|photography by Elizabeth Lavin|
Hypothesis: Fancy cars always come back faster from the valet than do the rides of the hoi polloi. Methodology: We simultaneously valet-parked two cars—a 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet (MSRP $92,195) and a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am (used $10,000)—and then picked them up, again simultaneously.
Data: We ran the experience on a rainy Friday. West Village pickup occurred at 11:17 p.m.
W Hotel pickup at 1:30 a.m.
Conclusion: While the Grand Am did arrive, on average, 2 minutes and 16 seconds after the Porsche, the rain almost certainly affected our data. All members of the research team agreed that on a night with better weather and bigger crowds, overall valet times would have lengthened, likely causing greater time spreads between cars. Also, the valet at the W is way over-priced. More research needed.