The scariest “fast” was in a 1986 Pontiac Fiero. I topped it out at ~90 and thought “damn, it feels really hot in here!” I’d overheated the engine, and when it sits just behind your seat the passenger compartment gets hot mighty fast.]]>
If your suspension is alligned, and your tires are good and aired appropriately, and the roadway is clear, and there’s no wind or wet, then 120 really isn’t too big a deal to handle on the interstate. I realized this one evening when I realized that I was taking a sip from my cold drink, at 121 mph, while running code to back up an officer. I thought, “I should be taking this more seriously.”
The real danger, when you get to running that hot, is brake fade. When you top a hill at high speed, it’s common to get on the brakes. When you enter a curve, you tap the brakes. When you come upon slower traffic (running half your speed!), you brake hard because the sumbitches either ignore you, or worse, SLAM on their brakes before finally getting over. (Hint: sweep ‘em with your spotight as you approach. The beam in their rear view really makes a difference.) You go to exit the interstate, and find that, as you charge up on the intersection at the underpass or overpass, you’re not stopping. You’ve actually heated up those heavy rotars so much, they’re vaporizing the brake pads, keeping a thin layer of vapor between the pad and the metal, which means you’ve got the traction of an ice skate on a frozen pond on those brake rotars.
I’ve thought that I was going to actually die, due to this.
Nowadays, I rarely break 105. :D]]>