Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Subies and Airplanes

Found these on a suby forum. Off topic, but how about that turbo LS1 cf plane. Wish I had more pics but that's all they posted. Recognize those mountains behind that silver STi and red Mig? Mojave airport.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Further discussion on Cobra n M3 test drives

Some comments on my review of the Cobra and M3

Hi Dad,

That was a very informative read. That clunking in the rear when letting out the clutch (engaging) was exactly what my 1998 Mustang Cobra SVT did, at only 9k miles. Under warranty I had the transmission replaced and it was much better albeit not perfect. Then at 15k miles I had a striped lug nut in the front-end replaced. Not long after that a recall for the parking brake assembly which fixed the "hard to pull" issue with the parking brake. I believe not long after that some actuator in the engine went and it was $1,200 to repair. That was it, I sold it. When it sold it was in desperate need of a new clutch. The previous owner of this Cobra must have beat the crap out of it and didn't know how to drive a manual transmission. Getting back to the performance. I tend to agree with Chris' assessment. The Cobra was a little "tankish" but despite that feeling, it still cornered and handled well (I matched the speeds of corners as in my 01 GT), and the raw power of the thing kept me, a die-hard Mustang owner/driver, hooked. I've always wanted to test drive an M3, have only heard great things.


None of you guys know Chris, the author of this little article below. He and I work together. He knows cars like Phil knows planes. I defy you to ask him a question he can't answer. Thought you'd enjoy this. He and I spend a little time every day or two discussing pros and cons of various cars. Trying to find the perfect car (like that exists). So far, the EVO is the winner. If the insurance was affordable, I'd still have one. Although, for pure giggles, the MINI is the winner (but not enough room).

RickRod's rebuttal

It isn’t Hot Rod it’s Tuner or is it Tooner as in Cartoon. Mustangs, Camaros and Monte Carlos are running mid to low 8’s every weekend on street tires and they don’t need 29 freakin’ pounds of boost to do it. What does that dude run for a head gasket, criptonite or unobtainium ? Funding for the 442 got diverted to BYU just like your pappy, who could be running eights in sally by now. Some cars are better to dream about. The reality of the 442 is a mid 14 second wheel hopping, drum brake tank (as in Sherman not M-1 like the Cobra). You wait you whipper snapper some day it will run ! If I die before then Ben gets it. Maybe you guys can put two of them EVO motors in it new generation Hurst Hairy Olds redux. Still no comment on the 32 tube frame kit rod you were thinkin’ about, that’s a HOT ROD !

Words of Wisdom from BenRod!!!

Haha, Motorweak, that was clever!

But you guys are comparing apples to oranges here. Nobody ever doubted the V8s place in drag racing, nor even challenged it. Going straight and fast has its place, but for the ultimate driving experience, lateral Gs are there to please. Even you have admitted that one of the most fun cars to drive was the Turbo Coupe. 2.3L turbo RWD, good weight distribution, handled well, but it didn’t make 5000 HP, like your “Chrysler” Hemis in NHRA. All Chris is saying is that there is more to the driving experience than raw HP, and I agree. If you had to choose a car to drive EVERYDAY, would you choose the ‘55 Chevy with straight axle front end and the hillborn injected 427, or a ‘64 Ferrari G.T.O.??? Each has its place, but one will provide more general entertainment.

I’m pretty sure you have a 400 horse Camaro at your dispense to drive every day, but do you? You guys are stuck in the 60s man. Dude we have radial tires now, ditch the 70 series Polyglass already!

Gran Turismo baby! Ultimate driving experience. How many times have you been down the 1/4 mile in the last year??? How many times have you taken the mountain road between Lake Elsinore and San Juan Capistrano in the last year?

So we all know the cheapest way to go fast is a V8.
Used Vega = $250
roll cage + tube front end = $2000
700 HP Blown 502 = $15,000
9 inch ford rear end + 30 inch slicks = $1500
9 seconds for under $20K

You will never get an EVO in the 9s for $20K.

But you can get an EVO in the 12s for $20K, plus have a daily driver, plus have a road racer, plus have a rally racer, plus airbags, 4-doors, A/C, passes smog, legal to drive, cool date car, drive across the country, drive up mountains, drive it to the beach, drive it on the beach (AWD what?? - OK maybe not).

Now I think both Chris and I agree, nothing would be cooler than a tube frame 32 coupe in rat rod style for those sweet nights of cruising or the occasional In N Out run. But which of us can afford to have a 32 Hemi coupe sitting in the garage waiting for a cool sunny day. Now if you can have a 12 second car, without slicks, that you can drive in the Utah snow, that you can drive on the miller road racing course, down the 1/4, or up the Big Cottonwood canyon EVERYDAY of the year would you really turn it down so you could drive a hemi coupe 3 times a year?

Why can’t we all just get along???


