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Richard Bernau

Ideal Road Trip Car (or how to fill the long winter evenings...)

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I suggested it, so I will start it.

What would you pick and why?  What are the critical criteria?  What makes good?  What makes great?  Does it have to be an IB, or even a Porsche?  Or is it context - like any half decent car on the right road?

Could it be my current choice:
Box1.thumb.jpg.0c710bdc8e694a6ac743c2835513638d.jpg

Or my past choice, or a 993 with some comforts and the security of 4wd?
372020148_Glorious32.thumb.jpg.380cd31772e3d7f9097001287605c9a5.jpg

Or a nimble, narrow body IB with a touch of hot rod:

IMG_0084.thumb.JPG.afc1e781bde6fb488f4e16bccb9b9d2d.JPG

Or something altogether newer and faster:
2024324174_GT4Riviera.jpg.7be3c19207a4985b0399c7ce344ac134.jpg

Or another marque altogther with a controversial gearbox choice:
CSL.thumb.jpg.4313eb67553f97a7964c748227d24f2e.jpg

 

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I had a V10 M5 with the next (last) generation of BMW SMG and Clarkson's choice adjective of truculent was spot on.

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I had a CSL .. dont listen to those who havent lived with one.. in the CSL the agressivness of the gearbox ( only eve use in manual mode at the fasteset setting & never lift when shifting up as it leads to clutch slur ) perfectly suits the car .. at times it can feel like the rear diff is trying to be ripped from the body but thats what the CSL is all about .  What the CSL is NOT about is running around in auto mode ( terrible .. in fact worse than terrible )  or posing around cities.

I did  trip to Dusseldorf and back in a day and it was the perfect cruiser on the motorway as well as fun in the twisties.  Will say this , for all its drama etc, on the roads up here it wasn't that quick ... Id like to think my 964 would be quicker  .. but on the track it seemed to step up

( I appreciate the CSL smg2 is different to the standard m3 smg etc )

 

Perfect road trip car ?  .... Porsche  : for me it would be my 964 C2 , fast enough to be fun, comfy enough for the long slogs & narrow enough to the threaded around the mountain roads at speed + plenty of space for bags if bringing the wife

 

non Porsche : Aerial Nomad or the new Alpine ( just done a road trip into Germany following my mate in his Alpine )

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Posted (edited)

Let's not go into the SMG sucks debate.  I can find fully formed 20 page threads on Pistonheads if that was the intent :) 

I can probably summarise it a sentence - of all the SMG gearboxes, SMG2 in the CSL was the best and it suited the car's character pretty well when wound up to S5 or S6, but it still won't work for someone looking for 3 pedals or an auto/dsg substitute.  Interestingly, a couple of recentish reviews (Carfection and Autocar) have ranked the CSL as the best M car regardless of the SMG. 

Bring it on with all other CSL related comments though as I have a soft spot for them.  Interesting to hear they don't always feel that fast.  I guess only 3.2 litres and tq-lite plus not that light weight and hills conspire to make it feel less fast.  Because power to weight is not all that far off a 996.1GT3 - 260hp/ton vs 280hp/ton IIRC.

I second the 964 recommendation including a well set up C4 (controversial), but would note that they are also only just "fast enough" IMHO and are under braked as standard.  Unlike the CSL, fat tq curve does flatter them in the hills.  I would add that they need RS-type suspension for maximum fun.  And RS seats while you are in there.  And give me a set of C4LW 16s with 225/245s and C4LW plastic fixed rear wing.  And I have dived down the rabbit hole.

I rule out Nomads and Caterhams due to weather,  luggage and noise issues.  Sounds boring, but on a week trip, these are all sufficient to cancel out the undoubted highs.

BTW, I am not the judge.  Just my $0.02.

Edited by Richard Bernau

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My apologies Richard; next time I express an opinion based upon personal experience I'll run it past you first.

Tongue only slightly in cheek.

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I think the appeal of the more modern stuff misses the romance of the older cars. It’s about how old cars make you feel as much as which is best to rip round a hairpin, carry speed or reliability. Do you get as much fun taking the Boxster as you did taking daisy to the Alps Rich? If you do, you’re on a winner that’ll cost you far less financially. If not, you’re making do. 

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I've done a fair few long road trips now. It's a boring answer, but it really depends on the situation. Two up in a fast paced blast across a country, I would want something capable, fast, smooth, quiet etc - I'm thinking big Merc estate. 

For something less cruise missile, one of my favourite ever drives was a Ferrari 348T from Le Mans to Paris on A and B roads at very naughty speeds.

My mate has got a Maserati Ghibli Cup, we've been on a lot of trips together; him in the maser and my 911.  The Maserati is an excellent car.  Quick enough, comfortable, has air-con, is RWD with very few aides, is not too modern, is interesting and rare.  Last year we did 3 up (blokes) to Classic Le Mans in it. It was a breeze and very comfortable.  Perhaps a little turbo laggy in the mountains, but you probably can't have it all from that era.  I do love that car.  It makes my SC feel old and a little uncomfortable by comparison. 

1318053089_Screenshot2019-10-07at20_12_25.thumb.png.e4dfbadd1f536a1ec1380f09effaa281.png

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Me on my own in the mountains, Cayman GT4 or something air cooled, lightweight and NA

Mrs WC and I, Audi R8 for year round European tours 

WC family drive with dog across Europe, Audi RS6 Avant or Mercedes E63 estate of BMW M5 touring

WC family drive around the world, Toyota Landcruiser 80 series

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^^ I like someone with ambition..:signs85:

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17 hours ago, sopor said:

My apologies Richard; next time I express an opinion based upon personal experience I'll run it past you first.

