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Thread: Pilots and Fast Cars

  1. #1

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    Pilots and Fast Cars

    Most pilots naturally like high performance vehicles other than planes, like cars , motorcycles., speedboats, etc. I just saw an article on line that reminded me of my experience with that. Roger Beasley Mazda dealer in Austin, Texas has a program to honor local nurses. They give 15 of the top rated nurses in the area the loan of a brand new Miata for a month! Despite it being hot there these ladies put the top down and like the wind in their hair. Its really generous and probably really good advertising for the brand also. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these ladies bring a check instead of returning the car at the end of the period.

    Quite a few years ago I had flown to Sun N Fun, and my good friend, EAA member and noted warbird writer Jeff Ethel and I decided to share a room. We had airplanes, but no car and the last one the rent a car booth had was a Miata, so we took it to share. What a kick! For anyone who doesn't know its a small 2 seater, low to the ground, and really is nimble and corners well. The ride is a little bumpy, but its not boring, you hop in and its an adventure wherever you are going, it would be a great perk for someone who had to get to a boring job daily. I used to have fast cars, but put my money and energy into planes now, but still recall the Porsche. I kind of hope Im over the fast car phase, but a few years back I drove a friend's very fast new Porsche. Don't know how much hp it has but more than enough, and it goes around right angle corners at about 50. I had to get out of there before I got addicted. I remember reading about racing the 917 at Le Mans and 215 mph on the Mulsane straight and still accelerating. I/m supposed to be over that.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 08-15-2019 at 08:08 AM.

  2. #2
    robert l's Avatar
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    Yep, I had the sports car, motorcycles, still have a motorcycle but ride it less and less. Back in the 60's, the hippies even said, Speed Kills, of course they were talking about a different kind of speed. And I've always heard that a Piper Cub is so slow, it will barely kill you ! My philosophy now is, "Life in the Slow Lane" !

    Bob

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    CarlOrton's Avatar
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    I transferred my 996 to my son to free up garage space for my Zenith project. Fortunately it’s still about a mile away so I have visitation rights. Had two Porsches and still are fond of them. But there’s still nothing like a lopey-idle big block from the late 60s with 11 or 12:1 compression and headers. It’s a sensory thing. Today’s supercars are faster and smoother but they don’t smack you upside the head with the total sensory immersion.

    Carl Orton
    Sonex #1170 / Zenith 750 Cruzer
    http://mykitlog.com/corton

  4. #4
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    When I was in the Air Force, a buddy was an Academy graduate. When their senior year came around, the local car dealers offered to take group orders for cars for the soon-to-be-graduating cadets. So you could always tell when an officer was commissioned by the year of their Corvette, Porsche, 280Z, etc.....

    Never had the muscle-car urge, myself. Comes from being a hard-headed engineer, methinks. Even when I did buy a Camaro 40 years ago, it had the smaller engine for better economy. Did go a bit sportier once I retired. I prefer two-door cars for better visibility to the side, and this was a pretty good option (Honda Civic Coupe). Handles nice, but too much turbo lag. "There's no substitute for cubic inches."

    Ron Wanttaja

  5. #5

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    Oh you bet Bill! I’m all about speed! For the Civilian Owned Category I’m all about the F-5 and CF-5D, Premier 1A and the Lancair Legacy. All time favorite Mil Power has to be the F-14. Although seeing the Raptor in action gives the Tomcat a run for the money! Just Awesome! Cars are anything with power and a Manual Transmission! But if I could design a top 5 it would be 1) 2019 Acura NSX Hardtop Retractable Convertible with 575hp and a 7 Speed MT 2) 2010 Mercedes SL65 AMG Black Edition with Retractable Hardtop and MT 3) 2017 Ferrari 458 Italia Hardtop Retractable with MT 4) 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo Hardtop Retractable With MT 5) 2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage MT. So yup all Manuals! If I could put any 5 boats in my Boathouse it would be 1) Mystic C5000 2) Sunseeker Predator 108 3) Pershing 110 4) Ranger Z522 Comanche 5) Ranger 621FS. Love em all!

