1 2
bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
6/14/17 9:54 p.m.

So what started out as a half serious joke a couple weeks ago in a thread has turned into a new edition to the garage. Now it's time to go pick up the new ride.

I take off first thing Friday morning and have 3 days scheduled to drive back. The route is paved with as many of the great driving roads that Colorado and New Mexico have to offer. The plan is to head south out of Grand Junction down 50 to the million dollar highway. I've got a room scheduled in Durango for the first night. Kept that day short so can look around Flyin Miata some and get a rundown of the new ride from Bill, Keith, and the team there.

On day 2, I'm going to head west out of Durango on 160 till I meet up with 84. Take 84 will it splits with 64 and run that into Taos. From there, take 518 out of Taos and then hook back up with 84 and run that to Lubbock.

The final day will be a shot from Lubbock to Austin trying to clear West Texas as fast as possible.

Should be a great trip to get to know the new ride. I'm glad I've got the time to get out there and run the car through it's paces.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/14/17 11:00 p.m.

Hopefully this will not be an arrive and drive fraught with mechanical adventures

Something to consider - run down 141 instead of 50 and 550. It's a less well known road but I think it's a better drive than 550. According to Google Maps it's 4:41 instead of 3:39, and I dare say the average speed will be healthier. At Naturita you can either take the shorter route through Dove Creek or the gorgeous route through Telluride (an extra 30 minutes). Both of those might work better if you stay in Cortez instead of Durango.

Alternately, run 141 to 62 then over to 50 - that lets you run the Million Dollar Highway without the fairly dull transit to get to Ouray. 5:17 estimated time. Let me know if you want maps

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
6/15/17 5:40 a.m.

Well, It looks like I'll be testing out the cooling system and AC for most of the drive across Texas with some nice triple digit heat waiting for me. She will probably be like WTF? and want to go back to CO.

Who am I to turn down route advice from the local expert. I'm not in a hurry the first day. The 141 idea looks great. I'm going to really want to go sking after passing all of these ski resorts.

RossD
RossD UltimaDork
6/15/17 10:48 a.m.

Maybe I missed something? What car did you buy? Either way you're bound for fun!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/15/17 11:00 a.m.

He bought this one. Our NC V8 shop car.

In one of the other "V8 Miata for sale" threads, bmw88rider made a comment that he'd be all over an NC if one came up for sale. We'd been talking internally about selling Atomic Betty, so I dropped him a line. The car never got listed for sale, he beat us to it. Kinda took a few of the folks at FM by surprise as well, actually.

oldtin
oldtin PowerDork
6/15/17 11:59 a.m.

Nice! I <3 fly-n-drives although this one looks like it should be pretty low risk.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
6/15/17 1:05 p.m.

This should be a little less hairy than my other 2 I've done in my life. I'm hoping my biggest problem is not getting a speeding ticket driving through the boring West Texas stint :)

I was told by the Wife she wants to see a lot of pictures so I've got the good camera in my bag so I can take many along the way.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/16/17 4:07 p.m.

I can report that the "fly" part of the fly-n-drive went off without a hitch. Last time I saw bmw88rider, he was rumbling off towards a remote road through the Colorado mountains with a big smile on his face.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
6/16/17 8:59 p.m.

Thanks for the tip on 141. That was beautiful. Just pulled in for the night in durango.

Wow, where to start. The auto gods must be looking down on me so far. First off, I managed to get an empty seat next to me on both of the flights and they were both on time. Top it all off both flights were really smooth. So I land and walk out and there is Keith waiting for me and off we go to the shop. Keith gives me a tour of the place and I look around but I'm excited and just wanted drive her.

Grab some supplies including some sun tan lotion and off I go. First off, the 141 is just a great drive. It's pretty empty and a nice variety of terrain with some great photo locations. I think i got some awesome pictures. I didn't grab the right cable so I'll have to upload them when I get to Austin.

So the car....wow....the car. she is a sweetheart. Better than I expected honestly and I had a pretty high expectation. I took it slow today just trying to get a feel for her. Didn't want to be that guy putting his brand new car into a ditch, tree, etc. It's got power everywhere even at 8-10k feet in altitude. I can't wait to see what she does at sea level. The fox suspension was never harsh. it just works. Even with very average tires on her, it was just sharp on turn in and it gripped well. I'm so impressed with the overall package. There are a couple of comfort mods I'll do but mostly just enjoy the heck out of her.

The funny thing was the looks. People could tell something was different but couldn't place it. So finally when I stopped for dinner, I was cruising top down and one of the guys on the street corner looked and then said that's not a mazda sound. I blipped the throttle and asked what do you think it is? He said SBC. I said you got it. He just responded back and said good man and I motored off.

Tomorrow takes me from Durango to Lubbock. Heading south toward new mexico and then across to West Texas.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/16/17 10:31 p.m.

Awesome, glad you enjoyed it. 141's a bit of a secret. Did you do the run over to Ouray and the million dollar highway?

"Better than I expected". Can't ask for much more than that.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/16/17 10:32 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: He bought this one. Our NC V8 shop car. In one of the other "V8 Miata for sale" threads, bmw88rider made a comment that he'd be all over an NC if one came up for sale. We'd been talking internally about selling Atomic Betty, so I dropped him a line. The car never got listed for sale, he beat us to it. Kinda took a few of the folks at FM by surprise as well, actually.

Just realized that this picture was taken on 141 during an Autoweek test.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
6/17/17 6:20 a.m.

Funny, I took a couple of pictures right from that cut out on the right.

