Monday, December 31, 2012

Yeah! You're a Driver!

Several months ago, my loving wife Cheryl gave me a wonderful birthday present: an hour behind the wheel of a Lamborghini Gallardo. A true supercar. Well, I finally got the chance to do it with the host company, Mile High Drives in Golden Colorado. Let me say first, that MHD is a great company. They bent over backward to make my experience memorable. Instruction was given as needed in a repectful way, that did not make you fee stupid. Like how to shift the transmission, with paddle shifters and a semi-automatic clutch. I highly recommend MHD.

I could give a normal review of the experience, but any car lover has read it before. Both the head and leg room were too short for my 6'3" frame, so I wouldn't want to drive it long distance. The steering was sharp and precise, giving great feedback from the road. Suspension was firm and glued the car to the road. The throttle response from the 5.2-litre V10 end was crisp but smooth. I have to say that the most memorable thing about the car is that in every situation it was just "effortless." It did whatever I told it to do without even breathing hard.

Here she is, the 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo.
Even more fun to drive than it looks.
I got the feel of the transmission within just a couple of blocks, and my "instructor" guide asked, "You're a biker, aren't you?"

I answered that yes, I was. Over 40 years in the saddle. "How did you know?"

He said, "I've seen that bikers get the feel of the transmission right away." Made me feel good.

The ride included a run down a scenic canyon after making sure the road was clear. I pushed the Lambo to near 90 mph through the twisties. I held back some, not knowing what clues the car and tires would give me before sliding out. I said I was sure that I wasn't pushing the car near its limit. My guide answered, "Oh, yeah. You're close." I filed that away as good customer relations.

Near the end of my time with the car, my guide had decided that I was good enough for the final run. He told me to "slow down to about thirty in second gear." I did. "Now punch it. Shift gears at about 6000 rpm. Go until I tell you to back off." Which he didn't tell me to do until after I had shifted the six-speed tranny to fifth gear, and the speedometer was well over 130 mph (and still climbing fast!)

He said to me, "Oh, yeah! You're a driver!"

Back at the shop, the guide told my wife, "It was a great run. I thought he might be a driver right away, and he didn't let me down." I told Cheryl he made me feel good by telling me I was pushing it in the curves, but I didn't think I was even close to the limit. He looked me square in the eyes and said to her, "Oh, no. I wasn't just saying that. He really pushed it close to the edge."

A "motorist" is somebody who owns a car and drives it for transportation. But what is a "driver?" Volkswagen advertised a few years ago, "Drivers Wanted." What were they implying? I've been thinking about what that really means. In my haggard mind, I think the difference between a motorist and a driver is pretty much the same a the difference between a simple believer and a true Christian.

I'll explain more in coming articles. And yes, I promise... they are coming without long waits between.

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