So I just graduated, got a job in California, and am moving into a house near the beach. And yet, I want to quit my job, move out, and drive cars, any car, around the country and become an automotive journalist for no reason other than I think it's the coolest conceivable job in the Universe.
I'm going to lay out some ground rules for my automotive journalism career. First, every car needs at least 500 miles of criticism. Second, I accept bribes. Third, tests will be divided into several categories:
* The Living-Down-By-The-River Test – There's only one comprehensive way to test the interior volume and comfort of a car: sleep in it.
* The Ear-Bleeding-Volume Test – If my ears aren't bleeding after 500 miles of driving full bore with the windows open and the stereo cranked, someone, somewhere, has f****d up.
* The Hoonage Test – This is pretty self explanatory.
* The Unbiased-Storage-Capacity Test – In order to bias this test in favor of a Caterham, I'll rate cars as a function of how much I can strap to the outside of the body. Sports cars look fantastic with stuff strapped to them.
* The Rosie-O-Donnel Test – A car's appearance will be rated based on how much it does not look like Rosie O'Donnel.
Each car will be rated on a scientific, calibrated, logarithmic scale, where a car is rated between a warm melted slushy from Circle-K, and a Neapolitan from In-N-Out Burger. With my foolproof plan, I'll write my first review on my 2001 Honda Accord Coupe.
With some Blizzaks, I tear up mountains faster than any punk hopped up on crack-cocaine thrashing his mom's 4Runner. With some Kumhos, I corner faster than any balding-business-douche in his mid-life-crisis Porsche. It'll understeer when pushed hard, and its engine is underpowered, but with the best manual transmission ever made, who cares? Sliding my car around a parking lot covered in unmolested snow is the most amount of fun you can have with your pants on. For extra excitement, go try some handbrake slides with your pants off. Continue reading when you've recovered from having your mind blown.
The start: My house in Boulder, Colorado. The finish: my new house in Newport Beach. Total mileage: 1047 miles.
My car is actually pretty sporty. I know, because it has a spoiler, which makes it faster. It also has a bunch of cool sounding acronyms, like VTEC. True, I have to stay in third with momentary ill conceived forays into fourth from Golden to the top of Vail Pass, but that's beside the point. The main point is, by dropping the mileage into the lower twenties, I can pass every god damn tourist, trucker, and elderly citizen between here at the Pacific.
The engine sounds resplendent, especially when concealed by wind noise and Metallica. When the VTEC kicks in at around 4000 rpm, it does remind me, faintly of a 1960s Honda RA300, minus about 8 cylinders… and 300hp… and significantly smaller quantities of Monaco-supermodel-fertilizing-testosterone.
My spoiler's downforce obviously contributes to my communicative handling. Now you might say "your spoiler looks like it creates lift, weighs 30 pounds, and blocks your rearview mirror… and you should really take a shower", and to you, sir, I say "go f**k yourself". When you enter a turn at 30 mph over the recommended speed, you won't end up flying into a tourist/trucker/elderly person. I did my damndest to kill every last one of them, and without my car's precise steering, I might have succeeded. Overall hoonage capability: Vanilla frosty from Wendy's.
On September 23rd, my car turned 10 years old (I celebrate all of her birthdays). She was born in Sayama Japan at a healthy 2990 points. She was built on a day when Japanese katana-smiths decided to try building an economy car. After being forged from iron ore extracted from Mount Fuji, she was rolled into the Japanese sunlight, each monk taking a moment to marvel at my car's blinding awesomeness before she was loaded into a waiting C130's fuselage and air dropped directly onto my driveway. Don't check this paragraph for accuracy as I've made a lot of it up.
There's a swath of nothingness between western Rockies and Vegas. Without my unwillingness to shut my windows, 120GB of music, and 150 mighty Japanese horsepower I might have gotten bored. Ignoring reductions of speed limits from 75 mph also makes the drive more interesting. Going fast during mountainous sections of the desert ensures you pass other motorists not unlike Hakkinen passing Schummi at the Spa.
Although I'm getting reimbursing for travel expenses, I'm not sure if they include giant margaritas, suites at the Bellagio, and 20-minutes-to-your-door hookers. I'll just file it under "miscellaneous". Vegas after a long drive is like a little kid poking you in the face after getting home from work. Eventually, you're just going to go berserk and strangle the kid, but until you find the strength to do that, have to just hope that little kid doesn't find your dry tender eyeballs.
The following day, my drive is through a desert, followed by desert, the San Bernadino Mountains, and then southern LA, which I could criticize, but I would need another couple pages. Eventually I get to my new house. I can barely hear my roommate talk, which is great, because he's a douchebag. I'll award the full Neapolitan in the Ear-Bleeding-Volume test.
There haven't been very many sleek Japanese cars since this, the NSX, and the G35. I'll give my car an Oreo McFlurry since it looks nothing like Rosie O'Donnel. In terms of storage, I'll give it a Vanilla In-n-Out shake thanks entirely to the spoiler. For Living-Down-By-The-River capability, the rear seats fold down, providing ample space for you to sleep and reevaluate your life's decisions.
So there it is. My first car review. All that's left to do is quit my job and wait for my first Gallardo to roll into my driveway for a test drive.
This piece was written and submitted by a Jalopnik reader and may not express views held by Jalopnik or its staff. But maybe they will become our views. It all depends on whether or not this person wins by whit of your eyeballs in our reality show, "Who Wants to be America's Next Top Car Blogger?"