Yeah it’s a rental. And yes it’s a V6 Chevy Camaro. Please don’t be hard on us: we come from a country where our rentals are Fiat Cubo diesels so with this escape we try to explain you why Escape on Wheels has a fascination with American rental car companies: there is no other place in the world where you can find a Muscle Car for rent! Despite this was a V6 and one of the chapest of them american performance cupes, we were totally fascinated with it.
You don’t get these in Europe, period. For this reason they deserve an honorable mention. As much as foolish it may seem to our American friends, we are fascinated with it. We choose a Red Hot V6 Camaro to be our partner in crime for our Maine Escape.
If there is a car culture that has the whole performance thing packed for everyday use, that is the American. Even in the entry level performance coupè you have 330 horses under the bonnet and it’s perfectly usable on a daily basis. Sound? Check; Practicality? Check; Comfort? Check; Style? Check. Could be one of those escape cars we’ve been looking for to add into our personal favorite list? We guess so.
Food always tastes better when you’re in same place where it was made, so instead of taking the plane we decided to proceed via land, from Boston to Acadia National Park, passing through Maine following the Interstate 95 and the Route 1 North. It was snowing heavily and we had a 2 wheel drive coupe with all season tires: never we saw such curiosity by men on 4×4’s.
What’s great about the Camaro is the affordable package and the great ability to make every U turn into something fun: engage “irresponsible mode”, floor the gas, and even a snowy dead end road becomes the perfect occasion to cheer you up like a warm cup of coffee. Less is more: and the Camaro can prove it.
What we love about our rental is how different is to traditional European sports cars: our American friend is huge and incredibly well planted. It’s a performance coupe but in Europe could be paired to a regular sedan! It’s cheap to fill up, where a full tank takes about 30 dollars and the trunk a lot of luggage space.
The car is not performance oriented so it rides very comfortably even if may be too soft for being a 2 door coupè. The transmission loves to put the car always a little over 1000 rpm when cruising, it’s slower in the response yet it is still satisfying when you drive it. The sound is the coolest ever heard on a rental.
It is the unusual companion to go exploring Maine in the snow, enjoing the scenery and be at peace with the world. We shouldn’t love a V6 rental but we do. We totally do.
A quick look at the Airbnb app and we stop to rest in Fort Edgecombe and we dine with a freshly fried fish sandwich down on Bootbay Harbor: this place seems to come to life with such an unexpected energy! It’s the America we didn’t think existed: hamburger country only? Hell, no!
We decided to go up north by the Route 1, reaching the Acadia National Park. This place is dreamlike and one of those places which is able to make you feel like an adventurer, exploring those regions 100 years ago. While the dash of the Camaro takes out some of that drama, Maine is one of the best places to explore and visit. The rocky shores blend with the pine trees and the roads are long stretches of tarmac which follow the conformation of the environment.
Once we made it to Ellesworth we took the 3 south heading for the Mount Desert Island, the heart of the Acadia National Park. We arrived very late and very tired to the town of Bar Harbor: this is no McDonal’s land (thank God!) and to find a good bite of food for dinner was a real hard time. 5 out of 5 kitchens were closed: luckly for us we found a bar who still had some seafood for us. We left Italy with 15 degrees celsius to come to a place where temperatures are still below zero. Our fellow countrymen didn’t understand why, but when you see the sunrise at 6 am in snowy Maine, you know you made the right choice. The sight of lobster traps and the boats parket along the seashore and the docks is something that we recall seeing only in National Geographic issues back when we were kids. This place is real and breathtaking.
The lighthouses are like windmills in Holland: it’s a fishermen country so these beautiful towers add up to the landscape and they’re a lovely sight.
On the way back we stopped to Cape Neddick to have a walk up to the Nubble Lighthouse: one last bite at Maine’s tasty lobster roll and then we head back to Boston.
We didn’t organized all of this: we just hopped on the Camaro, put gas in it and kept the shore right on our right and kept heading north, going sideways whenever we could, eat tons of seafood and just enjoyed the breathtaking sight of Maine.
After all, not all who wander are lost, especially in a Camaro, in Maine.
Text by Jacopo Villa
Foto by Federico Bajetti