Apr 2009 10

GTR dun

Posted In Cars

gt-r_02_800Nissan includes a Customer Disclosure Form with the purchase of the GTR. It’s basically a Bible on how to maximize your ownership of this “low production, high performance sports car” but it reads more like a cult-regulated checklist of information. The disclosure states brake pad and rotor wear will be higher than you have probably experienced, and you must replace all four sets of pads and rotors at the same time. One flat tire? You’ll take four new ones, thanks. Ride quality may be harsh and jolting. No problem- Nissan will tell you that you’re just not familiar with a true race suspension. Everything will groan, squeak, and squeal more than a well satisfied client at a brothel so enjoy the racket. [..]

May 2009 07

Car smorgasbord

Posted In Cars

We’re all doing our part to help the environment- reusable shopping bags, solar and wind powered houses, edible panties- but who would have thought driving a car would be next on our list of biodegradable and sustainable production?  The University of Warwick said to hell with starving children (just kidding…) and created the first Formula 3 race car built from potatoes, steered by root fibers of a veggie platter, plant oil based lubricants, and equipped with a seat made from soybean oil foam upholstered in a flax fiber weave, potato starch mirrors, and brake pads made from ground cashew shells.  Even the radiator is coated in an emission destroying catalyst.  The car is expected to top out at 145 mph (125mph in the corners!) which would make it competitive in the F3 series, and it meets all Formula 3 racing series standards except its fuel choice- vegetable oil and chocolate waste (isn’t that just the wrapper?).  Oddly enough, F3 cars aren’t allowed to race on biodiesel, keeping it from competing in the series.  The car is expected to be on display at the European Grand Prix and Britain’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.  When asked why they decided to design a car that could be built at a farmers market, the designers probably replied the idea came from playing with their food.  And who wouldn’t want to see this thing race?  Debris from any wreck could be promptly picked up and donated to the food bank- now that’s recycling!

side_on_bottles_carrotts_in

Photo courtesy University of Warwick

Jul 2009 02

Am I the only one that can’t drive stick with flip flops on?  My narrow feet slip out the bottom and suddenly I’m relying on a half inch of rubber to keep the clutch pedal depressed enough.  This stock 55lb dual mass clutch/flywheel combo isn’t the easiest to drive anyways.  It’s like it has 2 engagement points and requires a little more tickling than the other cars.  So anyways, I stalled, then drove home barefoot.

Jul 2009 29

Driving is a skill and I don’t think it’s necessarily a hard one but it takes practice and attention to be good at it.  Most people reading this probably think they’re good drivers, but I know some of my readers are not (wink, wink).  Of course, if you ask me I’m just going to say “no, I definitely wasn’t referring to you…” but take a gander at my driving rules below to identify what side of the road you are on. [..]

Aug 2009 14

I know you’re all waiting for the wrap-up on the Great Taste of the MW, but I’ve yet to sober up, er… I mean download the eye candy from the camera so let me summarize the drive itself.  Round trip was 2250 miles and 6 states in 7 days and since my butt is still sore from spending 40 hours in a car, I figure I can offer a few suggestions I have for a successful road trip: 

1) CB Radio- not only do these truckers know to alert you about a “Bear in the woods at 12 over 4” or “4 on the ground and a bear in the air” (didn’t know they could fly!) but you will also be one of the first to know why all three lanes just brake checked, and if its something like construction or traffic, truckers often offer up a different route to take around it all, complete with colorful language about the four wheelers who can’t drive. 

2) EZ Pass- Now that Maine finally joined in, Ohio is the only state in the upper right quadrant of the US that needs to get on the ball with some sort of non ticket-only toll system.  You can even use your EZ Pass to fly through the I-Pass lanes in the Chicago area which often helps you bypass a crapload of traffic in the cash lanes. 

3) Pee every time you stop because it never fails that right after you fill up the car with gas and get back on the road, your bladder will start poking you to empty it.

4) Properly inflates tires so the next pothole doesn’t equal your next popped tire.  You’ll also get better gas mileage.

5) Pass left, stay right!

6) Pay attention to the road in front of you, not just your little bubble of space.  If the speeding cars around you or a semi-truck in front suddenly slow down or brake, there’s probably a good reason.  Don’t try to prove your manhood by flying past the cop everybody else spotted.

7) Use some logic when driving around truckers.  If they move to the left, there’s generally a good reason, whether it’s construction, a cop, a disabled vehicle, a little old lady who can’t see over the dash, whatever.  Give the truck some time/room to get back over to the right before you try darting around.  And don’t cut in front of a semi-truck to try to pass people on the right unless you want to push your luck at getting a few tons of steel shoved up your ass.

.8) Don’t drive through Chicago, especially when there’s this “little” festival called Lollapalooza going on that weekend.  But even when there’s not.  Route yourself around the city, be it through Canada or south, or take a Prozac to deal with the drivers. 

9) Don’t stop in Gary, Indiana.  “Admire” the city from the safety of the highway!

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