Ah, Young Grasshopper.  .  .  Your Kung Fu is no good !

AKA "The Babblings Of Yet Another Uninformed Ricer"  Black Echo tells it like it frigging is. 

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It came to my attention recently of a site published for the uninformed, by the uninformed.   Yes, a ricer site.   This site gave up some dangerous advice on how to treat your vehicle and how to operate it in general.   I have included the gist of this site below, as well as my response to the site's creator.

I simply took this guy's site, and broke it down into its sub parts, replying to each in turn.   I have presented this document in that format.   Also, this bit of spirited repartee was done way back in 1997.  No, I don't know if Rob's website is still around or not, you'll have to find it on your own, so please don't ask for the URL.  I have no clue (nor do I care) if his site is still up or not.  Seven years is not a lifetime on the Internet, it's an eternity, so if you are looking for Rob's site, good luck!  I'd be surprised if it is still out there as I believe that following our debate, Rob eventually matured, sold his Del Slo, and moved on to a much better car with a lot more horsepower, say perhaps a Chevy Cavalier with the Ecotec 2.0 liter four cylinder under the hood.

Enjoy.

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Rob,

I've been following the posts at the domestic muscle site that I frequent regarding just how ignorant you are in all things mechanical, and I wanted to see for myself if someone could really be as mechanically dumb as everyone else said you were.  I don't like to believe rumors until I check them first and I do give everyone the benefit of the doubt. 

I found your site very entertaining.  It was humorous until I realized that you were dead serious in your beliefs.  I guess the others were right; you are mechanically ignorant on just about everything that you post.  Your views are not taken from experience, knowledge, or understanding.  It appears that most of your viewpoints are really just that, simple ego driven viewpoints, and highly inaccurate at best.

Never before have I had the chance to visit such a lopsided, ignorant display of automotive bravo sierra.  Your site will now stand as the current "How not to make a automotive related website" example that I will use when others ask me what to do to start their own website.   It is fine to enjoy your car and to promote its high points to others.  It's even fine to playfully jibe other owners and their vehicles, but when you present the amount and volume of just plain erroneous data which you have done on your website, well, it shows your immaturity and your lack of any type of knowledge of anything mechanical. 

You do not understand how cars are built, how engines operate and when it comes to complex formulas like torque, horsepower, and speed, you simply do not have a clue.  You mask this ignorance with an amateur website that does nothing to advance the sport of automotive racing, hot rodding, or even simply owning a sports car.  Instead, your site promotes behavior that can lead lesser minded people into dangerous situations.  That’s irresponsible and it’s inexcusable. 

Your Del Sol this. 

Your Del Sol that. 

Enough already, please. 

The Del Sol is a 'sporty' car.  It is NOT, and I repeat, NOT a sports car.  Maybe the Japanese consider it to be a ‘sports car’, but I doubt even that.  The Del Sol will never be in the same league of automotive legend and wonder that is the Pacific Rim’s offerings the likes of which include Supra, 300ZX, Skyline GT, Eclipse,  3000GT, NSX, etc.  If your Del Sol is so great, then how can my 203,000 mile L03 powered push rod 5.0 liter TBI V8 with 700R4 automatic, my ultra heavy, ancient tech 1990 Firebird Formula dust the best Del Sol ever made, factory stock for factory stock, all day long? My tired old dinosaur of an F-body Pontiac Firebird and your cutting edge high tech, what all cars should be like Del Sol and you wouldn't stand a chance in a heads up street match

Sad.

This just goes to show that you do not have any idea of what makes a car perform in the first place.  Your ‘babbling’ is just that, the useless waste of bandwidth carried on by a moron who has a car that he doesn’t even begin to understand the workings of.  In my book, you’re of less automotive value as a car owner than that of the typical girl who only knows how to fill up her car with gas.  You know the kind, the one where Daddy bought her the Miata and she only knows how to put the top down, up, change the CD, and put gas in it.  Yeah.  Youíre in that league of drivers.

I have included Rob's original context in green, and my replies in white. 

Today's installment: My Car Makes Me Evil

It's true: my del Sol makes me evil.  I think it's the gearbox that does it.  Or the engine, maybe.  Ot maybe it has something to do with the way my car feels.  That feeling that it wont blow up, wont break, no matter how hard I push it.  It starts each time I get into it, right after the temperature guage starts to move.  .  .  

No.  Your Del Sol makes you stupid.  I think driving around in a subcompact two seater has really compressed your mind into a very narrow, limited view and that’s sad.  So what if your car cranks every morning, time after time again.  Do you think this is something that is only related to you personally owning a Del Sol, or something that other cars donít do? Do you somehow believe that this is something that only Honda has a key foothold on and every other auto maker in the world only wishes that their cars would crank every morning, every time?

News flash here.  A lot of other cars crank every time, Rob.  My ten year old, 203k mile ’90 Formula starts every morning, knocks down 23+mpg, and has AC that will run you out of the car.  That’s the beauty of electronic fuel injection.  That’s the beauty of a well tuned, well cared for and maintained car.  Cars are built different, better now than they were forty years ago.  I guess it didn’t occur to you that this is a common indicator of a well cared for vehicle.  My father in law's tractor starts every morning, and it’s 40 years old! It hasn’t blown up, it doesn’t break, no matter how hard you push it… So, I guess your Del Sol is in the same league as the family tractor now.  Sad. 

I start off easily, driving maturely (doubtful, just from the sense of your postings).  I can sometimes make it through a few blocks before the gearbox starts whispering.  .  .  "hey, you.  Double-clutch down to second before this turn.  " Of course, the engine is no help, either.  .  .  "yea, do it.  I don't care.  Spin me up to 7500 or so, I love it! Do it.  There is no limit.  I'll NEVER blow up!"

Yes, you will.  Eventually.  Your motor will blow up, or more likely, blow a gasket, foul a plug, or something else minor that reduces your power.  But you won’t tell us about it.  You wonít get on the web and post:

"Today I revved my Del Sol to 9000RPM, feeling like Mario Andretti, and my little Del Solís motor slung a piston right into orbit!"

No, I doubt you would ever be man enough to admit that you were ever wrong.

NO motor is bulletproof, not even full race engines (if they were, then why do race engines blow up?).

You’re doing damage you can’t detect or see, but it will eventually show up.  Have you ever heard of a "ragged out" car? That’s what you are doing to your car, ragging it out.  It’s fine now, but what do you think the next owner is going to find when they start to drive your car?  Lower compression, engine smoking, leaking oil, etc.  I’m not saying that your car can’t be gotten down hard on, but if you drive it everywhere like you were a Formula 1 driver, I feel sorry for your car.  It wasn’t built to take that abuse.  No car was.  Don’t kid yourself.  Just because it’s a Honda, doesn’t mean it’ll never break.  What naivetť!

So I give in, and do my little pedal dance: toe on the brake, push in the clutch, shift the stubby lever to neutral, let out the clutch, heel on the gas, tach up to about 7000, back in with the clutch, shifter down to second, and out with the clutch.  The revs match perfectly, the shifter falling into second without a hint of a jerk.  By this time, the suspension gets into the game, too.  "Hey, bozo, drive in hard, apex real late, then roll of the gas.  " I comply, now a helpless puppet.  I hammer into the turn, the front end bites in hard, and I crank in more steering, until the fronts start to hiss and slide, so I roll off the gas as I approach the apex.  Soon, the tail is hanging out into the other lane, as I counter-steer to keep the car straight. 

Typical high school high-jinks and a very immature display of lack of driving skill; throwing your rear end out when you can control it.  You think it makes you look cool, but you can do the same thing in a VW Rabbit or a Ford Escort.  It’s not a display of driving skill, it’s a display of lack of driving skill.  It only impress the naÔve and the losers who don’t know any better.

Now, the evil engine has control of me: "OK, roll it on, pal! Don't worry about that wheel-spin.  Now nail it, wide-open, buddy.  And don't shift yet.  .  .  wait.  .  .  wait.  .  .  I'll never blow up.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  OK, that's good.  Shift! Now, do it all again!!"Next thing I know, I'm Jean Alesi, screaming away from each traffic light like it was the start of the grand prix of Italy, banging off shifts at 8000 rpm, late braking into the bus-stop chicane, and sliding through the carosel on the way to the cleaners.  At each corner, my car MAKES me exacute heel-and-toe downshifts at the redline.  There's no stopping me. 

And you’ve probably reached an exhilarating speed of 30 miles an hour by nowÖ

You see, it's my car's fault.  My car absolutely requires me to zing the wizz out of it, every time, every shift, every day.  And this has been going on for 75,000 miles.  God, I love my Honda. 

That poor car… ragged to hell by an amateur driver with delusions of grandeur and no driving skill whatsoever.  If you love your Honda, you sure don’t show it by the way you treat it.  You read about kids like you when you first take Driver’s Ed.  It’s like the Dick shirts.  "See Dick rev his motor.  See Dick sidestep his clutch and fishtail the rear of his car.  See Dick drive like a moron in traffic.  Don’t be a dick."

 

Today's Installment: Why Camaros Suck

Camaros really suck. 

Like Hoovers they suck.  But why? Who do they suck so bad? Allow me.  .  . 

Please, do continue! I canít wait to hear this! This has just got to be good.

First, a Camaro weighs 3400 pounds.  That's 1.7 tons.  It's 1.4 del Sols! Its as much as a truck (or a Firebird, or several other modes of transportation, but it weighs less than a ICBM, a F22 Fighter, etc.  ).  So if it weighs so much, how does it go fast? Well, the engine is HUGE.  It's a 350.  5.7 liters.  That's 3.6 del Sols! Wait, wouldn't it have to make 572 horsepower if it were 3.6 del Sols? Yes, it would!

No, it wouldn’t, you plebian dumbass.  You are basing your assumption of the production of power as a straight line equation, that if a Del Solís engine were to make say 100hp per liter, then a 5.7 liter engine would logically make 570hp.  You are also basing the entire realm of internal combustion by using your engine as some type of universal benchmark, which it isn't.  NaÔve.  But, that’s the kind of erroneous logic that is displayed all throughout your website.  Sad.  A total lack of knowledge of even the basics of mechanical engineering.

But NO, it makes a mere 285 horsepower.  That's only 50 horsepower per liter.  Jeez, a del Sol VTEC could make that with TWO cylinders.  .  .  An Si could do it with three!

Well, since your Del Sol has four cylinders, where is all of this awesome power? If the Del Sol could do this, then why doesn’t it? That’s my question for which you will have no answer so I'll tell you why.  Power production in an engine is not a universal constant.  There is no magic number that a motor will automatically produce per cubic inch.  Short of exotic factory race hardware, you are not going to see any Del Sol, Integra Type-Rs, or any other Honda or other import produced four cylinder pushing out 500hp from the factory.  That and your torque curve is nothing to be proud of… and in case you didn’t know (which you obviously don’t), it’s TORQUE, not HORSEPOWER which drives cars. 

Torque is what you feel off the line, that is the ‘power’ of the motor.  Horsepower is just a way of measuring torque over a period of time.  Your Del Sol makes very little torque, but a lot of horsepower.  What this says is that your motor makes only a little torque, but it is very efficient at using this torque over a period of time, hence the high horsepower rating.  Simple automotive mechanics.

So, a Camaro HAS to make like nearly 300 horsepower to be fast.  It also has to suck a gallon of gas every 16 miles, and that's only if you take it easy.  Try driving it like a 30 mpg del Sol.  Wind it out, every shift, and get a whopping 9 miles per gallon! How efficient!!! The Heartbeat of America!

If I remember correctly, the new LS1 motors can haul down over 22mpg on the highway, do zero to sixty in under five seconds, do the quarter mile in the high twelves, and have a top speed in excess of 160mph.  Factory stock.  When your del Sol (del Slo?) can do that, please, let me know.  I’ll give up the extra 6 or 7 mpg on the highway for that kind of performance and daily drivability that the LS1 grants to the driver.  Some of the greatest, and most powerful muscle cars of the sixties and seventies didn’t have performance like what the LS1 powered cars are providing today, which just goes to show your level of automotive ignorance once again.  You claim that Honda is doing such great things with such little engines.

