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Old 03-25-2006, 07:49 AM   #1
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Do you ever feel vulnerable with the top down?

Clearly one of the best things about the box is the top down experience but it sometimes makes me a little nervous when drivng around. I definitely feel this more in the city (Pittsburgh) as opposed to the burbs. There are bums, drug dealers, crazy drunk people at night, general shady characters, etc. It can be a little unnerving sometimes. Even on a regular suburbian street when a few teenagers pull up in a thugged out POS it makes me think a little. The good thing about a top is that it protects you a little more and isolates you from these elements.

Anyway, my solution was to purchase a nice big bottle of pepper foam spray to help diffuse any possible threats that jeapordize my security. I keep it in the drivers door compartment although it is not quite as accessible as I want it to be. Do any of you guys carry a defense device for the same reason? Have any of you had any scary experiences?

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Old 03-25-2006, 07:52 AM   #2
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I understand completely what you are saying.

I get the same feeling too when my top is down and a bunch of thugs or teanagers approach me at the stop light and start calling me names.

Of course, they do that because I am 21 and they are jealous. I look very young for such a car (truth is I am). I tend to never respond, if I do I have more to lose. That's what they want me to do, respond something and make them pissed off so they get out and break my car or start beating me up.

As for defense "Weapons", I got none, I hope that in the society we live I dont have to carry a "weapon" everywhere I go and I should not, just because I drive a Porsche? What can I say, life is unfair, its not that I went to each one of them and told them "hey guys I drive one and you dont".
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Old 03-25-2006, 08:33 AM   #3
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Do you ever feel vulnerable with the top down?

A: Only when I'm buying crack at my local corner. Those situations can get kind of tense.

Kidding. But considering weapons, I would recommend enrolling in some form of Martial Arts program. I practice Muay Thai kickboxing and a little bit of MMA (UFC stuff). It's a great confidence booster. And that confidence comes from knowing that if needed, you will be able to at least maintain more control of a situation. It's been my experience that most people know a great deal about talking the talk. Yet when it comes to skill level, most people resort to primative arm flailing. I'm not saying that you should go out and start working on your black belt or anything. But consider this, our body language expresses more than we know. So if you look uncomfortable or fearful, others will be able to pick up on it and exploit you. I'm not just making this up. And after all, we are all just recently advanced group of mammals, so there is a certain primal instinct involved.

You'll find that the more you know how to fight, the less you'll actually have to use it. Hard to believe, but it's true.
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Old 03-25-2006, 08:42 AM   #4
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A few years ago I took some martial arts (Taekwondo) and made it to green but I never want to have to leave the car. Spray and go is my philosophy (or better yet just GO depending on the situation). Plus at an early age I realized that street fighting is very different than tournament fighting especially if there is more than one opponent. I just want to drive in peace

Also, aBsOlUt I know what you are saying about being young. I am also in my 20's and I think that this contributes to the chaos for the exact reason you stated; jealousy.
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Old 03-25-2006, 09:14 AM   #5
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Consider what my namesake said in Enter the Dragon...
\

Why don't you just get a gun and .......POW!

Seriously, I have been in the Martial Arts for many years. For the situation you are describing, I would pack heat assuming the local laws allow it.

If not, a stun guy would be my next move, ie a TASER if it is allowed.

With the MA, it will take you some serious time and training to allow you to deal with the situations you are describing.

Or, you could move to a nice town!
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Old 03-25-2006, 09:18 AM   #6
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"And that confidence comes from knowing that if needed, you will be able to at least maintain more control of a situation"

This kind of confidence may get you killed in certain circumstances. Frankly, many folks who train in MA are WAY OVER THEIR HEAD in a street situation. Way too often, the other guy is armed or will simply kick the living **************** out of you!

Moreover, if you are stupid enough to get out of your car in a ghetto situation, man, that is the end of the line.

Either hit the gas or hit the trigger.

IMHO!
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Old 03-25-2006, 09:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luxury1
A few years ago I took some martial arts (Taekwondo) and made it to green but I never want to have to leave the car. Spray and go is my philosophy (or better yet just GO depending on the situation). Plus at an early age I realized that street fighting is very different than tournament fighting especially if there is more than one opponent. I just want to drive in peace

Also, aBsOlUt I know what you are saying about being young. I am also in my 20's and I think that this contributes to the chaos for the exact reason you stated; jealousy.

I also started out with Taekwondo, but found it to be, as you said, unrealistic when related to an actual combat situation. That's why I much prefer Muay Thai and MMA. MT has great "stand-up" aspects, whereas the MMA allows more of a focus on "groundwork" to include grappling, joint locks/breaks/submissions, and control.

Pepper sprays are effective, however, therein lies the problem with using it. Spraying someone while sitting in a car, namely a convertable, wouldn't be a wise decision due to factors such as wind speed and direction. The wind could easily blow the spray back towards your own face. If you're behind the wheel when this happens, one of a few things will happen:

a. you will panic and run over people/plants/animals/unsuspecting street signs
b. you will anger your attacker, who will proceed to beat you up
c. while your attacker and yourself are incapacitated, someone will jack your ride.
d. your attacker may enjoy foods that are very spicy. He/she will think your self-defense attempt is a friendly gift. To thank you for your kind gesture, they will take you under their wing and show you all that a life on the wrong side of the tracks has to offer. You become enticed by the seedy yet glamorous underworld of carjacking. So enticed that you begin a never ending downward spiral of crime and mischief that will end only in your imprisonment or death. (insert montage here)

Sorry, I'm a little wary of pepper spray and tear gas since i was exposed to it in the military. We went through what's called a "confidence chamber" where the whole idea is to learn to appreciate and utilize your protective equipment. The stuff isn't life threatening, but it is highly incapacitating.

