Vroom. I said VROOM!

Last night, AEJ and I went to a party at RB’s house. RB is a friend from NY — we know her through Robert Battle — and she, like us, just moved here at the end of the summer. This was her housewarming party, and she was nice enough to invite us.
RB lives in Los Feliz, which is the next neighborhood over, so it wasn’t a long drive. This was the first time we’d socialized with a big group since we moved here (we know almost nobody in LA, and without “day jobs,” it’s hard to meet people), and it was a lot of fun.

A highlight for me was meeting Chris. Chris manages a Toyota dealership in the LA-area, and he recently (very recently, like, over the past week) bought a new car — and not a Toyota. When it came out that he hadn’t bought just any car, but bought a $200,000 car — a Bentley Continental GT — I asked him, “is it here?” It was, of course, and I asked a question that I was reluctant to ask, but that I’m so glad now that I did: “Can I see it? I’ve never really seen a Bentley up close before.”

I figured this was a safe thing to ask, because if you just bought a Bentley this week, and you’re at a party, and somebody seems impressed and asks to see it, chances are you don’t mind showing it off. Hell, when AEJ and I bought our Volkswagen, we wanted to show that off! So, Chris was like, “sure — come on.” He grabbed the keys from his jacket pocket and we headed outside.

I expected to just get in the car for a minute, gawk at the leather and wood and gauges, and go back inside. I opened the door to the car and was immediately struck by how heavy it was. I was also extremely careful, rather scared that I was going to open the door into the curb or something disastrous like that. Fortunately, all was well, and I sat down and pulled the massive door closed. “Put on your seat belt,” Chris directed. Oooo… I guess we’re goin’ for a ride.

Chris started the car, and for the first time, I got to hear what a twin-turbo-charged V12 sounds like from the cockpit. Loud and kind of primeval. Chris pulled out of our little parking spot, and off we went, slow and easy. We reached the stop sign at the corner when I asked, “so, how did you choose the Bentley?” With this question, Chris turns the corner and floors it — on a fancy, narrow, residential street in LA — and I was literally thrown back in my seat, with my stomach feeling as though it was now somewhere in the trunk. I think I cackled in disbelief and glee while yelling “holy shiiiiiit” as we reached who-knows-what-speed in less than a handful of seconds with the engine thundering around us.

“That,” Chris answered, “is why I picked the Bentley.” Chris applied the brakes and we slowed almost as quickly (but much less dramatically) to the speed limit.

We repeated this little routine several times on those twisty narrow streets in the hills, each time causing me to literally be thrown back in my seat and feel like I was on the fastest roller coaster I’ve ever experienced. (This was not like a jet takeoff. The acceleration here was much, much faster, and I wondered if we might actually leave the ground.) For one of these crazy accelerations, Chris opened the windows so I could really hear the engine roar. Oooo. I want one.

We were only out for about 5 minutes, but like any exhilarating and somewhat terrifying roller coaster ride, I was exhausted when it ended. When we walked back into the house, I must have had a crazy look on my face, because everybody turned and laughed at my apparent look of absolute glee. I couldn’t stop shaking for several minutes, and just wanted to go ride in the crazy car again. Totally, completely awesome.

Oh, and the Bentley’s computer inexplicably tells you your fuel “economy.” For our little spin around the neighborhood, we averaged 5 miles per gallon. As Chris pointed out, it’s not as bad as it seems; his wife drives a Prius, so as a household, they average 20 mpg.


Anonymous says

So I guess that was a short ride in a fast machine?

(Sorry, I just couldn't resist.)


Kevin Howlett says

"Short Ride" was such an obvious choice for this entry's title. I do like the "VROOM" caption though.

Personally, I'm saving up for a Pagani. I'll be saving a while, too.

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