Well, my son has made it back from Afghanistan unscathed, and is preparing to take "The Snake" (aka "The Baron", so named because it's red
) on a four to five week trip around much of the U.S. while on leave. Then it's back to Fort Worth, Texas, where he is the XO at a combined Navy/Air Force base outside of town.
The Zookeeper is no longer with us ("You sell it, Dad. I can't."), having been turned in to a local dealer last Fall for use by his track-crazed son.
Having put quite a few miles on the GTO, I could definitely understand Rich's mixed emotions in regard to getting rid of this car, the third one in his stable.
It was smooth, quiet, comfortable, relatively economical - and somewhere in the neighborhood of Z06 fast. Handled well, too.
Just recently heard the kid blew it up.
When I mentioned this to my son a couple of weeks back, his comment was "Rest in peace/pieces."
Meanwhile, the C63 is a better car than when it was turned over to us last August. It's been chipped (OE Tuning), a Quaife has been hurled into the previously open rear, and it has a set of Michelin's newest hot-damn sneakers on all four corners.
Most chip tuners claim somewhere in the vicinity of 50 extra ponies in this car, and although I haven't dynoed the thing, it certainly feels as if at least that many have been added to the thundering herd. In fact, with temps in the forties, full throttle wasn't really feasible until third gear. Now, with temps near 70, second gear is fully usable. On the worn PS2s, it felt as if it was right on the edge of breaking loose at that temperature, but hanging on.
The Quaife is dead silent, and I'd swear The Baron charges through corners better with it installed - and of course it charges OUT of corners better.
The Michelin Pilot Super Sports just installed seem to be simply terrific. Turn-in is better than with the original Pirellis on the front, even though the P-Zeros were worn down to just above the wear bars - where you'd expect dry traction to be close to max. Pulling out with alacrity (albeit not at full throttle) has the PSS sneakers just flat sticking where the pretty much bald PS2s were complaining bitterly - in French, I presume.
Again, you'd assume bald is the way to go on dry roads, so the new Michelin sneakers seem to be the real thing.
Of course, the fronts are one size over (245/40 18s), while the rears are two sizes over at 275/35 18s. No problems with rubbing/scraping.
The original Pirelli rears lasted for 6600 miles, while the replacement standard-size PS2s went for another 8100 miles before giving up the ghost last week. The PS2s had a wear rating of 220, while the new PSS boots are rated at 300.
Dare I dream it? Will this car actually make it to 25,000 miles before Michelin's newest go pool-table flat where the rubber meets the road? Oh, be still my heart.
The car was terrific fun when we got it, and is even more fun in mildly modified form, but I won't be down at the mouth while waving it goodbye. I know I'll join the dark side sooner or later, but for now, I'm still stuck in the dark ages
, stirring my own gears.
PS - If you are in the market for new sneakers for your M3, my advice is to pop for the PSS Michelins instead of the old tried and true PS2s. They just flat seem to explore new territory for a street tire.