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russde
russde Reader
11/29/22 3:54 p.m.

For years I've chuckled at the huddled masses claiming that driving a slow car fast is more fun than driving a fast car slow. My '98 M3 isn't eye watering, but it's much quicker than the local speed limits and rarely gets to stretch it's legs.

I recently purchased a 2008 Miata, 43k miles, PRHT, and it already has installed Konis, aftermarket sways front and rear and a cat back exhaust. This thing is SO much fun! Acceleration is so-so, but the exhaust note is nice consolation. Handling is stupid fun, and the ease with which the top goes down makes even quick trips to the store a hair-blown event.

So, my apologies to the slow car fast crowd...you were right, and I'm a convert.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
11/29/22 4:12 p.m.

Are they an adrenalin rush.....nope.

Are they fun as hell......Yup.

I have a reasonable fast single seater (Formula 500) and it's great. Check the video from autocross

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3J3g-I3kw0&t=152s

I also flog a dog slow Datsun......sporting 80hp at the wheels.  I have blast every time I drive it.

Check my latest boring ass video from the most recent track event I did. Ignore that lack of speed (mind blowing 92 mph) but look at the steering inputs. I'm working it every inch of ever lap.................I find that really fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awKP3BlGer8&t=4s

 

Tyler H
Tyler H UberDork
11/29/22 4:23 p.m.

I also have a '98 M3, and I think it qualifies for slow car fast in the current era when just scooting around in traffic.  On the interstate, the short gearing can propel you into 'visit the magistrate' speeds pretty quickly, though.  

I'd like to get a Cayman one of these days, but I think I might go for a well-optioned 981 base, just so I can stretch its legs.

 

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
11/29/22 4:24 p.m.

The most fun drive I've had was behind the wheel of an Austin-Healey Sprite. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/29/22 4:40 p.m.

Welcome. :) 

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
11/29/22 4:45 p.m.

I had a C8 Corvette owner admit to me that he preferred to drive his ND Miata. Similarly a friend who has build some hellaciously fast cars likes to say that he has more fun in his MGTD: "Once you're sideways, the sensation is the same, you're just less likely to die".

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS Reader
11/29/22 5:19 p.m.
Kreb (Forum Supporter) said:

I had a C8 Corvette owner admit to me that he preferred to drive his ND Miata. Similarly a friend who has build some hellaciously fast cars likes to say that he has more fun in his MGTD: "Once you're sideways, the sensation is the same, you're just less likely to die".

If i have the choice of sliding sideways in a modern car with modern crash standards or a MGTD; i'm probably choosing the modern car

 

That being said my skills at sliding are bad enough that I probably don't have to go very fast to crash.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
11/29/22 6:59 p.m.
ClearWaterMS said:

That being said my skills at sliding are bad enough that I probably don't have to go very fast to crash.

This should be mounted on a plaque as it may well some up amatuer motorsports.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/29/22 7:55 p.m.
ClearWaterMS said:
Kreb (Forum Supporter) said:

I had a C8 Corvette owner admit to me that he preferred to drive his ND Miata. Similarly a friend who has build some hellaciously fast cars likes to say that he has more fun in his MGTD: "Once you're sideways, the sensation is the same, you're just less likely to die".

If i have the choice of sliding sideways in a modern car with modern crash standards or a MGTD; i'm probably choosing the modern car

 

That being said my skills at sliding are bad enough that I probably don't have to go very fast to crash.

Take into account, though, that the MGTD is probably sliding at like 30mph with Buddha-calm breakaway and recovery characteristics, the modern car might snap at 60-70 and grab again, whipsawing you around before you realized you were in trouble.

 

This is where slow car fast comes into play.  The less nervous, the less high-stakes, the less you focus on trying to not screw up and the more you focus on WHEEEE

slefain
slefain UltimaDork
11/29/22 8:07 p.m.

My old '95 Saturn SC1 was way too much fun in town. Redline shifts every time and barely breaking the speed limit. My old boss at Mustangs Unlimited had a stick shift Neon that he beat like it owed him a month's salary. Riding in it was too much fun even as a passenger.

The number of opportunities I've had to stretch the legs on more powerful cars is rare, but a stick shift crap box is a rally stage in every grocery run. Even better if it is a reliable beater that just soaks up the abuse without worrying about keeping it dialed in.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltimaDork
11/29/22 8:27 p.m.

I was thinking today, I wonder what a similar car (not in the small/compact category) is that has a similar power-weight ratio is that is as fun.

Like, a full size Tahoe gets close with the right engine combo, definitely not fun.  Lot of minivans have similar power-weight, but... minivan.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
11/29/22 9:28 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

Adrenaline rush is there, it's just not from acceleration, it's there from being at the real limit of sliding off the road sideways. 
 

Acceleration is way overrated in terms of feel. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
11/29/22 9:30 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

I find Crown Vics to fit the bill.

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS Reader
11/29/22 9:55 p.m.
Mr_Asa said:

I was thinking today, I wonder what a similar car (not in the small/compact category) is that has a similar power-weight ratio is that is as fun.

Like, a full size Tahoe gets close with the right engine combo, definitely not fun.  Lot of minivans have similar power-weight, but... minivan.

E30, older 5 series, 190e, 240sx, older i6 jaguar?

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
11/29/22 11:32 p.m.
alfadriver said:

In reply to Tom1200 :

Adrenaline rush is there, it's just not from acceleration, it's there from being at the real limit of sliding off the road sideways. 
 

Acceleration is way overrated in terms of feel. 

I'm going to be a bit contrary on that having driven both ends of the spectrum.  

