for the Jag because, it was just so much more car for the money, and I loved it. That being said, I knew it might be a problem, given my girlfriend's nature.
I love my girlfriend. She is the light of my life, the sweetest person you will ever meet, and is so generous with me and my generally stubborn nature. I could not be happier. But, she is not a car person. At all. Like really at all. She's the type you'd ask what her favorite car was and she'd probably say "A blue SUV" or something along those lines. So, she's not much for loud, rambunctious, shouty cars that actually kill people on overrun. It's not that she doesn't like them, she just is completely indifferent. So the F type, I thought, might raise some eyebrows, but not cause any severe issues. Yea...
So we arrive at the car club to pick up the Jag, and I'm ecstatic, of course. Then one of the guys starts up the Jag to pull it out to the street for me. I smile and giggle a little (because you're dead inside if the f type doesn't make you do that), and look over at my girlfriend and met with a "Oh no, what have I agreed to?!" face. Good start. We hop in and pull away. She's pleased with the level of luxury, that is, until I let off the gas: Pop. Crackle. Pop ::someone dies on the street::
GF:"What's wrong with it?! Is it broken?"
Me: "Nope. That's what it's supposed to do."
Me: "Because it's awesome."
GF: Looks at me with disgust and like I am 8 years old.
After she adjusts to the constant pop and crackle, it seems to be alright; however, she's found the button to silence the exhaust, and from here on out it's a battle of turning the exhaust off when I'm not looking, and me turning it back on when I realize I'm not murdering people with my exhaust sounds. Example:
::Lets off gas and passes pedestrian:: "Why didn't he die?" I think. ::Realizes exhaust is on quiet mode::
We stop along the palisades to take in the view of the city, and she seems to be having a good time apart from the battle for silencing the car. We get back on the highway and cruise without any issue, until we get to our exit, the part I know where I can let it rip for the next 10 mins or so without high risk. No people, no cops, curvy roads, and bliss. This is immediately cut short after I proceed to give my girlfriend a heart attack, she's terrified, blasting away on back roads. I realize that I will have to seriously restrain myself and am slightly disappointed. All this car and I have to stay out of it.
I could go on but that basically summed up the trip. Me wanting to drive fast, and her not wanting me to. All in all it was a great day. Had an awesome lunch, some BOMB ice cream in cold spring, and just tooled around the Hudson Valley, as most retirees would probably do in their V8 F Type. But, to me, it was a bit of a missed opportunity. A great car, an awesome road, and nothing I can do about it.
Alas, it was my fault. Wrong choice of car. It worked for the job but it didn't work for me. So here's the moral of the story: If your passenger is not a car person, scaring the crap out of them won't make them into one, especially if it's your girlfriend. That being said, she passed out on the way back and I got to blast down the saw mill :)
I love my girlfriend, and I love that car, but neither of them are really ok with an "open" relationship. C'est la vie.