What really grinds my gears....

I'm sure petrolheads everywhere have done it at least once....... you pull up in the pole position at a stop light and a sporty, maybe similar car to yours pulls up. The staccato of a brief bit of revving pierces the air....your arms tense...eyes stay focused on the red hue of the stop light. As the sense the impending green light coming, you feel your body tense up, akin to a snake that is coiled and ready to pounce.

The light goes green, you floor it, and instinct takes over.....rev to to redline, lift, clutch, shift, gas in a fluid nature. Repeat. One of two things happens: you either experience the thrill of victory or agony of defeat. More often then not, it's the younger generation that exhibits this behavior, and while it's illegal, dangerous, and wholly irresponsible, that doesn't make it a crime against humanity that we've done it once or twice.


I've done it twice - once in my dad's lifted '56 Ford F100 with a 390ci big block and four on the floor, and once in my first German car, an E36 328. The first time, my dad was with me and sort of encouraged me to embarrass the dude in the Honda Civic in the lane next to us, restlessly revving his engine. Needless to say, it was quite an easy kill.

However, years later, I've matured and moved on from such automotive antics. While street racing is one thing, and a stoplight drag on an empty street is another, I don't condone either. There is plenty of drag strips across America to settle such matters. Besides, I prefer corners to raw speed.


But that isn't the point of this post. One the things that grinds my gears the hardest, is when people try to engage you when you clearly aren't trying to race, especially when the matchup between the two cars doesn't make any sense. Allow me to explain:

Last week, I was coming home from a party late at night. Halfway home, I happened upon a very nice looking, well taken care of 370Z. I thought to myself, nice car. Next thing I know, we're the first cars lined up at the next light. And then it happens: he takes off in great fury, the tires squealing in protest. And he does it again at the next light. Traffic in his lane stops his acceleration, but once he is clear, he catches up to me, slows to my speed, and buzzes me with a couple of hard rev's before taking off again - just to hit another red light. At this point, I pull up next to him to ask him what the hell is he doing? I'm in a first gen 350Z with the VQ35DE, 287 horsepower. He has the VQ37 with 332 horses. What the hell is racing my lowly Z supposed to prove?? He gave me a friendly wave, as if to apologize, and I rolled away.


On the flip side, I've had people in Integras and Civics try to race to me, and 9 times out of 10 I let them take off in a blaze of short lived glory, all the while looking supremely idiotic. What is racing me in your stock FWD entry-level economy car with a fart can supposed to prove? It's times like these I wish I had a car like the one in the following video:

Look people - there is a hierarchy to automobiles. I don't try drag racing 911 Turbos, so please don't try racing me in your 2001 Hyundai Accent.


Okay, that's enough of this rant. How do you feel Oppo about the occasional stoplight pull and associated acts of ass-hatery of wannabe Kenny Bernstein's?

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