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This is why I drive a Z.

Old 04-26-2016, 12:06 AM
  #101  
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I've owned my Z for 1 year, 2 weeks and 3 days today and havn't really pushed her until now. Sure, I found out where the limiter sits and made sure the happy pedal works on the highway but... nothing in terms of giving her a challenge. Mostly due to being afraid to wrap her around a tree.

Now, I'm still an inexperienced driver, been driving for only 5 years at the age of 27, never been to a track. Sure I've raced gokarts once or twice but apples and oranges... I'm by no means a racecar driver so what I think is fast is probably pedestrian pace to you lot.

So last weekend I had some time for myself and figured I'd take her for a spin round my secret backroad twisty thing stretch.
The grin on my face when I chucked her into a corner and she replied with a sensation like "Is that all you got!? GIVE ME MORE B**CH!". The power was certainly enough (mostly 2nd-3rd gear with the occasional straight bit in 4th) and the harder I threw her around the more grip there was (brand new tires!).
People say these things understeer like pigs but I guess I never pushed hard enough to experience that. I'm telling myself it's the new 255/75/35/19 tires. Yeah I totally drove like, fast, and all that.

I know what this stretch of road is like in a beater (my shatty 190fwhp turbo Seat Leon), both dry and in deep snow but I had no idea it could be this much fun with a car that doesn't 3-wheel it's way through every corner.

I'm still Jon Snow about all this but I think I'm beginning to understand why people like these cars!
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Old 04-27-2016, 05:04 PM
  #102  
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^^ Need Pics or Video here.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:54 PM
  #103  
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After my exhausting morning with a client (a whole HOUR long meeting, c'mon!! ), was heading over to one of our fav Chinese restaurants to pick up dinner..... the long way. Best Chinese Chicken Salad in town!

Given the late hour of the morning, my usual run up Hwy 9 was clogged with slow drivers and construction trucks - like biga$$ doubles heading up to haul down excavation I guess.

Abort the run? Nahhhh, head up to the top of the alternate mountain...

OK, I usually eschew big foregrounds in my pics but this one needed it for the "King of the Mountain". I'm big on that term right now with the Amgen Tour of California coming shortly where we're headed down to the finish of Stage 4 at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway!


No, your eyes do not deceive you... that actually IS the curvature of the Earth, no fisheye/convex lens!

Hahahahahaha....not. But that is actually the curvature of the upper Mountain Winery (Mondavi) parking lot! Better view for perspective below:

Ummm, yes, rather steep, ya?




This shot is from the lowest of the four parking lots - about 50 vertical feet lower elevation than the upper lot. The Mountain Winery is a spectacular venue for concerts and, of course, wine tasting - so long as there's a designated driver. The road up and down is extremely steep, narrow, slow. Would not even attempt this with a few glasses in.

Finally, the obligatory panoramic, full car shot... AKA the "IMAX view".

And yes, it is very hazy - or maybe foggy - down in Silicon Valley, of which this is overlooking. Bummer of a view.

Good day to be alive though.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:27 AM
  #104  
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Beautiful 350Z !
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Old 08-11-2016, 03:54 PM
  #105  
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Looks like a great day for a drive.

But what started out to be a really nice morning run, turned into a intermittent bust. The drive up the hill on Hwy 9 out of Saratoga was mired down with lots of traffic, many cars unable or unwilling to pace it up. This was likely due to my late (almost 9am) start.

Then this....

This back-up (a stop-and-shut-off-the-car-for-10-minutes kinda back-up) was due to road work that shut down one of the two lanes and controlled by flagmen. Presuming it might have been some work to repair a railing that got taken out a week ago when a guy ate it (ran off the road, down the hill and hit a tree), killing one of his passengers. Uhhh, not s'good.

Ruminating MicSidenote: I wonder if he was showing off? I'll leave it to you to deduce (I have no clue).... Unlicensed 29 year old guy in a Honda with two young women - at least one underage - a preggers 15 y.o. (No judgement, just fact.)



