Hot Cars

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   The Lamborghini Countach is not exactly my favorite: it looks like something off one’s wildest imaginations watching a Bee Gees music video.  Like the Saleen S7 and the Lotus Elise, it’s best left on the walls of a teenager’s room.

   The talk of the papers today are “hot” cars: smuggled European sportscars owned by everyone from congressmen to Willie Revillame.  I don’t know how true these rumors are, but I don’t understand why any level-headed man would drive a Ferrari on any given road in the Philippines.  You just can’t: we just have too many potholes in our roads, and traffic is too heavy.  It doesn’t make sense to drive a multi-million peso performance sportscar in the Philippines, unless you have passes to the Batangas Racing Circuit or if you can drive it around full-speed at Subic Bay’s nice roads.

   Of course, you don’t have to be sensible to drive a performance sportscar.  For example, a friend of mine has a boss who drives around in a BMW Z3 Roadster convertible.  While the Z3 is not my favorite BMW (it looks too much like a Mazda Miata from a certain angle), it is the car James Bond drove in Goldeneye.  So basically, you overcompensate by telling yourself that you’re in the same league as Pierce Brosnan.

   There are sensibilities in driving rally cars as road cars, like the Subaru Impreza, the Mitsubishi Pajero, or a Mitsubishi Lancer from the Evolution series.  Rally cars are meant for endurance: they have better fuel economy than a LeMans vehicle, like the ones made by Audi and Porsche.  The problem with some people driving rally cars as road cars is that they trick it out not for road use, but for rally racing.  It’s not uncommon to see a Mitsubishi Lancer with big foglamps and bull-bars, as if they just came from the Dakar Rally, lost miserably, and took a complimentary car wash.

   Don’t blame me: I subscribe to the common assumption that if you have a nice car, you’re overcompensating for other… inadequacies.

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