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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To flog or not to flog? That is the question. Are you going to drive your Solstice hard or baby it?

I found an interview of Dennis Hopper in a British car magazine (awesome phtotos!), and it has caused me to re-think the way I plan to drive my Solstice. Which is a surprise to me, because I thought I wanted to somewhat baby the car.

I figure if you are going to drop 25 large on a toy, you want it to last a while. So I wasn't planning to run her too hard. Besides, my main reason for buying a sports car is for weekend rides and for extended road trips. It is not my intention to show off, challenge the road, do track days or find the cars limits. (Or mine. They're low.) I want the car for relaxed, spirited cruising over various distances. I don't want to thrash my baby.

So lo and behold, I am reading this article in the Brit mag. And Hopper says he used to race his Austin-Healy in the LA hills against Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and James Dean, and says he was there when Dean fatally crashed his Spyder. He says they used to race their cars until the cars looked like crumpled beer cans. And I believe him.

Now, I have no intention of racing the car. I don't think I have the skills or ambition to go so fast or take such chances. But I'm thinking, maybe those guys got it basically right.

A sports car is a tool. Often a beautiful tool. But why baby it for when you get older, if you make it? Or for the new guy if you decide to sell it? Why not go out and drive the thing hard like it was meant to be driven? If it gives you some genuine excitement and breaks the dull monotony of the daily rat race, if it puts a smile on your face and makes you glad to be alive for a few hours, then why not floor the gas, rev to redline and yank the steering wheel from time to time? Why not run it hard, and face facts that it just won't be as minty or last as long or keep its value?

I think there is a certain freedom in being able to wring out your car and drive it hard, without worry. Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead.

So now I've got myself all confused. I don't want to trash the car. I don't want to wear out the drivetrain prematurely. I don't want to have to rebuild the front end or ruin the good looks. But something bothers me about babying your sports car when it is just begging to be put through its paces.

And I'm suddenly confused how to balance these competing desires. :crazy

Instead of dwelling on it, I thought I'd ask how you all plan on driving your cars. Maybe it will help me out of my own dilemma. And maybe not. But it would satisfy my curiosity.

Do you plan on babying your Solstice or are you going to flog it and enjoy every exciting mile it has to offer? Do tell. :skep
 

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Awesome question!

Just today I took wifey out for a few powerslides, what a kick!!!

So, she asks, is this bad for the car....? "Of course not" I say, while in the back of my head I'm thinking....well it ain't going to help it last longer! :lol

So, very good question. Is the occasional powersliding, clutch popping, blow through the gears in 0-60 push, spinning the wheel, etc., really bad. Of course within reason, I know you can beat a car to death if you want.

My answer to the thread question: I will not baby it, but as I'm not a teenager, I will naturally treat it with great respect as I don't want to take it off the road sideways at 70mph. I really can't help putting it through 1st 2nd and 3rd fairly hard several times a day, what a rush. But I'm smart enough to know there's a cop around the corner waiting for me :rolleyes

So, I add to the thread's question if that's alright, how bad is the above for the general roadster????

Fun Question........I'm off to throw out the back end out on the way to the store :jester
 

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I will NOT baby it.

However, I won't do anything that a reasonable person would expect to harm myself or others around me...

I've had my Sedan to 140MPH to test her out, the Sky will get every bit as much testing...
 

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Wicked question, jimbo! It'll be business as usual but when the urge strikes (and I'm betting it'll strike often) I'm going to drive her in a "spirited manner". :) My roadster will be purchased first & foremost as a smile-inducer and there's no better way to do this than the occasional "lemme see whatcha got!"

Me before drive: :smile

Me after drive: :lol :D :crazy :jester
 

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I drive pretty fast (although not as fast as when I was younger) and I don't plan on changing my driving style with the Solstice. I'll usually shift close to the redline and corner hard enough to hear the tires working. I will no longer try to get airborn over the crest of hills or do handbrake turns on public roads.

The Solstice is (I hope) a sports car, and should be driven like one. The Miata owners' club recommends that, when you first get your Miata, you should intentionally bounce the tach off the rev limiter a few times so you know how it feels and won't be surprised later when you do it accidentally. I hope the Solstice owners' club takes the same approach.
 

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This question is always a struggle. I say baby it with proper maintenance, but drive it the way you enjoy. If that is pedal to the metal then so be it. Especially on this car, as it's a back to basics roadster. It's meant to be driven and enjoyed. :cool
 

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I say run her like a racehorse. Warm her up, let her stretch, and let her reach her own stride. Don't use a crop or she'll turn on you. Let her see the other horses behind her and then just let go and enjoy the ride of your life. A final cooldown lap or two for show. And don't ever, ever put her away wet :lol
 

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i'm careful with my new cars for the first few thousand miles. i'm not into smoking the tires on launch... if i were i'd be in the market for a mustang, not a solstice. i think smooth is more fun, so i'll be looking for the sweet spot more than the limit in my solstice. i can't wait to get back to a manual transmission that i can heel/toe into a downshift while shooting for the apex of a curve. that's my kind of fun.
 

