The arrest of 13 young supercar drivers near Vancouver, British Columbia is not necessarily the sort of piece I’d jump all over right away, but it did inspire quite a number of emails from readers tipping us to the story. I’m always intrigued by stories that inspire a lot of tips, but after reading the Vancouver Sun follow-up, I was even more disappointed with the story. To wit:
The drivers face charges of driving without due consideration for others, which comes with a $196 ticket and six driver penalty points, which will trigger a $300 penalty point premium.
Gaumont said there is a lot of disappointment that the drivers face only $196 fines, but there is not enough evidence to charge them with the more serious offence of dangerous driving.
“We don’t have police officers who observed the offence, and we don’t have lasers and radars that have the speeds,” Gaumont said. “We have to really depend on third-party individuals who had called in.”
If I’ve got this right, we’re supposed to be outraged by young people in fast cars, and society’s inability to stop them from wreaking their “speeds upwards of 200 km/h” terror. For me, though, the overriding reaction to this story is “how uncool doess this make the supercars look?”
Once upon a time, cars like this would create stories just like this one… in the hands of Steve McQueens and James Deans. People who bought cars like the Jaguar XK-SS and Porsche 550 because they had an appreciation for what they could do. Now supercars are so, and pardon the rock ‘n roll metaphor, commercialized that every kid in Vancouver whose parents have a couple hundred million to rub together gets a Gallardo for their sweet sixteen. There can be no greater indication that the image of the supercar has become utterly divorced from the reality of what actually makes it a supercar, than the story of a dozen 21 year-olds, half of whom still have to have “novice” decals on their quarter-million-dollar rides, driving in a group on the freeway. If stories like this one keep popping up, it seems to me that it’s only a matter of time before supercars lose their cool.