A wise man once said: “An Aston Martin is safe in a garage, but that is not what Aston Martins are built for.” So tomorrow, I’m taking mine on a 1,500-mile road trip across seven U.S. states.
Here’s what I’m doing: I’m going to get in my car tomorrow morning and I’m going to spend the whole day driving to Charleston, South Carolina, the most beautiful city in America, at which point I will get out and say: I can’t believe I made it! Then a few days later, I’m going to do the very same thing on the way back. This is assuming I don’t break down in a rural southern town where the only foreign vehicle the local mechanic has ever worked on is a Yamaha riding mower.
And you can follow along! If you like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter, you’ll be able to see dozens of updates from various interesting locations along the drive, including the “Welcome to Maryland” sign, and the “Welcome to North Carolina” sign, and the “Virginia State Police Holding Cell” sign, because they’ve arrested me for going 35.5 miles per hour in a 35.4 zone. (“It’s always you outta state assholes with your fancy cars who wreak havoc here in Virginny.”)
In fact, I insist you follow along if you might be able to help me along my journey, by which I mean you a) live along the Interstate 95 corridor, and b) possess a tow truck. I may also need your help if you live in Virginia and have enough cash to bail me out of prison for speeding, which Virginians treat with the same severity as serious crimes such as armed robbery, fraud, embezzlement, grand theft auto, and cursing Robert E. Lee.
So why am I going to Charleston? Well, two reasons, really. The most important is that I’m going down there to finish my second book.
Yes, that’s right: I’m coming out with a second book – and in a few weeks, you’re going to be able to read it. Jalopnik reader McMike is doing the cover art as we speak, and it’s being edited by a friend of mine from high school who is so uninterested in cars that she does not, at the current moment, know what type of car she owns. This is who you want as an editor, when you’re writing a car book. You don’t want someone who’s going to be hanging on the edge of his seat when you describe your behind-the-scenes conversations with Aston Martin corporate. You want someone who’s going to read all that and say: “Why the hell do you think a COMMA goes THERE?”
The second reason I’m going on this journey is that the time has come for me to start putting more miles on my Aston Martin. I’ve now owned the car for four and a half months, and I’ve only driven it 4,000 total miles. Admittedly, this is very good for an Aston Martin. Most Aston Martin owners only drive 2,000 to 4,000 miles in an entire year, and spend the rest of the time dining at restaurants with names like Thirty-Seven.
But I got this car at the beginning of the year with an unlimited mileage warranty, and by God, now that the weather is nice again, I’m going to start ulimitedly mileaging it. And the Aston Martin Public Relations staff is going to start taking anti-anxiety medication.
So I figured a trip down south was in order. A trip to really stretch the car’s legs. A trip to visit a warmer, coastal climate. A trip where I’ll be three and a half hours from the nearest Aston Martin dealer; the nearest refuge where they’ll have an expert who can fix my car if, for instance, the windshield wipers will only work if the turn signal is on.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll have much time to meet up with readers when I’m in Charleston, largely because I’ll be holed up in my hotel room agonizing over whether I should use the word “enormous” or “gigantic” while nursing a bag of Fritos the size of a ceiling fan. However, I’m going to try to show up at Charleston Cars and Coffee on Saturday morning, unless it’s pouring.
When I return from my trip, I’ll give you an exact update on everything that happened: the total miles driven, the overall fuel economy, and the exact amount of times that rural southerners saw me at a gas station, looked me up and down, motioned over to their heavy-duty pickup truck, and asked: “Wanna trade?”
Assuming, of course, I don’t get arrested in Virginia for glancing at the top half of my speedometer.