Is there anything quite as awesome as the feeling of being forcefully pushed into the seat of a car as it quickly accelerates? It’s one of my favourite sensations, and one that I don’t get to feel nearly as often as I’d like… because, you know… road laws and stuff.
I have one particular memory that sticks out of being a passenger in the back of a Subaru WRX STi, which is essentially a 300-horsepower hatcback. The guy driving was a guy I had just met that night, and he was going on about having to put premium gas into the tank and how it was nearly bankrupting him. Then, when we got out of the city of Niagara Falls, he said “This is what makes it all worthwhile, though,” and pinned the accelerator. Aside from maybe on a roller coaster, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that kind of acceleration. At one point, I looked over his shoulder at the speedometer and saw that we were traveling at 180 km/h on Highway 20 (an 80 zone).
I certainly don’t endorse that kind of driving on a public road, and to be entirely honest, I’m a little surprised we didn’t end up getting into a wreck that night. But I’m still here, so I can look back at it as a fond memory.
I wasn’t always so fond of going really fast though. As a kid, my dad would drive me around the farm on his 4-wheeler, and I was too nervous to go too fast. I mean the fact that I was on an ATV (or in a trailer pulled behind one) didn’t make me feel inherently safe, but eventually I came to embrace speed… To the point where I got a couple of speeding tickets in my first year of college.
Anyway, I don’t remember being as fond as these kids are of going fast. For example, check out this little English girl in the passenger seat of her dad’s 1000-horsepower Nissan GT-R:
That look on her face, and that laugh… It’s pure, unadulterated joy. I love how dad makes her promise not to tell mummy. The video description says she told mummy right away – and that also reminds me of my younger self.
I’m sure at one point my dad loved driving like that – with passion – but he never really did while I was in the car. Part of me is kind of glad, because we never had any accidents or anything like that… But another part of me feels like I might have missed out on some fun like that little girl is having. To be fair, my dad didn’t have a 1000 horsepower supercar either.
As I got older and learned to drive, I also learned how to drive sideways in a controlled manner. I used to have a Mercury Grand Marquis that wasn’t overly powerful, but it WAS rear-wheel drive which made it ideal for drifting. It also helped that the traction control conveniently didn’t work. I loved driving sideways in it, but it made my passengers nervous at times (I remember the one time I tried it with my mom, she told me she was going to vomit). To be clear, I wasn’t drifting in traffic – I was drifting in empty parking lots.
When I become a dad, I’d like to think I’d have gotten all that out of my system – but if not, it could be a way to bond with my son or daughter… Like this dad does with his little boy:
That mix of joy and fear on his face is so adorable… So good news – There’s more! That dad made another video with his son a year later. We can see the boy is a little older here, and also seems a little more terrified. That’s more like what I remember from my childhood:
And as the boy continues to get older, the evolution of the videos continues. Here we see the young man who is now 5 years old in this video helping dad swap the wheels on his car before donning a helmet and hopping into the passenger seat:
As you can see, his reaction this time around is a little bit different. I think I’d still love that experience.
There’s a few videos out there of it going the other way – the son driving parents around in a reckless manner and scaring them. I’d share them here, but I don’t think I can – you see, parents of grown children tend to swear at their kids quite a bit more than young children swear that their parents, and this is a family website, so I’m gonna refrain. You can easily find them on YouTube though, if you so desire.