With a cabin on the lake beside a fantastic driving road, I had the perfect setup for my ideal bachelor party. Instead of the normal festivities, several of my friends brought their hoopties along for my entertainment, including two Lotus Esprits — and the whole weekend ended up looking like an old Top Gear cheap-car challenge.
Since I didn’t want to have any trouble completing the long drive from Kansas to Arkansas, I wisely chose to bring my newly purchased 2002 Porsche 911 Turbo for the trip. Its reputation for reliability and strong performance made it perfect for carving around the winding roads of the famous "pig trail," located in Northwest Arkansas. Seeing that my friends were making less wise choices, I decided to have someone drive my truck and trailer out as well — with my Prius loaded on to it. I thought bringing an embarrassing backup car for my friends was a good idea — and it only took about an hour for my Prius to be put to use.
There were about 15 cars on the trip, including the Car Wizard’s 2007 Audi S6 V10 and my best man’s 1991 Lotus Esprit. The Lotus was recently back on the road after extensive repairs, and it had never really had any shakedown time. So, soon it was on the side of the road because loose hub bolts were rubbing on the brake caliper — but at least that was repairable. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the right tool to tighten them, so it had to be loaded onto the trailer until we could buy the right socket at our destination.
The next failure came as a surprise, this time from a 2002 Pontiac Trans-Am, which shredded its main belt and overheated. Since the trailer was full, the owner opted to have it towed back home and continued in the passenger seat of another car until we arrived. After buying the right tool at a local Walmart, my best man was able to revive his Lotus, so the Trans Am owner could now use my Prius for the pig trail run the following morning.
The star of the caravan was my friend’s customized, twin-turbo Lamborghini Huracan, but it too ended up on the side of the road — not because of a mechanical failure, but because the passenger had become sick from the twisty roads. After his co-pilot lost his lunch, the driver had to slow way down to preserve his interior. The power steering of another friend’s heavily modified Audi S4 locked up on him, which made driving on the trail very challenging — but at least he didn’t need the Prius. A 2014 BMW M3 had an engine malfunction, but that car was able to complete the trip as well.
My Fast and Furious-inspired hybrid was certainly getting its fair share of attention from confused onlookers. But what surprised my bachelor-party group was how well it kept up. With its lowered suspension, wider wheels, and high-performance tires, it handled our brisk pace just fine. Unlike many of the other cars, it wasn’t suffering from overheating brakes — and it didn’t need any quick roadside repairs. Even my friend in his first-generation Miata had to pop the hood and fix a loose spark plug.
So my bachelor-party weekend wasn’t much different from my normal life — except I could point and laugh at my friends for their bad car decisions. It was nice being on the other side for once.
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