This will not be the re-telling of the tragedy that befell former open-wheel Indy racer Sam Schmidt back in 2000, rather, it’s the tale of his triumph of will and perseverance. It’s a good old-fashioned love story in a sense, not the conventional Romeo and Juliet kind, but a love story just the same, between a man and his calling and his passion for cars.
Upon first watching the supplied video from Jay Leno’s Garage, your author couldn’t help but get choked-up and at the same time, feeling an elation I hadn’t felt in some time. Watching Sam control one the most powerful streetcars ever produced with nothing but controlled and precise exhales and inhalations, I was struck with an epiphany of sorts. It wasn’t just the awesome and groundbreaking 22nd-century advancements of ARROW Electronics that enabled Sam to maneuver the 650-HP Z06 Vette around a closed course and on the street, it wasn’t years of repetitious training and driving on the race circuit, no, it was pure, unadulterated, love.
You can see it on his face and hear it in his words, as he answers and entertains Jay, by showing what he and the Corvette can do. You can see that he is connected to the car like never before, not just literally but figuratively. His instincts and drivers intuition steer the C7 as much as ARROW’s special sensorized glasses and cameras. As his every breath out or in, fires the eight cylinders or slows the great machine, you can see that Sam is driving in a very natural and comfortable way, with his heart and mind taking the place of his appendages.
ARROW has named their incredible Semi-Autonomous Motorcar system after its intended test pilot, calling it (SAM) for short. In the opinion of this author, I can think of no better or appropriate name for this incredible system, unless of course, you give it another Sam Schmidt-inspired title like (DFTH)-Driving From The Heart.