The following is a list of things us single guys like about Valentine’s day:
That’s right. Nothing.
Up yours, Valentine’s Day: you’re just the worst. I have to spend your entirety looking at happy couples, pictures of happy couples, selfies of happy couples, and watching happy selfie-couples do happy-couple things while trying to pretend I don’t hate not being part of a happy couple. And I walk by a Hallmark display, and see some smiling dude picking out a card and stuffed teddy for his lady, and I simultaneously fight back vomit and die a little inside.
Maybe you’re like me: a bitter, single dude who despises Valentine’s Day and would rather eat a hornet’s nest than see all of the selfies and rose petals and social media mush-gushing. If that’s the case, you’re going to do what I’m going to do on Valentine’s day, aren’t you? You’re going to go for a rip. A tear. A hearty romp down some empty backroad, and not the type where you get an awkward phone call about 9 months later.
Who’s with me?! Here’s a list of rides ideal for a lonely romp down your favourite backroad, for various budgets and tastes.
Price: $5,000 to $10,000
Machine: 1999 to 2004 Ford Mustang GT (Used)
Because you can get your copy of this V8-powered rear-drive snortbeast for under $10,000 all day long, with a five-speed stick, 260 minimum horsepower, and a satisfying blend of exhaust noises, acceleration and a gear-ripping shifter that’ll quickly blast thoughts of failed relationships and being rejected out of your head with delicious V8 sound effects.
Consider taking a sawzall to the mufflers as a stress-relief exercise, and because this SOHC V8 sounds glorious when un-muffled. But not really, because that might be illegal. I don’t know. Is it?
Mustang might not be huge on refinement, soft plastics or handling balance, and the panel gaps on earlier models could swallow your hand, but you will find great sounds, great looks, very decent performance for your money. This one will handle your backroads romp in a grab-it-by-the-scruff sort of way.
Price: $10,000 to $20,000
Machine: 2000 to 2006 BMW M3 (Used)
Because its high-strung straight-six will spice things up in your loins the way eating a box of candy cinnamon hearts never could. Look for coupe or convertible, manual or paddle-shifty DSG, and you’re on your way to enjoying one of the last of BMW’s magnificent purebred, free-breathing M engines.
This one’s ready for track day, a trip to lunch with the boss, or a gentlemanly cruise down the boulevard with that new lady friend, whenever she shows the heck up. Or, when you’re feeling like being a bit awesome, head out to your favorite empty road and enjoy the screaming revs, smooth, peaky and linear power, and handling that’s as sharp as your ex’s claws – all of which put this M3 on the books as one of the best all-time sports cars going.
Price: $20,000 to $30,000
Machine: 2014 or 2015 Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ (New or Used)
Your ex wanted you to read her mind, anticipate her every mood, and react to her every whim with instantaneousness and precision. Now, it’s your turn to see what that’s like. The FR-S/BRZ twins do all of this for you, and without mood swings, drama, and dropping of the dreaded ‘F’ word: FINE.
They’re light, frisky, balanced to the nines, a total riot to wind up, and combine sports-car-from-the-get-go engineering with great fuel mileage and world-class dynamics to put a grin on your face that staying in and binge-watching rom-coms on Netflix never could. Plus, unlike past lady loves, these twins are extremely forgiving, even when you really push your luck.
Price: $30,000 to $40,000
Machine: 2008 to 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT8 (Used)
Because you’re not an angry person, but you’ve recently exited a relationship, and you’ve had enough. She wanted clothes. Money. Trips. Jewellery. Breakfast in bed. Conversation. Challenger doesn’t need any of that stuff: it just wants a little (a lot of) gasoline, and for you to let its SRT-tuned HEMI V8 unleash all hell on the pavement beneath.
