This weekend, many urgent needs presented themselves: whole milk, yogurt, triple antibiotic, band-aids, soap, and sour patch kids. Plus, I needed to get to church early.
Fortunately, I’ve been carsitting for iPete, and his Honda S2000 is the milk-gettingest, drug-store runningest, church-conveyingest piece of art on the road. Five years old and comfortably worn and scratched, it is nevertheless the fiercest and bestest vehicle I’ve driven. And, as a retired lot attendant, that’s saying something: the S2K is better than the BMW M3, the RX-7, and the gaudy-but-impressive Mitsu 3000GT (not to mention various and sundry Mustangs, T-birds, Fieros, Firebirds, and Corvettes). But dude, the S2000 practically drives itself through curves and begs for much, much more. My educated guess is that it would effortlessly gobble up curves at twice their posted speeds, even for a novice driver.
I say ‘educated’, because after many years, my lot-boy invincibility has worn off. I still set the car up in pure lot-boy mode– top and windows down, A/C and radio off, mirrors adjusted and seat belt snug– but I’m not flying around the residential roads like I used to. I mean, I’m a dad now, crotchety and shaking my rake at the crazy kids careening around the neighborhood. No, I obey all traffic and speed laws– I just get to the recommended speed very, very quickly.
Not only does the S2K feature a perfectly balanced front-mid-engine layout with a remarkable 50:50 front/rear weight distribution, 240 ponies (!) from an inline 4, wide rubber, and fat brakes, it’s got a quick clutch, a short gearbox and a disturbingly long tach. Know that voice at the stem of your brain that screams “SHIFT!” when your car gets to 4000 rpm? Well, you’re only halfway there, my friend. With a 9000 rpm redline and a warning from iPete that I get her up to 8K or relinquish my carsitting duties, I had a mighty task in front of me. Run her out all the way to 8, snap a speed-shift and look down, and the 1-2 shift has just netted you 45mph. 2-3 gets you to 6o, and what’s that on the bottom right of the gearbox? Oh yeah, that’s sixth gear.
So in the end, I just feel sad for iPete. To drive a car like this on public roads is like asking me to work in a combination bookstore/Dunkin’ Donuts/Mac store. It’s just way, way too much temptation. How can a man drive a car such as this? I pity poor iPete, and pray for him. His life looks fun, but it isn’t.