Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What a ride...

Just a quick update on a life changing experience.

It's been a bit tough getting around Germany. We went to the local Avis rental agency to get a small car and the only thing they had that made any sense was this car without a hood that had absolutely no luggage space and only 2 real seats.

It did, however, prove to be a life changing experience.

After signing my life away, they handed us the keys. I cautiously found my way to the Autobahn. Immediately after merging on to the Autobahn, I put the pedal to the metal as you do to avoid getting the finger from these aggressive German drivers. For a second I lost site of the road as I got pinned back to the seat and it felt like the nose of the car lifted in an attempt to take off. Within two seconds the engine was red lined. The car took over and told me to calm down. There was no chance of that happening.

A few seconds later we were doing over 200 km/hr and I found myself giving the finger to a bloody Mercedes that should have been on the slow lane where he belonged... And I was still only in fourth gear. No idea why there were 2 more gears - probably meant for Ralph or Mikey Schumi who would be one of the few people comfortable taking this beast to 330 without a pilot's licence.

This was no ordinary beast. It was a lion on a leash. Pulling the leash and listening to the roar was asound to remember - Mozart to the ears of any car enthusiast. All 380 horses responded enthusiastically to even the slightest of touches.

The gears shifted like a knife through warm butter. The brakes were designed to stop a landing jumbo jet and boy did they need to be.

To calm the nerves we decided to get off the highway and on to the country roads. We couldn't figure out why these roads had signs saying 70 when doing 140 seemed like a walk in the park. Any bumps on the road were ironed out without the slightest of fuss. All sharp turns were handled as if there were rails under the car. You did have to be careful when accelerating out of the curves though because it did seem to want to leap like a frog if you got a bit too excited too early.

We took it uphill in the Rhine country to get a better view of this lovely part of Germany. On steep slopes we popped it into third and put the foot down. It simply ran up the hill like its tail was on fire. It kept accelerating all the way up and when we reached the top it hadn't even broken into a sweat. I could have sworn I heard it say "Is that all you got?"

Every time you release the pedal after holding it down for a while, the turbine whines saying "Oh common, I am just getting started". At high speeds, the noise of the engine combined with the wind going through all the strategically designed vents made it sound like a fighter jet at full throttle. And the blur of the surroundings made you wonder if you were still on the ground.

The nerves still needed further calming so we headed into a small town for an ice cream. That's when we were confronted by a pick up truck changing lanes without looking. He cut us off. Absolutely no respect. We hammered the air horn. It made such a loud angry growl that even we jumped in our seats.
Needless to say the silly foreigner in the pick up jumped back into his lane like a wounded bull. He then looked over and apologized profusely. He knew he had committed a cardinal sin and was lucky to get away with his limbs in tact. We were definitely the king of this jungle. All was well.

This was it. I had been to Germany a few times, but only now had I finally arrived. This is a must do for anyone who loves being behind the wheel. Mind you, it's one thing to drive a Porsche, it's another thing to drive a Porsche 911 Carrera. And it is yet another thing to drive it in Germany.

This car will make you want to drive straight to the Porsche headquarters and hug those engineers for simply being alive!

Forget about the frequent second glances, the raised eye brows and the occasional admirer that will circle the parked car if you leave the hood down. Forget about the hole in your pocket this beast will burn even when sitting still. If you want to know what it feels like to be the king of the jungle, ask fora 911 the next time you are in Germany. Life will never be the same.

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