They stop her at gas stations. They stop her at drive-throughs. Teenagers and men find Bonny Suter fascinating. Or maybe it’s her 2013 Tuxedo Black Ford Taurus SHO. “In this area,” says the Charlotte, North Carolina, resident, “speed is respected.” And some folks think only one gender has the right stuff.
“They see the SHO badge and they ask if I know what I’m driving.” Pity the fellow who tries to school Bonny, to “teach her how to drive” by showing off and starting a race.
“They’re getting it backwards,” she says, laughing. This is a woman who learned to drive in a 1985 Mustang, on a drag-strip. She purchased her SHO last summer because it was the faster version of her previous vehicle: a 2011 Taurus Limited she adored.
A few months later Bonny, her husband—a motorcycle guy—and their 14-year-old daughter (yes, she already knows how to drive, and covets a F-150 when she gets her license) took a weekend trip to the Great Smoky Mountains and the famed Tail of the Dragon road. That’s a narrow 11-mile section of U.S. 129, with some 318 curves, on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.
Bonny wanted to prove to her husband that the SHO was up to the challenge of the road. Neither of them had ridden the Dragon in a car. Both were impressed.
“The SHO took the curves easy and held them great,” says Bonny. “No strain on the car. It was a breeze. With the paddle shifters I could downshift as much as I needed to with the turns. In a straight automatic I could not have enjoyed the road as it’s meant to be enjoyed.”
Standard all-wheel drive, the other main attraction that drew Bonny to the SHO, helped make it easier to hang into the curves. And it has also made the past season’s snow more bearable.
“I’ve had a long history of liking cars,” says Bonny, “But there’s no driving without safety first.”