I’m in the grips of full-on motor madness, à la Mister Toad.
This all started because of my kids (really). See, I drive a jeep wrangler. And that’s a great vehicle, if impractical; it can take the beating, it goes forever with only minimal maintenance, it looks great dirty or scratched or dented. And in the summer, i can take off the top and doors, so getting into and out of the back is easy.
But in the winter, the hard top is on. And if you’ve ever gotten in and out of the back of a small car, you know how this is. Jeeps are small; really small.
When my kids were small, this was nothing. They could scramble in through the back like hamsters in a habitrail, and they loved getting in and out of a car this way. Only, they’re no longer small. The big one, just turned 13, is as tall as I am, with longer legs, and she has my build (mile wide shoulders). The little one (eight and a half) is almost a foot taller than most of her class mates, and while not built as much like a linebacker as I am, is still a burly kid.
So gettin’ em in and out of the back is starting to be a pain. They fight over who has to ride in back all winter, when we have four in the jeep.
So that’s where it started. I started making a list of reasons I needed to think about a more practical vehicle. It started with the wrangler unlimited, Jeep’s new version of the cj8 Scrambler, a longer wheelbase jeep. This is a great vehical and it was smart of Jeep to re-release it, but it has some big trade-offs (longer wheelbase means you lose some of the handling qualities that make a wrangler so brilliant to drive). Then Jeep released the four-door wrangler unlimited. I was working up some serious lust for that, until i actually saw them in hawaii. And it turns out they’re really pretty ugly, like someone mated a wrangler with a hummer and got the worst of each.
Meanwhile, some time back I was talking to CG about cars, and she pointed out the new Dodge Charger.
I didn’t really notice it at the time. Sure, a new sedan with the old name. Whatever. But i looked at it and noticed a key word.
Yep. Like the sexy-sleeper station wagon Dodge released a couple years ago, the Magnum, the new Charger sports a 5.7 liter HEMI.
It’s a word that gives muscle car enthusiasts a stiffy. It says 70′s monster power plant. It says roar and throb, wasted gas when gas was cheap enough to waste.
So over the last couple months, i started to notice the charger around, and teh more I saw it, the more i liked it. And then I noticed the Daytona model. I sat in the parking lot one day looking at this:
And to use a term my daughter used when she was a baby and wanted something, I thought Have That.
Now, i totally can’t afford to buy a fucking car right now. I have to pay off my hawaii trip, and xmas bills, and i have a loan to pay off that’s still hangin’ there costing me interest (from back in the post-dotcom days when money no longer grew on trees, but we still kept picking it). So it’s moronic to be car shopping right now when i have a perfectly good vehicle parked in my garage; particularly stupid to be looking at a somewhat high-end muscle car.
And then i read reviews (all good), notice it gets great mileage for a car like this due to some clever engine controls that shut off half the cylinders when cruising. And I picture a car my kids can get into and out of easily. And a car where I can actually hear the music. A car that won’t abuse my hearing at freeway speeds with wind noise.
And I picture myself cruising the boulevard, windows down, arm hangin’ out the side window, and I’m thinkin I’m bad, I’m nationwide. I got a fine babe next to me, and I feel alright.
And I want the damned thing. Motor madness. I tell ya. I’m just like my father.