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Test Drive For Fun?

Posted in Car Buying, Rants & Raves by Dustin Driver | April 7th, 2011 | 13 Responses |

Soon after the State of California granted me permission to prowl its streets in my mum’s car, I was prowling car dealerships in search of gullible salesmen who would let me take a test drive. Test driving became a favorite pastime, an easy way to get a quick automotive thrill. So what about you, are you guilty of wasting salesmen’s time?

That awkwardly pointy Z28 in the main pic represents one of my most memorable test drives. A friend and I were cruising dealerships when we spotted one just like it. A few minutes later we were discussing engine displacement with a douchey car salesman in his mid 20s. He was all too happy to take us for a ride in the rip-roaring rattle trap. Quarter-mile runs, burnouts, and general hoonery ensued. It was the best test drive ever, hands down.

Nowadays I refrain from test driving cars I don’t intend to buy. Mostly because I know car salesmen have a hard time pushing rides in the midst of the Financialpocalypse. Guilt, you know. It’s a bitch.

How about you? Pop on over to the local Porsche dealer to take a 911 for a spin? Don your best suit and head to the Maserati dealer for a spin in the Gran Turismo?



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13 Responses

  1. No; I may have a dealer in my signature but I am actually intimidated by dealerships; I am terrified of going for a test drive. I also don’t like driving with a stranger sitting next to me, it makes me feel really uncomfortable and nervous. I would prefer to rent a car and test drive it completely on my own.

  2. Dave says:

    Absolutely! I was once at a car show where you had to wait in line to sit in every car. I decided to forego the lineups and visit a few different dealerships on a Saturday afternoon. TONS of fun! I think I gave a few salespersons heart failure torque-steering their coupe around a corner. Now that I’m a little older with the appearance of some maturity, I take atvantage of the odd trip to more upscale dealerships. My last test drive was a 911GTS. The only drawback (as mentioned) is pretty much wasting the salesperson’s time. I now let them know that I’m not seriously in the market yet and that this isnt a serious visit. I’m pretty polite and ask them if its not too much trouble that maybe we could arrange for a test drive. Most salepeople will accommodate you.

  3. SNAK3 says:

    Me directly no, I was with a friend who was doing all the driving haha
    Best Experience: Neither of us could drive a standard so we asked the salesman if he could drive the Mazdaspeed3 for us…. he obliged. He showed us what the car could do. We went 100 around a pretty tight turn, and were cruzing 80ish down the interstate. He kept asking us to find a car that might ‘go’. Since then then dealer doesn’t deal with under 18 year olds without parents present.

  4. Lee says:

    I test drove an EVO but the salesman insisted that he show us what it could do, twas quite scary especially since he drove the whole time with one hand on one of the steering wheel spokes. Consequently, he lost grip on it a number of times and we came very close to crashing. I do admire the effort though =)

  5. Alex says:

    Goodness, I thought I was the only one who did this sort of thing. :D

    The Very day I got my license, I test drove two Cadillacs, a ’97 DeVille with the regular Northstar, and a ’94 Fleetwood Brougham with an LT1. Both of those cars had BALLS. I hit 84 in a 50 before I realized I should probably slow down before I passed the dealership like a bat outta hell (and my father, who won’t quit bitching about my driving).

    Just last week I test drove a Saturn SC2 5-speed. Not such a glamorous car compared to the Caddys, but I love Saturns and I love driving stick shifts. Soon as I got out of sight of the salesman, that car went through thorough hell. It wasn’t until then I realized I can’t drive a manual worth SHIT unless I’m running the crap out of it. I had every intention of buying that car, but I couldn’t get a cosigner without bad credit.

  6. Alex says:

    Well, I mean once I figured out why I couldn’t drive a stick right, I did just fine. :)

  7. IRON MONKEY says:

    I once got the chance to test drive a SRT-10 Ram. I have the same Ram just not the powerful one. After a quick 10 minute drive with the salesman, we started talking prices. I said that I needed to talk it over with the girlfriend and they said well why don’t you just take it. “Take it” was literally the salesman’s words. I asked when he wanted it back and he explained that at closing time he would like it back. I drove that thing like it was meant to drive. The feeling of that much power in the same truck that I drove was incredible. Power slides, burnouts, all the while having classic rock music playing made for a very fun filled afternoon. It was awesome.

  8. Brian says:

    Several good ones – my sister had a 380SL and I would show up at the lots as a 17 year old with a Mercedes. Managed to drive a track prepped european 930 – a blast and way beyond my skill level. Dealer didn’t even ride with me, just me a my scared-death-sister, hit 100+ on entrance and exit ramps.

    Drove a ’68 Shelby 500KR convertible at another lot – lots of burouts!

    Also somehow received invites for Bentley and Ferrari drive days when I was a little older – had a blast.

  9. BigRuss says:

    i am a car salesman… and i LOVE taking new cars out and floggin them and puttin them away wet…. took an SRT10 Ram quad cab out earlier with a “few” bolt ons, 6 mustangs couldnt hang… this is the ULTIMATE job

  10. Will says:

    I was in Colorado for work and walked to the Toyota car lot near my hotel. I spotted a nice 06 WRX STi. Convinced the guy to let me test drive it and it was the first turbo’d car I had driven.

    After pulling out of the dealership and heading down to the main drag, a black Enzo was passing through and headed the way I was headed. I turned and took off after him. Once he noticed me catching up he downshifted and took off. Both of us doing 90 down a busy street. The Enzo sounded amazing.

    Then he pulled into a shopping center and I kept going. The old man who was hoping to sell me the car laughed and said that they don’t pay for any tickets people acquire while test driving.

  11. Will says:

    Shortly after when I returned back home to California I test drove another 06 STi. This dealer didn’t care what I did, or where I went as he was occupied eating his lunch haha. Cruising down the 101 in triple digits and getting the car to slide at a turn near the dealership (with the ACD set to rear). It was lots of fun.

  12. Dave says:

    Took an Avalanche (always a wet dream of mine) for a test drive as a get-well-soon present to myself the day after my ex-girlfriend and I split up. Beat the piss out of that gutless 5.3L lol ;)

  13. BigRuss says:

    i will say this… EVERY day i take a RT challenger out (today was special.. SRT8) and flog it with a customer and put it up wet…