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You should never meet your heroes

  • 31-03-2011 11:43am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,831 ✭✭✭ RobAMerc


    we all here had cars we dreamed about as a youngster and some of us who are lucky enough got to own or at least drive them when we "grew up". However, there is undoubtedly a few cars we idolised as a kid which when we eventually got to drive turn out to be complete turkeys - anyone care to recount tales ?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,003 bijapos


    Sad to say it but for me it was an 85 Testarossa. Grew up with the Miami Vice thing and along with the Countach and later the F40 and 959 it was one of the cars I seriously wanted when I was a teenager. I had heard vague rumours about them but it was around 1997 that I got a chance to drive one in anger. I was selling my 1982 911, the buyer owned the Testa, we couldn't agree on a price so he offered me the car for a few hours some Sunday morning. My then girlfriend knew him so it wasn't as mad as it seemed.

    Anyway, we headed off one Sunday on the autobahn at about 6am, the car is hard to get into, the gears take ages to warm up, visibility is dire, I drive trucks so am well used to driving with just the side mirrors but this was seriously bad. Knowing where the front ends is nigh on impossible, the seating position is so-so but nowhere near as good as the 911. The problems relly started when we got onto the open road, although the acceleration is incredible and the sound from the V12 as good as you'll get, on the Autobahn the car was brutally unstable over 260kmh, the nose and steering feel very light at that speed and hitting 275 felt suicidal. This was seemingly an issue with the earlier cars and I think was rectified from 89 onwards.

    On country roads it is good but not as fast as you would think, it also suffered badly from brake fade compared to the 911. The owner told me that a 911 could beat it over windy hilly roads (Taunus hills near Frankfurt) and I tended to believe him.

    Having said that the acceleration is phenomenal, it looks great (especially from the back imo) and once its warmed up on open roads its a great day out.

    But my lasting opinion was disappointment, it was a bit like getting that girl you always lusted after into the sack and finding out she farts.


    1985+ferrari+testarossa+rear.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,831 ✭✭✭ RobAMerc


    nice piece bijapos- well written. pity you picked one of my idol cars to hate !
    I imagine any supercar is never going to be as good as a proper sports car - they are build for looking ridiculous in the south of France with a beautiful blonde in the passenger seat and your pink trousers bulging from the orange you stuck down it.
    Secondly - we do have to remember a lot of the cars we will be talking about need to be taken into context. I drove a 79ish 308 GTB once - was like a truck with no power steering and the gearbox was unusable till it warmed up - but it wasn't fair to compare it to the 2003 320 I was driving at the time. When I lusted after it in 79 it was light years ahead of the Austin Maxi. I cannot say it didn't live up to the hype though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,003 bijapos


    LIGHTNING wrote: »
    Since most people are spoiled by modern cars it can be a big shock when u step into a classic sportscar.

    Newest thing I've ever had was an 05 Renault Master, I've almost always had cars that are 10-20+ years old. :) I agree that older cars, sports or not take a bit of getting used to, in the UK a friend has a 1950's Ford Popular, always takes a bit of getting used to when out for a spin in it.
    I remember driving a mid 70`s 911 at a track day a while ago and it was a real mule to drive hard. Still it sounded great though :)

    They can be a bit difficult, they improved greatly with age, the 993 was the pinnacle but it took them 30 odd years to get there. I also had a 1968 Porsche 912, the 911 with the 4 cylinder engine, though it lacked the power it was for me a better drive than the 6 cylinder, a lot "friendlier" in many ways especially the handling. If things improve I hope to get one in the next 12 months. I also drove the original 911 Turbo, 260bhp, 4 speed, mad acceleration in straight lines but very frightening in corners and awful Turbo lag. It was known in Germany as the widow maker for a good reason. When it bit you, it took your arse and wallet with you. Great car till it all goes horribly wrong. Today cars which are proven to be absolutely accident free go for big money in Germany as most of early Turbos got a rap at some stage in their lives.


