Its been a dream of red-blooded American car guys (and ladies) for decades: unrestricted speeds on the highways of our great nation. Unfortunately in this age of nanny state, there might be only one real way to achieve that dream.
Most of you reading this right now know exactly what the autobahn is, and also know why you want one here in America. The autobahn is a place of true automotive freedom. A place where your car can truly be pushed to its limits. A place quite far away from the sheer chaos of the roads we have here in our great nation.
The autobahn is truly famous for one main reason though: in a few sections there is no restricted speed for cars and motorcycles. In those sections the speed limit is literally as fast as your car can go. Never mind that its one of the greatest engineering feats of our time. Never mind that its possibly the best maintained group of roads in the world. That single overriding factor of no speed limit has made the autobahn legendary in the automotive world. So what is to stop our legislators from just taking away speed signs and letting us run wild.
Well actually a lot of things. In Germany, aspiring drivers have a long process to go through. It takes two years, hours of going to classes and taking tests, hours of driving with an instructor, and quite a lot of money. I want you to take a minute and think about the 2 days you had in drivers ed. Now I also want you to think about the fact that everyone else in our country pretty much had just those two days of drivers ed as well. Kind of puts a little perspective on this problem now doesn't it? I haven't even gotten to the fact that in a lot of places our roads are crap, most people view their cars as appliances, and (I'll mention it again just in case) WE AS A NATION KIND OF SUCK AT DRIVING.
I'm not immune to this. I think I'm an above-average driver. Actually that's kind of a lie. Put me behind the wheel and as far as I'm concerned I'm God's gift to the American road system. That being said, I can handle myself at high speeds. I know how a car works, how it behaves in many different situations, and I know how to hoon it when necessary. I know a lot of you out there reading this can do that stuff too, so if that's the case: why are we, the automotive elite, still considered the same type of driver as the middle aged woman in her 4Runner?
Why do I, a man whose blood type is 5W-30, have to follow the same speed limits as a Prius driver? Because as far as our government is concerned: speed limits should be accessible to the lowest common denominator. In other words, we must have speed limits for all, because of a stupid few. Why? Some say equality is good (and when it comes to voting, free speech, civil rights and the like: it is), but when we're all following the same crap standard because some people can't cut a higher standard, I don't want to be held down by equality. I want to exceed.
Why can't we in America, have a tiered license system. Think about that for a moment. The Prius driver can follow their hum-drum 60mph speed limit on their way to Apple stores, Whole Foods, and the like. Whereas the gentleman in the ridiculously modified, twin-turbo, caged, slammed, and built to the hilt Corvette can go as fast as he perfectly well thinks is reasonable. I would love to ride down an interstate look at a speed limit sign and think "Oh, my license allows me to go 30mph faster than that" as two Italian supercars blow past me doing 180mph. All I should have to do is pass a test, and maybe pay a larger fee.
Such a test, of course, would have to be quite hard. It would have to be very involved. Honestly it would have to be something where, if you have one, you earned the hell out of it. The test should be long. It should be grueling. Seriously I want to see a test where anyone who comes out of the top level is offered a racing contract. Most people who come into their local DMV would just take their normal tests when they became 16, and the rest of us could continue our automotive study. There would surely be many side perks to owning an upper tier license: cheaper insurance, never being at fault in an accident, increased chances of getting laid.
Also car manufacturers could sell certain cars to people with certain licenses. Got a normal license? Its beige-box for you. Just got your learners permit? You sure as hell aren't allowed to have a brand new Audi. Honestly unless you have an upper tier license, you shouldn't even be able to look at a Porsche dealership.
So next time you're stuck behind some suburban mom in a minivan, think that maybe someday with a little luck, a little change, and some grassroots political effort (ahem, that's you guys and gals), maybe we can live our dream. We could enjoy those triple digit numbers on the end of our speedo legally, you know, and we don't have to travel to some foreign country to do it.
Unfortunately this is an idea I think I'll file with "jet-packs" and "hangover-less bourbon." James May said it best: "Ambitious but rubbish." But hey, I can dream can't I?
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?"