“San Francisco is the city on the bay.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: James
- Car in Question: Silver 2011 Audi A3
- Spotted at: Hendrik Point, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Mill Valley, Marin, CA 94941
- Odometer: 33,295
- Car’s Nickname: Toasty
Q: Hi James. So why Toasty as a nickname?
A: There are a few reasons. One is that I don’t think it’s a very common nickname for a car. Also because the engine gets a little toasty when I toast people on the street.
Q: All right. That clears it up. So this car is fast?
A: Oh yeah, really fast! And it rides so smoothly. This car is usually just used to go to school, run errands and then there are the big trips out to Tahoe.
Q: Do you commute to work?
A: Not really, I live in the Presidio and am still in school, so sometimes I don’t even drive to school, just walk or take the bus.
Q: How much time do you spend in your car?
A: Depends, average would have to be about five hours a week.
Q: You mentioned going up to Tahoe. Is that a favorite trip of yours or do you have another favorite trip you like to take?
A: Tahoe is the best. No matter if it’s winter or summer, I love driving up there with my buddies, and the girls, and either snowboarding in the winter or wake-boarding in the summer. The drive is always nice too. I usually head up at night to beat traffic.
Q: Any rules in your car?
A: No smoking. No eating. Only drink water. No feet on the upholstery. If you break something, you fix it or pay me to fix it. I’m pretty strict in my car.
Q: What do you listen to in your car? Do you ever sing along?
A: I plug in my iPhone and that’s it. I bump hip-hop and rap usually, but you can also find me listening to anything ranging from opera, country, rock, punk, ska, but mostly rap. The sound system is really nice. I definitely sing along. I don’t care who is watching or who sees.
Q: How about an emotion, if your car had an emotion, what would it be and why?
A: Aggressive. This car can do anything, and I will push it to its limits. When I drive, I always drive safe, but I am definitely an aggressive driver. If you’re going slow in the left lane, please get out of the way.
Q: Where did you get your car? Did you buy it yourself?
A: I had actually been saving up for it as well as a partial gift after high school. I’m from Colorado. When I graduated, my parents pitched in to buy me this brand new about a year ago. It’s been a great car. I think it could go up to 200,000 miles, but I’m sure there might be some major/minor repairs in-between, like the transmission or something.
Q: What about a dream car?
A: I plan on having this for a while. By the time I’m ready to buy another car, I’m hoping the car industry will have something that doesn’t run on fossil fuel, but is realistic in its fuel source. I would dream for a hydrogen powered car that is filled up with water, but uses electrolysis internally to separate the hydrogen, and then inject that into the engine with the oxygen, and use the water produced to feed back into the formation of hydrogen through electrolysis. I think that’s far off though. I might just have to make it myself.
Q: That’s really cool. Is there anything else we should know about your car?
A: It’s the bomb! Also it is a partial zero emission vehicle, so that’s beneficial. It means I get about 50 miles per gallon for this car as opposed to about 25 for other cars in its class. That’s partly why I got it. Also it has two sunroofs and it can practically be a truck when I put the seats down. It’s great. I love it.
Photos and interview by Brandon Oldham
View previous Defend Your Ride features as well as other great stories for people who love cars at CBSSanFrancisco.com/Autos.