    @RobaMerc, I didn't hate the Testarossa, maybe I expected too much from it. I had heard of its stability problem at high speeds before, maybe I just didn't want to believe it. It certainly shouldn't fall into the category of "complete turkeys" more that of "heroes you shouldn't meet" but I suppose I just wanted it to be so much more and was inevitably disappointed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,831 ✭✭✭ RobAMerc


    LIGHTNING wrote: »
    In fact I thought the 968 Clubsport was a far nicer drive.

    the 968 club sport is widely regarded as one of the best handling Porsches ever - and best handling anything at the time it was produced.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,903 ✭✭✭ Bigus


    bijapos wrote: »
    .

    But my lasting opinion was disappointment, it was a bit like getting that girl you always lusted after into the sack and finding out she farts.


    I thought they all Farted ??????????????


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,903 ✭✭✭ Bigus


    One car that exceeded my expectations was/is a BMW M3 CSL. Having seen Jeremy Clarksons video on the Isle of Man i wanted to have a go.



    This is one serious car that is more than the sum of its considerably altered parts. The owner also had access to a Ferrari 360 Stradale but reckoned the Csl was Better.

    From the first blip of the Throttle I was smitten.
    I always give myself loads of time to acclimatise with any high power car and change up and down through the box and get a feel for the brakes and steering along with giving the passenger confidence.

    Anyway this car felt very natural and balanced and I soon had it opened up resulting in an involuntary Guffaw from myself.

    A lasting impression was looking at the speedo and thinking that maybe 120 kmh was too much for this dual carriageway, only to realise that the 120 was actually MPH ! Didn't feel like 120 mph to me it was so well planted.


    There are many modifications to a CSL over a standard M3 but the one that doesn't get mentioned much is that All the software is remapped by BMW motorsport and they way the anti-lock brakes won't lock up until the very last minute is awe inspiring. The Motorsport software also means the Flappy Paddle Box slams into the next gear with fearsome rawness, so much so you'd think the diff would explode with each shift when on its quickest setting. Bang, Bang, Bang. On downchanges the software blips the throttle expertly which is great for pose value and sounds fantastic through the thinner walled lightweight exhaust.

    It is also one car the never fails to make grown men burst into involantary laughter and make Females scream out loud.

    Any way this is one hero that exceeds expectations & Without doubt the lasting impression of this machine is the sound.

    I've met some more of my other heroes but that's another story.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,501 Alfasudcrazy


    My hero's were a bit more mundane when I was younger. I lusted after such bread and butter models as a beetle. Morris minor and a Mk III Cortina. All drove like dogs. The mk III Cortina especially was as wallowey as a ship in a storm.

    But these were just the exceptions. Mostly my hero's have lived up to or even exceeded expectations. The Alfasud, Fiat 128 3p, BMW E30 325, Corrado, Mk II Golf Gti, Rover P6, Fiat Coupe etc - but that's for another thread I suppose.


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ flatty


    A few years back I didn't have a car, but got a bit of a heart thing, and the doc said I'd have to drive for a bit instead of cycling. My wife told me to go and buy something nice, as "you work really hard, and never spend any money on yourself"
    I was chatting to a good pal neighbour in the pub a couple of nights after and ended up buying his pals 911. I then was offered and bought a pristine mid nineties 500sl.
    I realised then that cars are usually nicer looking from the outside in than from the inside out. I recently sold the 911 as I did 2000 miles a year in it and was spending 2000 a year on mainte. My next door neighbour who is pretty wealthy was given a courtesy car when his was in for a service, and it transpires it was a 5 litre convertible mustang, blue with a white stripe. It was beautiful. I admired it and he threw me the keys and said to take it for a spin. I realised that the engine burble wasn't half as nice when you're driving as it is from the outside.
    The nicest car I've driven lately tbh was a Ford people carrier we rented in florida. So slow that it took all the stress out of driving.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,043 ✭✭✭ MrCostington


    Good thread idea OP!

