Question of the Day: The Ride of Your Life?

Jonny Lieberman
by Jonny Lieberman
question of the day the ride of your life

As good of a driver as I like to think I am, I’m not very good. Especially when compared to race car drivers. In fact, by comparison, I’m a deaf, dumb and blind speed bump. As you may have heard, I got a ride in the Ferrari Enzo that Eddie Griffin munched up. Sadly, it was on the same track (MSR) that had just hosted the 24 Hours of LeMons in Texas. Meaning that conditions were sub-optimal. That’s putting it kindly. As such, we were going sideways in a $1.2 million Enzo. Thank the maker that an actual competent and talented hot foot (Michael Mills) was behind the wheel and I was left to just giggle and hoot (I do lead the league in giggling/hooting). Still, on the straights Mr. Mills was able to open the taps of the 6.2-liter V12 and holy Toledo! The noise is thrilling, soothing and intoxicating all at once. Better still, the Enzo is fast in ways that other cars simply aren’t. There was never a hint of that motor running out of steam as we crested 150 mph on the back straight. And the brakes, well, what do you think. Long story short, I’m a very lucky man. But it wasn’t the ride of my life. No, that was in a NASCAR around the big oval at Pomona. Serenity at 180 mph? You bet your Junior Johnson Pork Cracklins. You?

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  • HtownHeff HtownHeff on Oct 22, 2008

    Boy, this one is dredging out the memory banks. Two rides come to mind: 1) When I was 16, my best friend had 66 Shelby GT350 with a 400HP 289 (yeah, not the most reliable). Oh the sound that motor made, like a NASCAR stocker. Anyway, we were doing one of our hill runs over Highway 84 toward Highway 1 and hit an indicated 140 in one of the short straights. Kinda hairy in a 20 year old (at that time) car with 1960's brakes. 2) Three years ago, I got an in to a Mazda Live event held in Alameda. The highlight of that day was taking a ride in an RX-8 with a race driver at the wheel on a autocross course. Showed me how little I really know. At least, when it was my turn, he said I was nice and smooth. With me at the wheel, hmm, 1) Test driving an Integra Type R. It was July 3rd, so the salesman was pretty relaxed. For all you RWC people, we blasted up and over Jefferson over to Canada road with that thing howling on the VTEC cam. I had wood from that drive for a good week after. 2) Blasting down Skyline Boulevard towards 92 in my 88 Prelude Si. The lass in the seat next to me was buxom, and the road was awesome. I recall a particular 40mph turn we were doing at 80mph. The car felt like it was just at the limit, but that wonderfully forgiving chassis made it quite manageable.

  • GS650G GS650G on Oct 22, 2008

    1985 Suzuki GS1150 EF 0-60 in 1.9 seconds, 100+ in around 6 seconds. So much acceleration I almost threw up. At the time it was about the fastest motorcycle made, and today the 1100 suzuki engine is a legend in drag racing

  • Linard76 Linard76 on Oct 22, 2008

    Jonny, What a pleasant surprise. I worked for the previous owner of this vehicle and had the pleasure of taking care of it for a few years right when it was purchased up to the accident and the subsequent sell-off. So I know this car's history quite well. I remember the wrangling with the insurance companies and having it sit at the body shop lifeless for months. But most of all, I remember what it was like to drive the Enzo, fantastic... Just curious, how were the repairs done? Can you tell in any way that basically a whole new front end needed to be grafted onto it (I still remember the initial estimate for the damages...)? Sincerely, Linh

  • Dhathewa Dhathewa on Oct 31, 2008

    Tehran, Iran, is laid out on a fairly significant slope along the Elburz Mountains. The top of the city is at 8000 ft or so and the bottom at 3500 or so (if I recall correctly). In any event, plenty of downhill. If you called for a taxi in the upper part of the city and were going to the lower part, the more sporting drivers would often make their way to a principal street, point the cab's nose downhill, accelerate to 120km/h (or even faster if the Shahin, a locally assembled Ramber American, or Paykhan, a locally assembled Hillman Hunter, could manage it) and then turn off the engine to coast as much of the way to your destination as possible. This saves wear and tear on the engine. Naturally, they wouldn't want to scrub off any speed, so use of the brakes was out of the question. If the downhill lane was blocked or moving too slowly, they would pull into the oncoming lane for a while to keep going. Traffic signals were something one just ignored. This made for a lively trip. True, this really couldn't be done at rush hour but a few times I called for a cab during off-peak hours and got exactly this type of ride.