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  #1  
Old 09-27-2013, 05:19 PM
A Talent for Obfuscation
 
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The Death Car?

A friend of mine is giving a serious look at a lightly-used Shelby GT500 coupe. The salesman regaled us with a story about an eventful demo drive with the original owner, who bought the Shelby at the same dealership. Apparently, the traction control must have been completely off during the demo drive, as the driver did a hard 1 - 2 upshift on a rural two-lane and spun the ol' girl out. The salesman in the death seat looked out the side window and saw a tree heading his way. He closed his eyes... and somehow they missed the tree. Damage was limited to some wounded pride and soiled underwear.

Anyway, my friend is all excited about the prospect of buying this car, but there is one little snag - he can't drive a manual transmission - yet. Do you think that a supercharged 662 hp Mustang makes a good training vehicle to train someone in the art of driving a manual?

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Old 09-27-2013, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by P.C. View Post
A friend of mine is giving a serious look at a lightly-used Shelby GT500 coupe. The salesman regaled us with a story about an eventful demo drive with the original owner, who bought the Shelby at the same dealership. Apparently, the traction control must have been completely off during the demo drive, as the driver did a hard 1 - 2 upshift on a rural two-lane and spun the ol' girl out. The salesman in the death seat looked out the side window and saw a tree heading his way. He closed his eyes... and somehow they missed the tree. Damage was limited to some wounded pride and soiled underwear.

Anyway, my friend is all excited about the prospect of buying this car, but there is one little snag - he can't drive a manual transmission - yet. Do you think that a supercharged 662 hp Mustang makes a good training vehicle to train someone in the art of driving a manual?
I can almost guarantee he won't stall it out :p

Install or have installed a mechanical limiter on the gas pedal. figure out how much pedal it takes to go say 80mph, and then tape a block of wood behind the pedal.

Once he's comfortable with the shickshift part, untape the block.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:34 PM
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Another "friend" *lease thread?
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:34 PM
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Depends, I've driven some powerful cars that were not too hard to learn on, then some not so powerful cars that were near impossible to shift nicely. Some dealers absolutely refuse to take people out on test drives in cars like that unless they are really serious about buying (basically signing the documents that day).

I went in a Nissan dealer when checking out BMWs. The 370Z was on my list to try and feel out. As soon as I told the guy I wasn't going to buy that day, he pretty much showed me the door. From what I hear thats actually common to a lot of Nissan dealers. The Z is still sitting in their lot 3 months later with the outrageous price tag on it. Joke's on him, I bought a different car.
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  #5  
Old 09-27-2013, 05:38 PM
A Talent for Obfuscation
 
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Originally Posted by tbomachines View Post
Depends, I've driven some powerful cars that were not too hard to learn on, then some not so powerful cars that were near impossible to shift nicely. Some dealers absolutely refuse to take people out on test drives in cars like that unless they are really serious about buying (basically signing the documents that day).

