And every time I saw one on the street, there was a guy driving it. Sometimes younger, sometimes older, but definitely male. Perhaps this might be the man-magnet I was looking for. So, I put in an order with the nice folks at GM.
Even in the vastness of GM’s parking lot, the beast stood out. Black with Inferno Orange striping which nicely matched the Inferno Orange interior. Which matched my hair beautifully. Right away, I knew this was a match made in heaven.
Then I turned the key. Oh. My. God. The brute thrashed and snorted to life, with the sound of a thousand furies. Pouring out of the exhaust were throbbing bass notes I didn’t know existed outside of Edgar Winter.
It assaulted my ears like a calamity on wheels. This was a machine. You don’t drive it. You operate it.
- A regular analog speedo
- A surfable digital readout, which also provided trip info, etc
- A holographic display dubbed the Head Up Display (HUD), that floated on the windshield in front of the driver, which was also a tach and a thermometer.
There was a huge touch-screen with more software than my iPad – and just to keep you grounded, four square beveled analog gauges for oil pressure, etc. I didn’t know where to look first.
Rowing those 426 eager horses through six gears took some serious brawn, as did latching and unlatching the convertible roof. Clearly, this car was meant for someone who bench presses 300 pounds a day. But they can’t be much over five foot five, since with the roof down, the cabin was pretty claustrophobic. I had to make appointments with both my physio and my shrink.
Muscling the Camaro’s menacing snout around town was intoxicating. It was a force to be reckoned with, and everyone around me knew it. A McLaren shrieked out in front of me, and the slightly balding driver glanced over at the stoplight. He didn’t seem to care that there was a redhead with big glasses at the wheel, and peeled away with a mighty roar. I followed closely, bellowing and rumbling away. It was as much a contest of bedlam as it was bravado. I’d like to think I won.
My friends were amused by my latest acquisition. “Did it come with a case of beer, Jays tickets and a Bob Seger CD?” asked one friend. I picked up a girlfriend to check out the newest outlet mall, and as we were backing out of her driveway, she tremulously inquired if I had blown a tire. I assured her, it was supposed to sound like that. And wondered if the Camaro should come with a bumper sticker that said, “My other car is a Harley.”
It was like dating a bad boy, the kind of guy whose muscles are festooned with tattoos. He doesn’t have much of a vocabulary, but who cares? Every time he raises an eyebrow, the machismo is overwhelming. His powerful grip could crush your hand and sweeps you off your feet. How could I resist?
And between the thundering exhaust and the garishly striped hood, I attracted way too much attention. Complete strangers – men and women of every age – would approach me at traffic lights, stop signs, any opportunity, to tell me what a fantastic car I had. A very pregnant woman at a bus stop gave me the thumbs up as I drove by. A couple of skateboarders chased after me by the Lakeshore. A tuner kid in his tricked out Mazda3 played cat and mouse with me on the 401.
But my bad boy had a drinking problem.
One trip to the gas pump was all it took to reveal his thirst. I couldn’t afford his habits.
So we parted ways, the brute and I, before he could break my heart – and my bank account.
But I’ll always treasure the thrill of that prodigiously booming bassline.