I’m an admitted “car guy.” I appreciate bodywork by Bertone and Pininfarina and Fisher Body. I like the feeling of a manual shifter socketing into a fresh gear. And I love the sound that comes from a well-tuned motor, through throaty exhaust pipes.
So it totally blows that the only cars here in Tampa that sound like that are a) Mustangs and b) pickup trucks. And not old ones, either. New, late-model examples. Statistically speaking, anyway. The other day as I was walking in South Tampa, I did see a Ferrari FF drive by, turn the corner and nail it through two gears. The sound was exquisite. But that was one car. Otherwise, if I hear a car with pipes, it’s a Mustang or a pickup.
I don’t get it, there are plenty of Camaros and Challengers here. I can rarely ever hear them, though. Old cars? Like…never. When I moved to Florida I thought I’d see people driving muscle cars and classics all the time…because it’s Florida, right? Growing up in Michigan, the two desirable places to get a car were California and Florida, because they don’t rust. But in Tampa I see maybe one car every several months that was built before 1980. In fact, I see more Lamborghinis than old cars.
Which is another point. I never thought I’d say this, but exotic sports cars are a complete and total waste in a city. Two days ago, I was behind a Lamborghini Gallardo in traffic, downtown. It was going 35mph with traffic. I pulled up to the light next to it, and the driver was busy on his smartphone. When the light turned green, it beetled away with everyone else. I’ve seen Aston Martins…behind Camries. I’ve seen Jaguars…sitting at red lights. I’ve seen the occasional Ferrari…in gridlock.
These cars weren’t made to go 30mph in traffic – they’re high-strung thoroughbreds, made to run, made to dance, made to drive from Calais to Rome in a day. Not made to drudge from the suburbs to the office in stop’n go traffic. It’s a travesty.