There’s nothing quite like driving a $365,000 car to get new insights into humankind.
But when the Avondale Group offered us a McLaren 720s Spider for a long-weekend loaner, we couldn’t resist the opportunity.
To be clear, we’re not ones to be impressed by sports cars, no matter how loud, fast, or expensive they might be. Much like the ability to catch a ball, car envy is a trait we were born without. So, really, we were the perfect test subjects to experience life in the fast lane for a few days.
The moment the car was delivered to our house, the gawking began. We invited a car-enthusiast friend over to the house to go along for our first ride, so we have a credible witness to the power of this car (both literal and figurative).
Once we watched a few YouTube videos on how to do things such as, oh, get the radio to play, we were off for a neighborhood jaunt in order to get used to how the car handles.
We connected the sound system to our phone, pulled up some Lady Gaga, put the top down and revved the engine to get our neighbors’ attention as we (carefully) journeyed down the street. The moment we turned to drive deeper into our neighborhood, it happened.
“Oh shit! Oh shit!” a man yelled from his backyard, jumping over a fence and running behind us in the street to catch a glimpse.
Oh shit, indeed. Even at our cruising speed of 25mph, heads were turning left and right. Men’s, mostly. But over the four days we had the car, one of our lesbian neighbors was the only woman who expressed any level of admiration for the car, desperate to know all the automobile’s specifications, how fast we made it go, and whether we’d taken our dog for a ride.
“Hell no, we don’t want a cleaning bill for all the hair.”
Those were our answers, in order, to all her inquiries. She was sad we didn’t go faster. Or know how to show her the engine.
To properly put the car to the test on the open road, we took a staycation in Grapevine. We drove it around town, to the lake, on the freeway, and watched from our window as the valets and hotel guests all took turns walking around the car and looking inside while it was parked out front.
Driving this car gave us a glimpse into the lives of celebrities.
People stopped us to pose for photos. They’d follow us down the street and wait for us to get out to ask questions. One guy in downtown Dallas even pulled up alongside us and asked what we did for a living because he wanted to be just like us.
“I’m a writer. Stay in school.”
His confused look gave us a chuckle as he rolled up his window and drove off.
Indeed, we felt like rock stars.
It took a couple of days, but our fears of driving such a pricy vehicle evaporated as we enjoyed our final hours with McLovin the McLaren (we got attached enough to name it). Top down, the wind blowing through our long Covid-lockdown hair, we waved at the neighbors and revved the engine for kids whose eyes lit up as we pulled up in front of their houses.
(This was an immensely fun car to drive, and but one of the many luxury vehicles available at Avondale Group if you’re looking for a similar experience.)
Then Monday rolled around and, as all fairy tales do, ours came to an end when they picked it up from our driveway and drove it off into the sunset. As neighborhood children chased it down the street, waving goodbye to the craziest car they’d likely ever seen, we turned back toward our house, popped the trunk of our Toyota and retrieved a bag of frozen Chinese food from Trader Joe’s.
Amazing how quickly reality can slap you in the face.