You know what’s crazy? I’ll tell you what’s crazy™
THE JAGUAR F TYPE.
The Roar. The Power. The Freedom.
It’s a street legal race car.
It’s one part Cartier watch with its precision. It’s one part iPhone 10 with it’s technological sophistication. It’s one part Nitro Glycerin with it’s explosiveness.
The Jaguar F Type is a rocket ship on Pirelli tires.
It’s a fighter jet on four wheels.
It’s a house payment with a roll bar.
This mechanical beast has a mind of its own. Speed is the car’s happy place. If you don’t pay attention to the instrumentation, Johnny Law will light you up before you know it.
The power is pronounced like a chain saw. It is noticeable like a rip tide.
The acceleration slaps your head into the seat like a boxing glove to the chin.
When I pull away from a street light, I hear a NASA countdown in my head.
10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1….liftoff.
I often look up in the rear view and catch myself smiling, like I’ve won the lottery.
When you are buckled into this rocket sled, you don’t have a lot of time for day dreaming. You can’t let your thoughts meander, let your attention waiver.
If you need to plan your grocery list, or wonder how much taxes you owe this year, call an Uber.
When you pilot the F Type, you better be all in mentally, like a poker player pushing his chips to the center of the table.
It’s like a timed SAT test with the FBI watching.
The car pushes you mentally, while challenging your visual acuity, and navigational temerity.
After 9,000 miles, I can tell you the F Type is fun as hell but it is neither relaxing nor comfortable.
It rides hard, like a wild bronco that refuses to enter the coral.
You step into this machine by lowering yourself into the seat. When you drive, you are literally a few inches above the road. The suspension is so hard, you can feel every pebble, every bump.
If you are looking for luxurious, my ass is floating in butter smoothness, then this is not the automobile for you.
But if you are looking for after-burner, lump in your throat, G force adrenaline pump? then read on.
The F Type is a sports car’s sports car.
The car is nimble like a cat sprinting over fence tops. It turns corners like it’s on a rail.
The car is aggressive and begs for more speed than the law allows.
I once took a turn so hard, so fast, I actually felt the blood leaving my brain. Fighter pilots call this G-Lock. I was in the turn, accelerating into the curve, pressed into my seat, and waiting for the tires to let go. The car scoffed at that. It just lowered itself, growled and clung to the turn like velcro. I got tunnel vision and the fringes of my periphery got a little fuzzy, but I hung on.
When I came to my senses, I was on the straight-a-way, hauling ass, with my rear view mirror filled with memories.
The F Type is volatile, like the stock market after Trump calls for a blockade of Chinese goods.
The accelerator pedal is like the lever of a hand grenade.
When you let go; BOOM!
It’s an explosion of 380 horses, fueled by a twin super charger.
It’s a raw nerve of speed and combustibility.
Once I punched the accelerator to the floor. The engine roared and the car shot forward. I thought wow.
Then five or six seconds later, something happened I didn’t expect.
The car actually lowered on its chasis, as the engine went into a different gear. It snorted like a pack of Rhinos charging. The car accelerated on top of acceleration. It accelerated so fast, so unexpectedly, It was unsettling.
My body was pushed into the bucket seat and I had to grip the steering wheel for support.
I don’t want to say how fast I was going, but let’s just say, it was almost twice the legal speed limit in Montana.
As I let off the gas, I felt this sleek machine slicing through the wind.
The F Type is a hungry Jaguar, a carnivore, craving speed.
I’ve driven many cars in my 50 plus years around the sun. Most are just transportation. Fords and Chevy’s and pick up trucks. They are point A to point B type vehicles. They are transportation for getting to work, or running to the store for meatloaf.
Normal cars don’t stop you in mid sentence and say “Holy crap, is that 1 g feels like?”
I read the automotive reviews to see what others think.
I admit, I have never driven the new Porsche, the new Ferrari, the latest BMW.
So I trust others who have.
The automobile critics from Car and Driver and Auto Week always LIKE the F Type.
But they seldom LOVE the F Type.
For these automotive imperialists, it’s always an equation of motoring math.
(0-60 MPH) X (SKID TEST LATERAL ACCELERATION) X (TOP SPEED) / (COST) = SOMETHING OVER THAN PERCEIVED PERFECTION.
It’s a subjective theorem. It’s like asking what’s the best Filet Mignon? The answer? There is no bad filet Mignon.
My review is simple. If driving is a religion, then the F Type a high octane church.
You can be behind the wheel and see God and find yourself praying for forgiveness from one exhilarating moment to the next.
When you are behind the wheel of the F Type, you understand what a quiver of your pinky finger on the steering wheel can do.
It’s instantly receptive. It’s a 3,000 pound power plant linked to your brain’s synaptic impulses.
The moment reveals itself at the speed of light.
Your eye sees the pot hole. Your hand moves slightly on the steering wheel. You tap the accelerator. The car explodes by the tire puncturing impediment.
It’s dangerous, calculated, furious.
Life is all around you. The beast is alive.
So why am I behind the wheel of this car?
A series of events transpired a few months ago that turned a thought, a wish, a pipe dream into reality.
“Just go for it!” my father screamed. “You don’t know how much time you have left. I’m tired of hearing you checked out the car. Just do it!”
And with that, the conversation was over.
It was like a Nike Commercial, but it was real life.
My Dad yelled at me over the phone like I was a toddler who had just been caught smearing peanut butter on the TV remote.
Instead of getting the belt or going to time out, my 82-year-old father yelled at me in that daddy to child sort of way that is forever and indelible.
His words to me were emotional, filled with visceral loss and finality of life.
My father had just lost his wife, the love of his life. Her death was sudden and deeply saddening.
“QUIT TALKING ABOUT GETTING THE CAR. GO GET THE CAR!”
I can still hear his words. I can still feel the moment. His message was crystal clear.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed.
It was a big decision. A big financial step.
I went to the dealership and within an hour, I was signing documents.
As I walked out of the dealership, I thought about my dad’s words.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed.
What are we all waiting for?
I hear people say all the time they are saving for this, and planning next year for that.
That’s laudable, but it’s also obscence.
Today is all you have.
As I drove home from the dealership in my Chevy Cruz, I thought about what if?
What if I died tomorrow?
Would I be satisfied? Have I done what I want to do? Have I lived the life I wanted to live?
If driving the F Type is one of the components of fulfilling the proverbial bucket list, then when would I begin?
Or right now.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR. DO IT!
And now this life goal is in my garage. I treat it like a piece of treasure that needs to be polished.
And when I want to roar, when I want to explode, to feel life’s G force accentuated, like a right cross to the jaw, then the F Type is ready to fight with me, to push wind through my hair, to make me feel a rush that only comes when you feel your tires rolling along the edge of what might be.
I was having lunch with a friend recently.
He showed me his wife’s new Maserati Ghibli four door sedan.
It is a beautiful car, to be sure.
“I love the way it sounds,” he says proudly starting it up.
It is pretty. She purrs like an Italian Opera singer.
“The exhaust is so loud,” he pronounces with a smile.
I agree silently. But I know that it is a kitten compared to the Jaguar angst lurking under my hood.
He walks to my car and admires it’s sleek lines.
The F Type is a long legged super model wearing a sheer dress with no distracting sight lines. It’s not moving and it appears to be breaking the speed limit.
I push the start button.
A volcano belches raw energy from the rear dual exhaust.
It roars like a Harley Motorcycle Gang driving by.
He steps back, partially in admiration, partially because of the car’s sheer force.
“Wow!,” he exclaims. “That’s amazing!”
That’s how I feel every time I buckle in, and step on the accelerator.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed.
My F Type reminds me to live today every day today.