Revving Up: A Look at the Coolest Cars in the Placer Parking Lot

Story by Rex Stanley, Messenger Staff Writer

Placer High School is packed with interesting and diverse cars. 

Placer senior Jack O’Connor decided he wanted to buy a car that could be reliable but also fast, so he chose a Nissan 350z, also known as the Fairlady Z. The 2-seater vehicle is fast and can be easily modded. “My grandpa originally gave me a commuter car just to help me out when I first got my license, after selling it, I saved some more money working and bought my Z.”

O’Connor has also added multiple upgrades for better functionality. “I did an exhaust on it, I did an intake as well, it’s making about 300hp which is decently fast,” he explained. O’Connor recommends this car to others because of how fun the car is and the learning opportunities it offers. “…It’s decently reliable, you can have plenty of fun with it, and it’s a perfect starter.”

Gus Orlando, another senior at Placer, owns a beautiful truck that has been passed down multiple generations, “It’s a 1986 Chevy step side, it has a 305 motor. It’s my grandfather’s truck and he got it from a pitcher from the Giants like 20 years ago,” said Orlando.

Compared to most cars, Gus has not spent a lot on it and has continued to maintain it to do so. “I’ve added a new interior, new wheels, new bench seat, power windows, flow master exhaust, and slightly lowered. We’ve probably put a total of 6 grand into it over the 20 years that we’ve had it.

Though Gus loves his truck and drives it often, he doesn’t recommend it as a daily drive due to the gas price. “It’s more of a project car instead of a daily vehicle.”

Ashlyn Rand, a junior at Placer, owns a Ford GT Mustang with a body kit and multiple upgrades, “My dad got it for me for my first car, we bought it the way it is, the owner before it added many upgrades,” she explained.

Though Mustangs are fast cars, they have a poor reputation when it comes to their handling. Ashlyn recommends Mustangs but acknowledges the risks of owning one. “I would (own a Mustang) if you know what you’re doing, but they’re definitely a lot to handle.”

Nick Shaffer a senior at Placer, owns a Dodge Charger. “I got this car from my dad. He owns multiple car dealerships in the area and gifted this to me. The upgrades I’ve added are 5% tinted windows, lowered the car, added a new exhaust, and a new cold air intake.”

Though his car is fast and sporty, Nick knows the insurance and cost of owning one while still in high school can be difficult. “Honestly I love this car but I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t have enough money to upkeep it, it guzzles gas and insurance is a pain on it, but it’s a beautiful car and if you can afford it I would definitely get it,” he added.