I took the 145 to 62 cut over to 550. It great scenery but had a ton of hogs and other vacation travelers so i just chilled and enjoyed the views.

The front of the car is now painted in bug splatter. I hit one and man it just exploded on the car. I think I'll need a new can of bug remover when I get home.

The car handled the near triple digit heat no problem and kept me nice and cool inside. Really a great GT car.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/17/17 8:44 a.m.

Yeah, 550 over Red Mountain - the Million Dollar Highway - is well known so everyone wants to drive it and it carries a fair bit of legit traffic as well as the tourists. It's never the high speed option, but you've gotta drive it at some point. If you'd kept going on 141 you've have gone past Telluride and over Lizard Head pass. Not as crowded but less twisty and less iconic.

There's a kind of bug in the Utah area that must be huge. I've never seen one alive, all I know is that they're yellow on the inside. We call them Mormon bugs. Bug splatter is the sign of miles traveled and adventures had.

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy Dork
6/17/17 8:53 a.m.

Cool story. I love 550 and the whole Telluride/Durango/Ouray area. Great way to get to know a car.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
6/17/17 5:41 p.m.

Well, I found the limits of the cooling system today. Stop and go traffic at an ambient temp of 114 was enough to put the engine temps to a level I wasn't comfortable with any more. I'm sure Keith and team never even have seen 114 in grand junction.

Today was lets make some miles day. I was debating going the northern route or southern route and took the southern route down 550 to I25 then across I40 to 84. Total of about 570 miles. No offense to anyone here from New Mexico but man your roads really suck bad. I found a rattle in the dash from just how bad the roads were.

So most of the day was at an elevated speed. Running in the 80-90 mph range most of the way. The temps just started to rise as the day went on. At one point the air intake temps were 118 degrees. We were good when we were moving but once we hit the city and a few lights, not so good. Not really surprised though. I was originally planning on stopping in Lubbock anyways so this just locked it in.

So tomorrow is about 6 hour drive for the last bit home. Pretty boring drive for most of it.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy PowerDork
6/17/17 6:27 p.m.

Just a thought, the high engine temp could be related the bugs mentioned a few posts back.

I'm not experienced enough in Rocky mountain bugs, but here in the East I've experienced clogged radiators, ICs and air filters from driving through bug swarms. It usually takes more than one day of it, but it's a real thing.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/17/17 6:38 p.m.

What were the temps? LS engines can deal with 230 without any problem. Heck, in stock form they don't even turn on the high speed fans until 230. Check to make sure both fans are spinning if you're having trouble when the car goes slow. But 114 in stop and go with the AC on - that's a big ask 118 intake temps with 114 ambient is pretty good, actually!

I can't wait to see these pictures.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
6/17/17 6:39 p.m.

I checked that out. Its mostly just that its damn hot I think.

Hottest day in Texas this decade. The high that I saw was 118 for one of the towns I was driving through.Its supposed to be back to normal tomorrow. I'm not that concerned about it. Once I get back to Austin, she will not be out much on days like this. It did great most of the day till it got 110+

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
6/17/17 6:46 p.m.

Keith, it was right at the 230. I know they can run that high but I'm not going to push it. Both fans were going. Its just a freak thing.

She is really happy to be back close to sea level and drinking the good gas. Shoot at one point in new Mexico, the best I could get was 90 octane.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/17/17 6:49 p.m.

Can't blame you for taking care of your new baby! Just wait until you get sea level, good gas and reasonable temps. She'll wake right up.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
6/18/17 4:41 p.m.

Soooo. I'm home. Today was a really boring drive from Lubbock to Austin. 2 good things about today.

  1. I'm home with no major issues.
  2. The roads were pretty clear so it was close to 80+ MPH most of the way.

So some what of an irony here. I got a horrible tank of gas just outside of Lubbock in a place were I could literally smell the crude oil from the drilling and fracking. It was 91 octane which was bad enough but the car just did not like it much at all. So hopefully she will burn through the rest of any residual effects from that and we will be good. Since not much to say from today, It's picture time.

Here is just when I picked it up at FM. You may recognize a few of the cars in the background.

Found this really cool spot on 141 and took some pictures.

Up the road a bit:

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
6/18/17 4:53 p.m.

That night as I got into Durango area, I was greeted by this view out my condo. My wife thought it looked just like a Bob Ross painting.

Unfortunately, I didn't find New Mexico all that interesting to drive through. Maybe next time, I'll do the northern route through Taos. It was mostly like this.

I did collect a few bugs along the way. The first day and a half worth of carnage.

But irregardless, Here was the look on my face most of the time.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
6/18/17 4:56 p.m.

The trip overall went well. It must have been because I said a prayer at the blessed rock at the beginning of the trip.

A little wider view of the area. This is the same spot of the Autoweek photo Keith posted.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
6/18/17 4:58 p.m.

I'll be busy here in a bit cleaning all of these off.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
6/18/17 5:06 p.m.

All in all, A great trip.

I wouldn't have done this in a beater. It's a lot of pretty desolate country out there. There were times where I would only see a car or 2 an hour and if I needed parts, that would have been bad. I didn't have to turn a wrench on the car. I am enjoying just seeing something new each time I look at the car. A different part or just noticing something. Can't want to go through the car in detail over the next couple weeks.

The folks at FM built a helluva car and I'm really lucky to be able to own it. If any of the local GRMers want to see it or drive it just holler.

1 2
Birthdays
Our Preferred Partners
02anYmqVSzZ3U1hshU4a3WupbTA7jJfF