At The Wheel: Ric's Bird of Prey
My name: Ric
My age: 37
My profession: Healthcare
City/town: Lima, Ohio
Relationship status: Blessedly Single
Member name: FirebirdGuy
What is the best thing that you like about your ride?
It is a project that came from my imagination and became real. It is completely unique. When people point and smile or kids sneer and rev I know that I did a decent job.
Do you like to take road trips in your car? Describe your favorite road trip -- where did you go? What did you do?
I'm mindful that this is an older car and that I need to take good care of it. I try to keep long excursions to a minimum. I do, however, go for frequent evening cruises around town and get my shine on. It's fun to drive around and check out other whips and the dudes driving them.
Do you like tinkering under the hood, or do you leave repairs and routine maintenance to your mechanic?
There are two automotive training schools here. One is the prestigious University of Northwestern Ohio's High Performance Program. It's good to know a few boys who go there who know their stuff. Basic stuff I can do but defer to people who can handle more complex issues.
What special touches have you added to your car that reflect your personality and individuality?
My car was your typical 1998 Pontiac Firebird convertible when I got it. I have added the following: Blue-chrome-to blue 20% tint to the side windows. 10% tint FUSION eyebrow. 20" low-pros and Greed rims. Pioneer deck, 1200 watt Directed amp, dual high-end Sony Xplods in a custom box. 9 color LED ground effects. Flowmaster exhaust. Several minor engine mods.
What is the most youâ€™ve ever paid for a car? What is the most you would ever pay for a car?
I've never bought a new car. And all the good ones have been discontinued. However, if I had money falling out of my ass I have a special place in my heart for Lamborghinis. I'd feel bad about not buying American for about a half second and then jump in and drive away cackling!
Do you have a great memory of a date that relates to you car? Describe that night (or day).
Bluntly put, the back seat of a Firebird is a cramped, uncomfortable tortuous little box. Short of bending yourself in half or being 3 feet tall not a lot of bopping is going to occur, horizontally or otherwise. As far as being good transportation to ferry dates to and fro my car is a trooper.
Do you find yourself more attracted to people with similar car tastes to your own? Or doesnâ€™t it matter?
It really doesnt matter a whole lot. Ownership of a car is not a make or break for me in whether I find a person attractive or not. I will admit it is a plus. I see some of the local UNOH boys tootlin around town in their tuners all gangsta leanin with their shades on tryin to look all hard so you have to smile and admit that, okay, the dude is hot and being wrapped in a good looking vehicle certainly doesnt hurt. Now personally, I tend to have more in common with dudes that have an appreciation for American muscle. The Firebird Formula, the Corvette, The Dodge Viper, the Chevy Camaro... these are a few of my favorite things. At one time I had little appreciation or kind words for tuners. Now however I understand that its simply a different stroke and some tuners look pretty damn fine.
If you had an unlimited budget and could change anything you wanted on your car, what modifications or accessories would you add?
Redo the paint to dark purple metallic, replace system with Blaupunkt, Redo leather interior. Purple vent accent lights. Purple interior lights. Shift package. WS high-performance package. GPS.
Do you think your car has a personality or soul? What kind of sound or behavior does it have that makes it unmistakably your car?
My car is the automotive embodiment of my personality. What it is I made and I made what it is.
Do you have a nickname for your car?
No, I don't name my cars. However an acquaintance told me the other day that people call my car "the Batmobile". Hmm.. I'm not really seein that.
Have you upgraded the car stereo? What is your "dream" sound system?
A dream system would require tearing out the back seat and putting in quad 15"s, mids and highs. multiple flat panels on seat backs. Blaupunkt, or maybe Alpine. I upgraded the system somewhat. Still lots of room for improvement.
What aspect of your ride most attracted you when you decided to own and drive it?
It is a Firebird, and a convertible. I thought the combination was really sharp.
Have you ever pushed your car to its performance limit? What was the fastest speed?
Interestingly enough, no. I don't really need to do that. Ive spanked a few cars in impromptu sprints down 309 so I know it will go and go fast. It's not a high performance car per se, but in it's class it performs admirably.
Are you a member of any car clubs or other auto related organizations?
No. I'm sorta in the middle of good ol boy small town America and the closest thing like that would be Columbus or Dayton. I keep toying with the idea of a Firebird/Trans Am park 'n shine someplace to show and meet but so far its still on the back burner.
What was the first car you ever had? Do you ever get nostalgic for it?
It was a cherry 1967 For LTD Landau with a 390 Windsor. My dad got it for me on my 16th birthday. I think about it sometimes. Those were some heady horny teenage years.
If you could trade your ride in for any other car, what would it be, regardless of the price?
If I had to give my car up in trade then it would have to be the 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo 5.2L V10. Oh yeaahh..