The opinions stated in this column are solely those of the author and not of The Davis Clipper.
Comedian Spike Milligan once noted, “Money can’t buy you any friends, but it can get you a better class of enemies.” And it, of course, can also get you a ridiculously expensive automobile.
This week I read of one. A newspaper supplement writer explained the immense pleasure of driving a 2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible. There’s one big catch, however. The car costs $272,000, although I’m sure you could talk the dealer into giving you free oil changes for a year and toss in a package of car fragrance sticks.
One shouldn’t really call it a car; it is a “signature vehicle” that reeks of performance. If you push down hard on the gas pedal, the Bentley will rocket up to 60 miles per hour in only four seconds. Unless you are startling an angry moose, you probably have little use for this speed feature. And that’s the problem with spending a wad of money on anything with four wheels; the things that set it apart from the stripped-down Chevy are not things most humans need.
The Bentley, for instance, has a top speed of 202 miles per hour. With that in mind, you should be driving on the Bonneville Salt Flats, not Main Street.
Other notable features: It took over 100 hours to build. (What do I care? The only time most of us worry about the number of hours in relationship to our car is when we enter the Department of Motor Vehicles office.)
The sales price includes a $1,035 neck warmer and $1,500 for red paint on the brakes. (For $1,035, I can buy a closet full of turtleneck sweaters or scarves. As for the red paint, do any of us mere mortals care about the sex appeal of our car’s brakes?)
The seats are hand-stitched leather harvested from Northern European bulls. I racked my brain figuring out who I could ask about the merits of Northern European bulls. Is a Swiss bull more tender because it grows up on a farm surrounded by dairy and cheese processing? Granted, I’m a city boy, but if any Utah rancher or farmer can tell me why a Northern Utah bull is superior to one that roams around Panguitch or Hurricane, please let me know and I’ll pass it along.
Incidentally, the price includes a ragtop roof. If you want something metal to protect that Northern European bull from a thunderstorm, you will need to fork over another $2,125.
Admittedly, I would love to test-drive the 2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible. I would like to see if my Waylon Jennings CD sounds any better when inserted into a $7,300 “premium audio option”.
That won’t happen to me and it won’t happen for you either. I’d bet our invitations for a drive will be lost in the mail. It’s probably for the best, since we couldn’t afford the car insurance anyway.