Subaru Integra

Limited Usefulness of Supercars

By Martin Swig

While streaking across Montana at 120 mph in my son’s Subaru Impreza, we discussed the advantages of having a much faster car. A few miles later, we crested a rise just as a Montana Highway Patrol car appeared from the opposite direction. The cop apparently had his radar off, because otherwise our Valentine One would have warned us. Taking no chances, we turned onto a farm road and disappeared before the cop had time to turn around and give chase. Fortunately, the Subaru is medium metallic gray – a very plain-Jane looking car. For fifteen minutes, we paralleled the main road on a farm road about five miles north, then rejoined the main road.

The advantages of having a faster car? None, we decided. With a faster car, we’d have been going faster. It likely would have been a more distinctive car, easier to identify for a cop in the next town. And an expensive, distinctive car would have created a class-warfare-style confrontation between the cop and us. Rich-out-of-state-sons-of-bitches blowing through our county – that would likely lead to a bad result. Jail time?

There are plenty of very fast, low profile cars available for those of us who like to drive. The supercars are more suitable for Concours d’Elegance or country club arrivals.

Show Comments (11)

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  1. Thanks for sharing this car’s information through your blog site on supercars..It was very helpful to me as i had been searching for it on the internet.Thanks a lot for this information sharing.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. My then-girlfriend and wife-to-be were ignored more than once by the Po-Po when we drove a Ford stationwagon with vinyl applique wood paneling.

  3. I agree completely. I have owned a Subaru WRX and now drive a Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT, both of which are great “stealth” cars. They’re fast, agile and fun and generally don’t attract the attention of the police. I routinely drive above the speed limit and have on more than one ocassion come up on a cop with a speed gun and not been pulled over. I stay alert and hit the brakes when I spot one, but I also think that the less flashy nature of the car helps. The other point is that it’s just difficult to get a chance to really use the full potential of an exotic car. I drove a Ferrari 430 Scuderia last week and was constintly frustrated by slow traffic and the fact that I couldn’t use the car as it was intended to be used.

  4. My Mazda RX-7’s were police magnets-even being stopped in a driving rainstorm for going “too fast for conditions”.
    My Mercury Grand Marquis seems to be invisible to the authorities. Not as much fun, but less fines.

  5. 40 years ago the occasional supercar–like my Miura–would get you stopped just because the cop wanted to look at it! And it felt really nice driving a refined piece of technology. Supercars now have too many electronic gizmos and whatever the horsepower THEY WEIGH WAY TOO MUCH. The Miura had decent luggage space (as does the Lancia Stratos) and got 18mpg at 75mph. I did get to drive the Miura and a Bora across Nevada in the no-speed-limit days. Fun cruising at 120 or so; but isn’t it always?

  6. p.s. When I used my Miura as a daily driver I developed a sixpack! Only time in my life; I guess it was doing the left-leg situp getting in and out of the lovely thing.

    1. Nice to read your comments – I’ll take that as encouraging news that you’re recovering from your terrible accident and injuries. I wish you continued progress and good cheer!

  7. I inherited a white four-door Ford sedan, and swear I could have driven it at 200mph — the cops would have continued to ignore it.

    Now, though, that I’m white-haired and 70, I drive my yellow TT convertible — and they still ignore me! (One speeding ticket in seven years.)

  8. A few years ago I was crossing the Arizona desert on my way to Barrett-Jackson behind the wheel of my original 1951 Bentley. While burning up pavement at 106 mph an Arizona Highway Patrol car with lights a-flashing pulled me over. When the officer asked “Gee whiz, how fast will that old thing go?” I smiled broadly and said “I don’t know, when I saw your flashing red and blue lights, I slowed down!” After lifting the bonnet to show him the entirely stock 4.5 liter motor I said, “I bet you’ve never seen one of these up close before. Stand there, I’ll take your picture and email it to you.” He did, I did and he let me go with a warning. And now I’ve got that cool picture of a cop smiling big beside my Bentley with his squad car’s lights on in the background!

  9. I am surprised at your conclusion, knowing you are an avid collector.  Faster cars are generally safer cars, having been developed to perform in the upper realms of speed.  A true fast stealth car, like the Mercedes-Benz 6.9, feels invulnerable over 100 mph, offers multiple layers of safety innovation, yet has the same profile as the more sedate 300SD turbo-diesel.  New AMG and BMW M-models are even more advanced.  Without the development of fast road cars, we lose future advanced safety innovations.  While I like my RX-7s, I have no qualms about driving my Alfas, BMWs, Maseratis, Mercedes, and Porsches as intended and designed:  quickly.  “Faster transportation is better transportation.”  We all need a Veyron, country clubs and concours be damned.  Stealth driving is an art:  1 ticket in 30+ years, without electronic aids.  It was a rental.