Greetings from the Hemet Car Guy,
One’s love for cars often starts young. Perhaps it began by attending that first auto show or the first ride in a convertible. Some have succumbed after hearing a powerful engine growl or inhaling the odor of burned rubber.
I have to admit that in the rather staid world of the Hemet Car Guy, the term “turn-on” prompted a second-thought or two and maybe even a slight blush. But upon consulting dictionary.com I discovered that the official definition of the hyphenated phrase is “something causing excitement or stimulating interest.” That’s a vehicular attribute that I’m comfortable speaking about even in the context of Valentine’s Day, because I’m pretty good at identifying cars that cause excitement and/or stimulate interest.
Regardless of what ignites car passion, we all have one thing in common — that unforgettable moment you got your first set of keys. So, grab your heart-shaped box of chocolates and get ready to talk about our first loves… cars.
I’ve learned that besides great looks and performance, it’s often the interior features that bring comfort. To ensure that your car is equipped to deal with the most romantic day of the year, I’ve listed a few features to ensure your first love – your car — plays an important role in your Valentine’s Day plans with your true love.
Locking Center Console
Nothing says romance like a locking center console. Really? Yes, because a locking center console is the perfect hiding place for that Valentine’s Day bling, especially if it’s an engagement ring. Your fiancée will never know it’s there, and neither will thieves. Just stash the bling (properly gift-wrapped, of course) in the console, lock it up, and don’t worry about it until the time is right to pop the question. While locking center consoles aren’t often available from the factory, they’re common as aftermarket accessories, especially in SUVs, pickups and other vehicles that have larger center consoles. Some are easy to install yourself, meaning your date might not even notice if you add the feature.
Most cars don’t offer mood lighting, but drive a vehicle that includes this feature and you’ll agree there’s no going back. We think your date will agree too, as you can change the hue from a romantic red to a cool blue with the push of a button. The best example of this feature is in the Ford Mustang and MINI Cooper.
A well-chosen song can go a long way toward setting the right mood, and there’s no easier way to make sure that the perfect song plays at exactly the right time than with Bluetooth audio. Sync your phone or music player to your car and you can hear exactly what you want, when you want, without the hassle. Never again will you have to call into a radio station to hear that special song for your special someone. Or select a playlist of romantic songs with such music apps as Pandora and Spotify. Bluetooth audio is offered with many modern infotainment systems, from Chevrolet Mylink and Ford Sync. If your car isn’t equipped with Bluetooth audio, fear not: you can still use your phone or music device in the car if you have an auxiliary input.
In most climates, this most romantic of holidays is accompanied by decidedly unromantic weather, cold temperatures, snow or freezing rain. To stay warm, you’ll want to make sure that your car has heated seats for the driver and passenger. Heated rear seats are always a plus if you’re celebrating the holiday with a double date. While heated car seats aren’t quite the same as cuddling in front of a fire, they’ll keep you warm until you can get there.
Not many cars offer massaging seats, but it might make your date a little bit better if you happen to have them. Available on high-end luxury cars such as the Mercedes S-Class and Jaguar XJL, massaging seats do exactly what they say: provide a massage as you drive down the road. It’s an excellent benefit for drivers and passengers alike as massaging seats usually offer several settings and cover hard-to-reach places.
We are lucky enough to live in a part of the country where Valentine’s Day isn’t always accompanied by cold weather and snow, so there’s no better feature than a convertible top, especially if you have heated seats! Put the top down and enjoy the night sky from the comfort of your car while your favorite songs play in the background. Oh, and a little advice for the guys: If your date has long hair, consider stocking up on hair ties before the big night.
This one is for you, Bambi.
Good Driving, and Happy Valentine’s Day
Richard J. Perry