But seriously, you could just drive away. Or leave the top up. But by living in fear, you are allowing yourself to be dominated by the lowest form of primate: the arrogant bully.

P.S., Luxury1, you mentioned jealousy, I agree. That, and immaturity.

Last edited by delastrodmen; 03-25-2006 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 03-25-2006, 09:37 AM   #8
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Funny you should say that, I had a scary situation in downtown Pittsburgh with the top down last year. I was driving thru the city to the strip district at night and had a couple thuggish kids that were sitting down on the sidewalk start coming towards my car at a pretty fast pace. No cars were coming so I just drove thru the red light to avoid any confrontation. I definately understand what you are saying though. I'm thinking about getting a handgun and a carry permit for this very reason. When I have the top up, my 5% tint all around seems to make people not want to bother me.
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Old 03-25-2006, 09:55 AM   #9
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Also, I find it kind of troubling that you guys are talking about packing heat. The repercussions should be fairly obvious. I'm not a lawyer, nor well versed in Pittsburgh vehicle codes. But I would speculate that most states have similar requirements governing the aspects of keeping a gun in your car. More than likely, you will need a gun permit or concealed weapons permit. And if you have a gun in the car, you will more than likely have to keep the firearm and ammunition in either separate cases, or separate vehicle compartments. This is probably because the fuzz figure the longer it takes someone to assemble their toys, the more time they'll have to think about what they're about to do. It would be a shame to be charged with manslaughter for killing someone who was walking to your car to ask you for a dollar/the time/directions/etc.

I'm getting a feeling that Pittsburgh has some less than respectable neighborhoods. My advice to you guys is to anticipate your arrival to the questionable area, then just raise your top until you're in the clear. Or you could always take a detour. There is more than one route to get to where you're going.
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucelee

Either hit the gas or hit the trigger.

IMHO!
Indeed. You want to avoid confrontation at all costs in this situation - hit the gas. You have nothing to gain by staying to fight it out - even if they have damaged your car already.

However, if you can't get out of there, and your life (or God forbid your wife's) is in danger, you want the best possible edge you can have - a .45 in my opinion.
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:48 AM   #11
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"However, if you can't get out of there, and your life (or God forbid your wife's) is in danger, you want the best possible edge you can have - a .45 in my opinion"

Yes, as they say, dead is forever!
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Old 03-25-2006, 12:33 PM   #12
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When I become fearful of carjacking with the top up or down, I put my hand on my S&W 9MM. That always calms me down.

I wasn't born a Texan, but I got here just as soon as I could.
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Old 03-25-2006, 01:03 PM   #13
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When I become fearful of carjacking with the top up or down, I put my hand on my S&W 9MM. That always calms me down.

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Old 03-25-2006, 01:11 PM   #14
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Weird that this thread came up. A couple of months back my friend and I were at a stop light in his car next to a Escalade(full of darker colored minories). The passenger in the Escalade rolled down his window and stared at my friend who was the driver. As soon as the passenger opened his door my friend floored it. Either way if they were kidding or actually about going to try and rob us,its stupid.
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Old 03-25-2006, 03:03 PM   #15
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I think the people who mentioned avoiding such neighborhoods and/or putting your top up were offering good advice. Sometimes I like driving with the top up just to block out everything else. It's not hard to operate the top...especially in the boxster. It takes all of 12 sec to raise or lower it.
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Old 03-25-2006, 03:47 PM   #16
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just put your top up when you're downtown. or if you can afford it, get a hardtop when driving in urban areas.
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Old 03-25-2006, 04:55 PM   #17
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The top down does change the feeling of security a little but simply being in a "target" vehicle is disconcerting enough. Whenever I travel to Miami, Tampa or certain areas of Orlando and Jacksonville I carry 2 weapons, one in the car and one on my person. Regardless of where I'm driving there is always at least one gun in the car. I will not drive a Porsche or any other high profile car without some form of protection. Although I would love to believe otherwise I'm a realist and in this day and age protection is becoming more of a need than a luxury.

OH, and yes, I have had to draw once and it was the difference between becoming a statistic and the bad guys running away.

BTW, I am licensed to carry a concealed weapon in Florida and about 25 other states that reciprocate with Florida for CCW.
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Old 03-25-2006, 05:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkwatt
Weird that this thread came up. A couple of months back my friend and I were at a stop light in his car next to a Escalade(full of darker colored minories). The passenger in the Escalade rolled down his window and stared at my friend who was the driver. As soon as the passenger opened his door my friend floored it. Either way if they were kidding or actually about going to try and rob us,its stupid.
Just curious, why was it impotant to point out that the folks in the Escalade were "darker color MINORIES"?

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Old 03-25-2006, 05:17 PM   #19
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I take my share of ribbing for living in a small town in Indiana but would not trade it for the city life again. A few farmers give me strange looks when I drive into town but I can handle that all right. But I have lived in Pittsburgh - Pitt grad. I have lived in Cleveland and Orlando also and had a Triumph TR6 that drew the same uneasy feeling at times. My small Marine Corp window sticker helped but I always carried a Louisville slugger - funny I never played a bit of ball...
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Old 03-25-2006, 05:50 PM   #20
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Wow......I can't believe so many people would consider putting their car before their own life! The Boxster is a nice car, but if I was confronted with a gun to the head and somebody wants my car, I say let them take it....the car is replaceable, but my life isn't....Live to drive another day....

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