Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The click

Maybe it’s just me, but I reckon you sometimes come across a defining point with a car; one where you suddenly get to grips with it and finally feel that everything is just right. Well that’s what happened to me with the TVR over the weekend. It just clicked.

Suffice to say I had a good drive on Saturday (as featured below), but what really cemented it was venturing out in the dark, damp conditions of Sunday evening. I co-organise the local Pistonheads meet and, aside from gawping at an array of interesting machinery and getting a ride out in a fantastic Austin Healey Frog Eyed Sprite, it provided the chance to go for a bit of a drive. Along with a fellow PHer in a Noble M400, I headed out onto the local lanes after the event.

It’s the first time the car has been out in the wet on its new tyres (fitted some months ago I’m afraid – the phrase Garage Queen springs to mind...) and it handled superbly. The Bridgestone rubber behaves very consistently and retains an impressive degree of its dry weather grip. The steering feedback remains well telegraphed and the car’s ultimate responses benign and well balanced. But this zen-like state goes well beyond trivial issues such as the tyre performance. There’s just a feeling of every last detail being pretty much how you want it. Everything suddenly feels natural and intuitive.

I also think the experiences you have with a car help to secure its position in your affection. And over three hours of driving on Saturday, followed by an intensely atmospheric night-time hoon on Sunday won’t quickly be forgotten. Neither, for that matter, will the sight and sound of the M400’s be-winged profile sling-shotting out of the mist as we reached the dual carriageway. The latter has earned the Noble a firm place in my fantasy garage, but for now, in reality, I can’t think of anything I’d rather have than the TVR. It just clicked.

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