Big Man, Small Car, Bad Idea

I’m a car guy, in that I read Car and Driver, love to research new car models online and am a fan of test driving the newest sports models. However, I am 6’7″ tall, which makes finding a sporty car kind of frustrating, as most sports cars are sleek, low to the ground and on the small side.

I have some not-so-fond memories of trying on a Porsche Cayman; I could barely squeeze into the driver’s seat. The real problem came when I tried to put up the top, not a good idea since my head extented above the windshield. A Porsche 911 fits my body, but at $120,000+ fits my budget not so much.

My wife will never let me forget the time I tried on an old Triumph TR3. I was able to squeeze into the driver’s seat with considerable effort, but when I exited the car I caught my foot on the door frame and fell face-first on the ground. Fortunately, I landed in the grass, and the only thing that got hurt was my pride (again, my wife was there to point out the error of my ways).

I also don’t fit in the new Corvettes, because the roof is too low. I tried a Honda S2000, but couldn’t even get my legs inside the car. I could get into a Mazda Miata, but driving it was a painful experience. I kept banging my knee on the steering wheel when using the clutch. The Subaru BRZ is so low to the ground that I had to get on hands and knees to get in and out of that thing, and again, not enough room for my left leg to depress and release the clutch. I almost gave up and bought a Harley Sportster; I fit on it just fine. But my wife threatened to take out a very large insurance policy on me, and I was concerned that she seemed confident that those high premiums would pay off for her in the not too distant future, so I decided against the bike.

After all of this, I found the 2018 Subaru WRX. Great car, lots of power, all-wheel-drive, 6-speed manual, drives like a dream even in the rain, and gets 30 mpg (premium gas) if I resist mashing the accelerator to the floor too often. And the best news is that I fit in it just fine. I’m very comfortable in the driver’s seat, great driving position, the pedals are positioned perfectly, even for my big feet, and visibility is great. Thank you Subaru for building a sporty car that fits us tall guys. (I should mention that I had a BMW 328i at one point, and I also fit in it, but in my opinion the WRX is a lot more fun to drive, I like their AWD system, and I don’t have to take out a loan to get the oil changed after the warranty expires).

Spoiler Alert: In my new humorous murder mystery titled PLEASURIA: TAKE AS DIRECTED, Dr./Detective Jason Longfellow may have some similar experiences with little red sports cars. He is, after all, tall and suffering a serious midlife crisis. (Koehler Books, launch date November 24, 2018).