Well, here’s your logic right back at you.

GM has taken their small block 350 (about the same, in house, as to Honda’s four cylinder Vtech motor) and each year, they have improved the horsepower, the torque, the mileage, and the durability of the engine.  With every year, this engine, like Honda’s four cylinder, gets better and faster and longer lived.  It’s improving.  And you say it’s a dinosaur! The performance, durability, and technology of the latest 350 small block from GM is a far cry from that available to the likes of Dodge’s 426 Hemi powered muscle cars (like high 13 seconds through the quarter, spinning the low tech tires, getting 8mpg, and they had 425hp and over 500 ft/lbs of torque).  That’s just a severe lack of vision on your part.

Well, if it's gonna carry that HUGE lump of push rods up front, and if it's gonna weigh in a 3,400 pounds, it's got to be massive.  Huge tires, huge brakes, huge transmission, huge driveshaft, huge rear-end.  So tires wear out twice as fast.  And they cost twice as much.  So, like, tires alone cost 4 times as much.  This is progress!!

Once again you display your ignorance. 

What’s wrong with push rods? If it were steam powered or wind powered, yeah, I could see your argument.  What?  Do the push rods weigh fifty pounds a piece? No.  So, there is nothing wrong with the design of an engine, and if the old tech push rod V8 can whip the high tech non-push rod motor day in and day out, maybe you need to reconsider your view on what is low tech and what is high tech.  Betamax was vastly superior to VHS, but look who won!

"If it’s gonna weigh in at 3400 pounds, it’s got to be massive" What kind of logic is that? That’s like saying "If it’s an elephant, it’s got to be big and heavy." You go on to gripe about huge tires, huge brakes (all good things in MY book, and in the automotive world as a whole, in case you didn’t realize it, bigger is better on some things.).  The transmission isn’t that huge, and it offers an extra gear that your Del Sol doesn’t have, so it gets superior gas mileage (for a V8).  The driveshaft isn’t really heavy (in fact, each generation, it gets lighter), huge rear end? Well, for something that’s bulletproof, you have to build in reinforcement.  But the rear end isn’t huge, it’s functional, and it’s the exact size, weight, and dimensions as required to handle the load put on it by the motor.  It’s high tech, not some cobbled together hope it works contraption.  Each piece of the new F-body is carefully computer designed (so, you see, the F-body really is high tech.  I guess you’re wrong again.  .  .  ).

Tires don’t wear out four times faster just because the car is four times heavier than your Del Sol.  If your assumption of how the universe works was correct, then an 18 wheeler would barely get down the road before it had to change out all 18 tires again due to vehicle weight contributing directly to increased tire wear.  Saint Goodyear preserve us!  Where do you GET your logic from?!  Your Del Sol is not the center of the automotive universe from which all other things are measured. Tires come in all sizes and shapes.  What? Do you think that the tires on your Del Sol are 40k mile tires and the same tires on a Firebird or Camaro are only 10k mile tires just because the car is four times heavier than your Del Sol? Is there any difference in the fact that you are wearing your tires down to nothing driving like you quoted in the first installment above and driving a F-body hard?  Tire spin is tire spin.  Sure, the F-body can go through a set of tires faster than your Del Sol, but that’s OK.  It just means that the F-body has more power than your little Del Sol. 

Will the F-body go through tires 4x quicker than your Del Sol.  Well, it all depends on driving habits.  With you behind the wheel of a new F-body, I would say that the tires wouldn’t last 10k miles, probably not 5k miles! With me behind the wheel, I could get 30k miles out of them easy.  Driving maturely.  And since you are ignorant, yes, this is progress.  The new tire technology, and the design of the F-body to utilize a specific tire size, wheel size, suspension type, etc.  , all computer designed and designated, is progress, and it’s high technology.

The F-body of today is much more advanced than the previous generations of F-body, just like your Del Sol is more advanced than a Honda Accord of 1980.  Itís progress, whether you are mature and intelligent enough to recognize it is really the debate being argued here.)

".  .  .  Like a Rock, Ohhhhhh, Like a Rock.  .  .  ".  (Yea, come to think of it, it IS like a rock, isn't it!)

When was the last time you saw a rock do 165mph in a straight line? I’d hate to call the F-body a rock.  Because then, your Del Sol would be slower than a "rock."  Not something I bet you would want to brag about to your friends.  Before you go putting up this kind of nonsense so the whole world can laugh at you, you should check your facts more closely.  You had the chance to be an automotive hero.  Instead, you presented yourself as an automotive idiot.  And the "Like A Rock" is the theme of the Chevy series of trucks, done by Bob Segar.  The theme describes their durability (like you can’t break an anvil).  It is not used to describe the Camaro / Firebird series of vehicles any more than if I hummed the theme to a Honda lawnmower commercial and said it applied to your Del Sol just because it was a Honda commercial.  Maybe when Honda starts building big, tough pickup trucks, they'll have an old rock and roll song for them as well.

Today's Installment: Why Mustangs Blow

Since I'm a Pontiac man at heart and I personally don’t really like the late model Mustangs (but respect their owners and their efforts), this should be good.  Letís see if you have anything substantial to say ....

Yes, Mustangs blow.  What else can you say about a chooched-up Fairmont powered by a pickup engine?

The 302 has been around for decades, if I remember correctly.  It powers many of Ford’s products, like the 350 powers many of GM’s products.  This is the same kind of bigotry and uninformed automotive ignorance that tells me that my TBI motor is a pickup truck motor and should only be relegated to use in light duty trucks.  The 302 has been powering Mustangs from the late 60’s until currently when they switched to the modular 4.6 liter motor, progress! Big ‘V8’ motors are getting smaller, more fuel efficient, and making more power, and weighing less all the time.  That's progress, thanks in part to advanced research and design and high technology. Whether you recognize it or not.

Ok, ok, I know they tossed the F150 powerplant and threw in the "modular 4.6.  " But with less torque, the new Fairmont GT (oooops, I mean Mustang GT) is slower than the truck-engined one.  And how come the old one had that stupid "Five-point-Oh" when it was really a "Four-point-nine?" Who knows.  Who cares. 

You care, otherwise you wouldnít make a point of it. 

Like I have already said, the 302 has been powering all manner of Ford vehicles for decades, trucks, cars, station wagons.  Why? Because itís a great engine! Itís very versatile, itís multi-role.  It can perform farm chores in a truck, blaze down the quarter mile in a Mustang, or take the kids to school and pick them up in a Ford Station Wagon.  And the automakers are notorious for rounding up or down the wrong way.  The 302 Chevy was actually a 301.  The 1972 396 Chevy was actually a 402, etc.  Most of us let it slide.  Itís not that big a point.  I bet if you were to check on some of Hondaís offerings, you would find out that Honda was generous in padding either up or down the actual displacement.  I mean, what sounds tougher, a 2.0 Si or a 1.97 Si?  Thatís a decision based on marketing, 5.0 sounds better than 4.9 in my book, and when your competition is selling 5.0 powered cars, why would you want to introduce a comparable car powered by a 4.9 motor? Itís all in the public perception of your product, hence the discrepancies.  People, like you, might think that the 5.0 motor had more power because it was bigger (by 0.1 liter) than the 4.9 motor, even though they were the same displacement and the companies only rounded differently.

And how 'bout that "if the 'Dukes of Hazzard' drove a Grand Am" styling? Ford says its "retro-contemporary.  " I say it looks like a Grand Am and a Gremlin had a baby.  Then Ford said, "let's TURN the TAIL-LIGHTS, so they're VERTICAL.  That way, they'll look just like the ones on a '65!" Yeah, right.  I always get those confused: "hey, is that a '65 Mustang, or a '95 Fairmont GT???"

What about the styling on the Del Sol? It’s like a roller skate, with head lights.  Is that a ’92 Del Sol, or a pregnant roller skate? I get them confused.  What Ford has done is called retro styling, and it sells.  The Mustang is one of the hottest selling cars in the world.  I bet that more Mustangs are sold than Del Sols.  So, the marketing concept apparently works.  Your opinions are your own, just like everyone else.  Just because you think the Mustang looks retarded does not mean it’s retarded, as evidenced by the superior sales of Mustangs to Del Sols.  If your logic holds true, then it must be the Del Sol that looks retarded, as no one is buying that many of them.  People don’t buy retarded looking cars, hence the low sales of the Del Sol and the high sales of the Mustang in comparison.

But there's always the performance.  With a giant sucking sound, the new Fairmont GT rockets from 0 to 60 in 6.7 seconds, aided, no doubt, by the fake side vents, that feed fresh rain water onto the rear DRUM brakes. 

Ah, but what you are not mentioning here is that the "Fairmong GT," for all of its flaws, according to you, still rockets to sixty miles an hour in a one third to one half the time that your precious Del Sol does.  Every car is a tradeoff in design based on marketing, engineering and other factors (the primary factor being cost).  That’s why your Del Sol doesn’t come with Gatorback GT radials on 17" tires and have a direct port fuel injected V12 with twin synchronous intercooled turbochargers under the hood.  No, I can’t understand why Ford Mustang has rear drum brakes, but I'm sure there is a reason for it and the Mustang GT’s performance is nothing to belittle either.  Drum brakes weigh less than disc brakes, so it may be a result of Ford's extensive racing experience or it may just be a way to make the car cheaper to purchase for the public (which is probably why there are more Mustangs on the road than Camaros or Firebirds (or Del Sols)).  While the Mustang is not as fast as a F-body (which has four wheel disc and ABS even on the base models), the Mustang is still faster than most Honda offerings, stock for stock and factory for factory.

I do agree with you totally on the fake vents.  If it’s one thing I hate, it’s fake vents of any kind, fake scoops, etc.  on any car.   And if the vents are fake, how do they feed fresh rain water to the rear drum brakes?  How would feeding fresh rain water be a performance enhancement?  I think water injection is best left to the engine, as you can seriously warp your rotors by subjecting them to extremes of heat through thermal shock.

Pretty quick, really.  In fact, it's a bit quicker than a clapped out Prelude Si with a bad air filter.  With a gallon of high-test, the Fair-stang GT might even hang with a del Sol VTEC for 12 miles or so, too, as long as there were no turns.  Then, the Must-mont GT driver could get his/her daily exercise by WALKING the other 18 miles the del Sol would go on the same gallon.  .  .  Cool!

Boy, your logic is really, really out there. 

Have you checked the exhaust on your Del Sol lately? I think too many fumes are getting into your driving compartment.  There you go again thinking that MPG is some kind of performance trait ! And I think that Mustangs get over 20mpg on the V8 models easily with the 5 speed OD unit.  But, let’s assume that high mileage is the mark of a high performance vehicle.  If so, then a Yugo easily outperforms your Del Sol, with it’s 45mpg rating! So, take a Yugo and a Del Sol, give them each one gallon of gas, and set them on their way.  Even with turns, etc., the Del Slo driver could get their much needed daily exercise by WALKING the other 14 miles that the Yugo would go on the same gallon Ö Cool!

Have YOU driven a Ford lately?

Yes.  Have you? I don’t think so.

 

Today's Installment - The Chevy Corvette.  .  . 

Ahh, the Corvette.  Stuff of dreams.  Supercar.  Yeah, RIGHT!

Yes, right. The Corvette is a world class supercar.  It is not a sports car (like the Mustang GT, the Firebird, and the Camaro).  The Corvette is in the same class as the Acura NSX, the Porsche 9 series, and the various offerings from Italy, Germany and the rest of the world.  Like it or not, your opinions on the matter won’t change this, no matter how loud you shout or how green you turn with envy.  The Corvette is a world class super car.  Something your Del Sol will never, ever, ever, ever be considered.

