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I'm feeling almost like he describes at the end of his Challenger drive. :-)
You mean the part about the Challenger's dubious handling and quality or the midlife crisis thing? 'Cause I can relate to the latter myself!
Yeah, I grew up in France where half of my family is from and saw The Vanishing Point in high school there - the French called it Point Limite Zero instead of point de fuite, which I'll never understand. I was of course unable to understand the subtext and all I got from the flick was a powerful impression of pure speed and freedom. Like many things in the States, it's mostly a cinematic illusion, but it probably was a bit different when the movie was made.
And McQueen is one of my all-time faves, and is still a huge star here, but most folks I mention Bullitt to (that aren't car people) go, "huh?".
No, I don't mean the midlife crisis and handling thing. I'm driving some times a year on some former and actual Formula One circuit (Dijon-Prenois, Salzburgring, Hockenheim, Anneau du Rhin) and yes, the Challenger isn't made for turns. It's too haevy. Anyway, it has a high hinge moment and so much power in every situation! The Challenger makes just fun. It's not driving from A to B. Children and other people having open mouthes, when I'm driving by. They are making pictures, not of me, but of the Challenger. :-) Some ladies are eaven crying! When I'm feeling bad, I step in the Tschälli and almost immediaetly my mood turns to happiness and my heartbeat goes faster. This after driving this car for more than 2 years! Almost every time is like the first time! It's THE Musclecar of all musclecars.
What I'm missing here in Europe, are the long straight roads, which you've so much in the US!
Have fun and say hi to the Californian sun. Here is snowing right now. :-)
Ah, yes, a muscle car isn't the right tool for the track, especially the way it's done in Europe, that's for sure. It's for cruising and looking cool, and also flexing its muscles at the drag strip. Really a different way to enjoy a car, and I'm sure you knew this going in. You know, those wide open stretches we have here are amazing, but unfortunately speed enforcement is a real downer - they have the tech, the means, and the will to catch you. I have a very hard time coping with lethargic speeds in straight lines or convincing people that 100 isn't all that fast.
Don't envy our weather (it sucks in LA right now - see pic), or I'll envy back your surroundings, all the toys you guys cram in this beautiful setting, and your access to world-famous F1 tracks! My playground in (kind of) your neck of the woods was more modestly the backroads north of Nice and Monaco, by the italian border - not at all muscle car territory. And I never got to own an American car over there (I drove Opels, those ersatz).
Welcome to the forum and don't hesitate to share your perspective and other clips from your corner of the world, man. You put your finger right on the reason why the Challenger is so meaningful to me, and it's something that's no press review or timer can reveal or explain: it puts a smile on my face.
Im in LA as well and haven't driven my bee in a while due to crapy weather. I'm sitting home and all I think about is when will the weather clear so I can take my bee for a cruise. I have had my bee for 7 months now and it excites me every time i get in it. Never gets old. WOW. Btw I did have my first midlife crises 7 months ago.
That's why I've to drive two or three times a year on a track. I live close to Germany, so sometime I can go faster on the germans highways. But the last 5 years, there are so mutch road works going on, so that the speed is limited almost every 5 Km.
The first question to me from people around about the Challenger is, how much gasoline it needs. :-) Everybody who owns a Challenger, wouldn't ask himself this question! It's not a reasonable buy, but that is the point. I remember more the unreasonable things I've done in my life! :-)
Okay. In Europe it's maybe more expensive than in the US to drive a 6.1 liter engine machine. Gas, insurance, tax... The swiss state invent this year a new tax for new cars with high engine displacement. If I would buy a Challenger today, it costs me around 10'000 USD more than in 2010, when I bought my Tschälli. :-(
I know the area around Nice and Monaco. They police chatched me in Monaco, because of too fast driving. I was young and I thougt I'm on the F1 track, so my fantasy turns crazy.:-) I'm a lot in France. Bourgogne, Alsace, Provence, Paris, Bretagne. I like the Bistros and the Cafés and some nice restaurants. And french woman. :-) I like France a lot and it's very close to my city.
Merci bien to encourage me to share some thinks here in the Challenger Talk. If I could, I would drive to LA right now and having a beer or two with you guys!
I have to go out and keeping away the snow. Not a good Challenger weather!
Thanks for trying to cheer me up. Would love to be in Germany and take my bee through ur tracks and highways. One day. I Iived in Heidelberg when I was younger for 3 years but no challengers back then. Lol. I hear these cars r very popular there.
Cool, I'm not planning any trips back anytime soon, but if you visit let's have a cold one and talk cars by the ocean or something. If you can believe it, mileage is also one of the first topics people bring up here (kinda like asking a guy how much his hot girlfriend eats). To freak people out I tell them that a few years back in France when I got my driver's license the sales tax on cars was a whopping 33% (luxury rate) and they slapped a heavy yearly tax (registration fee) on large engines (large was above 2.8 liters and that's no typo)! Driving gas guzzlers is a rich and/or dedicated man's hobby in Europe... This is the secret behind my refusal to drive anything less than a V8 in the States, because here we can so easily. As much as money doesn't grow on trees it still blows my mind that I could buy a new Hemi Challenger for only 30 grand.
Hey, HEMIZSP, it's not so bad out there (my R/T is a commuter so she had to come out and play in the rain)! Now swiss snow is another story...
Faut pas mollir (comme disent les motards), TschÃ¤lli. [US translation: French biker saying that goes, "don't get soft"] And don't we all dream about the autobahns, but don't get me started on French patisserie, charcuterie, or petites femmes!
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