Cars, car owners to avoid, and the man who lived in a Lamborghini

In America the most public love affair of all is the one with our cars. The freedom, the romance, the who-I-am statement of a car — in America it’s all so much more than a motor with four wheels. Some old German named Benz may have invented the modern automobile, but it was Americans like Henry Ford and Harley Earl who put them in every driveway and made them family, as much a part of our personality as the clothes we wear and the way we speak, an integral part of our personhood.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that when life’s stresses get to be a bit much, we take to our cars. Take a drive, clear the mind, lose your stresses in the slipstream. But some stresses are harder to lose than others. Case in point: Richard Jordan, who now lives in northern Texas.

In 2006 Mr. Jordan sold his cars, his house, and his established business to buy a house for him and his fiancee of five years to live in — only to have her leave him as soon as he moved in.

That there be some serious stress, as they might say in Texas. So Mr. Jordan decided he needed to go for a drive, clear his mind of his troubles. But these being big, big stresses and this being Texas, Mr. Jordan went big: He sold everything he had, including his household goods (wasn’t able to sell the house), put $90 000 down payment on a 512-horsepower, V-10, 195-mph Lamborghini Gallardo, left everything else behind and went for a drive.

And he kept driving. He crossed the country several times. He stayed in cheap motels, ate road food and at roadside diners, visited childhood places, always feeling he urge to keep moving. He racked up 53 tickets, in Indiana got arrested. He was confused for a rock star at a strip club in Ohio, in part because of the car. But, almost 92 000 miles later, he came home. Then, almost fittingly, the car died. See the full story in Jalopnik.

Curiously, also in Jalopnik this week is the other side of the car-love story: Car owners who love their cars so much that no one else can stand them. The ten examples are all tongue-in-cheek, but all too true. (Am I #9?) Full story.

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