Start with any Chevy car from the 1960s.  Put a plastic spring from a pickup-truck spring in the back, but turn it sideways.  Call it "advanced transverse-leaf technology.  " Pull a 350 from a DuraVan and stick it in front.  Make a wavy, loose, plastic body and stick it on top.  Then, fill the doors with loose nuts and bolts, so it'll rattle as much as possible.  Finally, have these materials assembled by drunken, toothless, mountain-women from Kentucky.  Equip it with a removable top.  One that requires a special ratchet tool to remove and Super PolyGrip to re-install.  .  .  Ahh, Just what I wanted!

Once again, you miss what the definition of progress is.  Sad.  The Corvette has always been cutting edge technology, with its independent suspension, tilt / telescopic steering wheel, four wheel disc brakes (it wasn’t until 1979 that the F-body got four wheel discs, and that was only on the Trans-Am and Formula), and a host of other space age technology.  A 350 from a DuraVan? Hahahahahaha.

Man, you really are ignorant.  No, you are stupid. 

Ignorant people don’t know any better, but they can be taught.  You are stupid.  That is, you know better, but you refuse to learn.  Kind of like someone today saying the Earth is flat, and you show them a picture of the Earth from space, and they still say that the Earth is flat.  It was ignorance until they were shown the truth.  If they don’t recognize the truth for what it is, then they are stupid.  You, sir, are not ignorant.  You are stupid.  The two Vettes that I owned were marvelous cars (1979 and 1988).  The ’88 Z51 suspension Vette ate many a Porsche’s lunch, and Audi, and BMW.  I never raced Hondas (there were not any Hondas around that could match the performance of my Corvette).  By the time I got through second gear, they were no where but a tiny spec on my rear view mirror.

The roof comes off with a standard hex wrench, not some special tool.  You can get a Torx screwdriver at any hardware shop which greatly speeds up the roof removal.  I also have a ’88 Toyota Supra Turbo (eats Del Slos for lunch) with the same style roof, and it too requires the same kind of tool.  So, if Japan is building such superior cars, why don’t they improve on this roof design instead of just copying it for their flagship sports car (the Supra, not the Del Sol)?

The Bowling Green Kentucky Assembly plant is also pretty high tech.  Your stereotypical bigotry is even more evidenced here by your description of some assembly line full of hillbilly women assembling this vehicle.  That would be like me saying that some kimono clad coolie hat wearing chink chick put your car together for $0.02 an hour wages.  You really are showing signs of being an utterly useless waste of human skin, RobÖ

And if a Vette is constructed of "space aged composite materials (melted down milk jugs)," why does it weigh AS MUCH AS A CAPRICE? Jeez, it's PLASTIC! Why does it still weigh 3500 pounds? Imagine if it was made of REALl METAL!

The exterior of the Corvette is laminated fiberglass and resin composites, true cutting edge space age materials that don't rust and resist dents and dings.  The frame, however, is quite substantial, which is where you will find most of the weight of a Corvette.  The frame lends truly tremendous handling and performance aspects to the design.  Have you seen the frame of a new Vette? Obviously not. Otherwise, you would not be making these stupid assumptions.  I believe the new Vette frame is made of aluminum composite materials, so it’s not ‘real metal’, it’s space age components.  Space Age, the space age is over, Rob.  This is the Information Age.  Get your terms correct.

Who drives Corvettes, anyway? Old, bald guys, dressed lime Mr.  T on vacation in Daytona.  I think their urologists perscribe them for thier impotent patients.  "Yea, see, my prostate just blew out.  .  .  My doctor says a new Vette will compensate!" Yea, need an additional 3 inches? Drive a Vette! The latest in genital extension prosthesis!

Well, I can see that if your prostate just blew out, a Del Sol would NOT be the car you would want to have prescribed for your problem.  And who drives a Del Sol? Chicks do.  It’s a girl car, a cute little girl car.  Barbie would have one, but Mattel realizes that Barbie has a certain image to uphold, so no chick cars for Barbie.  That’s why Barbie drives a Vette, and has a Lamborghini, a Porsche, and several other cars.  But no Del Sol.  Why? Because the Del Sol is not a ‘real’ car.  That is why Barbie does not drive it and Mattel does not make one for her.  Youíre just jealous because the most popular chick in the world looks down on your car.  Heheheheheh.  Thatís funny! A Corvette will empty a convent in a second causing nuns to shuck their habits for the raw nakedness and sexuality that a Corvette absolutely oozes. 

You won’t do that with a Del Sol.

How many people do you know who say "I’m the world’s most successful neurosurgeon and I drive a Honda Del Sol." Not many, I can assure you.  So look carefully at who drives a Corvette and who drives your Del Sol.  I’d be ashamed to drive a Del Sol, even my wife laughed at it, and said it was a ‘clown car’ , like the kind you would see driving around the center ring of a circus, I bet your horn goes "meep meep" as well.  Clown car! How many clowns can you fit into your Del Sol, Rob? Apparently just one, the driverÖ

Jezz, a Vette is almost as bad as a Viper, but that's another story.  .  . 

Yes, the Viper is pretty shoddy, but from a mechanical point of view, I realize this.  I don’t put the Viper down because I don’t like the Viper.  I put the Viper down because the Viper is a big POS, and it’s just a penis envy toy.  It’s good looking, but not a mechanically sound design.  It’s not in the same class as the Vette or the NSX, Dodge wants it to be, but itís notÖ Maybe in a few years though.

 

Today's Installment: Whats With the Trucks?

I think I know what a sportscar is.  It's this little thing that goes fast, turns sharp, and stops well.  It's a tiny, open-roofed contraption that is FUN TO DRIVE, right? The best ones make their drivers feel like Michael Schumacher, too!

No, you don’t know what a sports car is.  A sports car is one that excels in acceleration, deceleration, and handling.  It does not have to be an open roofed, Targa style roof, T-top, or convertible to be a sportscar.  Some of the greatest sports cars in the world are solid roofed cars.  And didn’t Nissan tout it’s Maxima as a "Four Door Sports Car", so there goes the arguments about having only two doors.  My wife’s ’99 Grand Prix GTP has four doors, and is considerably faster than most anything offered by Honda.  I consider it to be a sports car as well, but only because it’s got a supercharged engine, four wheel ABS disc brakes, superior handling and a high performance transmission.  So, yeah, it’s a sports car.  )

So how come souped-up pickups are all the rage right now? I just don't get it! You start with a decent 1/2 ton truck.  First, you screw up the springs so it sits real low and has a new payload capacity of 100 pounds! I guess since you can't haul anything, you go ahead and seal off the bed with a black tarp, so maybe nobody will notice it used to be a truck!

Because it’s hot rodding.  Maybe you should try it sometime.  It’s called making what you have go faster.  And pickups are hot because Del Sols are not.  Everyone wants a pickup, but not everyone wants a Del Sol.  Pickup trucks are the rage now.  It’ll pass, like rap music and other useless additions to society (like ricers in hopped up four door Accords who think they now own real world class sportscars), all of this shall pass, and only the real sports cars will survive.  The Camaro, the Firebird, and the Mustang.  Oh, and the REAL Japanese sportscars will be there as well; Toyota Supra, Mistubishi 3000GT, Nissan 300ZX, Skyline GT, and Mistsubishi Eclipse GSX-T.  All others will fall by the way side.

Next, you cover the sides of it with hideous stripes, spots, splotches and splashes.  You put load exhausts on with 6" tail-pipes, so it sounds like a school bus.  Then, VOILA! You have a SPORT TRUCK!! Wow, I bet driving one would make me feel just like FRED SANDFORD! Or maybe even Lamont! (No, Lamont has too much style for that, but that's another story.  .  .  )

And if you're REALLY cool, you put ten thousand dollars worth of hydraulic crap on it so it'll drive around on three wheels.  WOW, there's a performance tip for ya! Guess it saves on tire wear, too! Beautiful!Hey, don't get me wrong.  Trucks are great.  I even own one.  I drive it, too.  But it's a TRUCK.  I CARRY stuff in it.  But I don't haul ASS.  Oh, it's so sporty, with those Corvette-inspired LEAF SPRINGS in back, and that aerodynamic, wind-cheating shape! Gee, I think I'll start leaving the del Sol at home so I can drive A REAL RACER: MY TRUCK!

I don’t know, Trucks can be awesome performers.  They are hot performers in the same manner as the Chevy El Caminos and the Ford Rancheros were hot performers.  ZERO weight out back.  Less weight equals more performance.  Put a big engine up front, no weight out back, and you have a screamer.  Low riders don’t get it for me either, but don’t knock the performance potential of a pickup truck.  The GMC Syclone and Typhoon prove this! The Chevy 454 SS truck proves this nicely, as does the new Ford Lightning with its supercharged engine in it!

Thatís performance!

You are stupid if you don’t realize the potential of a pickup truck for it’s obvious weight to power ratio, but then, we’ve already determined that you are stupid, so nothing new here.  Now, you say that adding on decals and hydraulics and lowering it to the ground and putting on a six inch coffee can exhaust doesn’t make a pickup truck a performance vehicle, they why, when you do the same thing to a 4 door Honda Accord does it suddenly turn that car from a family mobile to a super world class sports car?! Your own logic is your worst enemy….  )

MINIVANS: Can't Live With 'em, Can't Kill 'em!

Can anybody tell me why so many people WANT to drive mini-vans? Is this another one of those "family values" issues? I mean, sure, if you've got to carry a bunch of stuff, a van makes since.  When I used to race motorcycles a few years back, a van was the best way to transport your racebike, tools, and personal stuff to the track.  And you could sleep in it to save on your race budget, but that's ANOTHER story.  .  . 

You always have "ANOTHER story, don’t you? It’s probably well that you kept them to yourself.  I have to drive a Minivan for work, and I would never own one in my ‘real’ life, but that doesn’t take away from their utility.  Minivans sell because they are useful tools.  You can get a lot of people, stuff, etc.  into one.  If you have three kids, or do a carpool for children, a Del Sol is not your first choice (unless you want to chain the kids to that useless spoiler on the rear deck).  So a minivan serves a function, it moves people and stuff, and it’s a lot easier to drive, manuever, and park than those full size monsters offered by the automakers.  I’ve driven both.  If I had a choice, it would be the minivan over the full size van anyday.  Hands down.

What I want to know is why people want to use them as daily-drivers.  Next time you're on the road, take a look.  I bet three out of four minivans are empty, except for the driver! Yet there they go, hogging about a lane-and-a-half, hauling around all that empty space, drinking up the gas.  With many cities adopting "high-occupancy-vehicle" lanes and "carpool" lanes, shouldn't we FINE drivers who drive buses with nobody inside?

Only if we start to fine stupid people for wasting valuable internet bandwidth and storage space with useless drivel such as yours.  I donít see much difference between your waste of space on the information super highway and their waste of space on the regular highway, do you? Maybe the minivans are empty because the drivers just dropped the children / carpool off? Maybe they just unloaded the minivan of medical supplies and office supplies and are heading back for more? Ever think of that aspect, Einstein?

Oh, they've got their excuses for driving them.  "On fridays, all six of us at work like to go out to 'Hushpuppy World' for the buffet, and I like to drive.  " Yeah, GREAT!! And I bet you picked the color to match your BOSS'S SOCKS! Or my favorite excuse: "We go on vacation, and we have two kids, so we need a mini-van.  " RIGHT! So you drive a BUS all year, just so you'll have it ready for a vacation every couple of years? Jeez, why not just RENT a van once a year for vacation, and drive a normal CAR the OTHER 51 weeks!Heck, why don't they all wear CHEST-WADERS every day, just in case they get in a flood? Or maybe they should all drive MOVING VANS every day, because once a DECADE they have to MOVE! "Oh, the semi? That's my new van! Come on, I'll drive you to lunch!"

