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View Full Version : Actually managed to drive the Four.



Mr E
09-09-2007, 07:58 PM
A rare event. A Sunday with nothing planned. So, crawl out of bed at 11ish, spot of breakfast. Wash the Alfa, watch the GP, then decide to go for a spin in the Four.

This involves getting it out of the garage, which is no small event. And she almost didn't start, with a reported 9 volts in the battery, it struggled to turn the motor.

Still, fired up, out in the sunshine, let her idle for a good while and check the essentials (4 wheels, brakes that work, you know the score).

And off for a little trundle. Did a 40 mile loop of A and B roads. Several multicar 3rd gear overtakes (always utterly effortless), and scared the living crap out of several people in small unsuspecting villages with well timed gearshifts. Stopped for icecream at a (very) old hill fort. Trundled home.

My point? Well, several.

After virtually no miles for 5 months, she still feels properly sorted.
I'd forgotten how fast that sort of power is, and more importantly, how effective that sort of shove combined with a chassis and transmission that can handle it is.
I really should drive the thing more.


To expand on the second point. I love the Alfa. I love the interior, I love the engine. I love the way it goes. But at all times you're aware that it's a lot of torque to the front wheels in a rolly chassis (and we have sports springs). It is a barge. And I'm used to it. I'm used to brakes that are suspect, and a chassis that means you wait for the corner to unwind, and then *slowly* feeding the power in. Basically, I'm used to the car feeling like there's 500kg of pig iron in the front, and driving around that.

In the Four, I don't need to. I found myself turning in too early because the wheel is *directly* connected to the front end, not just vaguely. You merely thing about the corner, and the car is turned in and balanced. You have brakes from God, with a direct linear relationship between how hard you push, and how fast it stops. And you can get on the power pretty much whenever you like, and the car just puts it on the floor.

I used to take all these things for granted. They suprised me this afternoon.


Perhaps this is a cure for the modding bug. Build your car. Then don't drive it for a bit. Then realise just how good it is. Would I like a 450bhp 3S in the nose? Yes. Would it make it a faster car? Yes. Would it make it a *better* car in my eyes? Perhaps not.

Perhaps I'm getting old.

KoreanJoey
09-09-2007, 10:37 PM
I thought you were saying you manhandled the four...

Mr E
09-09-2007, 11:09 PM
I thought you were saying you manhandled the four...

Name the four and I'll let you know...

andy
09-09-2007, 11:48 PM
you should write books about driving gt4s .

Murgatroy
09-10-2007, 12:44 AM
Glad to hear the car is still properly appreciated.

Sometimes it is easy for forget the simple pleasures associated with building a wonderful car.

Sean
09-10-2007, 12:50 AM
So E....

In 3 years, when I'm ready to import a 6th gen GT4, could you be hired as a test pilot car scout? :) Car requirements include LHD (yes, select countries I'm sure you know :) ), insanely low miles, pristinely perfect, near stock, and all that jazz...

Mr E
09-11-2007, 01:58 PM
So E....

In 3 years, when I'm ready to import a 6th gen GT4, could you be hired as a test pilot car scout? :) Car requirements include LHD (yes, select countries I'm sure you know :) ), insanely low miles, pristinely perfect, near stock, and all that jazz...

For a 30-40% margin I'm sure something could be arranged. You are aware you'd never actually see the car because I could always find something wrong with it....

donteatbugs
09-11-2007, 02:39 PM
i could handle that