By on February 15, 2018

The speedometer on the little two-seater was already past 90 and climbing as I watched the grey-haired fellow to my left put both his hands on the left side of the steering wheel and start to tug at it. There was a curve ahead, a long blind left-hander with a line of Jersey barriers on the shoulder. What was on the road after that was a complete mystery, both to him and me. Neither one of us had ever been here before.

He tugged on the wheel at the same time as he stomped on the brakes. Various lights flashed on the instrument panel ahead of him. The car slewed then caught itself. There was a hot metallic smell as the stability control and ABS clamped all four corners of the car in rapid-fire pulses. The right front tire groaned in protest as we gradually sacrificed momentum down to about 30 mph.

“Let’s pull over here,” I said in what I hoped was a flat and judgment-free voice, “and stop for a minute.” We came to a halt in a small parking lot. A minivan pulled in behind us. I got out of the car and walked over to the minivan, where my photography team was waiting. We were all here to do a story on this relatively rare and exotic car and its owner, whose bacon had just been saved along with mine by the very best efforts of an Italian stability-control engineer.

“Move something,” I told the photographers, “I’m riding in the van now.”

“I GUESS HE DON’T WANT TO RIDE WITH ME!” the owner yelled. “I DRIVE AT THE EDGE!”

“He drives over the edge,” I spat, stepping into the van and finding a recently-cleared seat in the third row. “Over the edge of idiocy.”

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