Get a grip!

Just got the car back from Marcos who have now fitted Racelogic‘s most excellent Traction Control system. Basically the weather has been bloody foul for so long (even for Manchester) that I’ve decided to bite the bullet & make the car a bit safer. Crap driving? Quite possibly. Standing water? Black ice? All over the shop, & with 350 BHP chugging away, am I a man or a mouse?… SQUEEK! The traction has taken a bit of getting used to as it works in a totally different way to my only other experience of driving with traction control (Vauxhall, FWD + ABS) , and I have not experimented with the variable slide on it at all (Set to ‘Wet’. Leave on ‘Wet’! Perhaps the other settings are for people who live in the south?). Despite the weather I am still getting out in the car a fair bit, having taken a couple of weeks off work, and it’s great!!!!!!!!!!

I have now discovered that my fab Pirelli’s are definitely not designed for use in the snow! On Wednesday we had a rare but welcome heavy fall, and I was gagging to get out in the car as I had a trip to Chester planned. Driving though the countryside covered in snow (Um… the countryside that is, not me…) in an open topped car is just such a fantastic experience, one I got totally hooked on at Uni, pootling around outside Sheffield in my Triumph Spitfire 1500. However, that day it was not to be as I got about 50 feet from the garage before I got stuck going forward, then (having finally excepted that I wasn’t going anywhere) about 15 feet backwards before I stuck there too, so I finally ended up digging my way back to the garage with a shovel the size of…er… something quite small, and with the help of Caroline M, whose babies I was well up for having as I couldn’t have done it without her (someone had to drive while I dug/swore/steamed). But she didn’t want ugly babies, so… Took an hour though, & my Old Dear killed me when I was late getting over to Chester…

Rubber love

Having twigged (thanks Phil!) that the previous owner had decided to run undersized (225/40 ZR 18) front tyres & oversized rears (265/40 ZR 18) , and as they were fairly worn I’ve decided to try the whizzbang new Pirelli PZero Rosso‘s at the original wheel sizes. These have got a very wierd tread pattern compared with just about everyone else’s tyres at these sizes/profiles, and I found them initially a bit slippy, but after a few hundred miles & a (very brief) breakout in the rain they seem to be sorting themselves out & I feel a bit happier, though I’m still getting used to them. Mind you, there might be something in this undersize/oversize thing after all?!?…


Optima have now replaced the totally shot (which Dave should have been, for selling me the car with them on!) front shocks, and I can stop bouncing up & down the motorways! It says a lot for the car that I have been enjoying rapturous trips to date anyway, even with the duff shocks. Things just get better! (I should know not to say this!…). Optima have also fitted the GT mesh over the two radiator ‘nostrils’, sprayed black, which has further improved the look of the car and also removed the temptation for little oiks to chuck their empty Coke cans in there! Driving continues to be a massive buzz, but still fairly cautious in the rain after many impromptu wheel spins.