Friday, November 6, 2015

Road Trip

I had a business meeting in Jackson on Friday so I took the '91 Vette since I was going to be gone most of the day and I wanted to put some road miles on the car.  My last '91 (six speed, 3.45 rear end, Z07) got almost 31 miles per gallon on the highway in sixth gear double overdrive.  I was curious what the '91 four speed automatic with 3.07 rear end would get ... and I wanted to blow the soot out of her.

One thing I have found in owning this car is that she likes to be driven.  If you don't drive her she pouts and throws a tantrum.  It's almost like owning a Vette version of John Carpenter's "Christine" and it's something I've gotten used to.

Resetting the fuel economy calculations, I managed a best of 26.8 miles per gallon round trip which is great for a 350 cubic inch small block Chevy that can run 157 plus miles an hour on the top end but not so great (I think) due to the overdrive and low gears.  Maybe the six speed spoiled me ... but since I don't know the history of this car and since I just got it and since it just turned over 100,000 miles and since it's almost 25 years old I'm thinking a tune up is in order.

Here are some pics from the road trip.

The view from the cockpit - Highway 13 North ... I love this stretch of road.

The forecast called for rain and there was a major storm front moving into the area promising to soak the area (again) with a lot of downpour.  The weather forecast made me decide not to take the '86 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am and instead take my '91 Chevy Corvette.  

I was a little concerned taking the Vette since the climate control is out of commission and that includes defroster and rear defroster.  Given the humidity in Mississippi and the increase included in rain, having to run with the windows up in a down pour and no air circulating it might have been a problem.  I took the chance and fortunately it wasn't a problem since the few times I went through some major bad weather the interior didn't fog up at all.

Back shot.  The weather was gray and misting from Columbia up to about 10 miles from Mendenhall.  Ipod cranked, playing through the factory stereo system.

Piloting the '91 Vette.  The adjustable suspension is nice but the steering feels a lot tougher than my '91 Z07 did.  This steering you have to fight and put some effort into, not at all like my '86 TA which is quick ratio and you can change lanes just by flicking your wrist.  Turning this '91 Vette in a parking lot is a two handed job with both hands on the wheel cranking it.  I read where Chevy wanted a more "European" feel to the Vette's steering ... if by "European" they mean "high effort / high suck" then they got it right.  If by "European" they meant "sure feeling and easy to turn" then they effed up bad.

Another view of this stretch of road.

Hard to see but 26.6mpg.  I got a best reading of 26.8mpg.  I've seen nearly 30mpg earlier so I know there's about four more mpg hiding in a good tuneup.

The office for the day ... well, the traveling part of the day.  Highway 49 north just out of Mendenhall, MS.  Ignore the tachometer, it's not working correctly.  At that speed, in a 3.07 geared rear end, I should be doing between 1200 and 1500 rpm.

And that's looking at Jackson straight ahead, maybe 10 miles to go.  There was a point where I dipped in under the clouds, the sun vanished completely and I felt the temp drop a good five to eight degrees almost instantly.  The side window was down and you could feel the storm front coming in, the drop in temperature was immediate and noticeable once I hit the edge of the storm.

I ate in Jackson out near the Promenade and then took the top off because it was sunny.  On the way back, I was chasing what I'd run into on the way up.  Somewhere near Magee I pulled off in a church parking lot and put the top back on the Vette.  Getting back on Highway 49 South I was glad that I did because a mile and a half past the church I literally ran into a wall of water coming down and that lasted for the next fifteen miles.

The last of the storm moving out.  It's after 4pm and I'm heading towards Sumrall which will put me out near Bellview and then onto Highway 98 West towards Columbia.  I thought I'd head back to the office for the afternoon but with 8 hours of clock time for the day I just headed home at Seminary.

The view heading back to Columbia.  Parts of the storm still lingering in the area but I didn't get any more rain.  Overall it was a great trip and the Vette did really well.  

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