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Hello, My Name Is (insert) and I'm a Horsepower-Holic

MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
This is my sad story. I guess if you're here, you have one, too.

I....I....don't know what comes over me. :cry: You put a herd of ponies under my foot and this...this...*demon* takes over, :mad: robbing me of all common sense, eradicating my fears, narrowing my vision, making my palms sweaty...

Oh, I've tried to kick the habit, lord knows I've tried.

Yes, yes, I took competition driver training courses to "get it out of my system"...TWICE in fact, at Laguna Seca....did it help? HA! Made it *worse*. :sick: I feel resentment now. I feel they WANTED me to be a horsepower addict. "Hey kid, the first lap's free".

I've done some despicable things to feed my addiction, I'll admit it. One day I was frolicking in my Porsche 928 (as one tends to do in a Porsche 928), and as I fandangoed around a high speed bender, lo and behold this M3 is also frolicking in the opposite direction....only I am frolicking just a little tighter than he does and he slightly crosses the yellow line.....BLING...our rear view mirrors touch at about 60 miles per hour, in an instant, without warning.

(pant) (pant) That was startling. That's when I knew I needed more help than I was getting. :D

So track time wasn't the answer, I knew that now. There was only one way out. It was time to do something *drastic*. :surprise:

Yeah, you guessed it. Trade in the Porsche for a 108 HP Scion.

Oh, it wasn't too bad at first. I did get a stickshift, and I put on some sway bars, big exhaust system, intake, shock tower brace, and, well...I played this sham for a while....but being used to stronger stuff, I had to have MORE horsepower, and all the time. The poor Scion was being flogged. 20000 miles and the tires and brakes are *shot*, done, finito.

The other day I really got the horsepower "jitters". I was driving by a used car lot and saw....yes...temptation....a used yellow EVO....

zoom zoom? I thought....hmmmm.....let's take it for a spin. I can handle it. I won't buy it.

Ohhhhhh, that car was fun. I got that old feeling back. My right foot couldn't control itself. It just couldn't. Finally I overpowered my foot with both hands and limped back to the car lot, (this isn't easy to do) and tossed the keys in the basket and ran over here and fast as I could.

I need group therapy. If I get another 300 HP car, I'm gonna do bad things....isn't there some institute, some doctor in Vienna, who can help me before I race again? I have a credit card in my pocket and I'll use it if I have to.....

Nigel X


  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476

    Maybe you need the low speed cure for horsepower addiction.

    Have you tried driving off-road?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,680
    I have a wife that protects me from myself. I got over it when I was young. Six speeding tickets when I was 18. Went to work for the phone company and was given defensive driving. I guess that calmed my right foot down. Losing my job if I lost my license was enough incentive.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    Well yes, severe consequences is generally a good behavior inhibitor (ask any laboratory white rat). is a plausible solution, in that it requires a different approach entirely to driving.

    $3.50 a gallon is somewhat of a deterrent to horsepower, but not quite enough...there are cars out there that can deliver great performance (more than enough to get you into trouble) and quite reasonable fuel mileage. Like a Corvette for instance.

    Thanks guys...I still got the jitters but you did talk me down from test driving a Mini Cooper S this morning. It's really $5K more than I can afford.

    Visiting Host
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,985
    Become a hypermiler. :shades:
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    Just kill me NOW Steve! :sick: LOL!

    This is supposed to be group therapy, not suicide-assistance!

    Visiting Host
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Off-roading is expensive though. You will always break stuff and the more you get into it the more expensive the things are that you break.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    Yes but my life is at stake should be no object!

    At least if you are an off-roader and you say "I hit a tree" everyone says "well, sure..."

    Just Visiting the Group
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,020
    A Porsche 928? That's a heck of a monkey on your back. I don't think you can beat an addiction like that. You have to hit rock bottom before you can recover. I figure you'll be sitting in a dark alley reving up a Yugo before too long.

    You might try something I've found useful in limiting my horsepower habit. Poverty. If you ain't got it you can't buy it.

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    Well I TRIED poverty by buying a Porsche 928 in the first place. Worked pretty well cleaning out my bank account, but then I started selling old clothes on eBay to pay for the 928 clutch job (don't EVER....EVERRRRRR....burn out a dual-disk 928 clutch).

    Poverty kept me up at night but didn't cure the heavy foot....I kept that "boot into the Boschware" as we say in Porsche-land.

    You guys have been great...gimme a hug.....

    er....nevermind..... :)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    This thread is funny! While I have never had more than 200 horsepower under my right foot (I guess 210 to be exact), a long line of Supras, Celicas, 280Zs, and a few other fun ones along the way led to my last fast car: my RSX.

