Dashing designer Duncan Quinn—aka DRIVEN’s own 007—usually spends his time zipping around the world in exotic supercars.
On a recent jaunt to Oahu, however, he got behind the wheel of a good ol’ American Jeep Wrangler—and found that perhaps speed isn’t everything…
I have to admit I’ve never really been one for speed limits imposed upon me by Big Brother.
Set using arbitrary assumptions in the dark ages, they seem to have very little meaning today—except as tax-collection mechanisms.
You may argue that the performance of modern vehicles is not relevant, but I’m afraid I’d disagree.
If I can now stop in 20 feet when it used to take 100, it just makes the rule look stupid.
Hence I often find myself in a world of self-imposed lunacy where in order to comply with the rules and regulations I never get out of first gear.
That is, of course, unless you are noodling along in a Jeep in Hawaii—halfway between a plate of really fresh hot-and-spicy shrimp, a cheeseburger with all sorts of vegetation you’d never normally see, and a face full of Matsumoto shaved ice.
In the food- and sun-induced coma that is Oahu, it’s tough not to feel like you’re one of the victims of the “statin fog” the press has been gibbering on about lately.
Can’t remember your name?
Not to worry. At least your cholesterol is under 125.
For the first time in a very long time, it started to make sense.
As did a lot of other stuff in Hawaii in a rather otherworldly way.
I’m sure import duties must be insane, but I can only assume the lack of tasty cars there was more due to the fact that there are only a couple of roads.
And most of the time they’re backed up with tourists (like me) trundling along from one beachy inlet to the next, between lathering on suntan lotion and finding the next tasty morsel.
Even I sometimes forget the privilege it is to enjoy beautiful, amazing works of art that can transport you from A to B faster than a regular at the Groucho Club can down a pint of G&T.
So it was really rather refreshing when my transport for the week brought me back down to earth with a bump.
The Jeep Wrangler doesn’t go fast, it doesn’t really go around corners and I think I saw a tortoise overtake me at one point, but I knew it was war-tested even if it wasn’t DQ-tested, so it must be good.
In fact, for the trip in question, I think it could possibly have been the perfect ride.
When Willys MB came up with the “Truck, 1/4 Ton, 4×4,” which went on to become the iconic US World War II “Jeep,” little could the guys there imagine what would follow.
It is the cheeseburger carriage deluxe, and even without special sauce it’s awfully tasty when you’re in the right mood.
I’m not sure the technology has advanced much since the original, but with the cult images of Lee Marvin, Telly Savalas and the never-to-be-forgotten “No. 11″ (Donald Sutherland) from The Dirty Dozen firmly branded into my gray matter, I could do nothing but sit with a childlike grin on my face as we bumped and rolled around from zero to 45 mph all across the island.
I was strangely drawn to surfboards and seriously considered throwing a few in the back complete with the blonde, the brunette, the woofer and the six-pack of beer.
But then that would have been too greedy by half…
- Posted March 26, 2012
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- Duncan Quinn