Well, I guess the other 51 weeks of the year, they would get a serious car, like a Del Sol, hmmm? A two seater with less interior space than the average Kelvinator fridge.  Yeah, the Del Sol.  Thatís a practical car!

And why do these rolling barges always make a bee-line for the left lane? I can almost hear their resoning: "we're going 61, and that's 6 miles per hour over the speed limit already.  It's fast enough, and we're not moving over.  " Yeah, except the speed limit is 65, and the other two lanes are wide open.  I think we should pass a new law: if your vehicle has mini-blinds or cutrains on its windows, or if you have a little ladder going up to your roof, you must stay in the right lane!

How about applying that to ALL traffic, instead of just singling out Minivans? I see a lot of Honda Del Sols and Accords driving in the left lane as well (usually with a brain dead chick behind the wheel, but these are chick cars afterall).  Itís everywhere, open your eyes, but then again, if you werenít driving a Del Sol, sitting two feet off the ground, with a field of vision limited to 15 degrees front and back (and sometimes straight up if you take your hatch roof off), you would realize this.

This Week's Installment: How to Flip Your Car!

Did you know that you can have big fun flipping your car over on its roof? Yessir, sounds like a BALL to me! And what kind of vehicle should you choose to best do the job, assuming you want in on all this topsy-turvy fun? A Bronco II? Ummm, how 'bout a Suzuki Samari? An old mail truck? No, a 4-wheel drive mini-PICKUP, that'd flip EASY, right?Good answers, all of 'em, but, EEERRRRRNNKKKK: Wrong. 

According to the statistics, the vehicle most likely to end up oil-pan up is.  .  .  .  .  the Chevy Corvette!!

News to me.  Where do you get your facts? The Honda Inquirer?

That's right.  A so-called sports-car, with its super wide rubber, super low center of gravity, and super wide stance, flips over, upsidedown, more often than ANY OTHER CAR OR TRUCK! So, I hear ya.  What gives???

Two words: bone heads. 

That's right.  Corvettes attract such BONEHEADED drivers that they manage to do the impossible: overcome the powers of physics.  Yep, if you drive stupidly enough, you, too, can FLIP a Vette!

It takes a LOT to flip a Vette.  So much so that this is the first time Iíve ever heard of this problem, so it must be pretty rare (but you have a gift for turning the rare into the common).  And as for attracting bone head drivers, thatís news to me.  If anything, I see most Corvettes being driven really slow, so that other people will be envious of the driver.

And keep in mind, a Corvette really does NOT want to flip.  In fact, it needs lots of help to flip.  Go as fast as you want, 150, 160, whatever, and crank the wheel hard to either side, and the plastic-fantastic will skid, slide, hop, and generally go crazy, but it wont flip.  Or try this: put it in reverse and drive BACKWARDS real fast, then cut the wheel like Jim Rockford.  Again, lots of drama and tire smoke, but no flipping action.  Believe me, I've tried it!

You’ve driven a Vette and you now drive a Del Sol?  I truly doubt that you've ever driven a Corvette.  Going from a Corvette to a Del Sol would be like going from a steak dinner to a bowl of dogfood.

So how do you do it? I don't know.  I guess you drive it off the road and down into a ditch or something.  Maybe if you run over something with just one side of the car, like some pedestrians, or some dogs, you could flip it.  But you DO have to be a bonehead, no doubt!

Yep.  Never heard of a flipped Vette yet… My Z51 had ZERO body roll.  I hit a 45mph turn at 90mph and hung on, the tires screamed, but it never once lifted a tire/wheel off the ground, and this was a decreasing radius right hand turn off the six lane highway.  So, I doubt that Vettes flip very easily.  You probably have to work a little hard at this than you let on.

So next time you see one of those giant, plastic, pickup-engined Chevys shooting along next to you, GET OUT OF THE WAY! That medallion-laden hair-transplant patient behind the wheel may have popped too many pain killers!

And since a Vette is taller than a Del Sol, yeah, I can see why you are concerned.  I’ve never seen a Vette flip before, even in the news! Where do you get your material? A SUV is ten times more likely to flip than a Vette.  The Vette has a wide stance to it, and itís low to the ground, two things that are not favorable for flipping.  You can flip anything if you try hard enough or get in a bad enough situation.  Any vehicle will flip.  Thatís life and reality.  Yet, you go and single out the Corvette.  How easy is your Del Sol to flip? I bet itís a lot easier to flip a ultra-light Del Sol than a Corvette! Especially if you drive like you do!

This week's installment: The Ford CapriAhh, the Ford Capri. 

Ford's answer to the Miata.  A sports car for the 90s.  .  .  Or, maybe, a plastic bathtub with a back seat!

Jeez, talk about UGLY! What were those Ford designers smoking when they penned this one up? "Yeah, we'll take a Mazda 323 floor pan, then replace that hatchback body with a narrow, tall, slab-sided, bathtub looking body! It'll be great! We'll make the dash so boring, and the sides so tall that the driver won't even feel like he's driving a sporty car.  He'll think he's in a shrunken Crown Vic!" Yeah, Ford hasn't done THIS well since the Escort EXP days!

Old, smoking, fat, real estate sales ladies flock to these things like geezers to a Bingo party.  You have to prove that you're over 50 to buy one.  I think they're all sold with automatics.  Never seen a 5-speed, ever! And have you EVER seen one with the top down? I saw one, and it still had the dealer's tag on it.  I guess these AARP members buy them, drive them once with the top down, then put it up for good, never to be dropped again! "Oh, my HAIR!"And what's with the back seat? Why would you want to carry MORE people in this rolling catfish? I guess this is a safety device, designed to add weight to the thing, so it'll weigh 2800 pounds.  Then, in the ultimate marketing coup, Ford priced it OVER the Miata! RIGHT!!! "Pass the bong, dude, I need another hit!"

I’m not going to comment on this section, because I have my own opinions of the Ford Capri, none of them good, but those opinions are based on experience, not stereotypical bigotry.  I have no respect for the Capri, and apparently, due to itís low sales, poor marketing, poor design and very short market life, so did much of the automotive community as a whole, proving my own opinions correct through simple justification.

This week's (long overdue) installment: Automatic Transmissions

Long overdue, yeah, like people actually hold their breaths for this stuff to be updated.

Automatic transmissions suck like Hoovers.  Make that Hoover Heavy-Duty, Wet-Dry, Shop-Vacs.  This may offend some folks, but it's time to separate the folks from the kids!

OK, letís see how deep your logic buries you now.

Maybe I'm just confused, but I can only comprehend one reason for owning an automatic transmission, and that's the "I can't drive a stick" reason.  (Obviously, handicapped and physically-challenged people fall into this category, no apologies needed.  ) Why else would anybody want to take a decent car, then ruin it with a huge lump that adds a hundred pounds, has only three or four gears, cost more, uses more gas, breaks more often, costs more to have fixed, and consumes as much as 25 horsepower in the process! It's like trying to drive a stick with a worn out clutch and using only 2nd, 4th and 5th gears. 

Because not everyone wants a stick car.  Imagine an 80 year old woman, with arthritis, having to work her left leg and right hand while keeping one hand on the wheel.  Sticks are for young people or experienced drivers, they are not for Soccer moms, the elderly, physically challenged people, etc.  Also, believe it or not, some people prefer an automatic over a stick. 

My cousin had the chance to demo drive a new í99 WS6 Ram Air Trans Am convertible.  Itís a four speed automatic, not the six speed stick.  Heís in rush hour traffic for two hours, bumper to bumper.  Thank GOD for the automatic, he quoted! And automatics are higher tech than a manual transmission.  In fact, itís getting to where the automatic transmissions are just as fast, if not faster than the manual cars.  Machines can shift faster than a human ever could.  The technology is starting to prove this.  Manual transmissions are stone age technology.  You have to do everything, well, manually! Push the clutch in, throw the stick (here, boy! Fetch the stick!), let the clutch out, repeat.

Also, one very important thing you are overlooking here is that some fast cars and trucks are only available with an automatic transmission.  This has to do a lot with both EPA certification as well as the strength of the manual transmission.  Take for example the 1982 to 1992 GM F-body (Camaro and Firebird).  The Borg-Warner 5 speed available for the 305 Tuned Port Engine was a great transmission, however it wouldn't live very long behind the massive torque that the larger 350 TPI motor produced, so GM didn't offer the 5 speed transmission with the bigger engine.  The only way you could get a 350 TPI powered Camaro or Firebird was if you also got the automatic transmission, which was the only transmission choice.  Period.  Oh, people wanted a stick behind the bigger motor, but the stick of that day simply wasn't strong enough to live up to that engine's power.  A few years later, GMC would introduce their two models of super high performance turbocharged, all wheel drive sport trucks, the S-10 based Cyclone and the Jimmy based Typhoon.  Neither truck had a manual transmission available in it, it wasn't even an option.  Only the automatic transmission of that day and age could handle the power that these trucks were producing.

But look around and you'll see dozens of sporty cars with slushboxes, including del Sols, Miatas, and MR2s.  Why do people buy a performance car, then pay 1000 bucks extra to add two seconds to their 0-60 and quarter mile times? And even if you manually shift your automatic, you still don't have enough gears, and you're still driving through that crazy, liquid filled torque-eraser, er, I mean, torque-converter.  That's right, fluid drive!

Once again, you don’t understand anything about cars do you, especially about torque converters? A torque converter multiplies torque, but you have to have enough of an engine to drive it.  If you have a small engine (like a four cylinder Honda), you won’t be using it very well and you’ll get crappy gas mileage and low performance.  If you have the cubes to push it, a torque converter actually multiplies torque! Moron.  You don’t have to replace a torque converter like you do a clutch!

The automatics now are to the point where getting an automatic or a manual is purely preference.  The performance of the vehicle is unchanged.  A automatic transmission is a creature comfort, who wants to shift five thousand times a day? Some people do, some don’t! Why don’t you let the owners of the vehicles decide what they want? Don’t put down automatic transmissions just because you don’t understand them.  I’ve had both, and understand both, the advantages and disadvantages.  But like I said, the new generation of automatics are far superior to the ‘slush boxes’ that you are thinking of.  Far superior.  Ooops! You mean those heavy, horsepower robbing, slow shifting contraptions are (gasp!) high tech!? Yeah.  Go figure.

Torque converter selection is also a fine art.  The right converter can make or break your combo really quick.  Precision Industries makes some great torque converters, and on a bone stock LS-1 powered F-body, they are claiming between a half a second to a full second better quarter mile times just with the change of their torque converter.  What mod can you add to your manual transmission to make your car shift a full second faster.

None.

And autoboxes suck even when you're not driving fast.  Just load up with Aunt Millie and Uncle Chuck, and try to drive slowly and smoothly to Morrison's, so they can gum some overcooked horse meat.  There you go, smoothly up a slight hill, then, "waaaaaa-WAAAAA," the damn thing decides, wholly without warning, that you need second gear! So Uncle Chuck blows his okra all over the back of your head.  Great.  Just what I want!

Holy Mother of Milton Bradley!  Where the hell do you get this stuff? I have an automatic in my ’90 Formula, and it never down shifts, it simply increases throttle and applies more gas to keep a steady speed.  It doesn’t have to downshift (of course, if you had a puny little motor that was giving everything it could, yeah, I can see it having to downshift.  ) It doesn’t knock out of overdrive and down to second gear to make it up a hill.  I live near one of the highest / steepest hills in my county (very steep), and my wife’s GTP doesn’t even kick down, and it’s only a 3.  8 liter with a supercharger on it.  The throttle just goes more to the floor, the cruise control compensates, and the tunes keep playing as the GTP smoothly ascends the grade.  Your knowledge is as flawed as you are.  Sad.  )

So here's the challenge: tell me what a bonehead I am.  Tell me why I'm ill informed about automatics.  Maybe I've missed their real charm.  If so, please educate me!

