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Stupid Horsepower

Posted by Bill Prosperi on December 10, 2010

I saw a van last night (this was not it) that made me think of the days when I was involved in the flooring industry.  I met a lot of nice people and also a lot of really really dumb people.  One of the more annoying things to see was these particular citizens cry about how they did not have two pennies to rub together yet they had THE van.  No, they were not driving Honda Odysseys. (That is for us cool, kick ass parents.)

Everyone in this particular industry had some kind of work vehicle. Most of those were vans that had seen better days. Much better days. Most of the more intelligent (I use this loosely) contractors would use said van to haul their tools and other materials.  Others felt the need to get to the job site really really fast.  When you are carrying half a ton of tools and flooring materials, how fast does one truly need to go? Stopping might become an issue. Just maybe. None of them could give a straight answer as to why they needed a van that could kick serious ass in the quarter mile.  They would come in to the store that I worked at and brag about what was added here and there to boost performance.  ‘But will it ever see the strip?’ I would ask.  ‘It’s a work van, why would I do that!’ was always the answer.

While I enjoy lots of horsepower, does one truly need to go excessive for no reason.  Every time I read about the Bugatti Veyron, I think of these guys having something with enough power to rip the tail off a Diplodocus but never have a need for it. Just the ability to say they do.  Do not misjudge me. A super car with 1000 + hp that uses it correctly is a beautiful thing.  A van that is meant to haul 600 square foot of hardwood and the tools needed to install it, not so much.  It is still boggles my mind that they have no idea why they could not make a decent living while others managed to.

Oh, the van I saw. It was a GMC Safari that looked like it was hit by the van pictured above.  But it did have a sweet exhaust and lots of cool stickers.


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