The drag racing thread: yammering about the good, the bad,and the stupid

Roger M. Woodbury rmwoodbury at
Fri Jul 20 13:29:45 EDT 2001

That's what a lot of guys say!

(A few...too few....girls, too!)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Marinello" <smarinello at>
To: "Roger M. Woodbury" <rmwoodbury at>
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2001 10:18 AM
Subject: Re: The drag racing thread: yammering about the good, the bad,and
the stupid

> Damn!  I live too far from Maine.  I'd love to run both the urq and the S6
> in that kind of "race".
> Steve
> > From: "Roger M. Woodbury" <rmwoodbury at>
> > Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 07:05:38 -0400
> > To: <Quattro at>
> > Subject: The drag racing thread:  yammering about the good, the bad, and
> > stupid
> >
> > I have been on various automotive lists for quite a long time, and I've
> > around motorvehicles of various types for a lot longer.  Sooner or later
> > someone has to bring up the meaningless concept of drag racing.  Usually
> > cars that I am most interested in are found wanting.
> >
> > Usually this talk is initiated by people who talk the talk but who
> > walk the walk with the assistance of a seeing eye dog.  I started to
> > when I read the comment, to wit, that a forty thousand dollar car should
> > kick everyone's posterior, and continued to laugh when I read some
> > about "well set up" BMWs.  Stop it, please.  My sides are aching.
> >
> > I never "set up" my cars.  In the days that I was a frenzied
autocrosser, I
> > drove a BMW of twelve imported.  There were never any cars
> > compete with, as the car was not close to being like the other 1600cc
> > sedans. The tech inspectors used to say, "oh, BMW 1600!"  It was a brand
> > car at that time and there weren't many around anywhere.  Then they
> > open the hood, and see the big twin Webers, and I would get classed
> > the Z28 Camaros, Mustangs and such, giving away 250 horsepower and real
> > "drag racing muscle".  They'd smoke me on the thousand foot straights,
but I
> > would kick a**s overall, because there wasn't a Camaro built that could
> > handle like the BMW.
> >
> > Later on, I bought another BMW.  I was driving between three hundred and
> > thousand miles a week in my insurance biz, and I thought that the new
> > 318 would be the perfect car for Maine, and its mostly rural, two lane
> > winding roads.  I was wrong.
> >
> > The BMW 318 was the worst car I have ever owned.  It couldn't be made to
> > on the fuel available and BMW did a top end overhaul with thirty
> > miles, and replaced the transmission before fifty due to bad synchros.
> > car was useless as a long distance car because although it came "well
> > up" from the factory, the steering was so precise that it was difficult
> > drive on uneven surfaces like winding Maine roads.  In the winter time,
> > car was useless without studded tires on all wheels.  No, not just not
> > reliable in slippery going:  dangerous.  The Ultimate Driving Machine
was an
> > ultimate bust.
> >
> > Then the best car that I ever had...a Mercedes 190D.  Reliable, good  in
> > weather without snow tires, inexpensive to own on a daily basis...but
> > Was it ever slow, and above 60 miles per hour, was it ever unhappy.
> >
> > Then there was a 190D Turbo, and I thought that car would remain my
> > "best car of all time".  Reliable, inexpensive to own and drive on a
> > basis, and surprise, surprise!  REALLY quick, considering that it WAS a
> > diesel.
> >
> > Then I bought my 200 Quattro wagon.  Inexpensive to drive on a daily
> > reliable and great in all weather regardless of the situation without
> > tires.  A  tad slow off the line, but once rollling, it's as good as
> > anything.
> >
> > But every once in a while I catch myself remembering autocrossing and
> > Four years ago, I decided to get involved in motorsports again.  I had a
> > Porsche 928 and some of us formed a new Porsche Club of America chapter
> > in the upper nine counties of Maine.  AND, I thought we had as a
> > event, the ultimate opportunity for Porsche owners to DRIVE their cars:
> > designed and sponsored a time trial.  But not your ordinary time trial.
> > This was to be a six mile long run, using three one mile long straight
> > sections, with four separate and totally different handling sections
> > would require maximum performance stopping and acceleration and maximum
> > speeds...if anyone had the nerve.
> >
> > The entire event was to take place over a two day weekend in September.
> > neat part was that in northern Maine in late September, the weather can
> > ah, diffident.  A lodging and banquet package was included; catering for
> > breakfast and lunch at track side...the whole deal.
> >
> > We needed 37 to break even, and could promise ten runs in two days.  We
> > managed to get 28 to register and scrubbed the even twice:  the PCA
> > to our south, with their vaunted 911s and all that jazz, just were not
> > interested in trying anything new or different, or exploring a new
> > region...or maybe they were just afraid they might see a moose...or just
> > maybe they were really just interested in talking the talk.
> >
> > We also invited a couple of other motor clubs, but most of those folks
> > VW GTIs and thought that the top speed would beat them...what that
> > meant was that an eight of a mile autocross was kick a**s, but a six
> > time trial was....well....SCARY.
> >
> > I threw down the challenge to the BMW club, too.  Talk the talk, but no
> > the walk.
> >
> > But it would have been a great exercise for Audi Quattros.  Especially
> > the capricious late September weather turned out to be as capricious as
> > could.  Come to think of it, on the first weekend that this even was
> > Saturday was partly cloudy with temperatures in the mid seventies.
> > though, dawned cloudy and there had been some drizzle the night
> > before...with temperature at nine in the morning, only around 45 on the
> > track.  So everyone would have had a great time making a run or two in
> > slick.  For the event would run in rain or shine.
> >
> > I would have loved to see how my Quattro wagon would have done on Sunday
> > morning.
> >
> > So when I hear about how Audis don't do this or that against some yahoo
> > wants to talk about drag racing, I think about the UPnMaine Challenge,
> > how all the vaunted racer wannabes just never really even showed up!
> >
> > And if you guys wanna talk about how slow this or that Audi is against
> > quartermile standard, I'll race with you.  My '89 200 Quattro avant
> > anything you like.  I 'll even give you a three second handicap to make
> > for your lack of suspension.  But I'll pick the road, and we'll race at
> > seven thirty in the morning on February 11th after the previous night's
> > inches of snow.
> >
> > Any takers?
> >
> >
> >
> >

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