For those of you in the know, you know. For those of those that don't, this is a Local Motors RallyFighter. The world's first co-created vehicle, denizens of the internet happily submitted hundreds of potential designs for the offroad zinger and this was the end result. A P-51 Mustang inspired baja blasting coupe that fit right in driving the rolling hills and twisty mountain roads of east Tennessee.
As we all know there are certain percs that come with being employed in the automotive industry from time to time. I think this is one I occasionally am guilty of enjoying. I managed to squirrel the vehicle away for a weekend for my own enjoyment. I hopped in for the weekend ahead and immediately hit my favorite country road towards small town no where. I know this particular road like the back of my hand (everyone has that one road, right?). Allegedly blasting the straights and carving the corners was a ton of fun.
This vehicle in some ways handles exactly how you would expect, in others its absolutely amazing. In ways one would expect, there is body roll. Not a lot, not a little but, its there and you feel it. It gives a healthy sense of speed and feedback you normally don't get in modern machines. What you don't expect is the grip you have on tap and any given time. The tall and wide off road tires handle paved surfaces very well. Surprisingly well. Well enough to make your passenger reach for that one handle people seem to cuss for right before reaching it and with a healthy 400+ horse power on tap to test that grip with, you can have appropriate fun.
When you leave the paved surfaces however, that's when this vehicle comes alive. Those tall and wide tires devour the loose earth and gravel under them leaving nothing but dust clouds behind you. The suspension cycles up and down soaking up all the ruts, bumps, and potholes leaving you with a feeling of gliding over any gross imperfections in the loose surface. You hear the engine wind out as you bang the gears exiting the corner (perhaps sideways) like one of the Duke boys and motor off into the countryside. The 4 inch exhaust is enough to warn people of your arrival before you can be seen and enough to let the engine breathe just right. Mix that noise with the sensation of motion and acceleration from this machine, that's how you get a smile on my face.
A ride in this masterful machine was a Father's day present for my dad. That's the not so selfish reason I set aside time to enjoy the vehicle, outside of that it was pure motoring craziness and I loved every minute being behind the wheel. If you get the chance to drive one. Take it. If you get the chance to take a ride, take that too.