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Parents Buy 16 Year Old Son A 2010 Camaro SS

Posted in Camaro, General, muscle cars by Kurt Ernst | March 5th, 2010 | 12 Responses |

OK, I’m not going to start the hate fest about teaching values and not understanding the concept of of “earning things” that inevitably comes out of these posts, but I will say this: who in their right mind thinks it’s a good idea to give a kid with no driving experience a 425 horsepower muscle car? Do you think this is going to end any way other than badly? Because I sure don’t.

Shane’s mom and dad, if you’re reading this, please get in touch with a good driving school, like the one near Starke run by Ivor Wigham. If you can afford to drop $35k on your kid’s car, you can afford to spend a few grand more teaching your son how to drive it. I’ve seen one too many funerals for kids that thought they could handle their birthday present BMW, Mustang, Camaro, Corvette, or Porsche. Spare me another, OK?

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12 Responses

  1. Canrith says:

    I think this is an amazing gift, he does need to learn to drive it, and have enough common sense not to do stupidly dangerous acts to impress people. But hes lucky, I own one, its an incredible car, more than enough power to have fun in, Hope he has fun with his.

  2. David says:

    I think its a bad idea. Not just because its a superfast car and that its 400+ horsepower that he wont be able to control, but because of what its gonna do to this kid in school. He’s gonna drive it to school thinking he is billy bad ass and start acting stuck up (if he isnt already), everybody will see him as a douche (mainly because he is getting by on Mommy and Daddys money. I cant tell you the amount of people that had ZERO respect for people like that in my school and i only been outta high school for about 4 years) and the type of friends and people he attracts will not be real friends to this kid, but only trying to get a bit of the glory ride that mommy and daddy can pay for. That and the fact that he will have no values and have no wanting for anything better. I had to save up and pay for my first beater and i keep upgrading and upgrading vehicles so i hold what i have dear because i know what i came from. This kid wont have any of that. “Oh look i burned the tires off…mommy and daddy will buy me new ones” “oh look, i destroyed the clutch, oh well good ole mommy and daddy” I swear the screwed this kid in the long run

    • Kurt says:

      David, good points. My primary objection (teaching of values aside) is that new drivers lack the skills and judgement to control a 400 horsepower birthday present. I’m sick and tired of watching grieving parents on the news because their kid wadded his new toy. If you love you kids, give them time on a racetrack before they even qualify for a license. Let them learn things like, ‘throttle lift mid corner is bad’ or ‘ABS won’t always save my ass’ in a cotrolled environment. Once they’ve demonstrated car control (and good judgement), then you can give them the keys to whatever feeds your ego.

  3. josh says:

    you dont know this kid he could be like me and got his hardship liesence at 14 (tennessee) and been driving for 2 years so he might have enough driving exprenise to handle it

    • Kurt says:

      josh, you’re right – he could be the next Lewis Hamilton, but chances are better that he’s just another 16 year old with a license and rich parents. You don’t inherently know how to control a 400 horsepower muscle car, you learn it over time. Time that’s best spent practicing on a racetrack, not on public roads.

    • Elvis says:

      I doubth he has a hardship liscence with his parents being able to drop that kind of cash on a first ride.

  4. Rick says:

    I’m Shane’s dad.

    Learning how to drive a car is VERY important, but let me ask – How much seat time have any of you put in at Daytona, VIR, Sebring, Buttonwillow, Hallett, Texas World Speedway, Spring Mountain or Eagle’s Canyon – to name a few? Because I would venture to say that I’ve had more driver instruction and more track time than most of the people who criticize my decision to buy this car for my son – and probably more than all of you on this board combined.

    Yes, the car is powerful – but he IS learning to drive the car the RIGHT way, he’ll have the car for at least a year learning the necessary skills and driving experience before turning 16 and being old enough to drive on his own – and even then he knows that he has to pass MY driving test and prove to ME that he’s ready to go out on his own before being allowed to do so. Rest assured that he will know what to do and more importantly know what NOT to do!

