August 26, 2007

Daddy’s Race Car

I drive an old car. When I say “old” I mean that when my car was built Clinton was in his first term (Pre-Monica), OJ and Tanya were in trouble with the law and the World Series had been canceled for the first time in history. Yes, my car is old.

Because my car is so old, it’s safe to say that at some point we will be in the market for a new car. Granted, that when I say “at some point” I’m referring to the time when the wheel’s fall off my current car and duct tape will no longer hold important parts together. But a guy can dream, can’t he?

This is why it was very serendipitous that the good people at Ford Motor Company appeared to me in a dream through the magic of the blogosphere and asked me to test drive their brand-spanking-new 2008 Ford Taurus X – which has not been released to the general public quite yet.

Once I figured out that these people weren’t kidding – that they really did want to hand me the keys to a brand new car and let me drive it like I stole it test drive it for two weeks with nothing more than a signature, I was totally on board.

So, two weeks ago they dropped the car off at my house, handed me the key, and took off – leaving me drooling over the GPS system, Sirius Satellite radio and DVD entertainment system. Once I got around to looking at the rest of the car, it actually looked really nice. I was worried that it would have a “station wagon” feel but the car has strong lines with chrome detail that make it look more mini-SUV than the Griswald family car.

The first day with the Taurus X, we packed up the kids and went for a little ride around the neighborhood. TheMonk loved the car so much that when we pulled into the driveway after our short drive, he began to cry… “NO!! WANT MORE CAR! MORE CAAAARRR!” If TheMonk was writing this review, I think that that would have summed it up quite nicely.

Two days later we packed up the car and headed North along the Pacific Coast Highway. With the twins seated in the two middle Captain’s Chairs, we folded down the back two seats which left us with plenty of room to pack our bike and trailer. Soon, we headed to Long Beach rocking away to a Dora the Explorer DVD. (The system came with wireless headphones but keeping headphones on 2 year olds is a lesson in futility so we all learned that “Abre is Open”)

What I liked about the car? The engine was plenty powerful, the ride was plenty smooth, and it has plenty of room in front and back to seat four very comfortably for a long trip. It has seats for six but the back two seats fold down for more cargo space – which we definitely needed. But what I liked most was the attention to little things. For example, the floor mat on the driver’s side hooks into the floor so it won’t slide forward over time. There is also a built-in children’s mirror that allows you to see the back seats while also having access to the rear view mirror.

What didn’t I like? Well, this is picky but there isn’t a lot of cargo room when you have the rear seats up for use. This wouldn’t be a good car for a family larger than four to make a road trip as there wouldn’t be much room for all the gear. Also, my wife noticed that the way the middle seats were positioned in the car that when parked in tight parking spaces it was difficult to get the kids out of the car seats. But really, these concerns were really minor.

Gas mileage was fair – especially since we had the AC blasting the entire time we had the car since it was 90+ degrees here for the past two weeks.

But don’t take my word for all of this. Swee’Pea and TheMonk loved this car. If they had access to credit I’m sure they would have finagled a deal for this one. Early on they started referring to the car as “Daddy’s Race Car.” Not one to let down my kids, I started referring to it the same way. Unfortunately, whenever we would back out of the garage and see my real-life car on the street, they would point to it and say… “Daddy’s Old Car!” Sadly, Daddy’s “Old Car” would soon be Daddy’s “only car.” As all good things, this had to come to an end.

So, the good (but not benevolent) people at Ford Motor Company finally came and picked up the car on Friday after two fun-filled weeks of automobile bliss. I had to break it gently to Swee’Pea and TheMonk that Daddy’s Race Car went “bye-bye.”

Every now and then over the weekend, TheMonk will turn to me and say, “Daddy’s Race Car go bye-bye?”

Yes, Son, it went bye-bye. Back to the “Old Car.”


I was not paid for this endorsement. Although I did get the car with 3/4 tank full of gas and I gave it back with 1/4 tank left. So, to be technical, I got about $25 worth of gas. Whatever. I’ll take it.


Total Miles Driven: 700
# of long trips: 2
# of times watching Dora: 252
# of times GPS prevented us from having an argument: 5
# of diapers changed in back of car: 4
# Total references to “Daddy’s Race Car”: 102
# of times I wished I could keep car: 743


  1. How does one get offered free stuff to play with? I want to know how you achieved this… :)

    Comment by Deanna — August 26, 2007 @ 11:23 pm

  2. What a fun deal! I haven’t seen that car before. Looks alot along the lines of my Acadia. The boys won’t ride in dad’s car anymore, they love mine!

    So are you hoping the wheels fall off sooner???

    Thought of you last week when we joined our local YMCA, now I just need to get there and use it!!!

    Comment by Laurie — August 27, 2007 @ 6:32 am

  3. Good to know that my visiting your site 100 times a day paid off! Glad you enjoyed yourselves.

    Comment by Grandmother — August 27, 2007 @ 9:28 am

  4. Wow – that’s incredible. They need a new name – Ford Taurus X – I didn’t even realize it was a crossover until you started referring to the 3rd row of seats…

    Comment by Stacy — August 27, 2007 @ 10:24 am

  5. Cool. Glad you liked it.

    I’m arranging my test for Sept. We’re going to spend the weekend down in Long Beach and figured this was our best time to test it out.

    Should be fun.

    Comment by L.A. Daddy — August 27, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

  6. It looks like they’ve amp’d up and renamed the “Ford Freestyle” that I’ve got based upon the photo online. Our kids like sitting in the 3rd row on roadtrips so that they can watch their DVDs AND so that we can switch all the sound to the back speakers. I’m with ya…it’s a good family vehicle for those who don’t want a mini-van but do want a little extra space. It’s also nice having that extra row when we have my folks in town. No need for them to rent a car.

    Comment by Grace — August 27, 2007 @ 5:48 pm

  7. What the hell? My husband RUNS a Ford dealership and I’ve never even gotten a loaner for service visits.

    I have an Expedition and love it. Especially the DVD player.

    Comment by Amy — August 29, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

  8. [...] uv wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptWhat I liked about the car? The engine was plenty powerful, the ride was plenty smooth, and it has plenty of room in front and back to seat four very comfortably for a long trip. It has seats for six but the back two seats fold down for … [...]

    Pingback by Car News » Daddy’s Race Car — September 17, 2007 @ 11:20 am

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