The Magic of Driving a Slow Car Fast
Don't judge a car by its HP.
I’ve often heard the saying that “driving a slow car fast is more fun than driving a fast car fast.” While I unfortunately have yet to experience the latter, I have spent plenty of time doing the former. Gather around the fire and let me spin you the tale of my slow car.
When I was 16 I somehow managed to get lucky enough to get my driver’s license. Shortly after that came my first car. That first, and still only car, is a 2013 Toyota Corolla LE (dubbed Corrie) which I debadged after a friend said that “having an LE means that you didn’t buy the base L trim but also didn’t have enough money for the S.” While that certainly made sense to me at the time, my cares have since moved away from how my grocery-getter makes me look to other people. She has four doors, wheels and a pedal and frankly that’s all a car like this really needs.
Since this was the only car I got to drive on a regular basis, her four cylinder 132 HP engine was the unfortunate recipient of all my YouTube and anime-fueled abuses. That meant trying to drift around corners like I was delivering tofu through a mountain pass or doing burnouts as if I was driving a much faster car than I really was. Of course the only result of these escapades were some less-than-desirable sounds from both the engine and tires but everything was fortunately fine in the end.
The lack of any sort of guts didn’t stop me from having as much fun as I possibly could with my car. I took her to car meets where I got the occasional comment of “Brooo what is that?!” and “Yo is that the new Lambo?” I took that small Corolla to triple digit speeds more often than I want to admit. Seeing that needle climb up the speedometer and the engine doing its best impression of a wildcat in pain brought me a sort of pride in Corrie.
See the thing is that when you buy a car that is made to be fast like an LP640 or a Veyron or any other supercar, you EXPECT it to go fast. You expect that when you smash that gas pedal like you’re making puree, the car will subsequently smash you against the seat in revenge. But when you smash the gas pedal in a car that was never meant to go faster than a posted speed limit and you see it actually getting to those highly illegal speeds, it’s like “Woah no way, I can do this?!”
It’s a strange feeling of accomplishment like when you achieve something you never thought possible. It also brings you closer to your car because you become more familiar with what it’s capable of. I encourage everyone to get a slow car and just rip it down some roads (safely of course) and see just what I’m talking about. I love my slow car and even if/when I get a faster car, I will still daily drive her for as long as I can drive. Her many scratches, dents and dings are merely reminders of the fun we've had together. Long live Corrie!
Do you guys have any exciting slow car stories? That sounds like an oxymoron but I'd love to hear from people in similar positions!