The Buick Regal GS is an American car built for Americans who like to do American things.
Which is funny, because it looks more like a German car built for Germans who like to drive fast on German highways. But what’s more American than having an expensive German vehicle in your driveway designed to make American neighbors jealous? (Turns out the Buick Regal GS is based off of the Opel Insignia OPC—a German-built vehicle—and is assembled in Canada. Still, It’s a Buick.)
To prove that the Regal GS is the true patriot it contends to be, I took it camping on the Upper Delaware River in northern Pennsylvania at the Soaring Eagle Campgrounds, which sounded like the most patriotic campground ever.
It may have been wise for me to choose a different vehicle from GM's extensive fleet for this mission—a Chevy pickup would have been fun for a romp in the woods—but there's just something about a Buick...
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t imagine myself a modern day George Washington, navigating my way across the River to Freedom.
I didn’t take it off-roading, but I did have to drive through a very shallow, rocky creek (sorry, GM) in order to get to the campsite. While I was afraid that I might lose the front bumper on the way across, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t imagine myself a modern day George Washington, navigating my way across the River to Freedom in the name of Our Country (it was July 4th weekend after all). The Regal GS handled the adventure well, though it was much more fun to open up on the highway (the 2.0L turbocharged engine goes a long way when you’re passing a pop-up camper every few miles) and on coiled country roads.
Beyond the creek, we made our way past some trees to our campsite—a semi-flat, semi-grassy plot of American soil tucked into the woods about fifty yards from the River, alongside a creek that we shared with a friendly, late-night garbage eating skunk. As good as the Regal GS looks on the road—I saw the eyes of many a passer-by, wondering, “Audi? BMW?” No, sir, I thought back at them, "Buick"—it looks just as good parked next to a tent. Twenty-inch alloy rims, polished of course, shine a little brighter in the hands of Mother Nature.
While the Regal GS lorded over our campsite, I enjoyed a couple days of burning hotdogs, exploding Chinese-made fireworks (they’re legal in PA) and floating down the Delaware in an inflatable tube tethered to another inflatable tube filled with cold beer.
Turns out twenty drunken people floating on a river screaming all bloody get-out does not phase a Bald Eagle.
It was on said river, in said tube, tethered to said tube filled with beer, that I witnessed what turned out to be one of the finest American moments of my relatively young life. Tall as a fourth grader, with a chalk white dome, golden beak and rich mahogany feathers, perched forty feet up on the branch of a fine American tree, my troupe spotted the handsomest of Bald Eagles. Turns out, twenty drunken people floating on a river screaming all bloody get-out does not phase the avian symbol of this great nation. In fact, as a direct response to our commotion—whistling, clapping, making Colbert Report screeching eagle sounds, singing “America the Beautiful”—it did nothing but perch stoically over us like Honest Abe in his giant stone throne. We couldn't have looked more ridiculous.
Then it ruffled its feathers, adjusted its footing on the branch, turned its rear towards us, and released a stream of excrement that fell through the air like a six-foot length of rope. It was the most glorious dump I’ve ever witnessed. The floaters were silenced, and with three beats of its majestic wings it soared away, over the river and beyond, where it went to kill terrorists and audition for the lead in a Budweiser commercial.
The next day I drove home in the Regal GS smelling like burned wood that hasn't showered for three straight days, stopping only to take a picture of Da Shark Lounge in Bethel, NY—the strip club most deserving of a spot on Mount Rushmore.