Have you ever heard the sound of a Ferrari F12 under full throttle? How about a Lamborghini Aventador SV? No? Ok, what about a C7 Corvette? Certainly, you’ve seen one of those, but have you heard one wide open? Odds are you haven’t. I haven’t either, and that brings me to my point: mad, fire-breathing, road going race cars are stupid. I mean, sure they’re awesome, moving works of art that stir the soul and tickle the imagination. The pinnacle of automotive technical achievement, sure, but other than that they are utterly useless. Any Lambo is as wide as a city bus, the F12 costs $400,000 making a simple trip to the local grocers as potentially expensive as needing a trip to the hospital in the States. Even the mighty ‘Vette, which is brilliant in every way, can’t be taken to Ikea for anything more than a pack of Tealight candles and maybe a table runner or two. If you accidentally pull head into a parking space, you will be stuck there for the rest of your life as looking out the back of a supercar is not really an option.
Of course, no one buys a sports car for the practicality of it. They buy it for the SPEED! The raw, unadulterated power that comes with many turbos and anywhere from two to four times as many cylinders as the car you take to work every day. They buy them for the cacophonous consonance that results from finely tuned engines and exhaust systems, controlled by onboard supercomputers. However, they don’t buy them to actually use them. Imagine that you were to go to a restaurant and were told that you could only eat one percent of the meal or you would be killed. It’s this then that makes supercars so dumb. Of the 730 horsepowers that the F12 makes you would never be able to use more than seven of them, especially if you live near a city center. The city of Seattle recently implemented a 25mph speed limit within the city, and that’s just on the arterials, it’s 20 everywhere else. Usain Bolt would be ticketed every morning just getting his paper. Your Ferrari would be impounded every time you start it.
Policymakers insist that by making traffic worse and allowing more people to wander about in the streets freely, the roads will be safer for everyone. This is plainly wrong. An angry hoard of hybridists and bus enthusiasts have determined for the rest of us that, owning and operating a motor vehicle should be the most miserable thing ever. They derive no joy from life so no one should have any fun. The freedom that comes with the legal permission to fly the coop, roam the country, and learn to become an individual has been replaced with bike lanes with no one in them and empty buses cruising by while you and everyone else sits stationary. It would seem that most people of my generation have succumbed to this fate. They gladly huddle under a glass lean-to in the rain while being vomited on at 7:30 am, waiting to be stabbed or sexually assaulted on the way to work. Or worse, they look longingly into the future and what it may hold, then look at their student loan debt and give up all hope and buy a used Prius.
Every press of the go pedal releases more joy juice per dollar than the finest Grenache could even dream of.
There is a relatively simple solution to all of this. Buy a worse car. It doesn’t have to be a bad car like the aforementioned Prius or some stupid crossover, just worse than what the internet says is cool. Take the vehicle I currently own, it’s a 2013 Subaru BRZ, and it’s rubbish in all of the ways a salesperson wants you to think cars should be brilliant. It has very little power, the fuel economy isn’t very good, there are seats in the back that cannot be used, and it honestly doesn’t look very good. It is, without a doubt, the greatest car I’ve ever owned. Every press of the go pedal releases more joy juice per dollar than the finest Grenache could even dream of. I get to redline it in first and only be moving about 30mph. Banging off the limiter and making the tires squeal like a grown idiot at a Ted Nugent concert while under the speed limit, makes mundane trips to traffic court a thing of the past.
Literally, everything is more entertaining with this car because I get to, nay, have to, use all of it. The same could be said about the little Fiat 500, the Mini, the Yaris 2-Door, etc… Small, cheap, and light vehicles. I would argue that these are the best option for 99% of car enthusiasts. They have room for things, can go a great number of miles before they need fuel, cost basically nothing to run, and can be parked nearly anywhere. Of course, if you can afford to buy and maintain a new super/hyper car, then go for it. In fact, you should be required to do so as a public service. Most cars of that breed are moving works of art that should be driven as often as possible, you know, for culture. If I were President, I would give a tax break to those that daily drive Pagani or Lamborghini to help offset the cost of doing such a thing. There is plenty in the arts budget for this. The small city of Edmonds, about ten minutes north of Seattle, spent upwards of $30,000 to put led lights in the street in a decorative manner. Obviously, money that could be better used subsidizing V-12 spaceships. Or even better, three small manual hatchbacks with enough budget left for better tires and short ram intakes.