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cobra < M3

So, I test drove an '04 Cobra and an '02 M3. Here's my report:
Ok, here's the Hechtspeed Review of the '03 Cobra 6 speed in white (that's right Rick, the best car color) with 78k miles for $15k.
Open the door, put the seat back all the way, hey, doesn't this thing go back further. Oh well, its a Cobra, who cares. Start it up, huh, that's quiet, must have stock exhaust. Let clutch out to back out. I feel a little thud. Hmm, its a Cobra who cares. First gear, pull to the lot exit of this little Used Car dealer of highend cars (also selling a black Z06, a red Porsche with aftermarket wheels, an M5 and an M3 (more on this beaut' later), etc. I pull out and feel another clunk when the rear gears begin forward motion. Lame, this thing must have been beatin' on. Dang.... :( Ok, just putting around because its about 43 degrees outside and this thing hasn't warmed up yet. Come to a stop after getting to 2nd gear. Brakes feel pretty good. On the walk around I saw it has drilled rotors and the 275's on the front and 245's on the rear (huh?). Next street, I get up to 2 and ease into 'er. Yeah, there's the Cobra! The boost guage is a dial from 0-10psi. It saw about 3 psi on that little ease job. Stoplight, turn right and get into 'er again just a little. Nice blower whine, that was cool. I gave it a little mini slalom just to get an idea for its steering feel. At this point the car is feeling really heavy. Everything is heavy and stiff. The clutch is pretty stiff. The shifter is super solid. I don't think anyone makes shifter feel better than Honda and Mustang V8's. Anyway, back to the Terminator. ;) Even the ebrake was tough to pull up on. Geez! So, I sit at a light a few cars back. Green and just a block up ahead is a quick onramp offramp setup. So, green at the onramp (about 4pm, so the meter light is on). Small clutch slip as I'm on the throttle and lay into 'er. First went by pretty quick, second gear and I take her up to 6k (she still had another 1k rpm or so in her I think) and the blower is whinin' good and she's putting me in the seat nice, got up to 70 in no time and I up shift to 4, 5, and 6 to make sure all gears are good, right? :) Then its quick rev matching and downshifting because I'm on the offramp already. ;) (Ben, you remember this little jaunt in Bountiful when you took me for a right in the Camaro? :) The offramp has a bend and I jabbed the thrrotle again and stopped at the light. A few more streets back and I'm back to home base. Man this car is a tank. It's a pig until you nail the throttle. At this point I'm not feeling the car. Sorry bro and pap. But this thing is not my style. It's a straight line monster no doubt, but its no fun to "drive". Everything is stiff, heavy, hard. The seating position was worse than in my Mustang GT I guess because the seat has more bolstering/padding? and doesn't feel comfy and tight like the EVO, Suby or SRT seats feel. The steering wheel is slow, no feeling, and no telescoping adjustment at all. The shifter feels like its a mile away. That clunk in the rear end doesn't feel positive either. Probably wornout IRS bushings or gear slop after all those launches. So, a big thumbs down. For taking a test drive, pretty fun and beasty, but not me. Bro and Dad you guys would dig, but Ben I've got another test drive for you. See below:

So, I ask for a test drive in the M3, a 2002 with 47k miles, silver (second best car color eh), 6 speed manual. Looks stock. I start it up and I here this swanky 3.2L dohc in line 6 cylinder. I idle it for a minute. While waiting for this beauty of german engineering to warm up, I dial in the perfect go kart seating position. Legs slightly bent, wheel closer to my chest since it has telescoping wheel. Put her in reverse to back out. Turn the wheel and say "man, this wheel keeps turning" unlike the cobra which seems to stop after one turn. Give a little throttle and the response seems slow and a little like my civic below 2000. Pull up to the lot exit and stay in first to the stopsign half a block away because it seems to like life at 3500-4000. Come to the lstop and begin breaking and geez, the brakes are right now. Much more feel with less pedal movement. The car already feels lighter. The clutch is like 3 times as light as the cobra (notice its a lower case "c"). The shifter is much easier to move, although not as solid as even my civic, but better than a wrx. So, I'm in 2nd and give it a little push on the go pedal. That swanky (this is the word that best describes this beauty) 6 is a revver. It's sort of like a honda how it doesn't have much below like 3-4k. I get to the right hander and then do the same mini slalom to feel the steering. I'll tell you what, the M3 was better than the cobra, but still not EVO steering. So, I get to the drag launch light at the onramp. I go for it pretty decent. I took it up to about 7k (redlines at 8000). When I was in second that swanky exhaust note and intake note are music to my ears and that pull at about 4500 to 7000 was awesome. It felt almost as fast as the cobra. It is ranked at 333hp/260tq vs Cobras 400/400hp/tq. Overall the difference for me was the light feel and the willingness to be driven. Can't explain it any better. This car just made me want to keep driving it. I wanted to take a longer test drive, try out more roads. So, I got up to about 70mph on the onramp/offramp thing and came to that bending offramp and was rev matching and it was just so fun. That thing is cool! Too bad they're asking $24k. ;( (good deal I guess, but you can get a nice used evo or sti for that). The M3 when putting around in low revs is a doll. Feels like the 328i I drove in late '08. Real pedestrian and quiet, easy to drive. When you open up that swanky 6, that's pure sauciness. Love it!

Verdict? M3 kills it. As I gave the M3 key back to the guy, he asked how it was and I said, well that ruled out the cobra! ;) So that's it my friends. M3 wins. Cobra out of my mind. Ultimate Driving Machine? Yes. So, where does this leave me? I will say that the new '05-09 Mustang GT and Bullit I drove felt more fun to drive than the Cobra. Plus at 300 hp on 87 octane, that's a much better driver than the Cobra when you consider gas and insurance. The Cobra is for hard core Mustang guys for sure. That car needs an intake, exhaust, pulley and tune to really wake it up and make it worth the tankiness it has. It needs to be on the 1/4 mile. It's no good anywhere else. So, I think my choice of my next car will be an EVO/M3 as first choice and an STi/05-09 Mustang GT as second and a WRX and Civic Si third.

EVO's, Suby's and Mustangs, Oh My!!!

So, did a little Google Image searching and found these nice examples. My next car will likely be one of these. Practical, mod friendly, fun to drive. What else do you need?! ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

$310,000 M3

So, I had to post pics of this thing after seeing it again on insideline.com the other day. This is a limited edition (50 cars) built with the goal of taking the "modified stock" Nurburgring lap record, held currently by the Dodge Viper ACR. This M3 probably has a shot with 500hp from its 4.4L (bumped up from 4.0) V8, weight saving diet, widebody kit with extra wide 315's. Pretty shweet eh? ;)