From Woking To Vermont
By Ron Amadon
The scene is a back porch in rural Vermont, in an area called the Northeast Kingdom, a more grandeous name than conservative New England Yankees would normally tolerate. But it was there when most of them grew up, so why change it now?
The hottest topic in town is that rich New Yorker who just settled in to a huge new mansion with acres of land that stretches along the shores of Crystal Lake.
Who is he? Why did he move way up here? Why they say his property is worth more than a good share of the town of Barton!
Something like this has never happened so it has supplanted the normal conversion about ice out on the lake, how bad the winter was, how the maple syrup season was terrible, and will the tourists, slim as they are in numbers this far north, return this summer and, not to forget, should we all stay up late to see Hockey Night in Canada?
Not only has this wealthy New Yorker settled in, but he stays pretty much to himself thus only stocking the fires of speculative talk, And did you hear, he won big in the lottery?
Then there is this car he bought.
Mind you, mud spattered pickups are the height of fashion up here, not high powered two seat cars that rumor has it cost more than some houses in town.
“Word is that it is very low to the ground so it won’t be worth a damn this winter. And the engine is out back where the trunk’s supposed to be,” said Fred, a long time Barton homeowner, shaking his head.
“Can’t imagine why they would do that,” said neighbor Tom. “Folks say it’s the only one in Vermont, so ya wonder where he would get it fixed if it breaks down on that back road to Newport.”
Fred’s just-past-teen-years son Bob enters, rumored to be the town car expert.
“It is called the McLaren 720s, and it is nearly all hand made in a place called Woking, England. And it is super-fast with a twin turbo charged and intercooled V8 with 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque.”
“Fred, did you follow any of that?” said Tom.
“Naa, he lost me after called.”
Yet Bob felt a duty to educate the old folks.
“Out on (Interstate) 91 it can scat from zero to sixty in 2.7 seconds or almost as fast as an eye blink, with a top speed of 212 miles an hour. Get ya down to Montpelier in the blink of an eye,” said a getting excited Bob.
Tom chirped up with a, “Not that you would want to go there.”
“It should be something on all the back roads with a 1.10 g road handling number with a lightweight carbon fiber chassis based on a carbon fiber “tub” construction.” And Bob was just getting cranked up.
“So it’s made out of a tub?” Fred inquired.
“No,” Bob quickly injected and moved on to the sculpted body shape, aluminum and composite bodywork around the “Monocage II” structure.
“On wild Saturday nights, our cop car could use a cage for the drunks,” Tom countered.
“My girlfriend said she got a ride in it the other day,” as Bob plowed ahead, “and the doors open straight up into the air!”
“Son, have you been sampling that funny weed,” Fred interrupted.
“Inside there are three drive mode controls, Comfort, Speed and Track, some very high grade leather, room for small luggage behind the two seats, and lots of Alcantara,” Bob gushed.
“Wasn’t Alcantara the trumpet player in that band on Craftsbury Common last summer?” Tom asked. “So what was the ride like?”
“He went real fast on the old road to Derby Line, and she said it was a good thing the seats really grabbed her body as did the seat belts. But the car really hugged the road like nothing she had ever experienced.”
“Thought her hair was a little grayer when she was here for dinner the other night,” Fred said.
How much does this car cost, Tom wanted to know?
“Not sure, but one like it in a magazine sold for $378,215,” Bob said.
“Damn good thing he won the lottery,” Tom concluded.
The above is a total work of fiction regarding the Vermonters but the facts and figures about this wonderful creation of a Supercar are all correct. Could this dialog actually have happened in the Green Mountain State? Ask Bernie.
McLaren 720s Specs:
Mid-engine rear wheel drive
Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch automatic with manual shifts
Wheelbase: 105.1 inches
Width: 78 inches
Weight: 3161 pounds
Ground Clearance: 4.2 inches
Desirability? Off the charts.