The Off-Road End Run

Speed does kill – if you get caught doing it.

We live in the Hut! Hut! Hut! era. Armed government workers (AGWs) wearing Batman-style utility belts packed with multiple mags and high-powered “assault” weapons over their Robocop body armor are far more likely to end your life than doing 70 in a 55.

Every encounter with them is a threat to our safety.

Even if you aren’t Tazed and dragged out of your car by one of these odd juxtapositions of muscled-up and tattoo’d poltroonery (I feared for my safety!) and hair-trigger brutality (stop resisting!) most people just can’t afford to “speed” anymore.

The extortion note – styled a “ticket” – the AGW forces you to sign at gunpoint (see what happens if you decline to sign) is just the beginning. The Oz Panopticon will take note the moment you’re duly convicted and then comes the second extortion note – this one from the insurance mafia. The already-absurdly expensive “coverage” you’re forced to buy, also at gunpoint (see what happens if you stop paying) suddenly costs 20 percent more . . . for the next five years. Gift Card i... Buy New $10.00 (as of 08:25 EST - Details)

That’s for something like 48 in a 35 – i.e., driving with the flow of traffic – but today it’s your turn to be the one picked from the herd for a shearing. If you’re driving a car that looks speedy, the odds of this happening to you today – and tomorrow – go up.

If you get caught actually using a speedy car – laying rubber, driving faster than 80 on the highway (something an ’86 Yugo could do) you risk a “reckless” driving bust and thousands of dollars in legalized theft, plus the very real possibility of being Hut! Hut! Hutted! by an armed government worker.

Even if you always drive the speed limit and never get Hut! Hut! Hutted! the insurance mafia will make your speedy (in theory) car a very expensive car to own, which will make you not want to drive it. Which in turn renders pointless the buying of it. You pay more to go no faster than the herd – plus the higher gas bills and cramped back seats.

It’s as silly as paying ribeye prices for oatmeal.

This probably explains the declining interest in speedy cars – and the much-increased-interest in 4×4 trucks and SUVs. There are no speed traps off-road and you’re much less likely to encounter a Hut! Hut! Hutting! AGW on your favorite trail. These are usually abundant as well as free – in contrast to track time for a speedy car. Track days are a rich man’s hobby – and a hassle. Drive there, pay there – then drive back. Often, the drive there is hours long.

But you can turn off the paved road pretty much anywhere. If you have land – or a friend who has land – you can go there, too. There is a great deal of appeal in this. What’s down that dirt road?

Let’s see!

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