atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#1507: By the way

I saw a Lamborghini on Sauk Trail Thursday afternoon. It was lime green. I'm not sure what the model was, but it looked fairly recent. The only Lamborghini I know by sight is the Countach. It wasn't one of those.

It was either a Lambo or a kit car, and I had no way of telling from where I sat.

If I were about 1/3 of my present age I might have been excited to see such a car driving around--but no more. Having discovered that the people who own expensive cars are, more often than not, just rich gits, I'm no longer impressed by hyper-expensive transportation. Yes the car can go 0-60 in 3 seconds; no that capability is not worth $300,000--particularly not when you drive the thing on public roads. Congratulations, you just spent about ten times as much for your car as the average person does. That doesn't give you the deed to the highways; all it does is enable you to get frustrated and drive like a raging asshole at higher speeds than the rest of us.

Spending as much for a car as most people spend on a house does not seem like a sound idea to me. Particularly when the car requires periodic maintenance at shop that can charge $1,000 per hour because it only fixes exotic cars.

But this is America, and--for the time being--we all have the right to buy whatever we can afford to buy, and good sense be damned. I won't begrudge anyone his $500,000 penis extension so long as no one begrudges me my sarcasm, cynicism, and derision.

* * *

Eh? "What would you buy, anus?"

I'm not really sure, to be honest. If I was in the market for a sports car and money was no object? Maybe a Corvette, maybe something a little more ordinary--how about a Challenger SRT8? That would be good. You could buy about six of them for the price of that Lambo I saw.

The new Camaro that's coming out--that would be cool. The new Camaro looks a lot like the original. It'd be fun to drive one, I think.

If I was really feeling nuts, a good used Viper, or maybe the ZR1 Corvette--yeah, the $105,000 monster. You can still buy three of them for the cost of a Lamborghini--three to five, in fact, depending on model and age. (Or more.)

These cars would all be plenty fast for me, and they'd have the advantage of being made here in the US, where I could--theoretically--easily obtain parts. And a damn sight cheaper than the ones from Italy would be, too. Insurance would cost a hell of a lot less. There'd be no waiting list for them, or at least not much of one.

For the cost of one Lamborghini I could own all the cars on that list, in fact, and have money left over for a few years' worth of insurance and maintenance.

* * *

I do like a car that accelerates and handles well, of course. But again, it's a question of how much performance the average person needs; most people never use more than about 10% of their car's capabilities, and most attempts to push that envelope end in wrecks because you need special training to make a car perform really well.

Some people get as much as 15% without training and experience. They're a minority, and they're a hazard to the rest of us, because everyone has a wreck sooner or later, and the hot dogs out there drive faster because they think they're better drivers than they actually are. Their wrecks--when they come--will be worse than the average.

Everyone has a wreck sooner or later--even the professionals. Granted, a professional race car driver is going to be able to change the tape in the stereo while taking an off-ramp at 75 and not wreck his car, but that's just because he has all his wrecks on the racetrack.

Dale Earnhardt, just to pick a recent example, did not die of old age.

If you wreck an exotic, chances are it happens at egregiously high speed because the envelope is so big--the thing accelerates fast, moves fast, handles and brakes well, so that 10% limit is pretty roomy. But once the average driver hits that limit, there's nothing else backing him up, and most people don't know how to recover from a skid even at slow speeds. At high speeds even the pros are just along for the ride.

...really, now I'm just rambling, and eventually I'll get to talking about why the speed limits exist, "rules of the road", blah blah blah, etcetera. I'm going to save us all that bother.
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