First Words — 07 September 2013
The (nearly) irresistible charms of a super car

By Mark Gauert

I like cars, but I’ve never been very good at buying them.

“What’s wrong?” my wife said early the morning after I’d bought an SUV.

“Oh, nothing to worry about,” I whispered in the dark. “Go back to sleep.’’

“I’m up now,” she said. “What’s wrong?”

“I’m just worried,” I said, “I paid too much for the car.”

“Oh, no,” she said.

Oh, yes, I confirmed when I reviewed the fine print in morning light.

The salesman had quoted me a price I thought included the sales tax. It did not.

“I paid too much for the car,” I said, over breakfast.

“Oh, no,” she said.

“Yes, but I’m going to take it back,’’ I said. “The salesman said I could.’’

“You know your son loves the car,” she said. “He’s not going to be happy.’’

“We’ve only owned it for a day,” I said. “I drove him to school just once in it.”

“He loves the car,” she said. “He’s bragging about it to his friends.’’

“He’s only 5 years old,” I said. “He’ll get over it.’’

He’s 19 now. I checked with him the other day. He’s not over it.

“I loved that car,’’ he says. “I wanted to keep it.’’

“Oh, stop,’’ I say. “Get over it.’’

I thought about that morning after test driving the new, redesigned Jaguar F-Type V8 S for a review this issue, pg 80. Yes, in addition to giving the magazine a fresh look, reorganizing the features and giving you more help throughout these pages for enjoying South Florida, we had time to try new restaurants, talk with new South Florida residents Beth and Howard Stern and test drive some really cool new cars. We are driven, on your behalf.

The 2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S may be my personal car of the year, but I fear it is a completely impractical car for my personal life.

There is no trunk space. There is no back seat. It burns a gallon of gas every 16 miles in the city. I really do not need to make an entrance at the Casino de Monte Carlo that often.

But it is a glorious toy.

“I loved that car,’’ I said, after my test drive from Fort Lauderdale to Boca Raton to North Miami. “I want to keep it.’’

“Oh, stop,’’ my wife said.

“But,” I said, “I already bragged about it to my friends.”

“What are you, 5 years old?” she said. “Get over it.”

It’s not that easy.

Here’s the thing about driving a super car: It changes the way you think. And not just about driving.

Get behind someone texting or talking on the phone in traffic? Step on the accelerator, and they’re gone. Craving some attention? Cruise down A-1-A, and all heads turn. Wish the valet would park your car out front instead of in some forlorn parking garage where the doors are going to get dinged? Pull up to a valet stand in a Jaguar F-Type sometime, and compare/contrast the reaction you got the last time you pulled up in an SUV your kid loves.

“I could get used to this,” I say. A super car makes you feel, well, super.

“Until you try to put groceries in the trunk,” she says.

And, of course, she is right. She’s always right.

So, I am not driving the F-Type today. It’s out of my system. Stepped on the accelerator, left it behind. Really.

At least for now.

Here’s hoping the new, redesigned City & Shore will make you feel super. Take it for a spin of your own, let me know how it goes.

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