A clean conscience

Dear Honda Civic Type-R Driver,

Sadly the law doesn’t allow me to trace you through your numberplate, so instead of sending this directly it will have to be an open letter instead. Here’s hoping that it won’t offend too many people along the way.

I know what you were doing. Anyone with half a brain could tell that you were racing that BMW 5-Series up the M5 motorway on that Wednesday afternoon. I know, because I had that very same 5-Series jammed up my rear bumper in the outside lane. It didn’t matter to him that I was overtaking the traffic in lane two briskly enough: no, he was in a big hurry.

So I did the right thing of course, and planned a move into lane two – I signalled and everything. Of course I checked my mirrors beforehand and saw you about to undertake me at speed, but that didn’t stop me changing lanes because what you were about to do was illegal and dangerous. I moved across in a controlled fashion, but you slammed on your brakes and flashed your lights at me, as if I’d done something wrong. Actually I’d done us both a favour.

I knew what was coming next. I knew you would pull around into lane three, drive alongside me and start gesturing. The ‘look where you’re going’ gesture was misplaced though: I was looking where I was going, and I knew exactly what I was doing. I mouthed to you the fact that I didn’t appreciate being undertaken, especially with my wife and two children on board.

Inevitably our exchange was going to end with you blasting off down the outside lane whilst swearing at me through the window. I didn’t bother to watch but my wife spotted your two-fingered salutes. Frankly that was of no importance to me because you had already demonstrated that catching the 5-Series was more important to you than not having an accident.

But what is particularly amusing is that your mission to be the fastest thing on the road was a complete waste of time. Your Civic Type-R (the EP3 model, as I’m sure you knew already) was undoubtedly a quick car back then, and still is now. Brand new, it could blast to 62mph from rest in 6.8 seconds – unquestionably fast. Your example was however far from box-fresh and looked a little worse for wear. Even so, I bet you still think it’s a proper road rocket.

So when you saw my brand-new Volkswagen Touareg pull in front, I bet it riled you. That 5-Series was getting away, and here was this lumbering 4×4 holding you up. Except that this Touareg is far from lumbering, powered as it is by a supercharged V6 petrol engine and an electric motor. This Touareg Hybrid is not only capable of producing fewer exhaust emissions than you, it can also sprint to 62mph in only 6.5 seconds. That’s quicker than you.

Don’t be mad at me. Be thankful that I let you go, because I doubt your ego would have been able to take the embarrasment of being left behind.

Yours sincerely,

Matt Joy

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