how fast can this puppy go?

am i the only person who does this?

whenever i get a new car – be it my own or a rental (i almost put “borrowing somebody’s,”, but i only remember doing that once in my life) i wonder how fast it can go. i’ve never owned a vette or ferarri or any of the other “holy shit” vehicles when it comes to top speed, so i’ve never gone over one-fitty or anything. at least i don’t think so. but here’s where all ranked in my world so far (in order of ownership, with dates to show my age)

1. 1985 chevrolet caprice classic – 1987 – 1992 – unknown. no, seriously. in the eighties they only made chevy speedometers topped out at eighty-five. i know damn well i got it a lot faster than that. i once passed a classmate who said he was going ninety and i “passed his ass like he was parked and shit”. so there ya go. totaled it, stone cold sober, on my twenty-first birthday getting t-boned by a taurus going seventy. i walked away with minor cuts and bruises. god bless american steel vehicles!

2. 1991 chevrolet cavalier – 1992 – 2001 – 92 mph yeah, what do you want – it’s a four banger. a side-mounted, barely and engine kinda four banger. upside was good mileage – downside was it asked “you sure?” whenever you tried to “punch” the gas. speedometer only went to one hundred, so at least it wasn’t teasing you. in my defense, both this and the caprice were mom’s call – the rest was all me. cracked the block right at the start of memorial day weekend (how fitting) of 2001.

3. various rental cars – 2000 – Present – 135 mph although i never technically “Owned” these, i did for various days to weeks and a few of them got “tested”. i once wrote a bit (pre-fatcow fuck up that destroyed six years worth of archival stuff) about getting a 2002 nissan maxima up to 145 mph, but in hindsight (and after telling the story to the owner of one, who cried bullshit on me) i now know it might have done 130, maybe even 135…but no way it got to what that old bit claimed. ah, fuck it – it made for a good bit. close second was my most recent rental, a 2012 dodge charger, which was governored out at one-twenty. only other rental i know was “capped” was a 2003 ford exlporer sport that was governored at 105, which i discovered when i was doing a speeding convoy from south padre to port aransas with a group of about fifty college kids that were all ten years my junior. don’t ask.

4. 1998 chevrolet malibu – 2001 – 2006 (or present, depending on how you view it) – 107mph i still feel this is a good, solid, mid-sized sedan. comfortable ride, lots of extras, rode smooth with decent pick-up off the line with a speedo that went to 120, decent mileage, etc. hell, on a single engine it went to 226,000 miles with few major setbacks – but a known design flaw in the v-6 of this model which gm decided wasn’t worth the recall bullshit (the head gasket would give and leak coolant into the oil) sidelined it in april 0f 2006. still sits in my drive-way, as i have vowed it will “ride again” one day, provided fixing the gasket does it. than i’ll sell it – but you gotta drive it to get the current registration done, so there ya go. the positive? if i HAD sold it in 2006 it was an eight year old car with 226,000 miles on it (which is just shy of 30K a year) but now if i can get it going it’ll be a fourteen year old car, with 226,000 miles on it (which puts it at less than 17K per year) should make it a bit more marketable, or so i’m guessing.

5. 2001 chevrolet camaro convertible – 2006 – present – 123MPH i might need to retest this before the bit posts if i get the chance, as the car still runs (in theory) even though it’s been in my garage since september or october. i need to sell it, i just need to get some things done with it (brakes, fix a leak or two, clean the shit out of it) and all should be well. a great blend of old school chevy shit (rear-wheel drive, cruise control on the stalk, that hazard light button on the steering column) and new school shit (lights that turn on by themselves in the dark, an oil light that goes off when the oil is dirty, not when the odometer hits a certain number), etc. sitting at 223,000 miles and counting, thank you. those are 223,000 well taken care of miles, i should add. plus this began my love affair with convertibles. and the next one really sealed the deal…

6. 2001 bmw 330ci convertible – 2011 – Present – 138mph shane says he’s found a guy in SA that will re-program the computer from “factory” to “performance” settings. i almost want to look into that, but really don’t know if i need to go 140+ mph. as is this car is SUPPOSED to be chipped at 130 mph on the american models, which shane can attest to ’cause he liked mine enough to get a slightly newer sedan version (2002 bmw 330i) and found the cap the other night. this bit was actually inspired ’cause he fat-fingered the text and said he hit 150 – but corrected it in person the next time we hung out. the only reason mine will go eight miles over is the modified dinan carbon-fiber cold air intake. looks sweet, and fools the factory computer just enough to let you sneak that extra little bit in there. but do i need to see how fast this puppy REALLY can go now that i’ve got it over 100,000 miles on the odometer? yeah, actually i think i do…

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  • Shane Jun 24, 2012 @ 6:45

    Liked yours? Ok, I do like your car, but lets remember I had a BMW before you did and fuckin loved it! Sure it was older and had a shit ton of miles, but that was the one that sold me on BMW.