Admit it, you’ve always wanted to jump over a drawbridge in a car.
Well, at least I have. Maybe it was all those car jumps in the Dukes of Hazzard episodes, or possibly the 98 viewings of Smokey and the Bandit, but when I was a kid in the 1970s, my family crossed the General Edwards drawbridge to get to Nahant Beach. Every time we went, I prayed that thing would start to open and my dad would gun the Duster and carry us across. He’s the type that would do it too.
As unlikely as it may be, that exact fantasy came true for a kid sitting in the back of her dad’s RAV4 in Cape May, New Jersey this past week. On the way to a favorite spot, her father, Terance Naphys, was on the Middle Thoroughfare bridge with her, his wife, and her friend. Terance knows that bridge well. He has been going to the beach on the other side since the late ’70s. As they were on the bridge, Terance’s wife Jackie, said: “I think the bridge is opening!” Faced with a choice of stopping or going for it, Terance chose to floor it.
The acceleration from the RAV4’s tremendously powerful (176hp) four-cylinder engine was enough to carry the RAV4 across. Terance says the landing was the “Biggest impact of my life.” They say every landing you walk away from is a good one, right? Once the dust settled, the four found themselves a bit dinged up, but nobody was seriously hurt.
The RAV4 was. Terance says it has suffered at least $10K in damage to its undercarriage. The compression during impact was beyond the RAV4’s capabilities. Interestingly, Toyota is about to start offering a new RAV4 trim, which has added ground clearance, called the Adventure. Just for grins and giggles, BestRide reached out to our Toyota contact. We asked him if the new Adventure trim was rated for bridge jumps. He just chuckled.
General Edwards drawbridge – Google Earth
RAV4 Damage – CBS News NY