Monday, January 21, 2008

Grocery Getters

So you bought the “what is better theory” now I will tackle the “what are supercars for” theory. I know that I am being gratuitous calling the 355 a supercar but supercar Jr or supercar light don’t have much of a ring to them. Besides, it is a fantastic car. In 1998 you would be hard pressed to find something better, something more super. A F50, A Lamborghini, a Mclaren but not much else.
If you recall my theory is the supercars are primarily for entertainment and ego justification. Both are, in my opinion, perfectly valid reasons for existence. I can think of few better reasons to have or do something than it is entertaining and it makes me feel good.
I will start my defense of my theory by asking what else can a supercar can reasonably be used for. Getting groceries? Taking the kids to school? Sure they will do both but they are imminently impractical for either. I can fit two small bags of groceries in our 355 and it is about as practical as a supercar can get. Remember supercar light. You can’t run to home depot and get a load of 2 x 4s, there is no where to put skis. As I mentioned earlier they are less effective at getting you to work, composed and unruffled, than a nice Toyota.
If you think of the fundamental usage model of an automobile it is to get you and your stuff reliably and quickly from one place to another. Both reliably and quickly are relative terms with the base line being the level of reliability and quickness provided by a horse or walking. When looked at from this lens a supercar provides less utility than a Prius or my even by standard for car year, the Isuzu Pup.
Supercars are for making a statement, intimidating pedestrians, and impressing everyone you pass. Supercars are for delivering a driving experience that brings you completely to the moment you are it.
I know this is an incomplete argument. I will spend more time on it later.

2 comments:

Robert Turlington said...

Good Morning David!

I have really enjoyed reading your blog to date. Particularly, I appreciate your opinion that cars are meant to be driven and cared for. While I have never had the opportunity to drive a car like your Ferrari or a Lamborghini, I do possess a deep appreciation for fine European automobiles. I have owned a myriad of BMW's and Audi's, a few Mercedes, Saabs, Volvos, one Fiat (that was a mess)and many many lesser cars. With all of them I have felt that I have a duty to preserve them for posterity (yes, I recognize how silly it is to want to save an aging BMW e30, but these are emotional concerns and any attempt at explaining it logically will fall short) AND, more importantly, to drive them.

Further, I think this book is a fantastic idea! I would certainly purchase a copy. I look forward to future posts and perhaps a sequel book on the Gallardo.

On a more personal note, I was your mother's dance instructor for a couple of years (you were kind enough to look over my resume last year), and while her Lexus is certainly a fine automobile, how can you allow her to drive such a vehicle? Surely the 355 is a more fitting car for her! I propose that you trade cars with her for the remainder of the year. She doesn't have kids to haul around, can devote more time to driving the car and doesn't own any other vehicles that would compete with the Ferrari for attention. Besides, she'd also look REALLY GOOD driving it...just a thought....


rturlington@comcast.net

David said...

Robert,

Thanks for the comment. We owned an e30 several years ago. It was a fantastic car and I was sad to see it go.

In regards to trading Mom the Ferrari for her Lexus. Have you ever seen her dirve a stick? Not pretty.

david