You've seen them. The cars that get parked in front of a hotel or restaurant. The Bentleys, the Aston Martins and the Lamborghinis. It's like saying: Hey, we've got rich people here.
Very, very occasionally, I've been the recipient of such first-class treatment. Not because I'm rich, but because I got the luck of the draw and happened to be driving a test car the business wanted to show off.
Interestingly enough, the cars I've driven that have managed to get parked up front all cost under $50K--with one exception: the ill-conceived Volkswagen Phaeton, which had a base price of $110,000.
The most recent car star: The all-new 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It may look like a CL-Class that costs more than $100K, but a half the price it still gets all the cachet.
When I pulled up in front of Texas de Brasil on Ohio last week, the valet looked at me, looked at the car and said: It'll be parked right here the entire time. "Right here" was two steps from the front door.
While the new E-Class is quite stunning, I was surprised that it received such premier treatment. Especially since the last time I ate at Texas de Brasil, I was sitting next to 3 White Sox players and a Cubs player. My boyfriend who frequents this haunt regularly says this isn't an anomaly--pro sports players are often at this restaurant partaking of the all-you-can-eat meat.
So why me? And why this car? I'd love to think it's because I'm super cute, but I have to figure that the star power of the new E-Class preceded me. Even at $48,500, it's pretty damn hot and all new to boot.
Other car stars in my past that have warranted front-row treatment:
- 2009 Hemi Orange Dodge Challenger SRT8
- 2005 Turquoise Ford Thunderbird
So what's the trick? All of these cars were relatively rare when I had them.
Have you ever had the car star treatment? If so, what were you driving?