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cdb said:
i'm careful with my new cars for the first few thousand miles. i'm not into smoking the tires on launch... if i were i'd be in the market for a mustang, not a solstice. i think smooth is more fun, so i'll be looking for the sweet spot more than the limit in my solstice. i can't wait to get back to a manual transmission that i can heel/toe into a downshift while shooting for the apex of a curve. that's my kind of fun.
I guess the LSD won't be on your list of options? Seriously, tire smoking comes from lack of traction and if all else is equal the car that smokes less gets there first. A little chirping, now and then is a different story. It lets the lesser crowd know you've arrived...and gone.
 

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Soul Stiz, I will commute in the Solstice. However, I only commute by car in bad weather or when I need to get dressed up. If the weather's nice and I can dress casually, I take two-wheeled transportation to work. I'm probably in the minority here in that my Solstice will be my foul weather means of transportation.
 

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I tend to drive 'quickly'. That being said, I'm by no means typically an aggressive driver, I just like a car to be able to do what it can do, nothing more. I do enjoy horsepower, I like handling, and I like those things available at a moments notice if I need them seriously. Just like the old Eldo, the Solstice for me will be a car to enjoy for what it is, I won't be using it as a commuter car. But if I did, that would be quite all right also!
 

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I won’t say I will baby it, but I won’t be driving it like I am in an F1 race either. I will certainly take the car out on the weekend and put it through its paces, open it up a little, have some fun on curves, but nothing too insane.

Modern cars will last a long time even if you drive them on the hard side. Just be sure to keep up with the maintenance, and make repairs when needed, and it should be fine. Also, do not drive it beyond the limits of your ability, and don’t take big risks around other drivers to avoid wrecking it up and you should get years of good service out of it.
 

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Driving style

I'll be driving two cars which are at opposite ends of the auto spectrum...my brand new Solstice and my 12 year old Jeep Wrangler. Don't get me wrong I love my old Jeep, but it rides like it has a bulldozer's suspension and has about the same acceleration :rolleyes
I can hardly wait to slip in behind the wheel of the Sol, drive it everyway I can think of from slow cruising around :cool to pushing the limits through every curve I can find :thumbs
I can't wait to run through the Smokies on a long weekend trip :party
 

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Currently I abuse the heck out of my ZX2. I love to drive in a fairly spirited manor. I don't drive way over the speed limit though, and I never drive in a way to hurt anyone with me or endanger those aroudn me. There's a huge difference between the way I drive by myself, and I drive with a passenger in the car. I don't mind putting myself at some risk, but I really feel bad putting anyone else in danger. More then likely I'll baby whatever Kappa I get for the first 1000 miles and do some brake in procedures even if GM doesn't recommend any in the owners manual.
 

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I'm very nice to my cars. I have this thing about be nice to them and they will be nice to you, and it has worked out very nicely. Having said that, I'd have to say that I intend to really work the suspension and brakes more than the motor and drive train. I look forward to spirited cornering more than all out excelleration. Oh I'll use the horses I have on the on ramp and such, but will I force my Solstice to accept a life of redline? No. I will work my Solstice harder than my current car, but I'm no wanna be race car driver.

Remember, Dennis Hopper, Steve McQueen, James Dean and Paul Newman are all rich guys. Turning a car into a crumpled beer car is no big deal to them. However it might be interesting to ask James Dean how he feels about that philosophy now.
 

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Skidpad said:
I'll be driving two cars which are at opposite ends of the auto spectrum...my brand new Solstice and my 12 year old Jeep Wrangler. Don't get me wrong I love my old Jeep, but it rides like it has a bulldozer's suspension and has about the same acceleration :rolleyes
I can hardly wait to slip in behind the wheel of the Sol, drive it everyway I can think of from slow cruising around :cool to pushing the limits through every curve I can find :thumbs
I can't wait to run through the Smokies on a long weekend trip :party
My daily ride is a 2002 Wrangler. Its probably not bulldozer rough. Maybe its more like lawn tractor rough! :D Its certainly not the most fun thing to drive on road in a spirited manner. Body lean alone can get scary, but if you trust it, it will hang on for a long time. Just don't hit any bumps mid corner! :leaving
 

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palmer said:
Soul Stiz, I will commute in the Solstice. However, I only commute by car in bad weather or when I need to get dressed up. If the weather's nice and I can dress casually, I take two-wheeled transportation to work. I'm probably in the minority here in that my Solstice will be my foul weather means of transportation.
You sick little monkey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

J/k, :)
 

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achieftain said:
I guess the LSD won't be on your list of options? Seriously, tire smoking comes from lack of traction and if all else is equal the car that smokes less gets there first. A little chirping, now and then is a different story. It lets the lesser crowd know you've arrived...and gone.
actually, the LSD is on the list. the only thing not on the list is XM, because i don't like the nubby little antanna(sp?) on the rear deck. i could live without the flourescent display also, but i bet that is going to be bundled in a package.
 

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I like feeling the G's. I will wear out the tires quickly, but I'm not going to abuse the car. I plan on taking care of it well by keeping it clean/cleaning it and above and beyond preventative maintenance. But I think a car needs to be driven hard sometimes. That way you know how it reacts when you HAVE TO.

One of the saddest things I see regularly is a corvette (or other car you know can rocket away from a light) pull away slower than the chevette (or other POS) next to it.

Drive it like you stole it!
 
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