You’re a bonehead.

Plain and simple.

You are uninformed, uneducated, and know nothing about cars or performance.  I would have an automatic over a manual for several reasons:

A good strip car will use a automatic (why drag racers use two speed automatic Powerglide transmissions today).  Speed shifting a manual transmission can be highly variable, not so with an automatic transmission.  Miss a third gear shift, you’ve blown your ET.  Put it down in D, don’t worry about it.  Shift up to OD toward the end, don’t worry about it, the fast shifting automatic does the rest for you.  Yes, you are a bonehead.  And that’s because you don’t have a brain, and if you did, you haven’t filled it with anything remotely useful with regard to automotive mechanics.  Todayís automatic transmissions are cutting edge high performance pieces of hardware.

Otherwise, "slushbox drivers, please move to the right lane now!"

Everyone get in the right lane!  Pregnant buzzy little roller skate with a fart pipe coming through!

Send my regards to Aunt Millie. 

I donít know your Aunt Millie personally, but Iím sure sheís slapping your mom for ever having a moron like you and letting that moron loose upon the world.  And Iím sure that Aunt Millie has more automotive knowledge than you ever will.  Perhaps this Aunt Millie is none other than the Little Old Lady from Pasadena.

THIS WEEKS INSTALLMENT: HOW TO DRIVE LIKE ME

God, why would anyone want to drive like YOU? Youíve already proven you have no skill, no knowledge, and no respect for your car, so why would someone want to drive like a stupid person? The logic escapes meÖ

Okay, maybe everybody doesn't want to drive like me, but you SHOULD! Just let me tell you why.  .  .  First, I have more fun than anybody else on the road.  Second, I'm very safe.  Third, I drive a Honda, so there's NO GUILT in totally hammering my car!

Holy tap dancing Houdini!

No guilt in totally hammering your car?  Obviously there's no brains at all either.  Anyone that ‘totally hammers’ their car on a daily basis does not deserve to own a multi-hundred pound sledge hammer that can be turned from controlled vehicle into deadly uncontrolled weapon.  You are a moron.  And just because you drive a Honda, doesn’t make your car indestructible! What a bonehead!

So how should one drive a Honda? First, with LOTS of revs.  That's what Honda's do best, especially the 1.  6s, doesn't matter which one.  In every gear, wind that little engine out to at least 7000 rpm.  DO IT! If you've got a DOHC, take it up to 8200.  Don't worry about engine wear.  I've been doing this, litterally every day, every shift, all the time, for over 80,000 miles.  My engine is still great.  Yours will be, too.  Oh, and always lift when you shift.  "Speed shifting" is stupid and destructive. 

"Speed shifting is stupid and destructive?" So is driving your car like you do.  Yes, the Hondas will rev, but Iíve never had to rev my Hondas to get power for normal driving.  So, by your own admission, the only way that a Honda is going to make any power is if itís revved into a very narrow, very high power band.  Thatís sad.  And nothing like the Hondas that Iíve driven lately.  They are smooth, fuel efficient, and reliable.  The average Accord does not need to see 8 grand to get from dead stop to 35 miles an hour.  And, just so you know, the other automotive enthusiasts out there are not impressed when we see Hondas revving up to 8 grand from a dead stop.  Itís just so much extra noise, itís not needed, itís unimpressive, and itís sad.  You might as well be a gorilla beating your chest and saying "look at me".  Remember this, there is always a bigger, smarter gorilla out there.  In your case, all you have to do is look at the local zoo to find your match.

Next, go really fast in the turns.  Your Honda can carry more mid-corner speed than many larger, much more powerful sports cars.  Try this.  Find a corner you know well.  One that you usually take at 45 mph.  Now, this time, as you approach the corner, double-clutch down into second gear.  The tach should be up at 6000 or so.  Go into the turn a little too fast.  Just as the front tires start to slide out (push, understeer), pull your foot off the gas.  When you do, the weight transfer to the front tires will cause them to bite hard, your line will tighten, and the tail may step out (oversteer!).  Now be ready to counter-steer, so you don't spin.  If you perfect this technique, you can consistantly enter corners 5 or even 10 mph faster than you used to, and use the 4-wheel-drift to scrub off some speed and tighten your steering line. 

And I assure you that the people in the oncoming traffic lane will not be impressed with your driving skills.  I hate morons who hang curves as fast as they can.  Save that kind of display for the track.  You are heading for a big hurt and soon if you keep driving like you do.  And the sad thing is, I don’t care if you hurt yourself or get yourself killed, since you obviously don’t have anything useful to contribute to society, I’m concerned for the other people, the people in the other car, the Ford Fairmont or the Minivan that your childish, immature, stupid ass slams into at 5 to 10mph faster than you should be entering the curve at.  I’m worried about the children that you will leave motherless or fatherless after the impact.  I’m worried about the dead children in the twisted minivan or SUV that you slam into.  That’s what I’m worried about, not your stupid ass, because you won’t be missed.  There is always something there, waiting for you.  A oil slick, a patch of gravel.  Just because you went into that curve fast yesterday, doesn’t mean it’s the same curve today.  You are one useless waste of human skin, Rob, and you should mail your drivers license in and get a 10 speed Schwinn.  .  You donít belong behind the wheel of a heavy vehicle that is capable of moving at speeds in excess of 5mph under its own power.  You really donít.

Then, just after the mid-point of the corner (the apex), ease back onto the gas and power out.  If you're really cooking and just stomp on the gas, the front tires will spin, cause you've transfered that weight right back again, and the nose will jump about 2 feet toward the outside of the corner (and you might pee). 

And you might lose control.  And you might slide off the road.  And you might find out that the Del Sol flips a hell of a lot easier than the Corvette.  At least the Corvette has a better perimeter frame around the neck and head area than the Del Slo.  If I had to flip, I would choose to be in a Corvette over a Del Slo any day.

With a little practice at the heel-and-toe/double-clutching thing, you'll be screaming around like Michael Schumacher, and I PROMISE you'll love your Honda even more than you do already! Trust me. 

Why should I trust you? Your driving techniques are the stuff of amateur high schoolers let loose for the first time in mom’s old four door V8.  "Make the tires burn, Robby!" "Heheheheh! That was cool! You left black marks on the pavement!" You say you’re a good driver, but you don’t show it.  You don’t describe it, and you certainly don’t preach it to those who might come to your site for information.  You show absolute immaturity in telling other people how to treat their cars, how to drive, and how to act on the street.  Useless.  It is your very demonstration to other Honda drivers that makes the rest of the performance community look down on ‘ricerboys’ and rice rocket drivers.  You all drive like complete idiots, trying to impress others but only making an ass out of yourselves.  You are not impressive, you’re stupid.  You zing around corners too fast, you skip in and out of traffic, revving your motors, and causing other motorists to dodge your little rice boxes.  You generally make a very bad impression on other drivers.  Just because you have a small car with a high revving motor, you do not have to drive at 8000 rpm and whip into a spot of traffic leaving less than a foot of room to pass.  You are the very epitome of a riceboy.  You are unskilled, immature, inconsiderate of other motorists, and generally, a bad driver.  That and you have a car that lets you do all of this "guiltlessly" and you have the makings for a very big problem!

This Weeks INSTALLMENT: THE WORST NEW CAR ON EARTH!

What, did Honda completely redesign the Del Sol?

Okay, we've all had to drive bad cars before, right? Well, I've got one that has to take the cake for the Worst New Car On Earth!A reservation for an "intermediate car, A/C" got me a new, 1996 Oldsmobile Cierra.  (They've dropped the "Cutlass" part for '96).  Holy sweet bloody bleedin mother of America!!! What a nightmare!!!

I can imagine your terrorAfter all, the Cutlass is bigger than your Del Sol, and you can carry four people in it! Oh, the additional voices! Make them be quiet! And a solid roof! You’re feeling very claustrophobic!

I knew there was trouble when I opened the trunk to throw in my bags: BOTH stereo speakers were dangling by their wires! And this car had only 5,600 miles on it! Then, when I turned on the radio, only the left front speaker worked, no matter where the "BAL.  " slider thing was set. 

That’s a rental car for you.  Please don’t judge a beater as being the cream of the factory crop.  You are not the first person to drive this car, and you’re not the last.  Take that into consideration.  Also, you said you were going to throw your bags into the trunk.  Ever think that people before you did just that? THROW their bags into the trunk.  It's a RENTAL car, how many people don't hammer or disrespect a rental car?  Could THAT be the reason that the speaker wires were dangling and that only one worked? Maybe other people threw their bags into the trunk and they hit the speakers… Hmmmm.  You donít treat a rental car the same way that you treat your own car.  Realize that.

Then I got in.  Just LOOK at the DASH on this thing! A huge, rectangular thing, sitting real high up.  Switches, buttons, rockers, and levers are STROON all over the thing.  The steering wheel comes out about a foot from the dash, so even with the seat all the way back, the wheel is still in your chest.  And the wheel itself has those finger indention bump things all over the rim, which is as skinny as a pencil!

It’s designed for different people than those who drive Del Sols.  No wait, the Cierra is a chick car, so yeah, itís designed for the same people who drive Del Sols.  Iím really surprised that you found any problem with this car at all! I know having all of those other gauges was probably a bit confusing, but did the IDIOT light come on when you got in and belted up? It should have.  They might want to check the bulbÖ

Then I drove it.  The stupid automatic shift thing is still on the column, like your graddad's old Oldsmobile.  As you pull it from P to D, it always goes too far the first time, down into 2 or something.  You try to push it back, and it kinda goes past D to N, but only half way.  WHAT A PIECE OF DUNG!

It’s not a five speed, so you have to slide it into gear, click, click, click.  You do not have to slam it down into D, you moron.  It’s a different piece of technology and hardware.  I would have paid to have seen you get into this car and try to figure it out.  It was probably a lot more advanced than your Del Slo and that’s why you didn’t like it.  It took you a lot longer to figure out the complicated stuff.  But from your ideas on the automatic, I can understand your inability to drive an automatic.  Most people have trouble driving a standard, but I think you're one of the first people I've ever met who had trouble driving an automatic! 

Maybe you should have looked at it from another point of view, maybe manual transmissions are for people too stupid to operate a automatic transmission.  Hmmmm.

This car must have no shocks at all, just old rusted bed springs.  Hit one bump, and it oscillates for 20 seconds: kaa-bounce, bounce, bounce bounce.  .  . 

It’s designed for comfort, not for performance.  Give it some lean way when you judge it.  A school bus is not going to handle like a Corvette, different classes of performance and comfort.  It doesn’t handle like my Del Sol with Eibach springs.  Whaaaaaa.  Sniff.  Whaaaaaa. 

Grow up.

All the buttons, levers, and switches felt like they had concrete chucks ground into their mechanisms.  My Honda allows me to move the turn-signal lever with the tip of one finger.  But this thing had a stalk that requires your whole arm to move.  "Gggrrrrrrrr - K-L-I-C-K!" Then it's stuck.  To turn off the turn signal, you have to pull down on it so hard, it raises your butt out of the velour bench seat. 

I really doubt that.  The intermediate cars that I’ve been in, produced by GM and Ford, are quite nice.  My wife’s ’99 Grand Prix GTP (eats Del Sols for lunch in acceleration, deceleration, handling, and almost the same in mileage.  Plus I can carry three extra people in it! In fact, after your website has come to my attention, I’m going to pick on Del Sols almost exclusively! Heheheheh.  What puny little cars.  They are like Pepsi cans with wheels and a lawnmower engine.  Mattel and Hotwheels builds a better car than the Del Sol! I’ve found that the hardware in a Honda is a lot more fragile than that found in a GM car.  And I’ve never had the kind of problem in ANY car that you describe.  What? Are you also an uncoordinated moron? Ugghh.  Togg beat turn signal stalk until little blinker light go off.  Uggggh.  Good.  Togg make fire now with push button fire plug thingy in ashtray.  Goood.

