TTAC 24 Hours Update: A Stand-In For The SLC

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff

Yesterday, The Syndicate – SLC formed like Voltron for an assault on MSR Houston’s pre-race practice day. Fresh from an evening at a the Denny’s next to the “G Cabaret”, Jack and Derek were tanned, rested, and ready to come up to speed on the crocodile-head-shaped track’s fastest, or perhaps least car-damaging, racing line. Philip drove his 1.8-liter Impreza parts car three hours from his bunk in the loft of Brianne Corn’s secret race shop. (He lives at the shop like Shawn lived at Han’s shop in Tokyo Drift. Or maybe not.) Marc P. was in an uncharacteristically good mood, primarily because he wasn’t aware that we’d been creeping through his ex-model wife’s Facebook profile just before he arrived. Mark B. was still in transit, complaining about how the first-class seat in his connecting flight “smelled like middle-class people” or something like that.

There was just one little problem: we had no car.

Last-minute car preps are the stuff of which LeMons is made, but as of Friday morning the SLC didn’t even have a rollcage installed, thanks to a late shipment from the tube benders. Our friends at FEIND would have a long night ahead of them. So would we, because Jack had dinner booked at his favorite Houston spot — the Pappas Brothers Steakhouse on fun-loving Westheimer Road. In the meantime, we needed something to drive.

Luckily for us, the night before Derek had just happened to step out of the rental shuttle in front of a Hertz Penske Mustang GT. A hang-tag in the windshield proclaimed “JUST AN EXTRA $99 A DAY!” This wasn’t strictly true — you also have to take AlwaysLame NeverLost and the satellite upcharge — but it seemed like a good time to self-consciously re-create the old stories of “rent on Friday, race on Sunday”. Come Monday or Tuesday we’ll have a full review of the hopped-up Hertz, but here’s a sneak peek — it’s a bargain, even at the inflated rental rate.

After a bit of cajoling, we were able to sneak our Mustang into the LeMons practice session, where we proceeded to absolutely lay waste to a bunch of old Cavaliers and MR2s. “These LeMons guys aren’t very fast,” Derek noted.

“They don’t have four hundred horsepower,” Jack replied. “Tomorrow, when we don’t have four hundred horsepower, these guys will look like Sebastian Vettel.”

After a few hours, it was time to decamp to a dinner-and-drinks session that cost more than a LeMons car is supposed to. Let the record show that the Betabrand Golden Hoodie(tm) is a brilliant way to have attractive women with six-foot-five ex-Texas A&M linebacker boyfriends stare at you all night. Was it lust or barely suppressed laughter? Either way, we didn’t stick around to find out.

This morning we’re packing to leave for MSR. We’ll update you on our fortunes from the track. And remember, if you’re at the track, the Phrase That Pays Is

“TTAC 107 plays the hits with no Shibari Rope Bondage!”

TTAC Staff
TTAC Staff

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  • Jeano Jeano on Sep 29, 2013

    Am I the only one who finds the daily Mustang fanboi posts a bit much? I also like Mustangs ( I have two) but this is becoming boring and lazy.

    • See 3 previous
    • 3Deuce27 3Deuce27 on Oct 01, 2013

      Reg; "Mustang fanboi posts a bit much" ... Yes! Borders on brain dead. But, the Mustang is a large part of the equation encompassing the North American car culture. It was the first 'Pony' and still has an enduring cachet among a certain demographic of the automotive scene. Personally, they sort of piss me off, or, actually Ford bean counters do. And so do fanboy commentors who herald their so called 'Handling' because they post pretty good numbers, on smooth surfaces. Obviously they have never driven one in anger on a road course or surface roads. In rough corners, their reasonably good slip angles are suddenly introduced to vertical components. At that point you better have some room to recover or your ass end will pass you by on the way to the ditch. Bottom line, they just are not that much fun to drive in a corner. The great Tom McCahill, once compared a 48' Ford two door sedan to a new, late sixties Ford sedan on the track and found that the old solid axle Ford perform nearly as good(or was it better?) as the twenty year newer Ford. Ford hadn't made much progress in twenty years in the handling of Fords, and that pretty much is the handling story of Mustangs. I would put up my old SVO or 2000 Cobra'R', up against any of the newer Mustangs. Lets just hope the new 2015 Mustang changes that picture. In the meant time, they are a decently fun rental car in convertible or GT form. Speaking of Uncle Tom, he has to be one of the all time great automotive journalists. In the top three for sure. He pretty much single handedly developed the format for testing cars.

  • Vcficus Vcficus on Sep 30, 2013

    The Ford love is deserved; they're making the best fleet of vehicles (IMHO) of the Used To Be Big Three and maybe as good as the JK's (certainly better than VW). As long of none of the Fords have MyTouch Sync in them... then they're barely driveable.

    • See 1 previous
    • 3Deuce27 3Deuce27 on Oct 02, 2013

      @DeadWeight Hey! They put on a hell of a display at the big auto shows. Will never forget the Boss 302 at the LA show you could drag through the quarter mile. It was up on a stand and you could go through the gears with the rear tires spinning big rollers like a chassis dyno. Another display had an SUV sliced through the middle from front to back, and other stands had active engine and transmission cut away's. Maybe Ford should have cheated their suppliers, robbed money from their bond holders, and performed other nefarious acts, so they would have more money for new products or build in more quality... but they didn't.

  • Wjtinfwb Funny. When EV's were bursting onto the scene; Tesla's, Volt's, Leaf's pure EV was all the rage and Hybrids were derided because they still used a gas engine to make them, ahem; usable. Even Volt's were later derided when it was revealed that the Volt's gas engine was actually connected to the wheels, not just a generator. Now, Hybrids are warmly welcomed into the Electric fraternity by virtue of being "electrified". If a change in definition is what it takes, I'm all for it. Hybrid's make so much sense in most American's usage patterns and if needed you can drive one cross-country essentially non-stop. Glad to see Hybrid's getting the love.
  • 3-On-The-Tree We also had a 1973 IH Scout that we rebuilt the engine in and it had dual glass packs, real loud. I miss those days.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Jeff thanks. Back in 1990 we had a 1964 Dodge D100 with a slant six with a 3 on the tree. I taught myself how to drive a standard in that truck. It was my one of many journeys into Mopar land. Had a 1973 Plymouth duster with a slant six and a 1974 Dodge Dart Custom with 318 V8. Great cars and easy to work on.
  • Akear What is GM good at?You led Mary............................................What a disgrace!
  • Randy in rocklin I have a 87 bot new with 200k miles and 3 head gasket jobs and bot another 87 turbo 5 speed with 70k miles and new head gaskets. They cost around 4k to do these days.