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      04-27-2011, 03:23 PM   #23
bruce.augenstein@comcast.
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Epilogue:

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.

Oh well.

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.

Bruce

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.

Last edited by bruce.augenstein@comcast.; 04-27-2011 at 04:00 PM.
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      04-27-2011, 11:50 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce.augenstein@comcast. View Post
Epilogue:

Well, my son has made it back from Afghanistan unscathed.
Only part of the post that truly matters.

Good review for the rest of it Bruce.
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      04-28-2011, 01:16 AM   #25
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Nice write-up, it was a good read!
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      04-30-2011, 11:03 AM   #26
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Only part of the post that truly matters.

Good review for the rest of it Bruce.
You're right about that - and thanks.
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      05-05-2011, 11:11 PM   #27
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Good read. Love the review man!
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      04-16-2013, 12:09 PM   #28
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Update

Well, Commander Augenstein will be turning in his flight suit at the end of this year and going civilian after 22-plus years, and as part of that plan, he'll be moving back east (from Fort Worth, Takes-us ).

Why would anyone care? Well, as part of the move from a place where the roads tend to run straight for the horizon, and the only place to get your jollies is on cloverleaves, he's planning ahead.

Some may remember that, back in the days when he was living in Reno (and commuting to the Fallon NAS), he could run those mountain roads up to and around Tahoe, making for highly entertaining Sunday mornings. So the move to Fort Worth meant that, while contemplating both the M3 and the C63 as replacements for his 911, he went for the latter.

No regrets, but you see where this is going?

Right. He's got a Jerez black, competition-packaged M3 on order. This car will be similar to the last M3 tested against the C63 coupe in the pages of Car & Driver, and that car weighed 3552 pounds, full of gas. Thumbs up, I say. Still too heavy, but way light as far as current M3s go, and wa-a-ay light compared to the 4000 pound Merc.

Plus, with him moving closer (Washington DC area, quite possibly), I'll get to sample the wares more often. The only thing is, my bride will dearly miss the C63. She's a closet horsepower/sound effects freak, and that car simply delivered on those fronts. Yeah, she can drive stick cars, but much prefers to just put it in D and motor.

Oh well. She can still ride in it and enjoy that particular unique sound track, plus of course he still has that Boss 302 LS with its own amazing sound.

So, he's coming from automotive nirvana to a slightly different automotive nirvana - and I'll be sampling both more often.

Bruce

PS - My only question is:

Is he coming from the Dark Side, or going to the Dark Side.

PPS - No, the Fallon commute didn't involve any curves, it being located perhaps 50 miles east of Reno, right in the middle of nowhere. You run out there via U.S. 50, also known as the loneliest highway in the country, and when you get in the vicinity, pretty much the only way you know is that, every so often, an F-18 comes screaming by on the deck at a high rate of knots, and promptly disappears.

Way back, when pilots spotted you out there in your family truckster, they'd roll in on you! I can only imagine what you'd feel as you watched these guys peel off and and roll in, coming at you with hair on fire at .999 Mach, and suddenly your hair is on fire as you try and exercise control over your sphincter muscles while they come over at 100 feet agl - or less.

They've since been discouraged, presumably since the dry-cleaning bills submitted to the Navy were getting onerous.

Last edited by bruce.augenstein@comcast.; 04-16-2013 at 12:22 PM.
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      04-16-2013, 01:07 PM   #29
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You sir are living the TRUE American Dream.

Having wonderful successful children; one of which is helping to keep this great country safe.
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      04-17-2013, 07:39 AM   #30
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You sir are living the TRUE American Dream.

Having wonderful successful children; one of which is helping to keep this great country safe.
I've had a LOT of luck in my life.
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      04-17-2013, 07:25 PM   #31
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That was an epic porcelain throne read for me. Good review my friend!
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