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Oh, It's One of Those!

Stopping by Starbucks this morning, laurie_robey and I spotted a low, sleek, European-style sportscar lurking in the parking lot. Like most guys, I have at least a passing interest in cars that I'd never want to actually own but are pretty to look at, but I didn't recognize this one. (Mind you, my particular area of interest is the Lamborghini Countach with a hint of Enzo.) So my first reaction was "What the heck is THAT?"

Turns out it was one of these -- being driven by some pro-athelete looking guy, which figures I suppose. It always boggles my mind to think of a "high performance exotic" made by Ford, but it has happened from time to time. Of course, he had to park way out in the back forty so that no plebes would come along and ding the fender. ;)

There's a fairly high number of such things floating around here; as a) "the Silicon Valley of the east coast" and b) home to beltway bandits and other evil people, there is always a lot more money than brains. The Lotus Elise seems to be particularly popular in Reston, and various breeds of Ferrari are not uncommon. But what gets me is, between the traffic and the road conditions, you'd never really be able to put a car like that through its paces. So what's the point? It's like the people who buy Hummers to commute to work. Are you fording any rivers? Driving over no-man's-land? No? Then what the heck do you need a 4' ground clearance for?

-The Gneech


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 10th, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC)
Ford GT? Nice. Its based off the old GT40 from the 60s. Its a nice car. There's a person who drives one of those from the office behind my second job. I've seen it zip by. They're really really nice. Very powerful and very sleek. Mmrrr.

Anyways, look up the GT40, and you'll see where they got a lot of the idea for the Ford GT.
Nov. 10th, 2006 03:17 pm (UTC)
I'd reply about the GT's roots, but I think I'll leave it up to someone like Makovette XD

Dude, it's all about image. It's not like you actually do what the car is intended for, it just looks good XD
Nov. 10th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
Most of the time, it is image. Others, people tend to do a lot of weekend driving which really puts the car through its paces.

Except for most hummers and other SUVs, which never will see dirt or mud on them at all.
Nov. 10th, 2006 06:13 pm (UTC)
Interesting note, I've seen Hummer owners afraid of puddles my lowly Ford Taurus has gone through no problem.. And I can't help but laugh at their expression as well. :D
Nov. 10th, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC)
You'd probably enjoy the North American International Auto Show. Nearly every auto manufacturer has something on display, and you can even sit in some of nicer cars.

Let me guess, the guy also parked across two or three spaces just to be sure nobody could hit his baby.

To me, most sportscars feel like they're marketed to people who need to overcompensate.
Nov. 10th, 2006 04:19 pm (UTC)
You can actually have FAR more fun thrashing a Mazda Miata -- UNDER REAL-WORLD CONDITIONS. Sure, the GT (or Viper, or ZO6 Corvette) are WAY faster...but most folks can't "exercise" such cars and keep their drivers license very long, whereas you can drive a Miata at 9/10ths and never catch the eye of a cop (unless you're a TOTAL idiot; such people even get nailed driving Yugos)...

The guy who bought our GT (I do all kinds of "stuff" in a Ford store) has a local "performance enhancement" business. One of his customers took a stock 550hp GT and bumped it to over 1K "rear-wheel" horsepower. Our customer said, "I *gotta* have one!" and contacted me (he was my old customer) to see about buying one. Week later he had his very own GT, and AFAIK it's passed the 1Khp mark---and climbing. He drove down a side street by the store the other day when I was going to my car---and not only does the car SOUND like a full-on race car, it SMELLS like it, too! }:-D
Nov. 10th, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
Heh, I can confirm that "Danger at 9/10ths" in a 2001 Ford Ranger. Admittedly, 9/10ths is about 80mph here, and you need a hell of a good start if you want to hit the rev limiter at 90mph.

But then, I have the towing geared transmission, so I have more Low end power than high end speed.

Oh the fun of empty truck aerodynamics at 80-90mph. Its like a kitten running across wet ice.
Nov. 10th, 2006 09:24 pm (UTC)
Heh! Owned several Rangers over the years (along with an F250 diesel---go figure!) and the Rangers are neat little trucks; nothing else left on the market like them.

Fully agree on the high-speed handling, though! They're NOT intended for warp-factor speeds---

(The F250 diesel, however, was rock-solid at 92mph, which is where the speed limiter in the computer chip "dropped anchor". Truck would cruise comfortably at that speed all day long---but NO FASTER. Was a tire liability issue with the tires that came on the truck...)
Nov. 11th, 2006 12:09 am (UTC)
Jim you made me think of a certain friend who has a Volkswagen Passat wagon that can plant you very nicely in the seat. It has great performance, handles beautifully and, as you mentioned, goes totally unnoticed even when playing to its full capabilities. If I didn't have the need for more space I might go for one myself. Ah, well that and liking very much the dealer I've had for more than 25 years who doesn't sell VWs.
Nov. 10th, 2006 10:36 pm (UTC)
I LOVE the GT. It's absolutely gorgeous and sounds amazing when you open the throttle. There's a Lotus and Lamborghini dealership about two blocks from where I live; I was driving past it the other day and they had one of those boxy race-car delivery trucks out in front. It was unloading a blue-and-red GT. I promptly turned around and went back to admire. They finished reversing it back off the ramps and the guy pulled out into traffic with a rumbling roar. Lovely.

Nov. 10th, 2006 11:08 pm (UTC)
Mmmmm. That's my FATHER'S car. Not to say he owns one, but he'd like to have one before he dies. Any Lamborghini or Ferrari'll do.
Nov. 10th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC)
I wonder if the GT owner has realized yet that the GT's natural habitat is standing at the fuel pumps.
Nov. 11th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC)
You do realize you are trying to make sense out of American auto buying habits. Many, it would seem, have only one thought when they buy; Bigger is Better. Thus the SUV (standing for Stupid Useless Vehicle in most cases) is still highly valued even as it sucks their wallet dry not to mention drains what we have left of petroleum resources.


Oops, time to shut muzzle.
Nov. 11th, 2006 07:10 am (UTC)
I love this line from the Wikipedia article Clarkson awarded the Ford GT the "Gas Guzzler" award, beating out the Range Rover (8MPG), the Bugatti Veyron (4MPG), and (as a joke) the Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal fire (60 Million gallons and never moved an inch).

As for the Hummer, that reminds me of what Dennis Miller said one time, "If you are driving a Hummer in the jungles of South America, it is a tool. If you're driving it down Rodeo Drive, you're a tool."
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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