Nothing quite blows the minds of nearly everyone (even non-car nuts) like the sight of a Lamborghini. In our driving club, several members own such vehicles and, for good reason, do their best to not drive them on the streets of El Paso.
Oh they exist in plenty of numbers locally, but if the locals had to decide to cause an accident over seeing a bonafide alien UFO invasion vs taking pictures of a Lamborghini (while driving), the exotic car wins every time.
Ok, to be fair, the latest Lamborghinis (starting from MY2004) do in fact, look a lot like a UFO rolling down the street with the odd angles, massive vents and bright colors — not to mention a factory exhaust that could wake the dead.
Regarding the loud colors: most people assume that the bright colored exotic cars are just an attention grabber for the owners to show off what they have – and to be fair, it is indeed – but on purpose, because these cars so small and hard to see otherwise.
The colors are a way for the owners to say “LOOK AT ME, DON’T HIT ME OR PARK CLOSE TO ME,” without sounding like a pompous fool, despite the stereotypes that already exist.
The small size is only half of the problem, having been personally loaned a Gallardo, I very quickly discovered that there is no such thing as a blind spot, but rather a blind curtain — as in entire sections of absolutely zero visibility from the driver’s seat.
Changing lanes on any roadway is like playing Russian roulette, two-fold, because A. you can’t see, and B. chances are, somebody is pacing you trying to take pictures, of course in your blind curtain.
So keep in mind, the next time you get cut-off by a Lamborghini, it’s really because the driver cannot see you. It is a lot like driving with a race-horse’s blinders on.
Perhaps the auto designer’s secret motto is “nothing behind you matters.” But, it may not matter that you cannot see anything around you, because it is highly likely that everyone is staring at your car anyway.
Back to my personal experience: A sponsor of one of our events asked us as a favor to bring several not-so-common cars to display at the entrance of his car show. After assuring the owners that the cars would be blocked off and guarded from: selfies, buttoned-jeans, greasy half-naked car models and everything/one else that uses car shows as a background to promote themselves, we secured a few cars to get down to the location.
One of the owners said he couldn’t make it, so he asked politely for me to “come pick up my Lambo and take it.” As exciting as it sounds, driving an exotic car across El Paso can be daunting, if you haven’t done it before. So I met him at a local sushi spot on the eastside, late night, to avoid traffic.
The Arancio Borealis Pearl (Orange) Gallardo was illegally parked under a light, which didn’t matter because of the constant flashes from cameras upon it (this was one of the first Gallardos in El Paso).
It was as if a celebrity was standing in the parking lot, posing for pictures, except structured and more mysterious.
The attention it was getting was a good indication as to why some people own these cars, but this wasn’t his reason (which will be discussed later). My wife dropped me off, and my daughter stared in amazement, “Dad, you get to drive that?!? Can we keep it?!?” I quickly went inside, took sake shots during a short conversation about life with the owner, before heading outside to the car.
Driving a Gallardo (at the time) wasn’t like any other automobile — especially since this one was fitted with the E-Gear transmission — if you don’t know how to engage the gears correctly, you can easily combust the entire vehicle with the clutch alone.
After explaining the intricate details of the space-craft’s operation, I was ready for lift-off. I put the car in gear and drove away carefully, with several paparazzi pacers in tow, taking blinding pictures.
I quickly lose them in a few neighborhood streets before finally landing the car back home, in which my wife’s Scion xB was temporarily evicted from our garage, to make space for the smaller Gallardo.
It was a proud sight, to have both garage doors open with a Porsche 911 on one side, and a Lamborghini Gallardo on the other.
Neighbors that never spoke to me before started peeking out and making their way over. I hastily closed both doors and retired inside to avoid job/income inquisitions and requests for “rides around the block.”
End of Part I. To Read Part Two, Click ->HERE