[opendtv] Re: Euro Cars

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2008 16:12:59 -0500

Dan Grimes wrote:

> I drove the Opel wagon on the Autobahn at 125MPH and it
> felt so secure, my wife didn't believe I was going that fast.

I might suggest that some of that is more from lack of apprehension of
getting stopped than it is from the vehicle itself. If you're doing 85
mph here in the US, constantly checking the rear view mirror or the
shoulders up ahead, it is very stressful.

I've found that another very important ingredient is wheel balance. You
almost have to do it yourself ot get it right. If the mechanic doesn't
care about high speeds, he'll not do as good a job as they do in Europe.
And nothing makes you "feel unsafe" more than a car that starts shaking
at high speeds, just from poor wheel balance. Even with a bubble
balancer, if you do it carefully yourself, I'll bet you'll get better
results than from most tire places.

Most cars sold in the US these days can do over 100 mph safely. Once
you're at that speed for awhile, it doesn't seem fast. Slow down to 65
and it seems like you're crawling.

Last car I rented in Europe was a cross-over Ford Smaxx. Turbo diesel.
Excellent fuel economy, thank goodness, given the price of diesel or
gasoline in Italy these days. It had plenty of torque, but only over a
narrow rev range. My wife wouldn't let me do much more than 140 Km/h, or
87.5 mph, because that was already 10 Km/h over the speed limit. But,
being a tall, cross-over POS, the handling was far from ideal. Still, on
the autostrada at 140 Km/h, it was poised enough.

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