Another summer weekend, another memorable time with the Esprit. For the moment my buyer has vanished and I am not entirely displeased.

I effected a decent repair to the chin spoiler that will do until the new one comes, (thanks for the help, Nancy) and spent Saturday chauffeuring my father in law about the suburbs in search of a new car.

It was a good test, because it was hot, and I wanted to see how the cooling system reacted, post bleed, for extended stop and start driving in summer heat.

In short, it was fine. I even ran the air conditioning with no issue save a wonky idle until the car learned how to manage it again. A few more weeks like this and I might start to trust it.

I suspect that the car, now known as “Christine” (after the Steven King novel) was aware that she could create the most amount of havoc by running. You see, if its me and or Nancy and I, her play is to fail and inconvenience us with the misery of a broken car, but if she can scare the life out of another passenger, she decides to run well. Having an ex-wife has hardened me to this type of malice…

I should also mention that when Field Engineer Dave found out what I was up to he told me he was shutting his cell phone off. With strategists like that, it’s still a wonder the British lost in Yorktown.

On the way to pick poor f-i-l (Al) up I let the car off the chain a bit while merging onto the expressway. I’m still shocked by how the car adds speed, and even though it is a much bigger car than an Exige, it has that connection between the steering wheel and the front tires that can only be described as “lotus-like”. It’s directness still amazes me, especially when I have been driving other cars for a while.

The rear end of a V-8 esprit is another matter entirely. They don’t listen nearly as well, but if you know it’s going to happen, you can plan for it.

In a nutshell, that’s the biggest difference between the Esprit and the Exige: in the former, you plan your moves for maximum speed (and in order to stay out of the hedges…), and the latter simply reacts to whatever you are doing at any given moment. I suppose that’s what a thousand pounds and several standard deviations more chassis flex leaves you with.

In fairness, my Exige never effected the rotation of the earth when I stepped on the gas pedal…

For the duration of the car shopping venture with Al, I basically drove like a car thief. I haven’t done that in a while, and it’s pretty cool to feel the loads that an angrily driven supercar can supply. I have no idea how people manage the modern beasts with their capabilities, I suspect a lot of it is computer related, but I can honestly say I have my hands full with this car.

When Al finally got out of the esprit for the last time, I asked him if he knew “why the English put leather on their seats?”. He didn’t. I chuckled, and said “because when a passenger shits them self you can clean it up with a soapy rag”.

He vowed never to ride along again.