And now, building for something a little different… gasbuddy


Carmax beckoned, and so I paid $16,800 for a 2002 Miata LS, silver over tan. Six-speed, LSD, leather seats? A big step up. I started driving just for the joy of driving. Back roads or highway, a 30-minute back route to work or a 6-hour meandering journey into West Virginia, it was all good. Within a short period of time, some of those same friends that convinced me M.I.A.T.A., convinced me to start coming out to autocross. Not that it was too hard of a sale – I was single, no bills, and with this nimble little sportscar; I wanted to finally stop playing Gran Turismo and start driving for real. And so, my first introduction to real-life motorsport.

I was hooked and happy. v lab electricity Spirited drives on back roads were all well and good, but how do you measure you skill against others on a casual drive? I paid my $40, drove 40-some-odd minutes down to RFK stadium parking lot, worked in the sun for 4 hours, all for 12 minutes of seat time. I was out for every event and trying to improve my times (and finishes) in the ultra-competitive Washington DC Region SCCA. I slowly started going to more car-related events, and slowly started modifying it. My first "major" solo automotive project – swapping a cat-back exhaust from Flyin’ Miata in the parking lot of my work. Got the stickiest allowable tires in the stock category. Started figuring out how go to the top of C Stock specification – the sport-hard suspension swap? Let’s get serious.

And then, at one late-summer, event, a new face among my fellow CS Miata drivers. Roll bar, a tire trailer to carry wheels and a toolbox – this guy knew what was up. I went over and struck up a conversation. One this he said intrigued me – "I used to autocross, but once I got out on a track? That was it. The amount of seat time you get is so much better, and it’s so much fun – once you get out to a trackday, you won’t want to waste your time in the heat and sun out at an autocross anymore. I’m here because one of my friends insisted!"

I got rare, Japanese 19" wheels. static electricity diagram I removed the M badging and replaced the M-only chrome vents "vents" with much-less-flashy Z3 shark gills. I got Schrick cams, installed a new air intake and new management system to replace whatever software flash the PO had. I participated in drag races of questionable legality on questionably-closed status tracks. I had the most expensive RADAR/LASER detector on the market, that saved me again and again and again.

And I? I was driving with very little respect for the rule of law. I drove the 32 mile-trip from my apartment to a car-friend’s apartment in 17 minutes. I once drove from 295, around DC, and back to 295 at about 2 in the morning in under 30 minutes. You don’t need to look it up, I’ll tell you – the DC beltway is 64 miles around. Sometimes, I got ticketed. I didn’t get ticketed a LOT of the time I should have gotten ticketed. I was incredibly stupid and if I could go back and give myself a quick few punches to the gut, I would. My insurance was $1600 a month, more than both my car notes. I had had the BMW for 17 months.

And then, one of the women I was dating, well… stuff got serious. gas company We moved in together. Shortly thereafter, I got pulled over with her in the car, doing 151 in a 55 at 1 am driving back from a friend’s house. I was slowing from the gear-limited 168 top speed when I got LASER’d. The BMW was impounded. I was lucky not to get taken to jail that night. I went to court, I paid huge fines. My license was suspended for a year.

The relationship started going south. One of many sticky points was having to adjust our schedules to each other to deal with only having one car. I got my license back. I bought a highly-modified, stripped out VW GTi from a friend, around October of 2011 if I recall correctly. A drive-it-once-in-a-while-on-the-street trackday car. It had no interior, it had a straight-through exhaust, it had a cryo-treated transmission with aftermarket LSD, it had a far-too-stiff coilover setup; it had a turbo that had grown three sizes during one moving Christmas moment in Whoville. The mod list was longer than this post. Flooring it at 2K rpm produced only a whirring noise until the turbo finally kicked in 1400 RPM later, at which point the vehicle was suddenly bouncing off the rev limiter and you were going much faster, much more loudly, than you intended. It dynoed at 260wHP and 283ft/lb of torque. In a car with no interior but the front two seats and dash, and weighed around 2070 lbs.

I took Friday off of work with the intention of buying a black-on-black 135i six-speed hardtop with cold weather and luxury packages from a dealer 40 miles from home. I called the dealer, told them I wanted it and I was on my way. It took me four hours to fight DC traffic and get to the dealership, by which time they’d sold it out from under me. electricity 2pm mp3 There were no other 135i six-speed hardtops in the state, in any color or options combination. Rather than waste the time, I sat at a restaurant, eating lunch and using my phone to see if there were any other cars of interest around. There was a Carmax 20 minutes away – I didn’t even look at their inventory, just finished my fries and started driving. gas weed I told the "sales assitant" what had happened at the BMW dealership. He got a glint in his eye.

I thought back to my old Miata, top down, cruising down the highway with wind and the sun – maybe this was a better idea than any old BMW? And so I test drove that Boxster. It wasn’t quite for me – not enough wind in my hair. But a $23K Porsche? It beat the snot out of the WRX and 350Z I also test drove. I got back home and started searching. And the next day, I ended up getting a ride in a friend’s S2K down to a Porsche dealer in Northern VA.

I started easing back into driving for reasons other than just getting around. Cruising in the Porsche was sweet – long road trips were no problem. It was so composed, so competent, so comfortable. The gas mileage was decent (anything’s decent compared to the 8 MPG I was averaging with the old M Coupe near the end), and there was plenty of space in the trunk for an overnight bag (and in the frunk for a toolbox and low-profile jack).

I took a new job, in NC. I dated around a bit, got serious with one woman again. We moved in together. Went on trips together. 2015 electricity prices And she started pointing out – she always drove. The Porsche was too small, it couldn’t fit two people’s bags. She couldn’t bring anything to the track unless we both drove and her car was the mule. I started considering what I could buy – new. Something nimble, that could seat four and take some bags, but that would be really fun. Something that could do it all.

And without what I was beginning to realize, was the worst feature of the Porsche – it was TOO good. Driving around in such a composed, capable, and fast car – even doing 90 it didn’t feel like it was being pushed at all. I wanted something I could have fun with on the street without falling into old habits. Something I could beat the snot out of and still be doing the speed limit, something that I could thrash around corners without getting the evil eye from other drivers.

And so I was "convinced" to buy a Fiesta ST. It seems like it was just right – light, like my old Miata. (Man that was a fun little car). grade 6 electricity Space in the truck for a couple bags. Seats four adults, as long as the ones in the back are under 5’5". Turbocharged 1.6L engine with all the torque you need and without so much of that obnoxious, get-you-tickets horsepower.

It was a fun little car, for about a week. And then the issues started becoming clear. Like the fact that it had been delivered to me straight from the factory in Mexico with pieces missing from the body. The ridiculously uneven panel gaps. A "feature" you couldn’t turn off that hung onto high RPM while shifting, so if you didn’t shift 1-2-3-4-5-6 it’d burn your clutch. The Recaro package that I had to order it to get was so poorly designed that it forced my head forward, pinching a nerve in my neck and making me unable to drive it comfortable for more than 10 minutes. The brake rotors cracked and then collapsed from normal wear. And the Ford dealership treated me like shit when I went to them with any of the numerous problems it came with.

I did it with… not as much planning as I should have done. It’s a good car. Very nice; a good combination of comfort, sport, reliability, space – all of it. But it turns out that to make a 135i or is really perform on track, it’s around $8000. You have to replace the front bodywork and suspension components with factory components from the 1M, you see – to even up the track and get a square stance, otherwise it just understeers and overheats, forever and ever off into the sunset.