Tongue only slightly in cheek.

My bad.  Guess I invited the SMG discussion by posting a CSL, then I got all "lets not have an SMG discussion".  Feel free to post absolutely anything you like.  It's not my sandpit. 

Sorry :)  

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18 hours ago, Busybee said:

I think the appeal of the more modern stuff misses the romance of the older cars. It’s about how old cars make you feel as much as which is best to rip round a hairpin, carry speed or reliability. Do you get as much fun taking the Boxster as you did taking daisy to the Alps Rich? If you do, you’re on a winner that’ll cost you far less financially. If not, you’re making do. 

That's pretty much where I sit too. My modern (CR) is perfectly capable in the mountains and a great touring car too with its front and rear trunk space and rapid easy cruising speed (so easy I got two French speeding tickets first time ever :rolleyes: ) and relative luxury of aircon and surprisingly comfy carbon seats,  but for canyon carving or switchback mountains I would still rather be in the nimble little IB  :) You just get much more satisfaction hussling an older car and a sense of achievement completing a roadtrip as its more of an adventure.

I guess some kind of GT Tourer would be best overall. a Ghibli or Aston Martin maybe, but put me in any half decent sports car and i'll love it  :)

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15 minutes ago, MarkJ said:

That's pretty much where I sit too. My modern (CR) is perfectly capable in the mountains and a great touring car too with its front and rear trunk space and rapid easy cruising speed (so easy I got two French speeding tickets first time ever :rolleyes: ) and relative luxury of aircon and surprisingly comfy carbon seats,  but for canyon carving or switchback mountains I would still rather be in the nimble little IB  :) You just get much more satisfaction hussling an older car and a sense of achievement completing a roadtrip as its more of an adventure.

Is this me writing this?? :unsure:

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17 minutes ago, MarkJ said:

That's pretty much where I sit too. My modern (CR) is perfectly capable in the mountains and a great touring car too with its front and rear trunk space and rapid easy cruising speed (so easy I got two French speeding tickets first time ever :rolleyes: ) and relative luxury of aircon and surprisingly comfy carbon seats,  but for canyon carving or switchback mountains I would still rather be in the nimble little IB  :) You just get much more satisfaction hussling an older car and a sense of achievement completing a roadtrip as its more of an adventure.

I guess some kind of GT Tourer would be best overall. a Ghibli or Aston Martin maybe, but put me in any half decent sports car and i'll love it  :)

Spot on Mark. Gotta earn the fun in an old car. Lots of easy cars that will happily tour but there's something magic about an old car. 

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I don't see that much difference.  I developed Daisy to a point where you could make progress at a fairly obscenely rapid rate.  My 987 is not any faster (probably ultimately slower) and not really any easier - for me at least, as driving Daisy was highly intuitive and predictable.  With minimal development, the 987 combines a lot of what was great about Daisy AND gets the dull touring stages completed with a great deal more comfort. 

Will I be jealous seeing Daisy on the Alps trip.  I don't really know.

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You will if you are behind it and hear that glorious exhaust note :) I know I was jealous 😁

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26 minutes ago, MarkJ said:

You will if you are behind it and hear that glorious exhaust note :) I know I was jealous 😁

so was I too 😄

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#metoo :rolleyes:

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I’ve never followed her. Alan was telling me that in the 996 behind, even at over 5k, they could hear the exhaust in front. Geddin! Lol 😂 I thought the pops and bangs on the overrun would get tiresome. Nope. Flipping love this car.

Not sure if something is wearing but I noticed on the way home, at lower revs I’d say under 4K, the clutch felt a little lumpy. A little grabby. At higher revs, fine. What do you guys think? 

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7 minutes ago, Busybee said:

I’ve never followed her. Alan was telling me that in the 996 behind, even at over 5k, they could hear the exhaust in front. Geddin! Lol 😂 I thought the pops and bangs on the overrun would get tiresome. Nope. Flipping love this car.

Not sure if something is wearing but I noticed on the way home, at lower revs I’d say under 4K, the clutch felt a little lumpy. A little grabby. At higher revs, fine. What do you guys think? 

you and Daisy are becoming one 😍

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1 minute ago, World Citizen said:

you and Daisy are becoming one 😍

😂 I’m besotted. Fair play to Rich. He built a hell of a car. 

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Clutch is a 930S on LW alley pressure plate with std flywheel that went in with the engine rebuild.  Has loads of clamping force in reserve given its good for something like 350+lbft.  Should have tons of life left given when it went in.  The std clutch had life in it after 70k miles.

But who knows.

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21 minutes ago, Richard Bernau said:

Clutch is a 930S on LW alley pressure plate with std flywheel that went in with the engine rebuild.  Has loads of clamping force in reserve given its good for something like 350+lbft.  Should have tons of life left given when it went in.  The std clutch had life in it after 70k miles.

But who knows.

Thanks Rich. Wonder what it could be. I’m guessing it’s a clutch phenomenon. Just feels a little different at lower rpm than when you’re giving it some. Almost a little lump in the clutch pedal travel. Maybe everything was just warm as it was about 50/60 miles of fun driving after an hour or so of motorway

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