After 16 hours, one taxi ride, two flights and a tense wait trying to get through immigration, I finally made it to Indianapolis, where this weekend I’ll be watching what was once considered the world’s greatest motor race, the Indy 500.
My excitement soon turned to bewilderment when the anticipated ride to the hotel turned out to be this stretched Hummer H2, the sort of car I’d normally take an awful lot of trouble to avoid.
Since you haven’t asked, according to its driver, Bob, it’s powered by the standard 6.0-litre V8, is “between 30 and 35 feet long” and averages 10mpg on a good day. In the past, said Bob, possibly as he ruefully surveyed my slightly dishevelled self, its 14 seats have been filled by major league American football and baseball stars.
Today we did nothing for our carbon footprint (or Bob’s ability to name check famous people) by travelling three up, but after so much time on planes it was nice to stretch out. It was an interesting, if slightly embarrassing, experience to ride in a Hummer, given the company's recent demise. Frankly, I emerged from it without a single pang of regret about Hummer's passing, and it’s perhaps noteworthy that not even Bob was mourning the company’s death.
Still, happier times lie ahead. Tomorrow (or today, depending what time zone you are in) I’m going to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time, where I’ll be watching Carb Day practice, interviewing some drivers and joining the Fazzt race team (fifth on the grid with Alex Tagliani, pictured, and 25th with Bruno Junqueira) for some pitstop practice and spotting, which essentially involves talking to the drivers at 225mph, warning them of any impending problems ahead. More on that later.
But for now let’s cast all good taste aside. My questions to you are these: is there such a thing as a desirable stretched limo, and if you were forced to take a ride in one, then what’s the ideal car for a visit to the cut and shut shop for a spot of elongation?