I went in a Nissan dealer when checking out BMWs. The 370Z was on my list to try and feel out. As soon as I told the guy I wasn't going to buy that day, he pretty much showed me the door. From what I hear thats actually common to a lot of Nissan dealers. The Z is still sitting in their lot 3 months later with the outrageous price tag on it. Joke's on him, I bought a different car.
I can't blame them in a way - a lot of people can't resist taking such a car out for a test drive. If the salesmen acquiesced to every request, there wouldn't be much of a car left to sell after a few weeks. The Shelby salesman went to great pains to indicate that the clutch takeup on the Shelby is very gradual and forgiving, while enthusiast's forums say the opposite. I'll be finding out on my own soon enough, as I am the designated test pilot.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by P.C. View Post
Do you think that a supercharged 662 hp Mustang makes a good training vehicle to train someone in the art of driving a manual?
Not a chance in hell. He'd toast a bunch of expensive stuff learning or at least wear it out. Buy a beater if he must have manual and learn on that first.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by P.C. View Post
I can't blame them in a way - a lot of people can't resist taking such a car out for a test drive. If the salesmen acquiesced to every request, there wouldn't be much of a car left to sell after a few weeks. The Shelby salesman went to great pains to indicate that the clutch takeup on the Shelby is very gradual and forgiving, while enthusiast's forums say the opposite. I'll be finding out on my own soon enough, as I am the designated test pilot.
Problem is (specifically for the Z) that they have barely sold any of them. I thought my experience was strange, but a fluke. Someone on the VW board mentioned a very similar experience at another dealer and said the salesperson had a directive from Nissan not to let people drive unless they are ready to buy that day. Nobody's buying a 45-50k Z these days anyways no matter how ready they are to purchase something. I understand the safety concern and people going in to flog them, but balance that with actually selling cars.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tbomachines View Post
Problem is (specifically for the Z) that they have barely sold any of them. I thought my experience was strange, but a fluke. Someone on the VW board mentioned a very similar experience at another dealer and said the salesperson had a directive from Nissan not to let people drive unless they are ready to buy that day. Nobody's buying a 45-50k Z these days anyways no matter how ready they are to purchase something. I understand the safety concern and people going in to flog them, but balance that with actually selling cars.
If the Z is in dealer stock, and the dealer is making his monthly floorplan payments every month, why would Nissan have any standing to decree the conditions of a test drive? I think that the salesperson was feeding that guy on the VW board a little BS.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:06 PM
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If the Z is in dealer stock, and the dealer is making his monthly floorplan payments every month, why would Nissan have any standing to decree the conditions of a test drive? I think that the salesperson was feeding that guy on the VW board a little BS.
Eh, no reason to have denied me a test drive in one, that's for sure. I was looking at purchasing a (used) BMW worth just as much as the Z they had, just not that day.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:21 PM
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Do you think that a supercharged 662 hp Mustang makes a good training vehicle to train someone in the art of driving a manual?
Yes.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:26 PM
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I'm not terrible at driving stick, not am I spectacular, but I've found the nicer/more powerful the car, the more forgiving it is.

Take my friends E46 M3, for example. Was quite a bit easier to modulate the throttle and clutch from a dead stop than it was on a 240D.

The most forgiving car I've experienced was a stock '13 Mustang GT 5.0. Clutch was VERY forgiving, and the engine was a bit lazy to rev down low, so it made getting going quite easy.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by iwrock View Post
I'm not terrible at driving stick, not am I spectacular, but I've found the nicer/more powerful the car, the more forgiving it is.

Take my friends E46 M3, for example. Was quite a bit easier to modulate the throttle and clutch from a dead stop than it was on a 240D.

The most forgiving car I've experienced was a stock '13 Mustang GT 5.0. Clutch was VERY forgiving, and the engine was a bit lazy to rev down low, so it made getting going quite easy.
Interesting. My '88 Suzuki Samurai was pretty easy to stall. I used to do it about once a month. My 240D was stupid easy. Most Porsches were a bit tougher. The worst have been small Japanese pickups. All the ones I drove had a first gear that feels like taking off in second.

BTW, I think I saw the GT500 in a video called "Top Ten Cars That Want You Dead" or something to that effect. Something about having way more engine than brakes.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:39 PM
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I had the job once of escorting, which is shorthand for keeping the person out of bars and fights, a wealthy oil minister. This guy had $$$$$$$ and he wanted to look at an Alfa Romeo GTV at a Dallas dealership.

He presented his Passport, showed the salesman a picture of himself in the newspaper about his visit, tossed down some sort of very seclusive AMEX card as a deposit... No test drive unless he was willing to buy that day.

So we left. I asked him how rare Alfa's were in his country and he said they were everywhere, but he wanted to buy one here since he hated renting cars.

After all, the guy was going to be in town for two weeks.

I helped him to contact a limo service to deal with his transportation needs, but he was really into driving sports cars and hated being driven.

You know, the rich really are different from you and me.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Skippy View Post
Interesting. My '88 Suzuki Samurai was pretty easy to stall. I used to do it about once a month. My 240D was stupid easy. Most Porsches were a bit tougher. The worst have been small Japanese pickups. All the ones I drove had a first gear that feels like taking off in second.

BTW, I think I saw the GT500 in a video called "Top Ten Cars That Want You Dead" or something to that effect. Something about having way more engine than brakes.
I had a Toyota Pickup back in the 80's and I always took off in second. It worked so why not?

I also had an Audi 5000 with a 5-speed. It was normal to go from first to third and then to fifth. It never seemed to bog down.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:27 PM
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Lots of torque, stock hydraulic clutch, sounds pretty easy to drive. Get into the 6 puck clutches, and they can be hard to modulate. If he's got the money to buy one, he's probably got the money to put a clutch in it. I suspect he'd learn quickly.

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