A Travelogue and Tragic Love Story
For 51 Painful Hours, a Verde Mantis Lamborghini Huracán Was Mine
3:30 PM: My phone rings: it’s here. I grab my camera equipment, wave a smug goodbye to my officemates. Outside, I look up at the Empire State Building, looming beneath an overcast sky. I frown. On the sidewalk, I turn my gaze to the impossibly green wedge of futurism parked among work trucks and taxis. I smile. For the next two days, this V10-powered Lamborghini Huracán LP580-2 is mine.
4:00 PM: Caitlyn and I are Brooklyn-bound, about to broadcast live from Paulie Gee’s pizza in Greenpoint. When we pull up, Paulie himself greets us, tells us he loves the Huracán except that it doesn’t have gullwing doors. “I feel like I’m in an episode of Ballers,” he says. He also says that I look nothing like the Rock. Whatever, Paulie.
7:00 PM: I can already sense that this otherworldly green supercar is going to hypnotize me all weekend — seems dangerous, this near-600-horsepower-V10-powered lustmobile. I have plenty of plans for the weekend; tonight, I have to part with the car and let anticipation build. I drive back through Manhattan, enjoying the stares and watching friends nudge and goad each other to look.
8:00 PM:The Huracán is parked safely with my friends at Classic Car Club Manhattan. A difficult goodbye.
9:00 PM: I host a friend’s birthday party in my backyard. Too transfixed by fresh memories and eager visions to be good company.
9:00 AM: I take the gratingly slow train into Manhattan. At CCC “regular folks” visit and ogle; I fire up the Huracán. It scares a child, startles adults. My mad grin returns.
10:00 AM: I pick up a friend in Queens.
10:10 AM: At a stoplight she calls out to a remarkably confused friend on the sidewalk. She laughs. I gun it.
11:00 AM: Traffic. The fixed, unpadded carbon-fiber buckets are made for racing, not for spinal care.
11:45 AM: T-r-a-f-f-i-c. I’m in a 572-horsepower superlative, folks. It yearns to stretch its legs.
12:00 PM: Come. On. People.
12:11 PM: I’M GOING TO FU—
12:12 PM: How does one stalled truck freeze an entire highway?
1:00 PM: Now there’s zero traffic. Driving the scenic, winding Saw Mill Parkway. We park in Tarrytown, grab lunch, watch and listen to admirers opine about my lime wonder.
2:00 PM: I pull away, an hour left on the meter. I’m pretending to be a Lamborghini owner, after all — this seems like something I should do. Quick photo shoot. I FaceTime my actively unimpressed nine-year-old nephew. [Note: “cool uncle” standards have changed since I was a boy.]
7:00 PM: I drop off my friend as conspicuously as possible. I get out, stretch, realize my body hates these seats. I love this car.
7:20 PM: Pennsylvania Airbnb bound. A two-hour drive. I ruminate. The Huracán comes in all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive flavors; this one is the latter. I drove the all-new all-wheel-drive convertible this summer — it’s planted, grippy. This rear-drive version (hence the “2” in its name) is more laser sharp. The front feels noticeably lighter, with steering so intelligent and connected that I barely recall even having to turn the wheel. Good goddamn is it fast. Aside from diesel work trucks, V10s are rare, save the Dodge Viper. But this is Italian, operatic, frenetic. A mechanical dream worthy of addiction.
9:00 PM: I stop for snacks and rest my sore ass. The torture-chamber seats and steady, maniacal V10 moan have kept me electrically alert.
9:30 PM: Pitch-black country roads lead to a massive home, its guest suite four times as large as my apartment. My host, Richard, is talkative, wise, fascinating. He offers to make quiche in the morning, and warns I may awake to rooster crows and/or automatic gunfire. Welcome to Pennsylvania.
11:30 PM: Wired awake. Cue up two episodes of The Black List. James Spader is magnificent.
SUNDAY, EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA
7:00 AM: Croissant in lieu of quiche.
7:30 AM: In the dawn light, Richard poses with my Lambo for a new Facebook picture.
7:40 AM: I utilize the car’s hydraulic front-suspension-lifting feature several times to navigate less-than-savory backroads on my way to Cars & Coffee in LeHigh Valley. I’ll be meeting Eric Adams — he’s brought a new McLaren 570GT and the sensational new Acura NSX.
8:00 AM Sunday: We three cars of exotica are…caravanning through town, drawing double takes and drag-race challenges galore.
8:15 AM: The event is almost rained out, attendance low. Still, impressive: custom hot rods, modded Mustangs, slammed Japanese metal, all lined up in a parking lot. We are escorted to separate premier spots. Charlatans, cause célèbre in high-dollar cars.
9:00 AM: I pretend to be a Lamborghini owner for three hours straight. I feel guilty. I tell myself it’s just practice.
1:00 PM: The NSX is retrieved by Acura. Final pictures fill iPhone hard drives of ogling teens. Eric and I are NYC bound.
2:30 PM: I honk, wave so long to Eric. There are still hours to burn. I wind through Manhattan, pretending to be a Lamborghini owner.
3:30 PM: I text everyone I know, offer a ride. All regrets, save two: A non-car person friend and her groceries mistakes me for a cab. I pick up Friday’s birthday boy from an event; he giggles for the five minute ride.
5:00 PM: Nick. You have to give up the car. It’s not that the Huracán doesn’t love you; it can’t love you. You have to give it back.
6:30 PM: I roll gently, regrettably, back into CCC and park the Lambo next to…another Verde Mantis Huracán. What a car, I think. Whoever drives that is a lucky guy.
7:00 AM: Alarm goes off. My hips are visibly bruised from the satanic seats. I frown. I lay back, look through my photos. And smile.