Our DSR was nearly as fast as a Trans-Am / GT1 car and was pure adrenaline; 2.5 lateral Gs and 3 Gs on the brakes. It was a serious car with not a lot of margin.

The Datsun by contrast is so slow (maybe all of 1G lateral and probably not even 1G on the brakes) that you pretty much have fear amnesty in comparison to the DSR. I've put the Datsun off the track sideways at 80 and was laughing like Dr Evil the whole time (note I was also calling myself an idiot as well).

As for acceleration feel being overrated, for car that's pretty much true but on something like a Yamaha TZ250 GP bike or Honda CR500 it's certainly not the case.

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
11/29/22 11:52 p.m.

My NC was my favorite car.  It was just a ton of fun on the track and surprised a lot of drivers in supposedly faster cars.  OP:  My first priority would be to fix the grocery getter suspension, which you've already done.   A full exhaust with a header and intake and a tune so the ECU can take advantage of it also makes a huge difference.  Never should have sold that one...

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
11/30/22 6:01 a.m.

I still can't get all the way there.  I've had 8 or 9 Miatas, 4 MR2s, etc....  There's no way in hell I'd try to argue that a Miata isn't fun.  It's in my top 2 or 3 cars of "fun to drive" of any car I've ever owned or driven.  They are stupid fun.  I just can't get behind the motto of driving a slow car fast is more fun than driving a fast car slow.  Not for me.  At least not on the street.  As much as I love Miata, it's not fun trying to merge on the highway when lacrosse mommy in her Range Rover can blow my doors off and/or make it hard for me...and she will because Skyler has to be at practice in 5 minutes.  Meh.  Put me in an Accord and I'll enjoy that experience much more.

Byrneon27
Byrneon27 Reader
11/30/22 7:06 a.m.

I've never understood this

 

Yes it's fun to hoon a Miata around at the limit, yes it's charming that you can do that on the public road with little chance of prison time. 

 

Sitting in traffic in a Corvette? Much more palatable than doing so in a Miata (GM AC and a person my size interior) 

 

170mph absolutely closed course blast? Not possible in any Miata I've ever had, Easy if not slightly boring in my BMW, Oddly smile inducing in formerly old lady owned C5

 

I think it's the driving fast that's fun not sure the hardware matters all that much but I'll have one of my fast street cars for DD duty every time. 

 

 

porschenut
porschenut HalfDork
11/30/22 8:02 a.m.

There are 2 completely different uses of our cars, on the street and on the track.  On the street power lets you do burnouts or get a ticket driving it hard.  Or dying.  On the track yes it is more fun to be able to use the power.  So give me 7000 rpm, a slick gearbox and 150 HP any time, my track days are over.

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
11/30/22 8:10 a.m.
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) said:

I still can't get all the way there.  I've had 8 or 9 Miatas, 4 MR2s, etc....  There's no way in hell I'd try to argue that a Miata isn't fun.  It's in my top 2 or 3 cars of "fun to drive" of any car I've ever owned or driven.  They are stupid fun.  I just can't get behind the motto of driving a slow car fast is more fun than driving a fast car slow.  Not for me.  At least not on the street.  As much as I love Miata, it's not fun trying to merge on the highway when lacrosse mommy in her Range Rover can blow my doors off and/or make it hard for me...and she will because Skyler has to be at practice in 5 minutes.  Meh.  Put me in an Accord and I'll enjoy that experience much more.

I'm with you on this one.  Hooning a slow car is fun, but I also don't want to drive an overly slow car on the street when I'm not hooning.  If I feel like I'm running it flat out all the time to keep up with traffic, it's too slow in a practical sense. 

Loweguy5
Loweguy5 HalfDork
11/30/22 8:10 a.m.

In reply to slefain :

Mustangs Unlimited??  Many years ago I worked there as managing director (live in CT).  

Crazy times...

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
11/30/22 8:26 a.m.

On the track, slow car fast is pretty fun. 

In traffic, on a day-to-day basis, I'll pass. A slow car is just slow. Give me torque and Hp. The power to make the pass safely, merge with traffic effortlessly and get to an opening before it closes up. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/30/22 9:33 a.m.

In reply to Toyman! :

i like my high 30's mpg daily. I find joy in good handling and fuel sipping. I challenge myself to push the average MPG up every tank. Its not fast but it has no problem with traffic or day to day driving. Plus I have all the modern convienences at my fingertips. 

KyAllroad
KyAllroad MegaDork
11/30/22 9:36 a.m.
Byrneon27 said:

I've never understood this

 

Yes it's fun to hoon a Miata around at the limit, yes it's charming that you can do that on the public road with little chance of prison time. 

 

Sitting in traffic in a Corvette? Much more palatable than doing so in a Miata (GM AC and a person my size interior) 

 

170mph absolutely closed course blast? Not possible in any Miata I've ever had, Easy if not slightly boring in my BMW, Oddly smile inducing in formerly old lady owned C5

 

I think it's the driving fast that's fun not sure the hardware matters all that much but I'll have one of my fast street cars for DD duty every time. 

 

 

I realize that I'm getting old and cowardly, but I don't want to go 170 on any race track because the consequences of things going poorly are exponentially worse as speeds climb.  The arms race of track day cars and bikes is IMO, stupid.  People thinking they are gonna have more fun in a 500 hp car than a 150 hp car just make me shake my head.  

Duke
Duke MegaDork
11/30/22 9:44 a.m.

In reply to KyAllroad :

I like a responsive car with decent shove, but just putting my foot down gets boring very quickly.

 

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