What’s Been Your Most Outrageous Test Drive?
Photography by David Marvier for Petrolicious
I have a daily driver that I love to hate. It’s a Korean SUV and while it’s survived all the abuse I’ve thrown at it (both on- and off-road), it has too many seats and driveshafts and not enough lightness. So I’ve been looking to replace it. There were many options and a few test drives but the car I ultimately chose was over two-thousand miles away. So there was no test drive.
But one of the better test drives I had involved a Porsche 911 Turbo and the Pacific Coast Highway. I went down to Newport Beach, California (a Los Angeles suburb) to check the car out and as soon as I let the clutch out and pulled out of the driveway, the dealer began regaling me with a story of how his last customer was arrested for topping 150mph while testing a Ferrari (that, after posting bail, he returned to buy). In striking contrast to most dealers, he practically begged me to flog the car.
Who was I to deny him? Traffic was light and I ran through the gears, wringing every last horsepower from the flat-six. I learned first-hand how quickly sixty mph comes up on the way to a very high, arrest-provoking terminal speed. The dealer just sat there with a grin. I wonder if he was in collusion with the local cops? I didn’t get arrested or even caught, but I ultimately passed on the Porsche.
Still it doesn’t compare to test-driving a blown, 400ci (6.6L) 1955 Chevy Sedan Delivery in the middle-of-nowhere Nevada desert. The car was frighteningly fast. Until it broke. The driveshaft sheared a u-joint and I wound up having to push it back to the seller’s house (over a couple miles). As I walked up, the seller and his buddies came down the driveway and asked why I was pushing. Very matter-of-factly, I told him the driveshaft had sheared. The seller, who had seemed irritated that I wanted to drive it before paying, was beside himself. In a spittle-fogged, expletive-laden invective he strongly suggested that I leave before harm come to me. I decided not to suggest he upgrade his drivetrain next time he builds a car with over seven hundred horsepower.
Most test drives are non-events, but what’s been your most outrageous test drive?