WHAT KIND OF DRUGS IS GM ON?!?! Who, other than a rental car company, would possible buy this manual chunk? Goes slow, turns bad, rides bad, stops bad, spews pieces, gets bad gas milage, is REAL FRIGING UGLY, and is uncomfortable to sit it. 

Some people would say the same things about your Del Sol.  Ever consider that?  Lots of people.  There are different tastes for different people, and GM has to take that into account.  People who buy the Cierra think it is a better car than the Del Sol.  People who buy a Del Sol are not going to be the same kind of people who drive a Cierra.  Gee.  Some common sense there, Rob.  Don’t see many Del Sols at the rental car places do you? Why? They’re not good cars… I mean, who would possible rent this manual chunk? Goes slow, turns bad, rides bad, stops bad, gets only marginal gas mileage, is REAL FRIGING UGLY, and is uncomfortable to sit it, plus it only seats two people or the driver and a shaving kit, and has no trunk at all. 

Yeah, go figure, Rob.

In fact, why does a RENTAL CAR company even buy this? Can anybody explain this to me???

Because the Cutlass Cierra is economical, it’s comfortable, it’s a nice car for business men and travelers.  Since it is cheap, economical, and comfortable, it rents well, and turns a nice profit to the rental agency.  The Del Sol is not a commuter car for the average businessman.  Face it.  The Cierra sells, like the Del Sol, mostly to women.  I wonder why they offered you a Cierra instead of a more manly car (like a Impala or a Grand Prix)? I guess they know a girly driver when one walks in the door.

THIS WEEKS INSTALLMENT: REAL SPORTS CARS

What's a real sports car? Well, depends on who you asked, and since you're reading this, I'll answer.  Real sports cars are cars that are gratifying to drive well.  How's that? Sure, I could throw in the usual: 2 seats, open top, small, light weight, etc.  But it's the driving requirement that's important. 

Why does a sports car have to have two seats, or two doors or an open top? Isn’t the Nissan Maxima touted as the 4DSC or Four Door Sports Car? It doesn’t have an open top.  The Chevy Impala SS with it's LT1 motor is a sports car and it has four doors (and a Corvette motor).   The Dodge Viper GTS is a hard fixed top and itís a Ďrealí sports car, to most people.  In fact, the higher performance cars are often hard tops due to the increased need for structural integrity and how it directly affects handling.  Given your logic above, the Corvette is a real sports car, even though you previously said it was a piece of junk.  Your logic is flawed through a lack of basic mechanical and automotive understanding.  Youíve just declared that any car that is NOT just like the Del Sol in design is not a sports car.  Thatís sad.

See, for the past, oh, 20 years or so, the term SPORTS CAR has come to mean a bigger, more comfort/luxury oriented thing, like the Corvette, the 300ZX, the 3000GT, etc.  Fast cars, yes, but they're not real sports cars.  They're so big, so heavy, and so gadget laden, they just are not fun enough.  There's not enough feel, not enough involvement for the driver. 

I think you would find that most people realize by now that statements like you make just go to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are just simply completely stupid when it comes to anything even remotely relating to automobiles or mechanics.  A Corvette, a RX7, a Supra, a 300ZX, those ARE real sportscars.  The Del Sol, sadly, is not.  The Del Sol is a Ďsportyí car, that is, it is cute, it is somewhat aerodynamic, it has two seats (meaning you donít cram the kids , wife, and dog in with you), and you can get a stick in it, but it is not a fire breathing, pavement ripping, monster.  It never will be.  Ever.  The Del Sol is a sporty car, it is not a Sports Car, unless you stretch the definition really really long.  And just in case youíve never been in a F-body (any generation) or a Corvette, these cars provide their sports car ratings through several factors; suspension that is tuned toward performance and the road, high performance motors, a driver interactive environment which provides feedback from the road to the driver and allows the driver to compensate through a wide range of speeds.  Sure they have gadgets, gadgets make for better speed.  Traction control, head up displays, active suspensions, all of it is designed toward the driver having an easier time at faster and faster speeds.  In case I have to point it out again for you, thatís progress!

It's just too darn easy to drive them fast, so the driver gets to take none of the credit for going fast.  Jeez, my GRANDMOTHER could drive a Corvette fast, and that's not a complement to Chevy! The Corvette does it all FOR you.  You just sit up and keep it between the telephone poles. 

So, going fast should be because of the driver and not the vehicle? If your line of logic were to be carried over to the Air Force, weíd still be in biplanes instead of hypersonic SR-71s and cutting edge technology Stealth Fighters.  Of course, it would be our pilots that pushed our planes to supersonic speeds, and not the designs of the planes themselves, their electronics, their aerodynamics or the power of their jet engines.

These cars are easy to drive fast due to one thing: PROGRESS! Youíre just jealous, and your jealousy blinds you to reason.  The fact that it takes skill to drive fast escapes you, and the fact that at the speeds these cars can generate, every microsecond counts, yeah, I want all the gadgets I can have installed around me! And in case you didnít notice, these cars ARE fast because of their GADGETS! Driving skill is still paramount to this, and no, I doubt that your grandmother could drive a Corvette at 180mph.  Seriously doubt it, as I seriously doubt that you could.  You arenít experienced enough, you donít have the skill to do so, and you certainly arenít open minded enough to allow the computers and other gadgets on board help you drive that fast.  Youíd be too busy trying to look good driving than to be driving well.  Machines will never replace skill, they will only make it easier to go faster and faster with less effort and more safety.  Progress again taps you on the shoulder, but you ignore it.

Real sports cars require SKILL to drive fast.  Blow a corner entry in a Mustang Cobra, and BROOOMMM, one stomp on the gas, and you're going fast again.  Blow a corner in my del Sol, and you've blown it.  Sure, my little Honda's pretty quick, but not like a Cobra, Corvette, 300ZX, etc.  So the del Sol makes the driver pay attention to what the tires are doing, what line works best, and how early can I get back into the gas.  .  .  REAL sports driving stuff. 

So, because a car has worse suspension on it means that it’s a real sports car just because you have to put more effort and ‘skill’ into driving it? Wrong.  Sadly wrong! Skill is skill, regardless of what car you drive.  If I were in a Del Sol, I would drive within the limits of the design of the Del Sol (not a good design, as you’ve just admitted above), but if I were to drive a REAL sports car, something with a real suspension under it, I could use less skill to go just as fast.  Or I could use more of my skill and go even faster.  A suspension and other gadgets make up for your skill in most areas.  They take away the hard task of driving hard, they transfer that effort into the design of the car.  Moron.  Skill isn’t based on suspension or car design, skill is based on driver! When you bought your Del Sol, did you see something on the window sticker that said

SUPER HONDA DRIVING SKILL (dealer installed) …………….  ……………………………….  $1250.00 

I think not.  Itís not the car, itís the driver.  Anyone will tell you that! Iíve seen good drivers in great cars lose to great drivers in good cars.  Thatís just life.

Ayrton Senna didn't win 3 world championships because his car was fastest.  He did it cause he could drive best. 

And his car was the equal or better than the other cars on the track.  Failed to recognize that as well, didn’t you.  It’s a combination of driver and vehicle.  I’m sure that if Aryton Senna didn’t have a good car, or if he had a car that was inferior to the other cars on the track, he wouldn’t have won.  Unless the other drivers were complete useless losers.  Suspension and the car can help the driver, but they donít make the driver.  Senna would agree with me on this.  Oh, I think Iíll find his Email and send him the URL for your site.  He probably hasnít had a good laugh in a long time.

So the next time some bonehead in a 6-liter, 8-cylinder, giant, auto-matic equiped, daquiri making, TV having, gas sucking monster of a car beats you off the line at a stop light, rest assured - that wasn't a REAL sports car, anyway. 

Hmmm.  Aesop's Sour Grapes fable comes to life with you.  Well, that 'fake' sports car beat your "real" sports car off the line, it blew you away, and it’s not a real sportscar? What is a real sports car, Rob? Something slow? Something that gets beat by some bonehead in a 6 liter 8 cylinder giant automatic equipped daquiri making TV having, gas sucking monster of a car? If your car is a ‘real’ sports car, and it gets beat by a 6 liter (colorful stupid descriptions deleted) monster of a car, then I don’t want a ‘real’ sports car, I’ll take the monster car any day!

"Hey, that guy just blew me away! Doesnít matter does it, my sweet little Del Sol? Weíre far superior to him, we get better gas mileage anyway! There, there, let me wipe the tears from your little cute head lightsÖ"

Or maybe, in my line of thinking, and in the majority of the rest of the automotive world, the driver in the monster car was simply a better driver than you were? Sad.  Rob, you donít know what a real sports car is, and you obviously donít drive one.  If you did, you would never have posted this kind of bull.

This Weeks Installment: THE DAY I DROVE A MINI-VAN!

On a recent trip to Toronto, all the rental car companies were out of cars.  (Don't ask me how a rental car company runs out of cars.  ) So anyway, after waiting for half and hour, I'm REALLY late for my meeting.  So I complain, and the woman says "the only thing I've got is a minivan.  It'll be here in 5 minutes.  Will you take a minivan?"

Hmmm.  I guess that demand matched supply, thatís how they ran out of rental cars, Rob.  Thatís capitalism at work and it works great.  Next time, make a reservation, moron.  Like everyone else did.  The rental agency probably keeps a stupid vehicle there, on call, for stupid people who donít make reservations.  You got the Ďdunceí car, Rob.  And I bet they laughed at you when you drove awayÖ

Ohh, JEEZ!! A MINI-VAN?? How can I drive a MINI-VAN?! What if somebody SEEs me!! Well, we HAD to take a mini-van, and I had to drive.  A Ford Windstar, it was.  So I'm thinking, okay, I've can do this.  I can do this.  Stay calm.  .  . 

It helps if the first step in your effort to get a hold of yourself is if you quit acting like a 6 year old girlÖ

Well, let's cut right to the chase: MINI-VANS SUCK! THEY BLOW! THEY BITE! They're REALLY REALLY BAD THINGS! First of all, the come ONLY with automatic transmissions, and you KNOW what I think of THAT! And they're so HUGE! There is abosutely nothing MINI about this whale!

Ever driven a full size van? Ever drive something like a GMC or Chevy Suburban?  Youíll appreciate a minivan after that.  And why have a stick in a minivan? That adds to the effort, the auto shifter on the floor in the company minivan that I drive is like 3 feet tall, I donít want to throw a three foot tall stick all day long! A minivan is a smaller utility vehicle.  It isnít for cruising, it isnít for picking up dates in, itís a utility vehicle.  Itís for car pools, big families, taking the little soccer players to the game, taking office supplies over across town to the remote office, carrying medical supplies (ever see a Ambulance based on a Del Sol?), its for a wide range of cargo carrying services.  Thatís why it exists, and itís designed for ease of utility, hence the lack of a manual transmission (which is a bitch to throw in rush hour traffic.  Minivans are not bad things, any more than guns are bad things.  Itís the people who use them that are to blame.  Donít blame the hardware, blame the people behind the wheel.  Minivans donít drive themselves, just like you are living proof that crack does not smoke itself.

You have to fling yourself up into this "captain's chair" thing.  Yeah, I guess I felt like Capt.  Stubing, driving the freakin LOVE BOAT! No, I felt more like the Skipper: ".  .  .  a three hour tour, a three hour tour.  .  .  "

You come off more like Gilligan than the skipper, and you whine like Ginger.  No way could you ever play the part of the Professor.  So, Gilligan it isÖ

You sit so high, even on small bumps, the whole boat rocks back and forth, and your head flops all around.  Hit a pot hole, and it might fling your head into the side window and know you silly.  ("Gilligan, little buddy.  .  .  speak to me!").  Even when the pavement's smooth, the front of the boat (the bow, right?) kinda womps up and down the whole time.  Nobody knows why. 

