Since buying the Challenger and driving it in Memphis' lovely rush hour traffic I have made a few observations, but I don't yet understand them.
People are definitely reacting to my car. But not all people. Only certain people. A lot of people are busy trying to get to or from work and couldn't care less what kind of car is in front of/behind/next to them. But there are certain people who can't ignore it. I'm not sure why.
Camaros - every time I see someone in a Camaro, they come racing up next to me and do this thing, it's kind of hard to explain. It's not a challenge to race. It's more like they're looking over at me and going "Eh? Eh? Hey, you and me, we both have musclecars. Yeah!!!!" I mean, that's all well and good, but it's getting kind of old in a hurry.
Mustangs - they don't care what I'm driving. They've been total opposites of the Camaro drivers. They just mind their own business and leave me alone. And I'm grateful because I'm mostly minding my own business, too. And I'd like to be left alone. Apparently, so would they.
Other Challengers - we don't really acknowledge each other exactly. But we always seem to end up driving together, or near each other. We seem to be unconsciously drawn to each other and form a sort of pack. It doesn't last for very long. We'll be driving along together for a short time. Maybe we look at each other without saying anything. Usually not. It's sort of like a club. Drive a Challenger and you're a member. But we split up again pretty quickly. A few days ago I found myself in a pack of 3 driving down I-40. I don't think it was on purpose. It just happened. Maybe this is what the Camaro owners are thinking, that we're all in the same type of cars, so unlike the rest of the endless stream of Camries and Civics, so we belong together.
Pickup Trucks - these are the problem children. These are the assholes I didn't expect to be getting so much bullshit from. Yes, I know, if you've been reading since back in the days when I lived in Redneckville you're probably thinking, "HOW were you not expecting THEM to be the biggest source of trouble on the road?!" Well, I guess I've been away from Redneckville for just long enough to give the pickup truck drivers a second chance. But they've blown it already.
Every time some dumbass wants to try to race me it is a loser in a pickup truck. The first time it happened, it was a Dodge Ram and I think he was drunk. The reason I think he was drunk is because everything he did was on a delayed reaction. He flew past me and got in the passing lane. Then he forgot where he was and started slowing down. I very slowly got over and cruised by him. He didn't react. I continued on and got ahead of him, steadily leaving him far behind. And then, out of nowhere, he comes flying up on me again, pulls beside me and starts revving his engine, bucking like he wants to go. This was a good 5 minutes after I had passed him and driven on down the road. I looked at him being an idiot, then looked up ahead of us. There were 2 SUVs, one in front of him and one in front of me. The idea of racing wasn't even possible. WTF? He kept doing this for mile after mile, as if he wasn't figuring out that it wasn't going to happen. I turned up my stereo and ignored him until he simply wasn't there anymore.
I get that a lot. Always from pickup trucks. And if they're not beside me bucking like they've got a serious engine problem then they're riding my ass trying to get me to go faster. And if I do go faster then they take it as a challenge to floor their gas pedal and see if they can stay with me. I guess they feel the need to prove to me that their old truck is just as fast as my new Challenger. Only it isn't and I'm not interested in wasting my gas just to prove it to them. I'm faster. I know this because the fastest muscle trucks ever built, including the V10 Viper-engined SRT Dodge Ram, was slower than my Challenger. It did 0-60 in 4.9 seconds. My Challenger does it in 4.7 seconds. In the quarter mile the difference is more dramatic. The longer the distance, the further ahead the Challenger gets. Maybe one day a new muscle truck will be built that will blow away all the current muscle cars. Whatever the case, I'd like for the rednecks in the pickup trucks to fuck off. Or go hassle the Camaros. They seem more enthusiastic about the prospect of a good race than I am. I'm just trying to get to work.