    Experience should determine someone’s ability to drive not necessarily their age (except for adults over 70, but that is another matter entirely).

    Are you really suggesting that some poorly trained, punk ass kid who’s been raised by some loser parent(s) and given a 15 minute driving test at the local DMV makes our roads safer just because he’s driving 115hp, twelve year old piece of shit car? How naive is it to think that only kids who drive high performance car either get killed or kill others? Who would you rather drive share the road with? A kid driving a 425hp Camaro who’s very mature, highly responsible and been given way more training than most adults ever receive throughout their entire life, -OR- some unemployed, disrespectful, immature, pot head kid (who occasionally does meth, but only every other weekend) who’s skipping school to go hang out with his other loser friends to see what kind of trouble they can get into? But wait, I almost forgot – he’s driving an ’89, 115hp Toyota Corolla with bald, improperly inflated tires because he or his parents can’t afford to replace them until maybe next month.

    Yes, giving an inexperienced 16 year old kid a high performance car without any driving experience is STUPID – but that is not the case here and people should stop making that assumption and stereotyping people. As for the social status argument, I’ll leave that for another time – although this has more merit and is more concerning to me than his driving ability.

    • Kurt says:

      Rick, my hat’s off to you. You know the merits of track time and teaching people how to drive a car, not just operate a motor vehicle.

      I never implied that it was safer to give someone a 115 horsepower beater, 15 minutes of driving instruction and turn them loose on the street. If I’m militant about anything, it’s that the driver’s education and licensing system in this country is broken and needs to be fixed. Not only are we turning out new drivers with insufficient skills, but the vast majority of parents don’t care and won’t spend the time or money necessary for proper training. Add in the distractions of cell phones, texting, friends in the car, etc., and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

      I owe you an apology for my assumptions, so here it is – I’m sorry and I really do commend you for making sure Shane has track time under his belt in the Camaro. Unfortunately, you’re the exception and not the rule, which is what I based my opinion on. As I said in the article, I’ve seen one too many funerals for teen drivers, killed by inexperience, driving a high horsepower car.

    • Elvis says:

      Damn I like how u say a 12 year old car is a POS, maybe so, but in the end I see a rich stuck up look at the people who can only afford a car that old.

  5. Rick says:

    Thanks Kurt. I’ve taken a lot of heat on this decision and I rarely take the time to defend my actions. However after I found your sight and writeup, I felt that this might be an appropriate forum to express my opinon. I appreciate you allowing that and for understanding my postion.

  6. D says:

    They say “it’s the thought that counts”, and I think the thought here was wonderful. It’s clear from the video that he’s a good kid and you guys love him. I get it. My parents loved me, too. They didn’t have nearly as much $$ to throw around like that, and clearly this kid is coming from a wealthy family. But that’s not the issue. He can’t control where he comes from. I just think that the root of what is ailing this country these days concerning our youth, is the loss of values and the loss of appreciation for things. Where does Shane go from here? It’s part of growing up, aspiring and wishing for things, but…he’s 15 and gets handed a brand new Camaro?? I hope he remains well-adjusted and appreciates hard work and the value of things, I really do. You seem like good people. But doing something like this can’t really lead to great values and appreciation for hard work and saving money. A lot of people have said that jealousy is at the root of some of these types of comments, but I don’t believe so in this case. I bought a used Datsun with over 90K miles on it at age 17, and I wasn’t able to afford a car like this Camaro until now, and I’m 37. And the only reason I can is: hard work, and lots of it. But I don’t regret not being handed a Camaro at 17, because if I decide to buy a car like that, the feeling of pride and appreciation will be immense, because of the hard work and delayed gratification.
    I do wish you guys good luck, really. No ill will. Just my thoughts on it.

  7. William says:

    I am 16 my parents got me a mercedes benz and a Bentley Continental gt 2010