People who know even just a little bit about automotive aerodynamics know why, Rob.  Itís called aerodynamic lift.  Itís caused by the high speed compression of air under the front end and in the engine compartment (basically a big hollow space with very little exit area).  The air is crammed in at speed, and then slowly escapes, thus producing the bobbing motion.  Air lifts the front end, and as the forced air bubble escapes, the front end lift is diminished and the van rides up and down.  Itís a mechanical and automotive term, but since you donít know the first thing about anything automotive or mechanical, I understand why you donít know about this term.  It occurs when you try to push a brick through the air at high speed.

And don't even THINK about stopping.  Ever.  Maybe the S.  S.  Windstar is supposed to have an anchor.  ("Professor, can you and Mary Ann make an anchor out of coconuts?") The steering rudder think is totally numb, too.  You feel absolutely nothing.  It's a good thing that the front tires start howling so loudly, because that's the only way you can tell that you're trying to turn!

The minivan that I drive at work is ten years old and has some serious brakes on it, has braking technology gotten worse since then? I don’t think so.  My van doesn’t even have anti-lock brakes and I’ve avoided idiots in little Del Sols whipping in and out of heavy rush hour traffic and used my skills as a driver to avoid wrecks in the middle of the road with ease! That’s skill! So, you’re trying to drive this minivan like a Del Sol? Hahahahahaha! Next you’ll say that a minivan is not a real sports car! It’s not intended to be! You are a complete idiot, for one, you only have one driving style, and you try to drive everything like a V-Tech Del Sol.  Rev it to 8 grand and when it comes apart, wonder why it’s a POS.  You try to maneuver a box on wheels like it had some form of rear wing and aerodynamics and wonder why it doesn’t respond (stupid design…).  Wake up! Not everything is a Del Sol (thank God!), and so, different cars and vehicles will handle inherently differently.  That’s what marks a good driver from a complete amateur.  Someone who can adapt their skill and style between different vehicles.  You obviously cannot do this.  I can drive my company minivan pretty fast.  And I own a ‘real’ sports car.  Whatís your excuse for your lack of driving skill? The Van? Thatís another sign of an immature amateur driver with no skill. 

"Donít look at me, Iím a great driver! Itís the vehicle that wonít go fast! Itís the vehicleís fault that I went off the road driving the minivan at 120mph"

Stupid amateur.

So my bottom line recommendation: DON'T DO IT.  EVER.  TAKE A CAB!!!!!

Good recommendation.  Let’s see if you take your own advice.  Me, Iíll just drive my company minivan to the best of my ability and have fun doing it.  Ooops.  My minivan inspires fun!? It takes ‘skill’ to drive fast!? Must be a REAL sports car then, according to your own logic… God, shooting holes in your logic is just too damn easy.  I love it.  Oh, and in case you think that minivans are useless, I know of a guy who has taken a Chevy Astro minivan and dropped a ZZ3 GM crate motor into it, over 300 hp and then some.  Nice mod, and the minivan is a total sleeper.  So, next time you pull up next to a minivan in your Del Slo, think about that.  It’s hot rodding, and it’s all in what you have and what you can do with it.  Don’t knock something because you don’t recognize it’s potential! Hot rodding applies to all vehicles, foreign or domestic.  Period.

This Weeks Installment: Race Springs Warning!!!

Last month I finally broke down and put some good suspension hardware on my del Sol: Koni adjustable shocks, and Eibach ProKit springs.  Everything's peachy, until I read the FINE PRINT!

You can read?! Oh, you can read, but you donít learn anything from what you readÖ Oh, I get it now.

Eibach's instructions says something like "Even the highest quality springs can break under severe driving conditions.  Do not make any abrupt or sudden steering motions.  .  .  "

Not that you have to worry about that in your Del Slo Ö

WHAT!? No sudden steering motions? No severe driving? What do these people think sport springs are for?

Total posers, thatís what sport springs are for.  And you bought a setÖ Guess that makes you a Ö You finish the thought.

Does Jean Todt (Ferrari's F1 Technical Director) say to Michael Schumacher, "hey, Mike, be sure to drive slowly and smoothly.  Don't steer too fast.  " Does Chip Ganassi say to Alessandro Zenardi, "Alex, take it easy at Laguna this afternoon.  Don't turn sharp, whatever you do!" OF COURSE NOT!

Of course, you didnít just order some exotic material racing springs either, moron.  You ordered mass produced springs, not exotic, one off, custom designed, close tolerance racing team only springsÖ

HEY EIBACH, WAKE UP! YOU SELL GREAT PRODUCTS, SO TELL YOUR LAWYERS TO CHILL OUT ON THE PRODUCT LIABILITY DISCLAIMERS!!

Why? The warning is there because some moron like you bought these springs, installed them, and then got out there and said:

"These new springs will let me drive just like Michael Schumacher! Watch this!"

and then they wound up in the hurt locker with a crumpled up car, and tried to sue Eibach for their own stupidity.

Here’s the reason why companies have to put warning stickers on their products; it’s because of idiots like you that go out and do stupid things and then turn around and try to make up for their own stupidity by blaming the company.  If you put these springs on your car, and you don’t take into consideration other aspects of your car (tires, wheel diameter, suspension wear, etc.  ) and go out and wrap yourself around a tree, don’t go suing Eibach over your lack of mental forethought.  If anything, aftermarket performance companies should give IQ tests to potential customers.  In that case, you would NEVER have been able to purchase your springs in the first place (too bad Honda doesn’t do this with Del Sols either, you could have been driving a Civic three door hatchback and not wasting precious bandwidth here on the WWW but Honda is so desperate to sell the Del Slo, that theyíll sell it to anyone.  You are perfect evidence of that.

This Weeks Installment: SHUT UP AND DRIVE!!!

I've been run off the road yet again.  This time, by a guy too busy with his whipped-almond-chocolate-espresso to keep in his lane at 80mph.  You've seen 'em too.  Men shave while driving, women put on make-up, half the highway is reading a novel or newspaper while they drive, and the other half is eating, drinking, or having sex! So, hey everybody, SHUT UP AND DRIVE!

Hmmm.  I thought you were one of the greatest drivers on the WebÖ Why didnít your superior driving skills, the nimble suspension on your Del Sol, and your "Iím greater than Michael Schumacher" attitude allow you to keep your Del Sol "between the telephone poles?

Amateur.

HEY, MS.  MAKE-UP HEAD: That little mirror in the middle is the REARVIEW mirror.  It's to see cars and things behind you.  It is NOT a makeup mirror.  If that little mirror is aimed at your HEAD, then you should have your license revoked!

And this coming from a guy who promotes fast ‘but safe!’ driving.  Someone in a teeny tiny car, that is easily missed in blind spots and rear view mirrors, someone who drives at 8000rpm in each gear, someone who can whip their car in and out of traffic in the blink of an eye, or the glance of a rear view mirror.  Nope.  Not buying it.  A good driver takes into account every aspect of their environment.  You are as much at fault as the other guy.  If your skill and your car are so superior, don’t worry about it.  You should be able to outmaneuver all the idiots when you get in trouble, or stop on a dime in your Del Sol.  Your mighty V--Tech motor should be able to out power any other moron in a minivan or Olds Cierra.  And if that isnít enough, the space age frame and materials of your little Del Sol should be able to protect you in the event of a impact with like, say, a Dodge full size Ram Dually.

Shouldnít it?

HEY, BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB MEMBERS: That flat thing in front of you is NOT a cafe table.  It's the STEERING WHEEL! Pay a-freaking-tension to what you're doing, you DOLT! DON'T look at newspapers, don't read your mail.  Don't read Tom Clancy.  LOOK AT THE ROAD! You're traveling at 100 feet per second! So each time you read a few words, you're traveling a FOOTBALL FIELD totally BLIND! How stupid are you?

Probably not as stupid as you since they probably have a higher reading to understanding comprehension level.

HEY, MS.  BLABBER-HEAD: Hang up the cell phone! How come, when these people start talking on the phone, they speed up to 90, start weaving through traffic with one hand, and NEVER signal? Got a call? PULL OVER!

Sounds like your driving style, Rob.  I talk on the cell phone and make calls all the time, but I can multi--process, so I maintain speed in traffic.  Iím one of the few people who can do this, so itís training and you have to work at it.  Yes, I hate people who canít drive and talk at the same time.  Donít harass all cell phone users.  A cell phone serves a valuable purpose, like using it to call the ambulance when that full size Dually pickup truck runs over your little Del SolÖ Youíll be glad that someone has one when that happens to you!

Medic!

YO, MR.  ESSPRESSO: Don't drink and drive.  Don't eat your little bran muffin and drive.  Don't stir half-and-half into your cafe-au-laite and drive! Get it?

My question is this, how can you see all of this in that little car, especially now with the lowered springs? I mean, your car should decapitate all life forms over 4" in height, so how can you be looking into these big off the ground cars and noticing all of this.

HEY, ALL YOU BONEHEADS: Here's how it goes.  The LEFT hand goes on the steering wheel.  It is also used to move that little stalk that activates your TURN SIGNALS.  Your RIGHT hand also steers.  It is also used to shift gears.  Your LEFT foot operates the clutch pedal, and maybe the brake.  Your RIGHT foot is for the GAS pedal, but I guess that's the ONE pedal all those mouth-breathers already know about, 'cause they have no worries about driving 80 while flossing their teeth!

A lot of pent up anxiety here, folks.  This guy does NOT need to be behind the wheel.  Thank God he’s in a crushmobile like a Del Sol and not driving a Dodge Ram full size Dually or anything else with some mass behind it so hopefully, when he does decide to take himself out of this world (his driving skill will lead to that, shortly), he probably wonít hurt anyone but himself! And I hope to God this guy doesnít carry a gun in his car! Heís an accident waiting to happen!

THIS WEEK'S INSTALLMENT: STRAP IN, YOU BRAIN-DEAD MORON!

Do you know what that little, woven, nylon belt in your car is? It's about 2 and a half inches wide, and has a shiny, metal thing on the end of it.  It's called a SEAT BELT and it is REQUIRED!

Who's heard some good "I don't wear my seat belt because.  .  .  " stories lately? I heard a KILLER one yesterday.  "My husband wont wear his seat belt, because one time, he got in a wreck, wasn't wearing a seat belt, and got thrown out of the car, and BROKE HIS BACK.  But, he says if he'd been wearing his belt, he'd probably been killed.  .  .  " RIGHT! He ONLY broke his freakin SPINE!

Next time you're on the interstate, glance at the people you pass, or that pass you.  I bet you'll find that, like, HALF, don't have their seat belts on.  "Yeah, I'll just brace myself on the steering wheel if I crash.  " Okay, and a 13 mph impact will make your 26 pound JUG HEAD weigh, um, 130 pound! Hope your neck is strong! And they're sometimes nice cars, driven by smart-looking folks with fancy business attire!So, hey, I'm not here to moralize.  In fact, I'm hear to ASK A QUESTION.  If you DON'T wear your seat belt, ever, PLEASE e-mail me, and let me know what your reasoning is.  Maybe I've missed something.  As for me, I don't back out of the driveway without mine.  Drive safe, but drive FAST!

You promote driving safe, but driving fast.  The two donít really go together, do they? And if we were all to drive like you say you drive in your examples above, a seat belt is only going to let the authorities find our bodies quicker.  Driving fast is not driving safe, especially in traffic or heavy congestion.  Weíve already discussed suspension, not all cars have good suspensions on them, and buckling up isnít some factor in driving fast better.  Speed is life, yes, but not in heavy traffic.  Relative speed is life, high speed is death.

THIS MONTH'S INSTALLMENT: The All New Corvette!!!