With no less than 425 horsepower, Challenger SRT8 looks as ticked off as you do, and banging gears with the six-speed pistol-grip shifter while taking in the machine-gun exhaust note is among the best stress relief you’ll enjoy from the driver’s seat while wearing pants. Plus, with room enough for two adults in the back, you can easily take in a road trip to Vegas with the guys, if you like.
Price: $40,000 to $50,000
Machine: 2011 to 2014 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe (Used)
Hear that whining, hissing sound? It’s not the wife getting riled up that you didn’t load the dishwasher to code: it’s an Eaton supercharger the size of a toaster oven stuffing an LSA V8 full of gasoline and boost. Partly, that’s how CTS-V makes a whopping 556 horsepower, which can put the rear tires up in smoke on command if desired, or, launch you from 0 to 100 km/h faster than she can say “not tonight honey.”
BONUS: Since you’re back on the market, the CTS-V is ideal to communicate what a classy gentleman you are to nearby lady motorists, since it’s an insane rocket car perfect for a classy gentleman. Road trip ready for two as well, should the need arise.
Price: $50,000 to $80,000
Machine: 2014 to 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Because if you’re an old guy, you probably drive an automatic Corvette around Myrtle Beach with your wife of thirty-some-odd years. But, if you’re a young dude of thirty-some-odd years with room in your garage and wallet for a toy, and no longer have anybody to tell you not to, the new seven-speed-manual Stingray turns out unbeatable performance for the money.
Simply, this car won’t be topped for the new-car performance dollar, in the same way you won’t be beat into minivan-driving submission by a significant other who is just no fun at all. Plus, the Hollywood sound effects from the LT4 V8 engine leave the desire to speed and slide and smash gears burning in your guts like Lonestar Grille’s Big-Rig Burrito. She never liked Mexican, anyways.
Price: $80,000 to $100,000
Machine: 2015 Audi RS5
It’s February, after all, so the RS5’s Quattro system will help make sure your V-day backroads romp doesn’t end upside down ten feet up a nearby spruce tree. This one’s a hoot for a lonely romp for several reasons, including its high-strung V8 with 8,000 rpm redline, magnificent sound effects, grip galore, angry looks, overall refinement, all-season capability, and for its ability to shift seamlessly from performance-tuned track toy to relaxing cruiser while losing little in between.
Doing 8,000 revs, firing off millisecond gear changes and listening to the lusty, exotic growl of the tweaked-to-the-nines V8 engine has a way of forcing all relationship-based thoughts to the back of your head, which will be welded to the headrest in the process.
Machine: 1999 to 2005 Ferrari 360 (Used)
Because the only shrieking I want to hear is a strung-out little V8 spinning to a million rpm while everyone nearby wonders what sort of sophisticated and gentlemanly sort of business I own, and how many suits are lined up in my classy gentleman’s closet.
They might need a million-dollar tune-up after every few hours of driving and catch fire somewhat frequently, but I’ll happily burn to hell at 9,000 rpm with a smile on my face. Plus nothing sticks a middle finger in the air at your vengeful ex like ripping past at low speed and high revs in a Modena-built pasta rocket with your new gal in the passenger seat.
Machine: Porsche 918 Spyder
Because it’s absolutely bananas. Single, married, whatever: with a high-strung V8 and hybrid system netting the better part of 900 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque, you can leave the place you just were very very far behind, very very quickly, with just a quick stab of your right foot.
In typical Porsche fashion, this hybrid super-duper car is comfortable enough for daily driving, and extremely flattering and supportive if you visit a track for some lapping. And, somewhere past 7,000 revs, while the wailing V8 and electric motors join forces in rocketing you along with acceleration typically experienced by fighter jet pilots, you realize that this might just be the ultimate expression of mankind’s love for the automobile.
Congratulations: you’ve made it to the end of the story! This makes you a champ, and we’d like to buy you a coffee for being awesome. This is impossible, as our beloved editor Jonathan blew the budget on Valentine’s Day chocolates he’s hoarding in his desk—but here are a few videos we think you’ll probably find funny instead.