Posted on: February 22, 2008 4:15 pm

Sportscars in the Snow

No, this is not the title of a poem.  There's no poetry in driving a sportscar in the snow and ice. 

A couple of years ago I was in the market to buy a car.  I found several cars I was interested in, and then did my due diligence and researched their pros and cons.  After narrowing it down, I wrestled with myself over practicality vs. want.  Most of my life, well, at least my adult life, I've done the responsible and practical thing which translated into conservative.  With my annual bonus burning a hole in my pocket, I said I'll be damned if I go the sensible route now!  Enough of that, and I freed myself! 

I bought a Nissan 350Z.  You're probably thinking that was the end of my venture into the other side, and I got it in black or silver, a traditional color.  Nope.  Ever hear of the color, lemans sunset?  Yeah, it's a copperish orange, and I got it with burnt orange seats.  I have never been a fan of orange, but this color was hot.  Did I realize I was going to call the police's attention to me?  Yeah, and I didn't care. 

I admit I've done impulse buying before, but never a purchase as big as this.   I've been in clothing stores deciding between several outfits, one being substantially more money than the others, and I've bought it.    Or, I've gone into the store with a set goal of buying 2 outfits, and that's it, and walked out with 5.  I would stand there in the dressing room looking at all the clothes I wanted while calculating how much they were going to cost me in total, and comparing that amount to what I could afford.  Yeah, I still bought what I wanted.  I've purchased bigger tvs than I needed and electronic equipment I didn't need at all.  These are the extents of my walks on the wildside of impulse buying. 

You might say the car wasn't an impulse buy because I did my research beforehand.  Nah.  I did that research for a good month, and I was tired of it.  I got on the phone with a Nissan dealership specifically looking for the 350Z touring model.  As I spent about an hour on the phone with the salesman as he looked for what nearby dealers had in stock, it became increasingly clear to me that I wanted the car right then and there.  Maybe it was because I knew it was then or never, and I'd chicken out.  I had the salesman look for the conventional color, but he couldn't find one that met my needs that he could get quickly.  He did find the lemans sunset one which he could have for me in a week.  I tortured the poor guy while I looked at the color on the internet and kept asking if he could find anything else.  He did wind up finding one in silver, but again, I tortured the poor guy while I clicked back and forth on both colors on the internet.  You know what happened.  We made the deal over the phone.  I faxed him my info, and he got a loan approved.  A week later I drove out of the dealership with my brand new car.  I was beaming. 

Two weeks ago, we had a pretty bad snowstorm in the Northeast.  I checked the weather forecast before I went to work in Manhattan, and they said no more than an inch accummulation, so I drove in.  They lied.  As I watched the snow come down while I was at work, I started to panic.  I couldn't leave because I had a meeting to attend.  At around 5 PM when it was over, it had stopped snowing, and the roads didn't look too bad.  I made a run for it.  Almost as soon as I started driving, the snow started coming down again, and these were no flurries.  We're talking flakes that impaired visibility.  The roads still weren't that bad because Manhattan is a heavily traveled area.  Even when I got out of the Lincoln Tunnel, the traffic was so slow, I still didn't have a problem.  It wasn't until I got off the highway when I hit unplowed, unmelted territory.  My car was sliding all over the place even at the speed of 10 mph.  I got about a half a mile and pulled into a parking lot.  I called a cab, yeah, I laugh at myself for that now.  How could I think anyone was coming to get me?  I looked for the bus, but we're talking NJ Transit here.  If you don't know it, feel lucky.  I started walking home.  Hey, it was only 2 miles, how bad could it be?  At a subfreezing temp, trudging through about 6 inches of snow in shoes that were never made for that, bad. 

Not that I'm complaining though because to do so would mean admitting I might've made the wrong choice in cars, and how could I do that when I loved my car so much.  So, I reminisced about making it to Rochester, NY in 4 hours at 100 mph and not getting pulled over.  Ah, the memories.  Then, I'm going to have the memory of today.  On days like this when I have to work late, it's necessary for me to drive in.  Not happening today when it hasn't stopped snowing since last night.  Since it's nearly impossible to get a cab home late at night in weather like this, I'm staying in the city.  As I looked around my hotel room when I checked in before work, I said, damn car. 

Thing is, nothing is ever going to be perfect in life.  There are times when you just have to do what makes you happy despite all the negatives.  Having always had a practical car before, it didn't occur to me that this one couldn't survive snowy roads.  I just didn't think about it because I wanted that car.  If I could go back knowing what I know now, I'd still have made this impulse buy.  Sometimes, you just gotta do, what you gotta do. 

Category: General
Tags: Cars, Jersey, NYC, Snow
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