    I lusted after the Sierra Cosworth ever since it came out, and in '96 I got an '88 4 door one in moonstone blue IIRC. Problem was it was a tired example, must have had a hard life. It was chipped to stage 1 so supposed to produce 270 bhp. But it never ran right, I took it to the right workshops (won't say names but people who specialised in performance cars) and it would run well for a while but then drop off again. Think it needed a new turbo/wastegate.

    Other problem was steering was sloppy, again got a few temp fixes done but needed a new rack. All in all a great car when going well, but those days were few. Sold is on in 2000 I think.


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ flatty


    I sat in a testarossa once, and was horrified by how spartan and uncomfortable it seemed. It wasn't driving though, and the owner was so anal that he wouldn't even start the engine, but I remember feeling disappointed at the time. That was back when I'd never really even seen a ferrari in the flesh, and had it in my mind to be some kind of leather wrapped fantasy garden inside I suppose.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,043 ✭✭✭ MrCostington


    flatty wrote: »
    I sat in a testarossa once, and was horrified by how spartan and uncomfortable it seemed.

    Lucky it wasn't an F40 then ! And no I've not been in one :) Just from the pics


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    I always fancied a 911 and loved the hype that surrounded them. Then I drove one in anger at a track day in the UK and there ended the dream! Totally underwhelmed by its brake fade.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 11,834 Mod ✭✭✭✭ TheDriver


    I always loved the V6 and v8 that lots of British stuff had. Then when I grew up, I drove things like a granada, a transit (yes, a transit with V6 petrol) and land rover defender with v8. All of which was dog slow and rough. Was I disappointed.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 17,034 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Henry Ford III


    Drove a 911 Carerra 4 (I think) in rural N.J. USA a few years ago. It was a few years old - not sure of the model number.

    It was very quick, but the ride was pretty awful. The roads are poorly surfaced (extremes of heat and cold) and I couldn't really use the power because of that.

    The engine sounded great though.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,892 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Old thread, didn't get off the ground initially but maybe this bumping will give it the more substance that it deserves. Good to see you're still around, Alfasudcrazy :)

    My favourite saloon car of all time is the Mercedes Benz W126 and then the V8 petrol auto 500SE or SEL in particular. I'd never owned a Mercedes and I was keen to get one of these last summer. Went to see a reasonably priced NCTd 80s 500SE in Cork last summer. Had to take the train down with a wad of cash in my pocket as I was convinced I would buy the car and drive it home. Car was nowhere near in as good a state as the ad / pics / conversation with the owner suggested. And I was terribly disappointed during the test drive. It was like trying to drive a stately home. Having come from many BMW saloons, all of them at least one generation newer than the W126 didn't help. My expectations were all wrong. I didn't even bother making the owner a low ball offer. W126 is not for me. I went back home on the train...

    Did buy a W201 "Baby" Merc though a few months later :)

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 118 ✭✭ mittimitti


    do you still have the w201
    Did you go for petrol or diesel


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,892 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Yes still have the W201. It is the 2.6l petrol straight six cylinder automatic. It's taxed and the NCT is being extended from October 2018 until October 2019 at the moment because of the new rules. It's totally dependable / reliable but I use it very little. I might put it up for sale if anyone is interested :)

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 118 ✭✭ mittimitti


    I was always a big fan of the 190 beautiful looking car


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ flatty


    I've put a deposit down on a w126 300se.
    I don't really care about handling or speed, just hope it's the big comfy barge it looks. I'll write an opinion fwiw once I get it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    As regards the W126, only good ones feel good, if you know what I mean!


    I enjoy every mile in mine but I enjoy looking at it every bit as much!


    I would like a W201 2.6 .........


