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Where the Rubber Meets the Road
When we last visited, I discussed the pleasure of assembling a motor vehicle with my own two hands. It was late at night, but it was complete. A job well done.
Roll the door up and take a look. It's still looking good, but sometimes things get missed. It's nice to at least wave a wrench at the beast to make sure some critical pieces don't fall off, just in case. Like the wheels for instance. Sometimes I'm completely freaked out when find that I missed a simple detail, other times I find out that everything was done right last night. Either way, it provides confidence that I might not die in the first ten minutes.
I belong to the "trial by fire" school. Cars are meant to be driven, and driven hard. I build road race cars. I certainly want things to be nice and clean and attractive, but it's function that drives the overall look. If it is right, it looks right.
Bill Cosby, in an old stand up routine about getting frustrated with his children, says "I brought you into this world, and I can TAKE YOU OUT!". I feel the same way about cars. For me, the car is most alive when it's being twisted to redline on the exit of a particularly tight corner, just on the edge of spinning the tires. Huge kick in the ass and things surge forward, eating up road faster and faster and howling and SHIFT and faster and faster and SHIFT. yeah. That's the spot.
But anyway, we were standing in the garage early one morning...
Hit the key and things rumble to life. It's a fantastic feeling to go from dead quiet morning to the sound of eight cylinders of coughing death. Wow. A little lumpy at idle until it warms up, but it's all there, alive. I grin, half happy because it hasn't spewed mechanical guts all over the driveway and half amazed that it actually works.
Warmed up, look underneath and make sure there's not a steady flow of some sorta fluid (pick one) leaking out. Nope. Cool. Do it.
Slot into gear and slide down the street. The thing is built to be capable of 150mph, but it's not too wise to do that in the first couple of minutes. Let all the parts get warmed up and cozy and make sure it doesn't vomit at 35mph, then lean on it hard. The smells waft out, fresh motor. The smell of sealant curing, spray paint drying as the engine block comes up to temperature, gasoline and a tinge of oil smoke. It's all working together. This is one of the best feelings ever. Like putting together a great song or painting a canvas, it's all my work.
Work up to it. Get on the gas hard and the let off a bit....seems ok. Alright, here we go! Stomp the gas WFO (Wide Fucking Open) and bang and shift, pulling so hard ripping across the pavement and bang another shift, then another. Whoa. It works! This piece of shit actually works! Yeah!
Wanna go for a ride?