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2006 Porsche 997 C2S
Friday, October 20, 2006
Story by Tim Barnett
Recently, Jason and I went to Germany, Switzerland & Austria over a long weekend. Here are some of the photos. Story will follow.
ARTICLE PHOTOS
Click on the thumbnail to see a larger size photo.
See even more photos here

1997 McLaren F1
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Story by Tim Barnett
The McLaren F1 pictured was driven by a friend a few weeks ago. The car is located in Costa Rica (check out the picture of the car being driven across the single lane bridge) and is one car in a fairly impressive collection that also features a Ferrari F40 (pictured). My friend was allowed 30 laps on the track and during than time managed to finish off a set of tires. Apparently the tires are unique to the F1 and run an astounding $6K. In any case, despite one spin towards the end of the session (no damage fortunately), my friend remarked the F1 reminded him of a genuine race car, particularly the power, yet the cockpit is leather trimmed and air conditioned!

On reflection, perhaps the only thing better than owning a McLaren F1 is to have a close friend who owns one and lets you drive it regularly!
ARTICLE PHOTOS
Click on the thumbnail to see a larger size photo.

1997 Ferrari 355 Berlinetta
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Story by Tim Barnett
I purchased my F355 Berlinetta in January of 2001 and kept it for 3 years putting a little more that 6K miles on it in that time. What was it like to own?

Well, Ferraris are often the target of criticism and I can confirm that much of that criticism is warranted. In my mind, it's an odd marriage of some of the finest materials coupled with some pretty sloppy build quality. Its specific faults include a lack of low-end torque, "sticky" throttle break away, impractical, and very expensive and time consuming to maintain.

With respect to that last point, my car actually spent nearly 7 months in the shop to take care of such minor items such as cracked headers, bad catalytic converters and the dreaded worn valve guides coupled with bad lifters. You can read more about some of my reliability headaches here if you're keen.

Simple maintenance items were also incredibly expensive. I had a big brake upgrade from Brembo (F50 front/F40 rear) and a set of pads set me back $800!

However, much of this is forgotten once behind the wheel. The sound of the engine is so sonorous it actually makes the hairs on your neck stand up on end. And while the lack of low end torque might disappoint those familiar with the midrange punch of say a Porsche Turbo, it has some real top end horsepower. Its chassis also communicates so cleanly it constantly encourages you to fully explore its handling envelope.

It's not an easy car to drive well, however on the right road and under the right conditions, the Ferrari is an unbeatable experience. It's something that just can't be described by objective performance numbers. Just read Doug Hayashi's website and you'll begin to understand why he and Wayne have owned Ferraris for the past 5 years.

Handling - NSX versus 355:

I've had people asked me how it handles compared to an NSX and having driven both the NSX and 355 extensively on the road and the track, I can offer the following observations:

  • The 355 has the advantage in ultimate grip and corners flatter than the NSX. The tighter roll control also allows the 355 to be quicker through transitions.
  • The handling balance of both cars has been described as unforgiving, however I find both to inspire confidence because they communicate honestly and cleanly. Both will ultimately oversteer at the limit but you get lots of warning and they can be easily throttle steered in the lower gears. Both also do a good job of keeping understeer at bay.
  • Tire quality and condition are important to the handling of any sports car, however I found the 355's handling would become very lively (lots of oversteer) for the last third of the rear tires' life.
  • The Achilles heel for the 355 is its steering. It's precise but lacks any real feedback and it's also somewhat low geared. This combination makes for a tricky recovery from a slide, particularly at higher speeds. The NSX has slow steering too, but it's so much more communicative and ultimately far more rewarding. I also like the way the steering effort loads up in the corners and in that sense the NSX reminds me of a Porsche 911 with manual steering.
  • The last issue worth mentioning (again) is the throttle tip in (aka break away) for the 355. This is a well-known problem that affects many if not most 355s and while there are many theories on the cause and its cure, it's an irritant when trying to pick up the throttle at the apex of a corner.
In Summary:

Someone once said that owning an Italian sports car provided him with the two best days of his life: the day he bought it and the day he sold it! I sold my Ferrari to an acquaintance of mine and I have to admit I haven't once regretted that decision.

Here are various pictures including when the car was first picked up in 2001 in northern California.
ARTICLE PHOTOS
Click on the thumbnail to see a larger size photo.

2004 Caterham Super 7
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Story by Tim Barnett
Native Brits turned Coloradoan, the Barnett brothers, spent a week in a Caterham and a Lotus Elise terrorizing the back roads of Scotland. Here is their story.

The three took turns taking pictures of the Caterham, Lotus Elise and the beautiful scenery.
ARTICLE PHOTOS
Click on the thumbnail to see a larger size photo.

HighRPMs Archives
Aston Martin FOR SALE
By Jason Husman[1/18/2011]
Mini Cooper FOR SALE
By JoAnn Husman[4/2/2009]
24 hours of LP 560-4
By Jason Husman[4/1/2009]
Los Angeles Auto Show
By Jason Husman[11/24/2008]
LP 560-4 Spyder Unveiled
By Jason Husman[11/19/2008]
New Beverly Hills Lamborghini
By Jason Husman[11/18/2008]
JoAnn Gets Supercharged
By JoAnn Husman[10/29/2008]
Ultimate Lambo Experience
By Jason Husman[6/4/2008]
Aston Martin DBS Test Drive
By Jason Husman[6/3/2008]
The Vantage Goes North
By Jason Husman[6/2/2008]
Larborghini Road Drive
By Jason Husman[4/28/2008]
Larborghini Owner's Run
By Jason Husman[4/27/2008]
LA Auto Show
By Jason Husman[11/17/2007]
Richard Petty Experience
By Jason Husman[9/21/2007]
Palos Verdes Concours
By Jason Husman[9/16/2007]
Long Beach Grand Prix
By Jason Husman[4/15/2007]
The Aston has arrived!
By Jason Husman[11/22/2006]
Honda S2000 FOR SALE
By Jason Husman[11/20/2006]
Tim & Jason in Germany
By Tim Barnett[10/20/2006]
Bijan's Donzi racing boat
By Jason Husman[9/24/2006]
Jason drives the Vantage
By Jason Husman[7/24/2006]
A friends McLaren F1
By Tim Barnett[3/29/2006]
Tim's Ferrari 355 vs. NSX
By Tim Barnett[2/26/2006]
NSX goes home to Colorado
By Jason Husman[2/2/2006]
Jason orders the new Vantage
By Jason Husman[1/27/2006]
Tim finally buys an NSX
By Jason Husman[1/8/2006]
Brits, Caterham and Scotland
By Tim Barnett[5/20/2004]
Jason visits Willow Springs
By Jason Husman[8/25/2002]
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