When you live in Southern California there’s an expectation of handing your keys to complete strangers when visiting a premium restaurant or resort. As a midwestern boy this expectation makes zero sense to me. I certainly understand, and even appreciate, the concept of valet service, but I have zero patience for establishments that require the use of such a service when I’m driving my Ford GT.
The GT is a rare and expensive automobile. It also has a manual transmission, which many younger people (and valets) don’t even know how to drive. If, for instance, you start a Ford GT off in third gear (a common occurrence with new GT drivers) you can fry the clutch in less than 60 seconds. And with no traction or stability control it only takes a momentary loss of self control to crash the car.
Thus my Ford GT has never been driven by a valet. I self park it, even at premium resorts, and thankfully (so far) they’ve all allowed me to maintain control of my car versus handing it over to a person I’ve known for less than 2 minutes. I often feel like a high-maintenance guest when I demand to park the GT myself, but I’ll take that feeling any day over the feeling of dread I’d have letting a complete stranger drive it.