  6. #6
    DaleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    "There's no substitute for cubic inches."
    We'll have to just disagree on that one, Ron. The little 3.5 Ecoboost in my F150 does an awfully nice job. Two small turbos instead of one big one means they spool up a lot quicker, and there's really no noticeable turbo lag. The same can be said for the Mercedes... again, two turbos, but with a 5.5 V12 picking up the slack while they spin up. For a big, heavy car, it will really scoot... in fact, it's the quickest car I've ever owned. My first sub-13 second car. Cubic inches AND forced induction is a really fun combination, even worth the 91 octane fuel bill.

    The worst case of turbo lag I ever experienced was a rental car in Germany. We had an Audi A4 wagon, with a teeny little turbo Diesel. It had a nasty habit of slumping over a second or two after you launched into an intersection... that was unnerving until I learned to get the RPMs up a second or two before the light changed, just to get a little boost going.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

    Flying an RV-12. Building a Fisher Celebrity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaleB View Post
    We'll have to just disagree on that one, Ron. The little 3.5 Ecoboost in my F150 does an awfully nice job. Two small turbos instead of one big one means they spool up a lot quicker, and there's really no noticeable turbo lag. The same can be said for the Mercedes... again, two turbos, but with a 5.5 V12 picking up the slack while they spin up. For a big, heavy car, it will really scoot... in fact, it's the quickest car I've ever owned. My first sub-13 second car. Cubic inches AND forced induction is a really fun combination, even worth the 91 octane fuel bill.

    The worst case of turbo lag I ever experienced was a rental car in Germany. We had an Audi A4 wagon, with a teeny little turbo Diesel. It had a nasty habit of slumping over a second or two after you launched into an intersection... that was unnerving until I learned to get the RPMs up a second or two before the light changed, just to get a little boost going.
    The most fun performance vehicle I ever owned for "off the line" was a hopped-up 1835cc VW tube frame buggy. Wheelies through 2nd, lift the front end in third. Brakes on all 4 wheels, stopped in two heartbeats even from full throttle. Who cares what it topped out at! No computer, no restrictions but fluid dynamics, FUN. Thanks for reminding me.

  8. #8
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    This is rapidly moving to NOT airplane stuff....except I will talk about my SAAB 9-3, which was at least made by an airplane company!

    Great turbo. Absolutely no lag. Great acceleration and a superb sport suspension. Everything a sport sedan made by an aircraft manufacturer should be. Never had a problem with the turbo. All good things come to an end and in 2017 I replaced it with a Ford Fusion. (Ford, at least, is a good friend of EAA and I therefore consider it tangentially airplane related.) The Ford Ecoboost pales in comparison to the Scania engine, with a half second or a second lag. very disconcerting. The ability to paddle shift makes up for that somewhat, but requires some getting used to. For raw power, however,... I learned to drive in my grandfather's 1963 Buick Wildcat with a 435 cubic inch engine. Push on the accelerator and you could immediately feel the G increase...as you watched the fuel gauge sink. So...when the oil crisis hit we traded it in for a Beetle. That Beetle is still my all time favorite car. (Many EAB aircraft use VW engines, so I will claim an airplane relationship here, too.)
    Chris Mayer
    N424AF
    www.o2cricket.com

  9. #9
    Dana's Avatar
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    I had a 280Z when I was in my 20s (great car, but I got a lot of speeding tickets...), but really my taste runs to lower powered low cost sports cars with great handling in the British/Italian style... never owned an MG or Triumph, but I had a few Fiat Spiders (also great cars, with some idiosyncrasies) and (briefly) a Fiero that I taught my daughters to drive in. Now I drive an older Miata which is really a British style sports car with a level of reliability that the Brits only dreamed of. But I still lust after a Lotus Seven (think the opening credits of "The Prisoner".

    Shall we start a thread correlating tailwheel pilots with drivers who prefer manual transmissions? Guilty on both counts...

  10. #10
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhemxpc View Post
    This is rapidly moving to NOT airplane stuff....except I will talk about my SAAB 9-3, which was at least made by an airplane company!
    Hmpppfff. So was my Honda.


    Ron "Nyah, nyah, nyah" Wanttaja

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