Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Best Automotive Feelings

A recent post on Reddit garnered a lot of debate and participation after the original poster asked, "What's the best non-sexual sensation ever?" Well if we narrow that down to car related feelings, there are a few pretty good ones.

A full throttle downshift in a V8 automatic: The best part hardly lasts half a second. You mash the long skinny pedal into the carpet and there's a brief hesitation as the V8 revs to speed. It's the calm before the storm. And after that brief break in forward propulsion, the engine mates with the lowest possible gear and you launch forward with the furious surge of V8 power. It's the best. While manual transmissions certainly have their merits, there's nothing like that old-school downshift for power in a V8 car.

Watching the odometer "roll over": Old cars win again here as this just isn't nearly as fun with newer digital odometers. There's just something trivially fun about watching those little numbers all move at once. 80085 is also fun to catch. Maybe the joy derives from knowing that those little numbers will never appear in that order again. Unless you have a useless neat old five-digit metric odometer in which case the fun starts over again every 100,000 kilometers!

Nailing a shift perfectly: We're shifting gears again! While most of your shifts might be smooth, there's always that rare moment (especially on an older car) when the stick slots perfectly into gear and the revs are EXACTLY matched. That's a good feel. It's also why three pedals make most commutes more fun.

Finding that perfect lonely road: Sometimes blind, stumbling exploration leads to brilliant results. It's always a thrill to find yourself alone on a great road that you never knew existed. 

Strapping into a racecar: A lovely bit of theater goes with preparing yourself for a drive or ride in a racecar. Step in over the bars of the roll cage and into the stiffly bolstered seat. Pulling the harness over  your shoulders and locking the center clasp is like clearing yourself for launch. Not at all like pulling the familiar shoulder belt across your lap.

Driving through a tunnel: Tunnels are like expansive, paved opera houses for cars. Between the cool, linear effect of the lighting and the amplification of noise, tunnels are a delight for the senses with the windows down in the right car.

How about you? What do you think is the best automotive feeling?

1 comment:

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