When FCA calls you up asking if you would like to drive their Alfa Romeo 4C Spider in the middle of winter, you don’t hesitate. You say yes. Now, there came a set of rules to driving this car, such as snow/no go, no longer than 24 hours, and we will be measuring the tire tread.
Now, I did not say no, and after some back and forth with the Alfa team, we finally came to a date and time. I received this car at 5pm on a Friday night and would have to return it to the warehouse by 9am the next morning. Luckily, I got to pick the Friday.
It was date night for me, and even better, my old company’s holiday party, and as with years in the past, I was not going to disappoint. With previous holiday party rides like an Aston Martin DB9 and a Porsche 911, it had become a conversation not of “what are you wearing to the party” but “what are you driving”, and here was my opportunity to really set the bar high.
Now, the pictures do not lie, this is a small car. And at 6ft 2in and not skinny by any means, this was going to be an interesting fit for me, especially in a tux. The ledge alone would prove to almost be my undoing as my leg just doesn’t bend like that, but I made it work. I spent about 30 minutes before Emily got home getting in and out to make sure when the time came, I would not look the absolute fool. And once in the car, I fit actually very comfortably, which came to a surprise to me and everyone else around.
At this point, I could really go into the drivability of the car, how incredible it was in the curves and how the lack of power steering actually made it more fun, and I would not be lying. Or how the noise of the turbo and motor in unison as the Spider accelerated up onto the highway just sent chills down my back, and I found myself wondering how I could afford the $66k asking price to have this in my garage. I could go on, but I wont.
So why is this the perfect date night car? Well, for me, a date is a time to shine, a time to focus on my significant other and take her somewhere unique, classy, and memorable, all while we are both dressed up in our best. And as Emily did that night, she dressed to impress, turning every head as she walked by. And while I wore a simple tux, it came to me that the Spider was the foundation of the full package.
Pulling up to the valet, who quickly accepted the fact he would not be driving this car anywhere, everyone’s eyes were on the bright red convertible with a raspy motor. As Emily stepped out, the eyes followed her, and the car had done its job perfectly. That set the tone of the elegance and beauty of the night.
The driving experience beyond that night was short lived, with a little spirited ride headed back to the warehouse the next morning, which I seemed to miss the exit by a few miles for some reason. It could be the joy I was experiencing in the thrill of the ride, or the true sensation of connecting with the road through the steering wheel and inches-off-the-ground seating. Or how every car that pulled up next to me and just stared at this unique, tiny little ride, with kids and adults alike taking photos and throwing various levels of hand gestures.
Honestly, it was an incredible experience, and when I finally came to my senses, I realized I needed to give the keys back and accept the memories as set.
So the perfect date night car, I miss you and hope our roads cross again soon. There are more dates to go on, more heads to turn.