Sunday, 1 April 2012
Black Betty: A Driving History part 11, 2004 *supercharged* Commodore
We call her "Black Betty". After many years of denial, I'm now gonna fess up. I bought this particular commodore for 1 reason.
She's supercharged. I spoke about that feeling of power that I get everytime I start a car (see the very first Driving History post- the 87 Lebaron). Well, this car gave me that rush, more powerful than on that first drive.
Acceleration wise, she's pretty quick. 185kw of pure power. But when you're already doing 100, and there's a big assed road train in front you, maybe driven by my stepson, just plant your foot. The power is intense as you sink into your seat, blasting past the three trailers and prime mover like they were standing still. That's what I'm talking about. Power. Speed. Driving taken to the next level.
There were a couple of issues with this car. The first is, blinded by the power, I proabably paid about $2000 too much for it. The second, this wonderful engine is married to a 4speed auto. But then, at the time, I was still fumbling with the intracacies of driving a manual (see a Driving History, the TX5), so the Auto was the probably the best option.
Do I have any really good stories about it? Well, I have one. But I wasn't there, it was the fault of The Wife.
Both The Wife and I work 55km from where we live. There are a number of routes one take to get to work. Including a short cut. This short cut will knock 10kms off that, if the road is up to standard, and you don't go too fast. The Wife used to take this road alot with lines like "Its not that bad," or "The council has just graded the road."
Then one day, she went to work, a little early. And she decided to take the short cut. Only she was in the habit, as one gets into when one knows the road, of taking it a bit fast. The commute usually takes about 40 minutes. But an hour later she hadn't arrived at work. I had no clue what was going on, because that route has no mobile coverage.
The wife went rocketing down that road, and obviously hit a rock or something because (as we found out later) she punctured the tranny pan. She said she "heard a big bang" and the car kept going a short distance, then stopped. She had to wait an hour and a half to get a ride to the nearest town (no mobile coverage, and no one uses the road). I think she was lucky to have waited only an hour and a half.
The repair cost $400, the tow was extra. The impact site looked like someone had put a big calibre bullet just above the pan. And fortunately, the car's computer stopped the car before any damage was done to the transmission itself.
I'm sure it must have given her a fright, but, she still uses the road, though not as often.