Hark! What's that on the horizon? Is it a bird? A plane? A pickup truck wearing a dress? NO - It's the ALL NEW CORVETTE!!So after just 13 short years (during which Honda relesed THREE new CRX designs), there is a new Corvette.  In fact, Chevy says it's ALL new.  Good.  That old one, with it's plastic body, pushrod pickup engine, and sideways truck springs had to go.  So, let's see what's new!

The way I look at it, the Corvette was fine as it was (sales prove that).  So Honda had to redesign the CRX three times? That doesn’t sound very good to me.  Yes, the new Vette is all new.  I canít wait to pick this posting apartÖ

ENGINE: Well, the engine IS aluminum now.  But, it still has PUSHRODS! So it's an ALUMINUM pickup truck engine.  (I suppose an ALUMINUM-turd is better than a regular one?) And it only makes 15 more horsepower than the iron pickup model! GREAT!

Again, since when are push rods a bad thing? Aluminum pickup truck engine? I don’t know of any pickup truck produced by GM that comes, even as an option, equipped with the LS1 motor or for that matter, with any form of aluminum block engine.  Again, the 350 small block is comparable to the Honda 4 cylinder.  It’s a tried and true design.  What? Were you expecting some form of four cylinder? The LS1 is one of the highest tech engines in the world today, but that escapes you.  And since this ‘turd’ can blow away your Del Sol any day, anytime, I would feel ashamed to say that my car was slower than a turd.  Yes, it makes 15 more hp (the new version makes 35 extra horses), but you have failed to realize that the horsepower is measured differently now.  The old Vette made like 285hp at the flywheel, something like 240 at the rear wheel.  The new LS1 is measuring the horsepower at the rear wheel now, not the flywheel, so when they say it’s making 300hp at the rear wheel, that means that the motor is actually putting out closer to 370 or more horsepower.  Bonehead, do some research before you just post what you feel is ‘right’.  And the new ’99 LS1 motors can put the ultra heavy dinosaur Z28 with a six speed stick, fresh off the showroom, into the 12.  8 second quarter mile bracket.  The new LS1 Vette will take the quarter in 12.  6 stock, more with some simple bolt on mods.  All of this with AC, cruise, CD player, power windows, door locks, T-tops, etc.  To do that in a Honda, you would have to use nitrous, a turbocharger, and lose the AC, the spare seats, spare tire, door panels, power windows, power locks, hollow out the interior, and tub the car.  So, it looks like GM is progressing a lot more than Honda in performance.  Oh, and look out for the new LS3 motors! They make over 400hp at the rear wheels, a future Vette option.  And remember the ZR1 Corvette, with Lotus designed DOHC 350 32valve V8? That was technology, but GM doesn’t have to use DOHC technology to get power, Honda does.  That’s the difference.  Honda doesn’t know the first thing about pushrods, GM does.  Don’t knock something if it works, and works better than what you drive.

CHASSIS: Umm, it still has sideways, plastic, leaf springs from a 1974 Pickup? Oh.  That's not very new.  The wheelbase is longer, though, so now it's much more Camaro like.  Hey, maybe they can throw in a back seat! Is this progress?

If you knew ANYTHING about suspension (which you don’t), you would realize the advances made here.  But since you don’t, I’m not going to waste the space explaining how technologically advanced the new C5 Corvette is.  It would be lost on you.  Go get a book and study.  The C5 Vette has suspension components on it that make Honda engineers have wet dreams, and itís full of stuff that your Del Sol only wishes it could ever have.

BODY: The ALL NEW Vette is made of.  .  .  .  .  plastic? Still? Jeez, the NSX is all aluminum.  So is the Audi A8.  So is my del Sol's roof.  So was a 1957 Lotus Seven.  Heck, SATURNS are plastic.  So is Barbie's dream Vette. 

If it works, and it works well, use it! First rule of hot rodding.  But you didn’t know that! Part of the reason that the NSX is $90k plus and the Vette is half of that is that the Vette uses ‘lower tech’ parts.  The NSX is aluminum? Wonder how much that adds onto the price tag of the car, and the Vette whomps up on the NSX day in and day out.  Sure, if you were giving them to me free and I had a choice, it’s NSX-T hands down.  If I had to pay for them, and could afford either, it would be the Vette, hands down.  I'd put the other half of the money into the bank and watch it grow.

PERFORMANCE: Well, with a whopping 15 more horsepower, and maybe 100 less pounds, this giant Big Mac on wheels MIGHT be 1 or 2 TENTHS of a second quicker to 60mph! GREAT! Now it'll be as quick as a Camaro Z28 SS that costs 10 grand less!!!

Again, a Vette is a lifestyle choice, it’s pretty much a status symbol at its worst image in the public.  I think it’s more than 100 pounds lighter, but since 100 pounds is a superior weight saving (less weight is just as good as adding on horsepower), 100 pounds less with more options and creature comforts? That’s incredible! The 1 or 2 tenths of a second quicker is pretty much traction limited.  The car is making more power than current tire technology can handle, but that will change soon, as it always does.  It’s not a fault with the car, but with the tires.  The best tires made can’t handle the power of the new Vette, thus the only ‘marginal’ faster zero to sixty.  However, the new Vette runs 12.  6 through the quarter.  Faster, I believe, than the NSX-T does.  And it does it for $45grand less! And for the 15 extra horsepower, read my reply to you above for the answer to that.

STYLING: Okay, we're definately onto something here.  It DOES look different from the OLD Vette, but somehow it looks familiar, too.  Could it be the NSX rear fenders? Or the Mitsubishi 3000GT nose cone? Or is it the Pontiac Firebird hood and front fenders?

I like the new Vette, but the side panels, IMHO, were influenced by the NSX.  They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery… The NSX is a beautiful car, of that there is no doubt.  The Vette is now equally as beautiful.  The rear is no longer a Vette (not sure what it is) and is too short, but from the rear window forward, it is sweet.  To each their own, Rob.  You seem to think that styling is something that you have the last say on, sadly, itís not.  Live with it.  The reason you are not a automotive styling engineer is obvious for the main reason that you do not work in that as a career profession, so I can only take your opinions as that, just opinions, and everyone has an opinion, which hardly makes you a specialist on it.

So am I just missing something, or did a million bald, 50-year-olds wait 13 years for Barbie's 3000NSX-Dream-Firebird with a dump-truck engine?? Can anybody help me straighten this out???

Again, at least Barbie drives a Vette and not a Del Sol! The styling cues of the new Vette are ‘contemporary’ or what I like to call ‘what everyone else is going to look like this year’.  Realize that just because the new Vette has certain ‘Eastern’ styling cues does not make it a copy of the NSX or 3000GT.  Its something you can’t seem to understand.  You don’t understand retro styling, and you don’t understand contemporary styling.  What kind of styling DO you understand, Rob? And yes, the new Vette is nothing short of awesome.  It’s capable of performance, handling, and economy that very few cars in the world are capable of.  Thatís progress.  Ooops.  The P word again.  Go look up itís definition, Rob.  You need to know just what Progress really is since you canít recognize it on your own.

THIS MONTH'S INSTALLMENT: WHY ARE MIATAS SO SLOW??

Bashing your own kind.  Thatís sad!

I've been passing a LOT of Miatas lately.  And it's NOT because my old '93 del Sol Si is so fast.  It's because Miatas are so SLOW! But why? I mean, sure, the Miata is a decent little car, right? It's light weight, and has reasonable power.  So why are they so SLOW??

Because they are a ‘sporty’ car, not a sports car.  A Miata is a cute little chick car, not a muscle car.  It’s powered by a very low tech four cylinder that is fuel injected (about as high tech as it gets).  The whole mystique behind the Miata is that it’s a convertible! It’s a two seater that brings back the spirit of the open road and open top.  If you want power in a Miata, take your Miata over to Mazdatrix and get them to drop in a 300hp 1.3 liter Turbo II fuel injected, turbocharged and intercooled twin rotor engine out of a second generation Mazda RX-7.  This seems to be a popular swap and I've heard the power is unreal.

Well, here's a hint: I pass lots of Miatas in my 12-year-old, clapped-out Nissan pickup, too! The reason is not the car at all.  It's the drivers. 

No, it’s the car, Rob.  I seriously doubt that any Miata could do the quarter in under 17 seconds… That’s why at least two companies rip the engines out and replace them with 1) Mazda 13B rotorary turbo charged intercooled motor and 2) Ford 302 cid Pushrod V8 PFI engine! The Miata is a SLOW car, the average pickup could probably out run one! It’s the design, Rob.  The Miata isn’t designed for speed, it’s designed to go slow, with the tops down, so other people can get a good look at your twenty year younger trophy wife while she’s out shopping.  It’s a chick car, and the slower it goes, the longer you have to look at the chick.  And it’s designed to go slow so you can enjoy the whole design of the Miata, that is, itís a convertible, so the slower you go, the more you enjoy it.

Next time you're driving, look at who is driving the Miatas you're passing.  Where I drive, the demographics go something like this:

middle-aged men (a.  k.  a.  old farts) = 40%
middle-aged women (a.  k.  a.  menopause-in-motion)= 25%
teenie-bopper kids (a.  k.  a.  floppy-haired-mutants) = 20%
real enthusiasts (a.  k.  a.  the folks who suffer from del Sol envy) = 10%
normal humans (a.  k.  a.  everybody else) = 5%

And each of these groupings has its unique reason for not driving fast:

middle-aged men - "I don't want to rev it past 2800, 'cause it's bad for it"
middle-aged women - "everybody drives so topsy-turvy these days!"
teenie-bopper kids - "If I get one more ticket, my did will make me drive the Capri!!!!"
real enthusiasts - "I know I can't take that del Sol, so I'll just act like I'm going slow"

I have modified these to be more realistic to how I understand these demographics.

middle-aged men - "I don't have to rev it past 2800 like some no skill teenager in a Del Sol.  "
middle-aged women - "This reminds me of my youth.  Oh, I love this car! The sun and wind feel really nice today, after a long day at work, I’m going to enjoy my drive home and unwind.  "
teenie-bopper kids - "If I get one more ticket, my dad will make me drive the Del Sol!!!!"
real enthusiasts - "I know I can take that loser over there in the del Sol, so I'll just act mature and let him slide.  "

So, to any and all Miata drivers who may be reading this: PLEASE PICK UP THE PACE, YOU'RE HOLDING US UP!

Holding you up.  My friend’s wife drives a Miata and never has a problem in traffic, except with stupid drivers like you, who, Iím sure, she could really put you down to about 2" in sizeÖ

Hey, Abe Lincoln, this is NOT your fathers '48 Olds - you're NOT gonna hurt the valves!

Unless you rev it to 8000 rpm, where you get valve float and engine damageÖ

Hey, Mrs.  Doubtfire, why don't you sell it and get yourself a nice little Mercury Carpi!

Or a Del SloÖ

Hey, teenage-mutant-teeny-bopper, stick with the Geo until you learn to drive!

Until you learn to drive fast, revving the motor to 8000rpm, easing off the clutch, heading into corners at 5 to 10 mph faster than you normally should.  Yeah, take the pro driving class from Rob here, he knows a Ďrealí driver when he sees one.

Hey, REAL enthusiast, if you're not gonna drive it, PARK IT AND TAKE THE BUS!

Or simply enjoy your car and ignore the idiot with the Miata envy in the Del Slo there, revving his lawnmower engine and making an ass out of himself.  So, do the speed limit, turn the radio up, set the cruise control, let the top down, and enjoy life.  Relax.  Unwind.  As Mazda says, "Enjoy the Drive".  Donít be a stressed out POS like Rob here.

Just my thoughts, Rob.  You really are stupid, uninformed, and basically, ignorant on everything from automotive mechanics, suspension, engine, general vehicle design, and of course, you lack any form of driving ability.  I hope no one really takes your advice seriously.  If they do, they could get seriously hurt, or worse, seriously hurt someone else. 

 

Black Echo

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