Fall is beautiful in the northeast. An explosion of colors is visible from majestic vistas across the region, and even from non-majestic vistas. The air is cool and the sun still shines brightly. It is the perfect time of year for horizontally opposed air/oil-cooled engines. It would seem that they were manufactured for this time of year. You just have to start the vehicle in order to know that they are much happier machines that are begging to go out and play. Not that I needed any excuse, but John Kolesa and the early 911 crew put together another of the now famous breakfast runs. The idea is simple. Gather somewhere at 7am, drive for 2 hours on uninhabited roads, get breakfast, and head home by 10am....ish.
The E coupe is not a loud car, but it sure sounds loud at 5:45am. I made a hasty departure before the neighbors could identify the perpetrator. Those darn kids with their coffee can mufflers must be at it again ;-) The bank thermometer was reading 39 degrees when I passed through the first town, and the minimal heat in the car had yet to kick in. Cold air was streaming i through the vents. I toppe dup with fuel and left the engine running to save another engine start. Eventually there was that welcome warm flow of air and the unmistakable fragrance of oil wafting around the cabin. A little while later I had to open the windows to ensure the proper air/oil mixture. I love the smell of Castrol in the morning....
When I arrived at the rendezvous site, several of the crew were already getting coffee, and I followed suit. Eventually, a group of about 12 cars showed up including a contingent from NY and NJ. All very nice stuff, and most of them enhanced well beyond a small displacement bump. RS and RSR type mods were present in abundance, engine transplants, backdating, it was all there, and all very tastefully done. Serious time, effort, money, and love had gone into almost everything present. A true R Gruppe..uhmm....gruppe. My almost stock car with a 2.7 was positively mild in this company, and the glowing alternator light provided some question as to how many engine starts I had available given that the drive down required headlights for about an hour.
Breakfast Run VideoAny thought you might have that these cars are pampered conversation pieces would have been shattered in the first few miles of the ride (click here for some video). Let's just say that we got the oil circulating and up to temperature. The first breakfast run was fairly spirited. This run was smokin, and it wasn't the cars. I was above 4 grand on the tach and in the powerband much of the drive. I was happily sideways a couple of times and I was not alone !! The roads were superb tests of the speed and handling of the cars and it was simply fantastic. Curves and whoops and curves and high speed bursts and curves and elevation changes and curves. It don't get much better. The wail of the cars must have sounded bizarre to some of the residents we flew by, while others brought their kids out to see the spectacle as we paused to regroup. Then it was off again in a symphony of the unique shriek of a flat six on song. Flying through farm country and careening past corn fields. I had not driven for that long that fast since the last time on track.
At the breakfast stop, the crew caught up on each other's projects and talked about past and future events. Too soon, we had to disband. Some of the crew was heading on to more driving on their way up to Watkins Glen. Those of us less fortunate headed home. I took the scenic route and continued pushing the limits of the tires all the way back. The scent of castrol scented heat, the rush of cold air throught the windows, the sound of a flat six behind you, and the thrill of driving one of the greatest cars of all time close to your limits for miles at a time. Surely this was what it was like at Le Mans or Spa or Watkins Glen when those circuits cut through villages and farmland just like those I was flying through today.
Oh yeah, I hear there was some fall foliage happening somewhere as well..