Monday, March 13, 2006

Auto Anarchy

Did you know that cars have nuts? Well they may not be standard equipment, but when a couple of hooligans attend the auto show they have them! A little while ago Jodster, myself and other assorted riffraff descended on the Auto Show in Toronto. In typical Toronto arrogance, it is now known as the Canadian International Auto Show, but that's another subject entirely. We don't typically plan anything as we are male and prone to ignoring plans, even those made by ourselves, but upon our arrival we had pre-determined that the first order of business was to head for the test tracks that were set up. Actually the first order of business was the bathroom since my large coffee had decided it's visit with my kidneys was over, maybe they were showing boring holiday slides, I don't really know, but then it was test track time.

One of the neatest things at this installation of the auto show was the ability to actually try out vehicles. You can do almost anything to cars at the auto show, especially if you can run faster than security, but actually taking them for a spin to get a feel for how it runs and handles is not typical. Toyota had their 4x4 vehicles set up to run a torturous track of bumps, twists and a wicked hill that my poor Hyundai would have stalled just looking at. Our merry band of lunatics took an assortment of Toyotas up, down and around this track, which I think was sponsored by the Dental Association as it shakes fillings loose and chips teeth. The most impressive was the vehicles ability to climb the hill. Hell, I got tired just sitting in the truck while it crawled up it. The only problem I had with the track was that we had to do all this at a raging idle. The top speed was such that arctic snails were snickering as they oozed past. The vehicles were great but lacked only one feature, the oxygen masks that pop out of the ceiling. When you're that far off of the ground in Toronto, the pollution makes for tricky breathing so I wheezed down the hill like Jiminy Glick. After saying our farewells to the trucks and our guides , as well as making a special stop to give the booking lady a heart attack, we decided to move on.

We began our aimless wander and headed exactly 105.2 feet when we stumbled into the Smart Car pavilion. I immediately noticed the brand new, zero emissions model of Smart Car.
This eco-warrior gets about 10 KM/Toddler!
As we crawled around these bite sized marvels of transportation our attention was drawn to a sign up that said we could test drive these guys so we inquired about getting in on this opportunity. As we were informed by the man at the Smart pavilion that we would have to go to the Mercedes booth to register we were thrilled to find that not only were we able to drive the Smart cars, but we were actually able to test drive several Mercedes models as well. We registered up and were amused to discover that for all the money that a Benz costs, they couldn't provided their booth staff with functioning hand stamps. After a good lick by the girl at the desk (The stamps you perverts, not us!) we were tagged and ready to go. Is it wrong that I think this is a really snappy station wagon!We made our way down to the shuttle which would take us to the test track. In the shuttle we found out that the guys who would show us the track and the vehicles were actually trained stunt drivers. It was time to nurse our need for speed!

As we got to the track we were taken out in a few of the test cars as the stunt driver took us for a fairly aggressive spin around the track. Jodster and I forgot about the Smart for a while as we decided to take the "hearse" out for a spin. Jodster gave it a good run for its money but made the mistake of telling me that it had more left under the hood than he gave it. I decided to see just how much more. After slamming it through the track, going into hairpin turns at almost 30K/Hr I was astonished at it's traction control. This thing would hold the road like a past high school star athlete holds onto his past. It became my mission to made this overdesigned slab of metal slide at least once. It took three runs to get it and it was only a little skid but we were determined to drive a Smart car so we took our small victory ad moved on.

It was time to drive what we came to drive and as Jodster got ready to go for a rip I realized that he had last drive the unskiddable wonder, Dear Lord!  We're all going to die!!suddenly I was nervous. Jodster was getting to ready to start it up and decided to goad the car a little and said "Let's see just how smart this car really is!". Not to be outdone, the car decided it was smarter than him and refused to start. After a quick hand from the stunt driver we were revving up and ready to go. These little cars drive great, but they definitely don't have unbelievable traction control. Without it they still handle the snowy twists and turns admirably.

We decided that even though we couldn't afford them, the Mercedes cars were definitely not going to disappoint anybody who doesn't mind spending the price of my house on a car. The Smart cars were determined to have been smarter that us, but still fun to drive. After pillaging the free cookies and coffee put out by Mercedes we wandered back into the building for the rest of the show.


Blogger angela marie said...

Just out of high school, my boyfriend (now husband), his three friends and I went to many a car show. I adjusted well, being the only girl. But seeing the excitement on the faces in your pictures makes me realize that it all never changes. Boys.


9:47:00 AM  
Blogger Fizzy said...

Yep I understand what you are saying Angela Marie.:)

I don't own a car but our cars are generally smaller. The smart cars however so really really small! there are quite a lot of 'em around now.

2:01:00 PM  
Blogger ms. creek said...

how many miles per hour is 30K? i don't feel like doing the math!

fun weekend for you1

6:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Yes, my hubby still drags me to an auto show, or two or three. We do have fun because I like the oldies.

6:22:00 PM  
Blogger Martini said...

Hey! Cool, you drove a Smart. What did you think? Got any more details about it?

6:38:00 PM  
Blogger JODSTER said...

"Jodster gave it a good run for its money but made the mistake of telling me that it had more left under the hood than he gave it."

That wasn't my mistake. That was my plan. Better to happen under your liability than mine!

11:17:00 AM  
Blogger JODSTER said...

"...the car decided it was smarter than him..."

That is true.

I'm glad you were in there with me. Our combined weight was the only thing that kept that Smart car on all four wheels.

11:24:00 AM  
Blogger glomgold said...

Free test driving huh? I'll have to go to one of those shows. I'm always eager to drive other people's cars for some reason.

11:20:00 PM  

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