Even the backside of 9 down down towards Boulder Creek/Santa Cruz was congested. Stopped for coffee at the overlook (usual spot, above) then turned around but instead of my dealing with the mess on 9, turned South on Hwy 35 (AKA "Skyline Blvd" which runs along the crest of the range and down to Black Road, above Los Gatos).







And finally, coming down out of the high hills about halfway down...


Made a stop at the Lexington Reservoir (above, below) to check out how the water supply was holding out.




Ehhh, not so great. Down about 3-4 feet since my last check earlier this year (also in this thread). Guess I'll be continuing to use the No-Rinse car wash stuff...

And that nasty haze is the reason we're on a record 15th "Spare-The-Air" day here. S'pose I shouldn'ta gone for a pointless, destinationless drive.

Had some time to kill so ended up doing a loop around the reservoir for the first time. Nice road, but no speeding as I'd never been on the road before and with a limit of 25, no chances taken. It ends up running right along the descent of Hwy 17 into Silicon Valley and passes through residential and school zones.



But all in all, another nice day to be thankful to be alive... and driving the love of my automotive life.

Last edited by MicVelo; 08-11-2016 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:00 PM
  #106  
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Nice pics Mic. When I get mine out to stretch her legs on the back roads, I find it difficult to slow down, much less stop to take a pic.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:17 AM
  #107  
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Baldy rd in so cal. Im still learning the car. I have only had it since late may but man is it an enjoyable car that puts a grin on may face everytime i get in it.


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Old 10-15-2016, 11:11 AM
  #108  
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I took a Micvelo inspired local twisty trip today, I stopped and took some pics with my big camera and my wife took some passenger seat cell phone pics.

The leaves are starting to change here and the weather is really great today, car handled like a dream...












Lots of turns, lots of hills, one run away truck ramp, nice little 60 mile loop from my house.

When theirs twisty road signs and flipping trailer signs all over the Z really is right at home.

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Old 10-20-2016, 10:03 AM
  #109  
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Well, after reading this thread in its entirety yesterday, it really made me think and want to take a nice trip with my Z, but being in South Jersey there aren't too many roads around here that are long, windy and/or unpopulated. However, after getting out of a 3 hour long sales meeting I decided to take the long way back to my office. Of course, it was short lived due to slower drivers in front of me, but the leaves are starting to turn here in the north east and thought I'd snap a couple shots. Didn't turn out like I had hoped but the purpose was to take Mic's words to heart and just be thankful for all I have in my life and enjoy being behind the wheel of a car I love. Enjoy.
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Old 10-20-2016, 11:16 AM
  #110  
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Wow, hadn't visited this thread for a while. Very nice pics, guys!

One great thing you guys have on the East Coast that we don't in California - or not as much nor as dramatic - are the Fall color changes. I spent time on the East Coast during my professional life and man, it is just GORGEOUS to see all of the foliage turning. That, along with the cherry blossoms in D.C., are a couple of my favorite natural sights on the East Coast to see!!

Thanks for sharing those!!
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Old 10-21-2016, 06:50 PM
  #111  
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Default Soliloquy To My Z

OK, this post isn't about my road tripping, banzai runs or anything to do with driving. Well, not in the touring sense anyhow....

[ Cue sappy Hallmark channel movie background music ]

I washed my Z33 today. Then I drove it. Nothing special. I just drove it to run some errands.

No, this post is about how much I appreciate my cars - and yes, the silver one more than any others.



Even with the ding on the door and the imperfect paint on the front end, this is still my dream car. I've owned a number of cars over the past 5 years, all of which were/are great cars in their own right.... my Nismos (both the Z33 and Z34), my Z32, Volvo, and now, my present hotrod Benz, the Shiro, and our Highlander... all wonderful.

But they aren't my silver Z. No matter how little or how much I drive it, whenever I get in, buckle up, flip the key/starter, all is good with the world. It fits me like my most comfortable, ugly walking shoes but looks like a Ferragamo to me; it behaves both obedient and defiant all at once; it purrs and it roars in the same instant.