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,532 ✭✭✭ whippet


    my childhood dream was the mid 80's 911 .. and a few weeks back I got to drive one on the Nuremberg ring .. it met all expectations. I didn't rag it as it was a private car belonging to a friend.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,892 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    whippet wrote: »
    I didn't rag it

    Just as well. The widowmaker might have finished you off :p

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,011 Trace Hissing Warning


    whippet wrote: »
    my childhood dream was the mid 80's 911 .. and a few weeks back I got to drive one on the Nuremberg ring .. it met all expectations. I didn't rag it as it was a private car belonging to a friend.

    Nurburgring. Nuremburg is 400km away from Nurburgring :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,532 ✭✭✭ whippet


    Nurburgring. Nuremburg is 400km away from Nurburgring :D

    That’s autocorrect for you !!


  • Registered Users Posts: 408 ✭✭ Popeleo


    Nurburgring. Nuremburg is 400km away from Nurburgring :D


    <WW2motorsportjoke>

    And Nuremburg is more famous for rallying!

    </WW2motorsportjoke>


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,532 ✭✭✭ whippet


    unkel wrote: »
    Just as well. The widowmaker might have finished you off :p

    To be fair it handled well (at low speeds) .. but I don’t know if id have been brave enough to push it even if it was an option


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,011 Trace Hissing Warning


    whippet wrote: »
    To be fair it handled well (at low speeds) .. but I don’t know if id have been brave enough to push it even if it was an option

    spot on there, I wouldnt push anyone else's car to the limit on the Ring, regardless of what it was....only my own.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 59,183 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Wibbs


    Having relatives into classics and mates in the car biz it's been my dumb luck to have had a go in a fair few cars down the years. One thing that's easy to miss with older cars is condition of the example you drive. Is it standard, has it been "upgraded", is it tired? All can make a big difference to the experience. Another factor is how cars have in the majority of cases simply gotten better dynamically down the years and "old cars" can naturally be a disappointment for some expecting more modern standards.

    EG I've driven a few E-Types down the years and each one was quite different to the other. One a Series 1.5, a coupe was a bloody fantastic yoke to go, turn and stop, especially for its vintage. No disappointment there. Another, a Series 2 roadster looked in much better nick, car show ready, but was a boat by comparison and braking required appeals to various deities. :D

    Never really got the 911 thing, but fully understand why others do. I run outa talent at little more than walking pace and a peddle car would tax me, which doesn't help and I always had the feeling the older air cooled 911's were trying to kill me. I was lucky enough to have a go in a 70's RS and that felt particularly murderous. :eek: :D A Porsche that stands out for me was a 928. TBH I never liked the styling, but that was a fantastic car to drive.

    Ferraris look great(mostly), seating position in the old ones not so great. I do remember not being disappointed by a 246 Dino. Nicer to drive IMHO than the 308. The 80's ones like the Testarossa I thought remarkably tacky on the inside, and as bijapos said back in '11 you could barely see outa the thing. Though to be fair I didn't drive it hard or far. Sounded good though. One 80's model I did like - and this may raise eyebrows - was a Mondial of all things. Yeah. It seemed to encourage me rather than point out my lack of talent.

    One car that felt much better than expected was a 60's Lotus Elan. Fantastic yoke to take up back roads and a car that would still worry more modern cars in that environment.

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 59,183 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Wibbs


    That RS I drove - bear with me with this mad imagining :D - felt like that the engine mounts were on rollers in a track running from front to back. On braking it felt like the engine was suddenly rolling forward on said track and halfway through a bend felt like it suddenly rolled backward. And I was not going quickly at all. This was at normal perfectly legal speeds on a public road. I know my meagre limits and even when I drove it about ten years ago it was a bloody valuable car. And most of all not mine.

    The only other car I've driven with a similar feeling was a Renault 5 Turbo 2, the rear engined pocket rocket. A car that is as broad as it's long. And French, so would murder you with a stylish flourish and a Gallic shrug. :D Great craic though.

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,892 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Wibbs wrote: »
    One car that felt much better than expected was a 60's Lotus Elan. Fantastic yoke to take up back roads and a car that would still worry more modern cars in that environment.

    If you haven't seen it before, you are going to enjoy this :D

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



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