Saturday, August 08, 2009

10 Years, a Winding Road and a Camaro

This week Mrs. Kyality and I celebrated 10 incredible years of marriage. With a fun/busy career and three cute/crazy Kyality Kids, it was time for a break. We booked three nights at our honeymoon suite at a B&B in Northern California near Mendocino. And of course, one of the first things I thought when we planned this 9 months ago was… what car should we rent? Yes, I have a disease… apparently a contagious one, thanks for nuthin’ Normality!

Anyways. I opted to reserve an ultra-compact economy car, wait to see what was sitting on the lot and hope for a decent upgrade. Well, the day of the trip finally came. With aunts firmly in place to hold down the fort, Mrs. Kyality and I jet-setted off to the Bay Area.

As the rental car shuttle entered the lot I noticed a large sign: “Manager’s Special” sitting atop a brand new Camaro. And I thought… why not? It was seriously a smokin’ deal… actually less than the econo-car quote! We definitely would have gotten a yellow one if they had it (hello, Bumblebee, duh) but in an effort to avoid being too much of a CHP target—we opted for standard silver over ruby red.

The huge hot rod swallowed our luggage despite a particularly small opening to the trunk and with a sweet iPod integration system, we were off to the races. First impressions… the car’s MASSIVE, I mean, I know I drive a MINI but I also drive a minivan and this car felt bigger and much more lumbering than that. Next the interior’s pretty spectacular. It’s clean, futuristic and comfortable. Finally the engine sounded incredible. I couldn’t wait to open ‘er up.

After stopping by the Oakland Temple for some quick memory making, we decided to head up one of the most classic drags in all of North America, the Pacific Coast Highway, a.k.a. Highway 1. The PCH winds its way up the craggy (yes, it's a word) Nor Cal coast for nearly 150 miles between Sausalito and the Mendocino area. Hang on to your lunch, this was gonna be a long, twisty ride.

After a few hours behind the wheel of the beast, a couple things were pretty obvious. This rod is a head-turner for sure. Industrial Designer J. Saxton via Upto12 said it best; GM knows how to design a killer Hot Wheels car. The other thing that was obvious was I had gone and pulled out a driver to use on a putting green. Whenever there was a straightaway, I’d romp on the gas and have some fun, but for the tight, technical turning I’d have traded muscle for MINI in a heartbeat.

Finally, I dunno if you’ve noticed the side windows on this car, but they’ve easily got to be the lowest profile production car windows on the planet. So I did a little experiment. I rolled them down and did my best to Dukes of Hazard my way into this thing. The results were far less impressive than I’d hoped:

It was NOT happening and I even slimmed up a bit for the ten-year festivities! Sheesh.
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