It's reliable and happy to see me when I do get around to cleaning and driving it, much like a pet - whose love for its owner is unconditional (even if it is an aloof cat.). No matter how many days or weeks it sits in the garage or out in front of the house, it never fails me and always seems to be ready to run, be it a quick trip to the store or a morning of running it hard in the hills.



So is it weird the relationship I have with my car? I dunno.

Don't care.

Others may say, "Mic, it's just a car." (and they have...); still no care. They'd don't understand that besides my wife and kids, this car is part of my family, a part of me. (Which might explain why I'm always buying it new shoes! )

At this point, someone reading this is thinking, "Oh lawdy, Mic's off the deep end or he's been drinking. Someone might wanna do a welfare check on him."

So, to keep this on topic.... this is why I drive a Z. THIS particular Z.









[ Editor's note: Author is not drunk, didn't take a long walk on a short pier, he just got all emo about his silly ol' car whilst washing it.... as he does when reality sets in every now and again. ]

Last edited by MicVelo; 10-21-2016 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 10-21-2016, 07:05 PM
  #112  
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@ Mic, your pics and passion for the Z are awesome. Actually, I love the way your Z33 looks without the mud guards, thinking I'll try that look too.
Cheers, Br0!
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Old 11-08-2016, 01:25 PM
  #113  
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Default A Morning of Tire Testing (with a short review)

So with about 500 gentle break-in miles on new HTR Z-IIIs, wanted to test 'em out to see if this upsized set on RPF1s differed from my last set of stock sized Sumitomos on Track 1s.... and yes I'm aware these pics are almost identical to previous pics on same roads. Hey, the wheels are different.




I can't figure out why the Lexington Reservoir is soooooo low what with the record breaking rain we've had in the last month! Almost like they intentionally drained it off or sumpin'...







About the tires.... I remain a staunch fan of the HTR Z-III with or without the unreal prices on them. I will repeat what I've been saying about them for the last 4-5 years: Before my first set, I feared I'd lose the high tactile response (and grip) of the Michelin PS I was replacing but I was very pleasantly surprised with the feedback they provide and high response to steering input.

Now this new set in 255/275 on square 18x9.5 +15s is even more dramatically pleasing. Nowhere and on no kinds of turns did they flinch and refuse to go where I pointed them. Grip, usually a tradeoff for high response was very pleasing and they were very easy to modulate through any of the number of esses in the hills.

In comparison, I rate these higher for the Z than my Bridgestone S-04s even though the S-04s are mounted on my favorite wheels, my LMZ5 19s (and another set on my Volks).

Not to say the S-04s are "bad" because they most certainly are NOT. But response and overall feel wise, these low priced HTR Z-IIIs are livelier and do not have that numb on-center feel that the S-04s have at certain speeds.



As always, my Z in the hills on a brisk Autumn morning makes me feel great to be alive!

Last edited by MicVelo; 11-08-2016 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:27 PM
  #114  
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Default The California Drought Appears To Be O-V-E-R !!

Warning: This has very little Z content so if that's what you're here for, sorry. But hey, at least I warned you. Haha.



Took a little non-gForce drive up into the hills today. Wanted more than anything to survey the effect of our recent storms on our local water supplies and other damage in the Santa Cruz mountains from what was like 10-12" of rain over the past week.

Sidenote: FWIW, we got more rain in the first 10 days of 2017 than the ENTIRE year of 2013. Thought that was interesting.

Anyhow, got turned around before I even made it up Hwy 9, my usual route. Too many delays/stops due to roadwork and reparations off the road; so instead, I head straight up to the Lexington Reservoir above the town of Los Gatos to see what was what.



Pics tell nearly the whole story.

This was almost exactly two months ago, November 8, 2016.

Despite rains in Oct-Nov, the reservoir was still shockingly low, even compared to a month before that when it seemed pretty high.

Well, this was TODAY (close to same viewpoint...same set of trees for ref):

Note that tree trunks on the hill in the upper shot are now in a couple feet of water. And that muddy muck in the foreground is actually detritus FLOATING on the water.

