Has Your Car Helped You Get Out Of A Traffic Ticket?
Photography by Kika Vigo-Behnia
In 2010, I had planned a “romantic” road trip with Kika up to Big Sur, San Francisco, and the Sonoma wine country. I put romantic in quotes because I also had an ulterior motive: to go to the Monterey car week. Back then, Kika was still my girlfriend and not yet my wife; we had not yet launched Petrolicious; and she would speak about cars in sentences such as “I like this red one,” or, “that green one is cute.” Today, she speaks about cars using language such as, “the Montreal has so many similar cues as the Miura, I bet it was also designed by Gandini.”
I was really itching to put some memorable miles on the Alfa Romeo 8C, so we packed its limited luggage space to the brim and set off on Wednesday of the car week, which, as an aside, is a great day to travel during that hectic week as the masses haven’t hit the road yet—meaning much less traffic on the way.
We took the coastal route, of course, and everyone knows that the section of 101 north of Santa Barbara is full of CHP looking for speeders. I behaved well and only drove at 10 mph over the limit. For the most part, that is. Driving the 8C at 70 on beautiful open highways with very little traffic is a test of one’s patience. You might as well be going 25—it feels that slow.
On the stretch of 101 where it winds uphill heading towards Buellton, I couldn’t contain myself anymore. I opened it up. After enjoying that windy hill climb, the highway straightened out, and I was rapidly catching up on traffic ahead.
It was then that I realized that the car in front was an undercover CHP officer in an unmarked Ford Interceptor. I won’t tell you how fast I was going, but I will tell you that I was able to break hard and slow to 90 mph before he clocked me.
I slowed down to the posted 65 MPH limit, and he slowed down even further to get behind me. Not wanting to create more trouble than I was already in, I pulled over before he even had a chance to turn on his lights and siren.
As we’re waiting for the officer to approach our car, Kika is laughing at me…I’m still not sure why. Perhaps not having ever driven, she doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation—this could get ugly.
Officer: “This is the first one of these that I’ve ever seen. What is it?”
Me: “It’s an Alfa Romeo 8C.”
Officer: “When did it come out?”
Me: “Oh, about two years ago.”
Officer: “Well, it’s very fast. I clocked you at 90, but you were going faster than that. You wouldn’t happen to be going to Monterey, would you?”
Me: “Why yes, officer. We are.”
Officer: “How would you like me to do you a favor?
Me, excited with anticipation: “Well I would certainly love that, officer.”
Officer: “I’ll let you go this time, but promise me you’ll drive up safely.”
Me: “Thank you very much, officer. I will!”
That was our lucky moment, and to this day I believe that the 8C had a lot to do with it. I’m sure if I had been driving my previous car, a BMW M Coupe, there would have not been any chit chat, and I would have received the ticket without any second thought on the officer’s part.
So, have any of your cars ever helped you get out of a ticket? Tell us how!