Wham, Bam, Thank You...?

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

My "new" Saturn SL2 was murdered.

Cause of death: taking it too hard from behind.

It died at approximately 3:30 AM Wednesday, August 21st, in the blink of an eye, rear-ended by a hit and run driver while stopped at a red light.

The driver got away while I cleared my head and shouldered my way through the jammed passenger door. The driver side was too stuck to open.

Luckily, I watched the headlights of the car in the rearview mirror as it hit and was able to brace for the impact. The other car had to have been doing over 35 when it impacted, it pushed the poor little SL2 almost all the way through the intersection while the brakes were locked, but not before it destroyed the trunk, shoved the rear seat nearly into the front seats and buckled the car clear up into the front subframe. All I saw were headlights and then afterwards, taillights from an eighth-mile away. It appeared to be a compact car, but I never caught the color, much less the make, model or license plate number.

The Saturn sacrificed itself to save me – it was a good little car. I liked it a lot. As you probably well know, that's high praise coming from me for a front wheel drive, four-cylinder, four-door. For many reasons, it earned the right to be called a car – it proved its worth in commutes, on road trips and even on the racetrack. It mastered twisty, winding roads and drag strips with equal aplomb – all while providing gas mileage as high as 40 mpg. It was reliable and a truly, truly excellent commuter car. It epitomized what a commuter could and should be and provided more than enough performance for street driving.

It was such a good little car that I was even going to make it a project entitled "Project Twin Cam." Don't mock, it really did have its merits.

It will be sorely missed. It was the perfect color – both inside and out – even if the seats Saturn opted to bestow the SL2 with were so hideous my back wished a plague on the people that thought up those torture devices. Oddly enough, the base SL and SL1 seats were perfectly designed for me. I never got a chance to replace them.

Please give it a moment of silence – may it rest in pieces. Or as a tiny cube of plastic and metal. Okay, probably both. Its pieces were strewn all over the place and I'm sure the carcass will be turned into a cube at some point in the near future – or shredded or something. I hope it gets to be reborn into something glorious, it deserves it – maybe even a CSX4000 Shelby Cobra or something else violently fast, brutally overpowered, and incredibly intimidating to drive.

I'd like to thank it for its months of service and friendship and its loyalty and devotion to the end. Its sacrifice won't be forgotten.

Well, unless I have dementia in my old age. That would suck.

Ryan