Sons And Gullwings

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So… I’ve been gone for a while. Part of it was that I got sick again. This pneumonia is proving tough to beat. But another part of it is that I was working with a friend at Nelson Ledges and then participating in the first-ever Road&Track Performance Car Of The Year. Please tweet that as #pcoty, thanks. It will make Alex Kierstein, our brilliant and fearless social-media guy, happy.

As part of this deal I had access to everything from a Ferrari F12berlinetta to a Fiesta ST at a racetrack and on some fast back roads. It was critical that we pick a winner from a very diverse group and that our impressions be both correct and comprehensive. I was down, totally willing to push the F12 to a stunning 138mph through a dicey Kink turn before smoking it down into a rough, narrow-apex hairpin. But as much as I wanted to do all that, I wanted to hang out with the boy for a little bit even more.


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First, the SLS AMG GT. John adored it from the moment he saw it. He knew it was a “marsaydees” but it seemed very different. “We can’t go too fast with the doors up, Daddy, they could fly away and I don’t know how to help you put them back on.” Not to worry, kid; we won’t go too far in this one.

The next day it was time for the school run and I broke out the SLS AMG Black Series. Retailing for $296,000, it’s outrageously priced and outrageous in every other respect, but it’s utterly brilliant, and when it was time to choose our winner for #pcoty the staff unanimously decided that we’d like you to buy the magazine so we can all afford to eat. So I can’t tell you yet.

John thought this one was much faster than the red one. He was right. How did he know? “It has this wing on the back and that’s what a race car has.” When we got to school, some of his friends came out to see the car. John explained to them about the doors and the going fast and the loudness.

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I’m an old man with a young son. One of the twentysomething mothers brought her yoga-toned body out from the school and said she’d like to lie on the hood. The hood is carbon fiber but this mom was a genuine blonde waif so I said to go for it. She chickened out.

“Let me come back,” she offered, “with makeup and a bikini.” Maybe next time.

Today’s another marsaydees day for John; I’ll pick him up in my 560SL for the first time. No airbag on the passenger side, which is why I bought it. He likes riding in cars like that, likes convertibles, likes to accelerate. There are times that I wonder if he will remember these days. There was one time during the past few days where it briefly looked like his last memory of me might wind up being the drive in the big yellow car with the special doors. But with that on my mind, I turned the wick down for the rest of the driving week. Better to return home alive than to die in epic fashion. Better to have a father than to have a great story to tell.

Yesterday I had an extremely unhappy surprise when a former friend of mine decided to try to cash in on my notoriety in this business and make some money at my expense. I was angry and I think that a few years ago, say, in 1997 or thereabouts, I might have punished this person in some lasting and deeply unpleasant fashion. I found myself sitting and contemplating the prospects of that. But then I realized I was sitting at a lake with my foot out of the door of an exceptionally rare and wonderful car and I thought about telling John the stories of all the stuff I have done and all the things I’ll do and all the things we’ll do together.

There will be three people who will sleep safe and sound tonight. I will, because I am okay with my past and hopeful for my future. John will, because we’ll have a fun drive and a fun dinner and there will be more stories and drives and fun in the future. And my former friend can, as well, because my son, without even knowing it, stepped in to save him. The same way he stepped in five years ago, to save me.

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12 Replies to “Sons And Gullwings”

  1. nick d

    Sorry to hear about the “BS”. Maybe he didn’t get the kanban it’s time to move on and everyone makes mistakes. I love taking my almost 3 year old around in my fleet consisting of an old Volvo, manual econobox and a minivan. He loves to go ‘wheeeee’ when I wind out the manual hatch and turning on the rear wiper (he is still rear facing).

    Was there a chance the red SLS was in Ft Wayne IN?
    I saw one last weekend and there are few of these around.

    Reply
    • Jack Post author

      The red one’s been in Detroit for a while.

      My expectations for ol’ BS were pretty low. I was hoping that Ed would prove to be something other than an opportunistic, cowardly, faithless piece of shit. So much for that hope.

      Ed thinks he’s leading a revolution in this business. It’s an Animal Farm revolution, I’m Snowball, and in the end somebody’s going to drag him and his German daddy to the knackers’.

      Reply
  2. Blaze

    “Better to have a father than a great story to tell.”

    I feel very confident typing that your son has both.

    I love driving with my kids in my 9-5. They love getting into the turbo and yelling wheeeee!!!! Last night we took the long route for a few more. One of my favorite memories of my Dad are driving into Eastern Colorado. I awoke at around 3:30 am. He was driving my ’95 Eucalyptus Green 900 turbo with the night panel on. The odometer was at 120. It was my first road trip in my first car. Dad passed away last December; but I’ll always have memories like that. 😉

    Reply
      • Ronnie Schreiber

        Once, while driving to Chicago with my sisters, my older sister said that from the back seat, behind the wheel I look just like my dad, right hand crooked over the steering wheel, left elbow on the window ledge.

        My dad was a New Yorker by birth, so we drove to NYC at least once a year. I’ve always been an insomniac, so while my brother and sisters and mom slept, I’d stay up and talk with him as we drove through the night.

        Reply
  3. Chris

    Very nice.

    It’s remarkable how the little things can begin to infect our little ones with the go-faster disease.

    My eldest daughter was riding with me in the new-to-me B13 SE-R. Mind you, I’d not had anything with torque up to this point in her life–she was 2.5, with her little sister on the way–and my other car was my Miata.

    Rounded a corner in second gear and matted the pedal.

    She was pushed back in the seat (again, as much as a 20+ year old econobox will do)..and said, “Zoom, daddy, zoom!” I’m guessing the Mazda commercials had gotten to her, and she transferred the tagline to the Nissan.

    Sold the car when I realized I couldn’t fit a rear-facing bucket behind my fat-ass..but my eldest still talks about her zoom-zoom car.

    Reply
  4. Athos

    My son, named after a rally driver, loves when I chirp the car’s tyres. And to “drive” the, ATM, sitting NG900.

    He names all the “papaHolden” and “FoFacon” he sees on the street. Or grab my attention to another Saab. Or say as the TV ad, “It’s not a car it’s an Alfa Romeo”.

    And to tell all his classmates where daddy works.

    They’re a blessing and watching them grow and develop is one of the best gifts of life.

    Reply
  5. WiredChuck

    I really wish I could have seen you and John driving in the SLS. That would have been at least as fun as Nelson.

    Great piece. And screw that former friend. He isn’t worth the shit on your shoes. You’re a better man on your worse day than he’ll ever be on his best.

    Reply

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