Is The E39 M5 Too Quiet?

Usually I’m all for making cars louder; half the fun of driving is hearing the sound of the engine. But in the case of the E39 M5, I kind of like the fact that it’s not really loud. 

It definitely has that V8 bass when you rev it, but it’s more of a low end thing than the screaming Italian V8s and V10s. My co-worker thinks the E39 is way too quiet, and that it needs an exhaust, badly. 

Adding a loud exhaust would decisively take the M5 from sleek undercover euro-muscle to look-at-me euro hot-rod pretty quickly. And maybe that’s your thing, but to me the essence of the E39 is how “under the radar” it is. 

It just kind of whooshes you along on this burbling wave of torque. Even in 6th gear at ___ mph it pulls hard, masking speed in the calmest most relaxing kind of way. 

Go Ahead, Wax Poetic About the E30 M3

But it doesn’t mean shit until you’ve chased down a current generation M3 on track. 

Okay to be fair, I may not be the most impartial voice on this topic (I love E30 M3s), BUT, having driven both first and current generation M3s on track I will invoke a small amount of clout. 

Sure, it’s been done, and done again, but the roundels aligned last Monday and there I was, entering NJMP’s Lightning circuit right behind an E92 M3 coupe. It immediately became my mission to make that E92 my[the E30s] bitch. I felt the vibration of the motor through the wheel, the shifter, and the seat of my pants; all of a sudden all I could hear was a thick German accent saying “SCHNEELLLL!” 

 The E92 looked quite stock, probably on street tires. The E30 is stripped, caged, and has had the motor massaged for better low end torque. Oh yea, and it was running R compound tires (very sticky). 

To some the outcome may have seemed obvious, but to my ham-fisted-Ariel-Atom-spinning-self, it was an indescribably blissful feeling to be keeping up with a brand new car in something that was built less than a year after I was born. Like I was proving something to the engineers who insisted on more weight, and more power, and more plush. 

He pointed me past when when I got close, I led him for a few laps, then pointed him by when I was obviously holding him back on the straight. If cars were a religion, and the E30 M3 were the Messiah; I would be a true believer.

Got a V8 Vantage? Pull fuse 22 immediately.

We’ve replaced our 06 Aston with an 06 Aston, but with about 60,000 less miles. The only thing is, the new Aston was way quieter. I asked my boss about this and he told me there’s a fuse. Pull the fuse, he said. 

 I used google and google told me to pull fuse 22. So I did it, and it rocks. More specifically, it sounds AMAZING. Astons have such a unique sound, sort of a combination between the flatulent sound of an AMG and the metallic raspy sound of an E46 M3, and pulling fuse 22 just brings all that out sooner (lower in the revs).

How Not To Drive A Caterham

Here’s a video from last summer, when I was riding shotgun in a Caterham Super7. I know the road well, and I advised the driver to take it really easy since he didn’t know the road as well as I; he didn’t listen. 

He got on the throttle too soon and hit a deep rut on the outside of the corner, totally upsetting the car. With a quick enough input he may have been able to save it, but despite all of that he remembered a classic Skip Barber Racing School mantra, “If you spin, both feet in”. You can see the brakes lock the wheel in the slo-mo clip, with some wispy smoke coming off the tire. 

 After we got the car turned back around and set off again (me sitting silently and somewhat angrily in the passenger seat) the driver looked over at me and said, “So have I completely destroyed your confidence in my driving?”

Make Your GoPro Audio Suck Less

I’ve been messing around with GoPros for a while now, and there’s one glaring issue with these rugged little pieces of technology; the audio sucks. Finally after about a year and countless wind washed-out unusable shots, I bit the bullet and got a microphone.

By no means professional equipment, the Polar Pro GoPro mic only cost about $30. I didn’t want a mic so expensive that I’d not want to fasten on the outside of a car, for fear it would get blown away or something, but I definitely did want something with exactly the type of furry/fuzzy wind dispersing stuff that Polar Pro has coated this microphone with.

Next order of business was figuring out how to get a clean cut through the case to allow the Hero3 mini USB adapter to be plugged in, which goes to an RCA jack on the other side. Knowing full well I do not possess the skills to fucks around with plastic and get a clean cut, I got our “Mr.-Fix-It” mechanic Mike G to help out, and all I had to give him in return was a few beers.

Then I secured the RCA jack on the back of the GoPro, with the assumption that most of the filming I do will keep the camera pointed into the wind, thus protecting the mic at least a little more than if it were sticking completely off the side.

And shaboom, the GoPro has been upgraded. Now to get this bitch in the air with my new drone!

I Drove A Kart 57.6 Miles

A great race up at Lime Rock Park’s autocross course with Endurance Karting, and a bunch of Classic Car Club Manhattan members last Saturday. I opted to do the entire 1.5 hour race solo, but I still had to make the required 5 pit stops throughout, where the marshals would mark the kart to be sure everyone completes all 5. I got made fun of for wanting water, and took a bit of an off-road adventure, but overall it was totally awesome.

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