Like voicemails, most emails are barely worth paying attention to. Oh, that company you bought a shirt from three years ago is having a sale? Neat. Next. But sometimes in this line of work, you get an email asking you if you’d like a ride in a 1400 horsepower Mach-E race car. Uh, yes? Absolutely?
I actually responded so fast, the Ford PR person had to check and make sure I was serious. Trust me. I was. Also, never trust someone who would turn down a free ride in a race car. Especially one with more than 1000 horses.
I’ll have another article on that ride when I get the video from Ford, but for now, I want to talk about the thing that surprised me most: just how hard it is to get in. Because while it was an incredibly fun experience, it’s also hard to describe exactly how cramped it is in there.
Now, obviously, this is a race car we’re talking about here. Passenger comfort is the last thing on engineers’ list of priorities, and that’s fair. I mean, the fact that it even seats four at all is impressive. A lot of race cars don’t even seat two.
I know this from personal experience, too, not just because I’m occasionally capable of basic critical thinking. I’ve been in several race cars, including a Honda Civic rally car and (wow, this still doesn’t feel real) an original Ford GT40. I’m used to having to stuff myself into a tiny space in exchange for a memorable ride.
But the Mustang Mach-E 1400? That was the first time I’ve ever worried I was too big for a car. I’m 5'10" with a 30-inch inseam. I think the only person to ever call me tall was 4'11". Not once have I ever felt like I have too much leg.
And yet, for a moment, I seriously thought I wouldn’t be able to contort my body in whatever way was required to get inside the Mach-E. I did it, but I’m not kidding when I say it required directions. Another human person had to teach me how to get into a car, and no, I’m not proud of that.
Once I was inside, though, I wasn’t done. I still had to figure out how to get my butt into the seat. We’re not talking about a Chris Meloni butt, either. More like a Hank Hill butt. Technically, a doctor has yet to diagnose me with diminished gluteal syndrome, but I’m sure that’s coming any day now.
I did manage to wedge myself into the seat, but it was tight. The upside of that, of course, is that there was no way I was going anywhere no matter what Vaughn Gittin Jr. was about to subject me to. The downside is knowing that an entire crowd of people just watched me look like a fool who somehow forgot how to use his legs.
Honestly, though, dignity is overrated. If sacrificing that gets me more rides in 1400 horsepower race cars, I’m all in. At least I hope I can get in.