The next morning, we've got the cars, we've got the track, we've got NASCAR Rookie of the Year Regan Smith, and we've got a torrential downpour. "The track is closed, and the cars aren't coming off the truck," says the GM car wrangler. What's more, there will be no rescheduling this circus. So is a ZR1 faster than a stock car? That, like the origin of the statues at Easter Island and the continued success of According to Jim, will remain a mystery debated by our children's children's children.
The bulk of my ideas, though, never even come that close to reality. You may have heard of the Road to Nowhere in Alaska. While the Bridge to Nowhere never got built, the road to that bridge did. So there's this nice new stretch of road that leads out into the woods and dead-ends in a cul-de-sac. One day last fall, I'm looking at an aerial photo of that cul-de-sac, and I think, "Hey . . . that looks an awful lot like a skid pad." And another ambitious, completely impractical story idea is born.
"Here's what we do," I tell the editors. "We, as taxpayers, deserve to use that road. And we deserve to use it for something awesome. So we get a Ferrari 599GTB, a Lamborghini Murciélago LP640, maybe a Pagani Zonda - no, a Spyker! - and we head up there and tear that thing up. I can already see the headline: 'Going Nowhere Fast.' It's gonna be great." And then road test editor Marc Noordeloos calmly explains that there's a practical reason why you don't see exotic-car shootouts staged in Alaska. "I'm not sure you're going to be able to drive those cars up there," he says. "I think I can get you a 1984 Corolla and a team of sled dogs, but that might change the story a bit."
OK, fine. But I'm not giving up on all of my ill-guided ideas. Somewhere, there's still a Volvo C30 with a trailer hitch, and I'll let you ponder what I plan to do with that. Somewhere else, there's a hearse, a big-block, and a Guinness world record waiting to be broken. Also, if you happen to own a decommissioned Formula 1 car and you'd like to let a responsible writer drive it for a little while on the street, just till he gets arrested, you know where to find me. Rain or shine.