2 Aug 2011

Drove my wife to a business meeting up in the mountains, and on the way there a new Mini passed us in the twisties. A moment later my wife asked if the sudden increase in speed was me trying to keep up with the Mini in her car. “Huh, what?” It was just as well, as some serious thrashing would have been in order to try and even then I’m not sure our 2001 IS300 (RWD) could have done it (serious up-hill twisties.) Anyhow, 180 miles later we stopped for dinner near home and, coming out to the car, the low sun had lit up the front tires… uh oh. The inside edge of both tires were down to the threads! The car’s dead-stock, stock tires, normal tire pressure… so what’s with that? It’s as if it has a lot of negative camber (very doubtful stock) or a lot of toe-out, yet the steering wheel doesn’t pull. Anyhow, it’s going in for tires and an alignment pronto. It made me realize that my casual mountain road antics could have turned out a whole lot different.

On the way home we came up behind a Maserati Granturismo S at a light. From the rear it was rather non-discript, a plain-looking yet obviously-overpriced car that looked surprisingly like the Lincoln in the lane next to it. Then the light turned green. What can best be described as music came out of the dual exhausts, as it should for a $122K car, and strangly, the sound was such that the price suddenly seemed much more reasonable. We switched lanes to get a look at it from the side, and it’s an awesome looking car. Black, black wheels, rad brake calipers, with very nice styling, and I immediately felt bad for comparing it to the Lincoln… well, from any angle any except the rear. But that exhaust note, oh my, but $122K, right now? In this economy? Well, I guess at least one guy didn’t care. Here’s a clip that illustrates its great sound, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoNLbkrS1RE&NR=1