Join Date: May 2012
Location: Denver, CO
Vehicle: 2003 SLK 230
Other Toys: '91 E Stock MR2 and '84 FSP Celica! And my poor '72 Capri that I need to finish.
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Night time - high speed shenanigans!
Or is that hijinks? Dunno, but whatever you call it, we had fun!
I had a chance to go over the car pretty throughly today. Checked the brakes very closely as I always do with a "new to me" car. Went over the suspension with a good visual check. The tires are almost new, but I always like to check them very closely. They were really over inflated! But otherwise looked good. Man, the wheels are like new. Not a curb mark on them! Very nice. I was satisfied the car was ready for anything.
We live in Denver, CO. Out East of town it's farm land. The high planes, and man is it flat. There are small towns dotted along the planes, each connected by the longest, flattest, straightest roads you've ever seen. Years ago when I had my old Merkur (Sierra for our UK brethren) I used to take it out there for some high speed fun.
You can see, literally, for miles ahead of you. Judging from the time it takes to pass an approaching car, in many places visibility is as much as three miles. So if you're careful, you can get going pretty quick out there with just about zero chance of running into another car of any kind, let alone a policeman.
I asked my wife if she'd like to take the SLK out for a shake down. She thought that sounded like a dandy idea! She drove first. Before we get to the high speed fun, I should point out what you all already know- that car is awesome on the highway cruising at 75. Hard to believe a car that small feels that stable and composed. Just outstandingly well engineered. I used my GPS speedo to check the dash unit. I've never seen a factory speedometer so accurate in any car. Spot on.
Once we were well out of town, we pulled off the highway to a small farm town and followed a sign to a numbered road. 23 miles to the next town. 23 miles of straight, flat road and not another car in sight.
Once outside of town we let her rip! I won't go into too much detail about our activities that could be perceived by some as, er, bending certain legal guidelines. But suffice to say, we had a very good time. Impressive little car. Really stable at speed. From the passenger seat, felt as effortless as could be. Driving, it was really about the same, but with ground being gobbled up that quickly it did give you a little tinge of exhilaration. But the car never gave any indication that it cared in the least. Really didn't feel any different than driving on the highway.
Now, if the published limits for the car are accurate, we were no were near the outside of the envelope. And the car certainly had more to give. You run out of nerve before you run out of car! But we got going fast enough to see what we were comfortable doing!
Lots of fun! I doubt we'll do that again anytime soon. We're really not those kinds of people! We generally get our auto excitement legally at autocross events. Our son is getting his license this week, and, no, I won't share the story with him. But we had a blast. In fact, got going faster than I've ever gone before. And I walked away really, really impressed with our little SLK 230. Clearly the good people at MB had bigger plans than 75 MPH US highways when they designed the suspension and gearing. Really, really neat car.