Whitebread on Patrol » Blog Archive » Zoooooooom, smell the burning belts, brakes, and fluids

Zoooooooom, smell the burning belts, brakes, and fluids

What’s the fastest you’ve driven? Well, the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor has a factory electronic governor of 130 MPH. I’ve been in the passenger seat to see this quite a few times, and as a newly-unleashed officer have done it a couple of times already. There are precious few places and circumstances where this kind of speed is justifiable and relatively sane. Usually it’s an interstate at zero dark thirty on a weeknight with five miles between you and another officer who is in danger of getting his ass kicked. The landscape is entirely different once you pass 110 or so, and I’d never do it just for fun unless I was on a closed course. Then again, I’m boring.

In my personal vehicles, I doubt I have ever topped 90 MPH while passing.

4 Responses to “Zoooooooom, smell the burning belts, brakes, and fluids”

  1. dagamore says:

    The joys of living in Germany, I have been passed a few times when i was doing better then 150MPH, my personal best was just over 162 Mph via my GPS in my 09 Mustang gt(slightly modded :))

  2. Matt G says:

    When I first started out in a rural town with some interstate, we backed up other rural agencies all the time down that interstate. As a rookie, I naturally was on nights. I pushed it up against the governor many times on my assigned cars, and never broke 129. (At the time, the governors were set for 128, regardless of what people would tell you. I was checking speed by digital radar, not the mechanical speedometer.)

    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

  3. mike w. says:

    120 in a Toyota Solara and maybe a hair faster than that in a 2007 Mazda 6 before I decided to back off the gas.

    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.

  4. Zermoid says:

    Many years ago when I was young and stupid I drove a friend’s Turbo Trans Am up the Garden State Parkway at 120 MPH ish, not sure spedometer was accurate, weaving back and forth between cars that seemed to be standing still. It’s amazing to see a steel hood ripple like water from the wind force……..