Machinery and throttle have been in my blood since I was a wee lad… Most of my fans know that I had a very modest Acura Integra sedan as my “intro” car. I had observed and assisted my father with repairing his cars, so naturally my interest in cars is profound from watching the machinery evolve from a primitive rat’s nest to a very neat compacted power plant with wiring and hose work that almost looks beautiful. Sure, the bodies of cars have seen some bad days where you have designers butcher misshape metal into abominations… at the same time, you also have artisans trying to push the limits for new styles but embracing traditions.
I made the foolish mistake of thinking I could turn a project car into a daily driver… but it was one hell of a lesson. The majority of the foolishness was the fact that I was desiring too much for a return to my days of glory. Oh well, one day I will have my chance to revive Project Phoenix and relive my old days…
Lately, the few local friends and family I have are rather depressing me… I am often torn into picking who can join me on a journey… That is the sorrow of being a roadster driver. Family gripes because they have to “waste” gas to meet me at a restaurant… Friends get into fights because I choose to allow someone to ride with me while the rest have to take additional cars. I am well aware that my car’s 2-seater and that by its own accord is selfish. I will say that being able to witness the most beautiful autumn days while driving at high speeds and breathing the soothing winds while absorbing my Vitamin D without concern of frying to a crisp in the Texas summer heat.
Let’s rewind for a bit…
When I started driving… I will admit… holy hell, I was a SHITTY driver. I would multitask, not pay attention, and essentially I would let the machine control my destiny. This was wrong.
Driving has 2 components and surprisingly is VERY similar to martial arts.
- The car picks the driver, never the other way around.
- Control the beast, never let it control you.
The first is more the driver finding a car that is suitable to them. I will admit, the Integra never fit me. It was like me being thrown a Chinese 3-part staff and saying “use this” while I am hailing from a sword school. It wouldn’t be until my “project” car went south and my options not getting any better on cars similar to my late Integra that fate would show me the way. The cheapest car I could get insured in was a lowly MX-5 Miata. Initially… I thought it was rather humiliating, but then the proverb of “All heroes must start somewhere” and stuck to my fate.
Initially, I was going to be getting a white MX-5, but an unfortunate snag would have that car wrapped up with a fubar’d title that would delay it 6 months really put a wrench in things. A black MX-5 would worm its way from Austin to the dealer and I would be met with fate. The Miata I met was affectionately named “Kagami” that night and I signed my papers to earn my first car. On driving home, I felt a kindred bond to the machine. It was like the car was saying “I think you are suited to me, let me show you how to exert your dominion over me.” Ever since that moment… I had really entered true driving and could finally begin my journey as an automotive enthusiast.
The second point… I wouldn’t learn this until my nights of “Dragon Rage” would surge through me this past December. While hopped up on anger, spite, and a whole lot of caffeine, I had days I just looked forward to the sun setting. To witness the skies turning dark, the highways to become rivers of light, and most of all… feed my hate and disgust for the scum of humanity into my car to see what it could result as an entity that reflected my emotions. What I found out was… I had unbelieveable control over my own car and a significant grasp of my car’s limitations. What was a car that was docile with guests and behaved with manners to my family became a burning stallion from the very bowels of Hell. To see my tachometer constantly hit 7,000 rpm while shifting gears and watch the ridiculous climbing of my speedometer was something I had never put my car through. I was reaching speeds where other commuters were just simple beams of light. I no longer saw the quirky bumper stickers, manufacturer or model name badges, or even the humans piloting their masses of aluminum, steel, plastic, and glass… I was in a state of almost achieving automotive Nirvana. I nearly became the wind.
On my wild trip that could potentially throw me into the judging palm of the Buddha, something happened when I hit 120mph… I felt a spiritual sensation from my car, a warning of some sort.
“Foolish boy, push me beyond and you shall find nothing but death, pain, and regret! You do not possess the proper tools if you wish to go past your means! If you want to go further, then wait until it is time.” – ???
I was rather spooked and backed down. I knew what it was like to be in complete control of my car. From events like going into an uncontrollable spin from slippery ice to nearly miscalculating a power slide, I knew what it was like to pull the choke-chain and show my car who was boss. To have the car do the opposite to me however made me realize that I am not all controlling at a certain point. For once… my car’s current status may be holding me back from my development as an enthusiast driver.
“What remedies are there..?” I am sure is the next question.
- Build up Devil to the point that it needs to be at (for the moment). This would entail reinforcement bars in the engine bay, trunk, underneath the frame, and a roll bar for starters. Add to that miscellaneous tie bars, sway bars, and any other handling tweaks to make the car handle like a go-kart on razor blades… then give the car some wider tires as well as a full coil-over system to lower the center of gravity.
- Seek a new car that has a larger capability to play with power. The only car that is a deal for the power and not quite apt for dealership mark-up bullcrap in my line of sight would be the BMW 335i sedan with the twin turbo straight-six. This would be a platform that I could have fun with from the motor and crisp 6-speed but also be less of a selfish bastard due to the fact that it has 4 doors.
It’s funny as I have looked at the BMW 335i sedan and I rather like it. The metallic Montego Blue has me rather smitten though especially with the ZPP option and the 5-spoke wheels. The good thing is that I wouldn’t have to dump over $20,000+ on mod parts as I would probably just end up dropping the car, give it the OEM/replica M3 CSL wheels, chipping the ECU, get the new intercooler and exhaust and call it a day. I may wait on the purchase of my “step-up” but it’s hard knowing that if my credit score was not so trashed from my youth I could actually be in one. I still have a few years and from there… I can probably attain one. Damn the revival in good rear wheel drive cars! Why now when I am so damn poor?!