Question of the Day: Do You Ever Joyride at Night?
If you like to drive fast, you like to drive late at night. Yes, ultimate visibility is reduced, but there's nothing quite like caning a fast car down a deserted road in the dead of night. Distractions– both inside and outside the car– disappear. The entire world is right there in front of you, rushing towards you. The senses sharpen. If you're lucky enough to be driving a convertible, the night smells seem infinitely more distinct, more complex… I remember driving my TVR Chimera in the hills above Manchester (UK) at three am, running Hell for leather, savoring the pop and crackle of the ridiculously powerful re-jigged Buick-evolved V8. And then I saw a Mini up ahead. Not a MINI. A Mini. And no matter what I did to catch up, I didn't. I couldn't. I was humiliated but happy. A like-minded soul was enjoying the night air, doing what I loved doing. Who could begrudge him that? Any tales from the dark side you care to share?
Excellent point you make, golden2husky. That's why it's more fun to drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slow. And why ice, snow and dirt roads can be fun to carve and drift on at moderate speeds... And what about a fast car, driven fast? I've done that in Nevada, in daylight, with five miles of clear visibility ahead, and once was almost enough. Has anybody heard the news I heard from a somewhat wacko radio yakker that Texas has passed a law throwing the book at serious speeders? He said it was now an automatic confiscation of your vehicle and ten years in prison. Izzat true?
You called up all kinds of fantastic memories of night-time driving - just out killing time and tasting teenage freedom. One of the best nights happened while living in southern New Mexico during mid-summer. I had just gotten my first car, a 1969 Chevy Malibu with a 350 - WAY too much power for a skinny 16 year old, but then again, just enough... A buddy and I took it out to a long, straight stretch of road that led to one of the unused back gates for the military base, so the road was entirely mine for the night. Windows down and the stereo cranked up we got it up to about 110, roaring down the road scaring the occasional eyes back into the brush and shooting off sparks when bottoming out in the occasional dip. Eye opening and exhilarating. We ended up by the gate, sitting on the hood, smoking cheap(!) cigars and listening to the old block tick cool, while watching the approaching lightning in the distance. One of the best night's ever.
155 mph, middle of the night, to Myrtle Beach with my girlfriend at the time last summer in my E46 M3. In the rain. Probably not a smart thing to do.
Route 29, Charlottesville to Northern Virginia, late one night. Four lanes, little traffic, clear night, whipping along through the hills in the Thunderchicken. I remember when I was a small child, sometimes my parents would take us for evening rides along the back roads near home to get us settled down and ready to sleep. The soft green glow of the dash lights in the old '78 Country Squire and the glare of the red high-beam indicator, all reflected in the windows; the stars and the moon reflecting off the lake through the trees...