Photo shamelessly stolen from here because I can’t actually show the one I drove.
Prior to my current posh post, last year I was posted in the now defunct TTAC Caribbean bureau. It was in Curacao, a small Dutch protectorate just north of Venezuela.
While there, I did have a chance to test drive a “Hard Car.” A 2005 Scaletta Moloney Armored Police Code Crown Victoria. When offered the keys to this unnecessary luxury, I snapped them up faster than the boss could say “what the…”and hit the streets of Curacao looking for villains to mock from behind 2 inch layered ballistic glass like Billy Crystal ala’ “Running Scared.” Alas,’ there were no criminal masterminds. Like most tropical locations, Curacao has a good bit of petty crime, but is a safe place. Instead, I occupied myself by sampling the manners of a unique version of a very common car.
Normally I would have skipped right over a Lexus ES300 with two-tone paint. This time, I clicked on it, largely because the prospect of one with enough armor to stop a 7.62 round isn’t something you regularly encounter.
When friends and colleagues ask our counsel on whether or not to buy an older V12 BMW (it happened more than once) the standard answer is always an emphatic “no”. Most people cannot handle the idea of two ECUs (for twice the complexity and repair bills), and for the average Joe looking for a prestigious ride on the cheap (an oxymoron if there ever was one), a V12 BMW is bankruptcy on four wheels.
But when an ad for a car proudly touts the ability to withstand “ .357 MAG., 9MM AND .44 MAGNUM AND EQUIVALENT HANDGUN AND LIGHT SUBMACHINE GUN BALLISTICS“, suddenly it becomes very hard to ignore.