    Yes, it was only 4-cylinder, but I used all 4 to maximum advantage. Boy was it fun threading through freeway traffic at 85 mph (something that car was soooooo good at doing), running at 120 mph on the open road (something it did without even breaking a sweat), and racing stupid kids off the line in their souped-up Civics and Mustangs (I am no expert at track racing, so the Mustang kids usually won! :blush: The Civic kids I could usually beat. :surprise: )

    And the tickets kept rolling in, and funnily enough they kept getting more and more expensive, and closer and closer together, until I managed to get my insurance jacked up by about 20% for points on my record. And that's when I got religion.........
    ...........and traded in my speedy ways for hypermiling ways, so how funny that steve mentioned that! I also had a 4WD 4Runner to while away my weekends off-road, so I tried both things that have been mentioned here as palliatives!
    But the truck eventually got old, and I was really sick of the gas costs at $3.50/gallon, so it's gone too, and I now have two cars under 130 hp, with my daily driver pulling 40+ mpg as a running average. And I haven't had a ticket now in more than 3 years, and my driving record is clear. :-)

    I'm not really a hypermiler by the way, but I do keep a close eye on the Echo's fuel economy, and try to drive in a way that boosts mileage.

    I just think it's hilarious that there is someone out there in Edmunds-land that went through the same evolution (no pun intended! :-P) of vehicle types for the same reasons. :-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Hmmm. The only ticket I ever got was for doing 40 in a 25, and that was in the 80-something hp Sentra.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,680
    I think cops were much more aggressive in the late 1950s and 60s than they are now. You would never get away with the lowered cars and loud exhaust when I first started driving here in San Diego. Cops would come through the drive-in restaurants with a long stick to measure under the cars while they were parked. If anything hung lower than 6 inches they would ticket you. Of course the horrible music of today would get you a disturbing the peace ticket so fast you would not know what hit you.

    The good thing is gas was 19 cents a gallon most of the time. You could buy 6.5 gallons for an hours minimum wage of $1.25. Minimum wage would have to be $21 per hour to be equal to 1961.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    ...based on something you said a few years ago, Shifty:

    Buy a convertible.

    In an old discussion (on "what constitutes a sports car" IIRC), you offered a view on the driving experience that really captured (for me, anyway) what it's all about: Immediacy.

    You opined that for some enthusiasts, it's not about pure power, or handling ability, or anything performance related, but rather about the connection to and immersion with the experience of driving.

    Accordingly, you recommended a small, open car for the most visceral connection to everything around you. And the more open, the better, and the more even slow speeds *feel* fast...

    So why not get one?

    Maybe a Z4, a Boxster, etc. (I assume you'd never get a Miata... ;) ) Maybe lower the gearing to provide more umph from 0-50, so you get more of that "kick in the chest" feeling when you light her up...

    As MG used to say, "Safety Fast." You get all the feel, but at lower speeds/with less risk to life and limb...
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,020
    "...And the more open the better..."

    I know the feeling brother. My 22 year old pick-up has rust holes big enough to roll cannon balls through. That "open" feeling is quite exciting. Kinda like going down a steep hill in a run-away buckboard. Never knowing what part is going to come off in your hand next just adds to the thrill.

    Shifty, forget about horsepower, try junker power for the real rush. ;)

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    Good thoughts and still an option! I suppose a smaller-engined convertible is like drinking non-alcoholic beer! LOL!
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Well, maybe light beer anyway... ;)

    My girlfriend owns a first-gen Miata, and that thing is a blast to drive. Sure, it doesn't have the power of my Mustang, but with that top down, it feels a lot faster than it really is.

    Conversely, I've been in Mercedes AMGs where you can steadily cruise at 95 mph with the windows up and you'd never even know it.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Unless it's an S2000. :surprise: :shades:
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I use to drive pretty darn fast from the age of 16-23. I slowed down quite a bit when I moved to Texas, because they are overly strict there and having a kid really made meslow down. My 92' Bonneville SSEi was the car I had in High School, and I drove the wheels off that car and hit triple digits often. I also owned a 95' Cutlass Convertible with the 3.4 DOHC V6 that I topped out more than once.

    The 02' Cadillac Seville STS I had up to 155 mph and the 05' Acura TL, I had up to about 147 Mph. :) So it's been a few years since I've driven fast.

  • That's another car in which I'd probably do very bad things.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    I dunno; speedometers are notoriously optimistic once you get up above 100 or so, and I doubt a FWD Seville has the tires or suspension to handle anything near 150 without careening off the road at the slightest crossbreeze. The TL has the suspension, but not enough ponies.
This discussion has been closed.