The Need for Speed

Our correspondent drops $650 for a chance to drive like a demon

The cool Nevada morning air was filled with the quaking rumble of the 1972 Dodge Charger in front of me. A three-week-old blue 2003 Subaru WRX edged up behind me. We'd all been waiting for this moment for days or, in my case, a lifetime, and the deliciously deserted road beckoned. The Charger, rescued from a junkyard a decade ago and painted "Richard Petty blue," roared off when the light changed. It hit 100 m.p.h. with ease and sped toward the vanishing point down Highway 93A.

Now it was my turn. The borrowed 1999 Mercedes Benz E55 AMG I was driving...

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