At Any Given Reason we’re all about actually driving our cars as their makers intended. However, as the speeding fine that came in the post this morning attests, this is not always a feasible thing to do anymore. As alluring as the dream of you, a GT3 RS and an empty hills road is, the harsh reality is seemingly blanket 80km/h speed limits and Orwellian laser detection cameras. I feel almost ashamed to say this, but I fear that so long as you value the possession of your license, driving a GT3 on said hills roads would, for the most part, be an extremely frustrating experience and a constant exercise in self restraint. So that raises the question – is it actually possible to have fun driving slowly?
To answer this question I’ve arranged a drive that is quite different to what I normally do. In fact, more than just arranging a drive; I’ve organised a bit of a social experiment, if you will. The car I’ve chosen just happens to be the fastest accelerating Australian car ever made, but on this drive I really just want to find out if it’s any fun to drive at 50km/h. We’re going to go and cut a few laps of the city on a Saturday night and see if we actually enjoy the experience. It could go either way, but somehow I suspect the FPV GT RSPEC is going to be the right car for the task.
I’m standing waiting on Grenfell Street’s footpath for our 11pm rendezvous, the bass line of the DJ’s tunes emanate from the pub across the road; a group of tipsy girls walk past me, hardly noticing my presence as they discuss their next venue. But it’s not long until another bass line roar can be heard echoing off the buildings, and as I look up from my phone the jet black FPV stops kerbside. And it’s an especially mean looking machine in RSPEC guise – the glossy black duco offset by red striping on the bonnet and down the side, red wheels and a red spoiler, with large ‘BOSS 335’ lettering in relief. I can hardly believe that it has more street presence than the 911 Carrera that passes by as we take in the details, but it does. The humble Falcon has come a long way.
In the interests of transparency, I’m not usually a huge fan of American cars, and I dare say most Any Given Readers probably share that opinion. But just look at that ’59 Caddy – you can’t deny its appeal. It’s probably as far removed as is possible from the small, nimble cars we love so much, but in the right context, I doubt it would be any less fun. For quite a while I’ve had a desire to jump in one of these things with a whole bunch of mates, and just go cruising on a hot summer night.
This is the kind of scene I’ve got in my mind. And if B.B. King and Eric Clapton were there with their guitars, well that’s even better.
And on the same day, not even two hundred metres around the corner, was parked this C2 Corvette Convertible. I’m not overly educated on my Corvette history, but this looks to be around a 1966 model, and in my eyes probably the prettiest of the Corvette convertibles. Some, like the C4, look a little uneasy as a convertible, but I think the loss of roof only enhances the C2’s sharp lines. And as one of the smallest and lightest of the American sports cars it ticks all the boxes – it has the American Graffiti aura without the land yacht zip code.
For me, the term ‘support categories’ at the Clipsal 500 is just a little ironic. I think the V8 Supercars are the support category, and that Australian GT, Carrera Cup, Formula 3 and Touring Car Masters are where it’s at. I was tempted to report on the Clipsal 500 weekend and completely ignore the V8’s, but I’ll write a separate post about them later. For now, let’s look at the good stuff…
The Touring Car Masters provided good racing, as usual. Sadly the Porsche’s didn’t end up figuring in the results although in Sundays handicap race Greg Keene started on pole and managed to hold off John Bowe and Brad Tilley to stay in the lead for more than an entire lap. Sadly Amanda Spark’s 911 was punted off into the wall here when John Nelson attempted to pass on the inside and locked a brake. The poor 911 looked heavily damaged, but a closer inspection revealed it was just mostly fibreglass damage to the front guard and bumper. I have no doubt it will be repaired and back out for the next race. Continue reading →