Ummm, yeah, I'd say we gained on the drought. The reservoir itself, according to local news, got nearly 7" of rain in the last week alone and when you add in the previous couple weeks plus runoff from the hills into the basin, the reservoir itself is up by about some 12 FEET. That's a LOT of water!

Another before/after set...

November

Note that the entire intake structure is exposed.

Today:

Again, more waterlogged trees with their trunks underwater. And see that the entire "beach area" where the intake tube is located has completely gone under 12 feet of water.

So much H2O was added to the watershed that the reservoir was allowed to drain into the lower supply basins.

In the five years I've been making this run up, over the hills and down to Lexington, I have NEVER seen water in the spillway! This is awesome. (Not so for the hundreds/thousands that have been flooded out throughout the region; but nonetheless, it's good over the long haul.)

Oh, Z content? Had to do some back breaking work on my 33 this morning.

Installed a new battery. Laff....

The last one had a good six year run and while it still started the car, it's been running down from sitting for extended periods so figured I'd not take chances and give it some new juice and me some peace of mind.

Cheers,

Mic

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Old 01-12-2017, 05:53 PM
  #115  
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Buff the headlights!
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:09 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by HRMoneyPit View Post
Buff the headlights!
Heh heh.... was looking at that pic and thinking the same thing but.... I just polished and sealed a couple of months ago. Sigh... These are nearing the end of their "polishable state". Lenses are starting to web a bit.

So, currently waiting for a set of clean OEM 06+ housings to come along. Only need housings as I'm going to build 'em out with all new internals anyways. None of the fancy stuff like halos or anything; just non-obnoxious high output without triggering CanBus errors.

Waiting for these to re-do front bumper same time since it's all going to be apart. It's in the "2017 Plan for Z33". (Yes, I have a "2017 Plan for Shiro" and a "2017 Plan for SL55" as well.)

I have boxes of stuff for those cars already in the garage.... just too dang cold and wet to incent me to get off my lazy can to do anything with 'em...
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:19 PM
  #117  
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I don't exactly know why I wanted a Z. Maybe, back when I had my old little Mitsubishi Eclipse I would see 350z's and 370z's always drifting at Lower Wacker or Ozinga (lol). I almost got one when I first graduated college, was looking at an older 350z at a dealership and a brand new spanking 370z with all the options. Decided against it and invested instead, and moved out of my parents place.

I just happened to see a relatively cheap (and clean) Z for sale and got it. I didn't have the cash actually, but I wanted it so bad and right now that I just went and got a loan for it.

I know I chose the right car every time I get out of it, I just can't help and stare while walking away.
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Old 01-15-2017, 10:19 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by HRMoneyPit View Post
Buff the headlights!
I was in the states (for a SF->SC->LA->Vegas roadtrip) for the first time last summer and couldn't help but noticing that you guys loooove to haze up your headlights. I get that the sun is the bad guy but howcome it's more common for the left headlight to haze up?
Felt like 50% of the cars in Cali had hazed up left headlights when the right was fine.
I don't get it.

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Old 02-10-2017, 11:48 PM
  #119  
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I revisit this thread lamenting the damage wreaked by Ma Nature.

Why? The reasons are simple:


Hwy 9 - this is in a lower area on Santa Cruz side I think. Up the hill, however, an entire segment of the road has just disappeared down the side of the mountain.


Hwy 17


Hwy 35


Hwy 84

If you read the original post in this thread, you might make the connection that these four roads/highways are the four I most frequently make my weekday morning practice/fun runs on.

All four are - for all intents and purposes - closed. And will remain so for quite some time whilst repairs are made. Even though parts of these roads may be open, it's ridiculous to even try getting into the area with choke points and turnarounds on all four.

In coming weeks, will be scouting out other areas to exercise my cars (maybe return to some of my old, not quite so enthralling nor challenging roads). Very bummed out both for people major league affected by this and for those, like myself, who use these roads for personal enjoyment (the latter not important in the grand scheme of things.)

Last edited by MicVelo; 02-10-2017 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:25 PM
  #120  
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^^ That is a considerable amount of damage.

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