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 6.9 roadtrip fun
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raueda1

USA
45 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2017 :  14:28:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
With so many postings on unending technical issues, I thought it would be a nice change to talk about the fun of it. At the end of the day, isn't that the point of it all? So here's a recap from a little road trip yesterday with my son and a friend of his. They're both in their early 30's. and we drove I-80 from Salt Lake City to West Wendover Nevada and back (about 133 miles each way).

This stretch of highway goes through desert wasteland and includes an unbroken stretch of the flattest and straightest highway in the USA, if not the planet. Traffic was light, but plenty of trucks and left lane slowpokes. The speed limit is 80mph and most traffic was running about 85. We were typically cruising about 100-110.

What a dream cruise! Neither my son nor his buddy had driven the car so we took turns. Both of them just started laughing when they got up to speed because it's just so smooth and unstrained. Oh, some guy we need to pass? Great! Blow by and take it to 130 until he's a speck in the rear view mirror. The handling and stability at speed is just incredible and made the lads giggle. Somebody said it's like having an rheostat connected to an unlimited energy source.

There are lots of fast cars out there, to be sure. What separates the 6.9 (as everyone here knows) is the suspension and that totally smooth ride. My son commented that he could easily hand-write a memo on a pad at 120, which was true. Those guys were just amazed at the comfort of the passenger experience and agreed that it would be impossible to adequately relate it to anybody else - there just aren't other cars out there that feel this way.

Soon we reached the Bonneville Salt Flats and went out for a look. Recent rains covered the flats in about 8" of water, but it's still an astounding sight, just 40 miles of absolutely laser-flat expanse. Distant mountains appear to be floating or inverted because of the earth's curvature and light refracting effects. Next we hit the Indian (Asian, not American) truck stop off the exit for a great Punjabi buffet. Then it was another 5 minutes to the surreal casino dive town of West Wendover NV for a few hours of blackjack and roulette. The return was a replay of the drive out - more giggles.

I realize that prolonged driving at these speeds sounds crazy these days and is almost impossible in most places. Yet it made total sense in this context - even more so by the total lack of highway patrol. It was a great outing and really highlighted what these amazing cars were designed to do. And boy, do they do it well. I'll be doing a repeat soon.

oh yeah - broke even at blackjack, which is a great outcome!

Dave

1977 450SEL 6.9, No.923

Art Love

Australia
6152 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2017 :  19:45:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave,
If you have a couple of pics, that would make a great story for the next Lode Star magazine - let Anthony Long know if you can do it.
Art
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raueda1

USA
45 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2017 :  21:57:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Art Love

Dave,
If you have a couple of pics, that would make a great story for the next Lode Star magazine - let Anthony Long know if you can do it.
Art

LOL, my son's friend is a photographer for the NY Times and got it all, i think. I'll get on it.

Dave

1977 450SEL 6.9, No.923
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daantjie

Canada
909 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2017 :  12:56:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very nice! Unfortunately in the nanny state we live in driving and getting caught at those speeds will leave you losing your car in a "roadside suspension" in a heart beat. Then there's the joys of points on the license and big $ fines to boot...

Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9
Vancouver, BC
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Slfan

Brazil
34 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2017 :  19:40:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Great narrative. Makes me want to drive mine.

Thanks!

Angelo
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Jack English

USA
1075 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2017 :  09:25:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was out on I-80 at about the same time while on my way East to Rhinebeck. Earlier in the morning, however, while the Nevada Highway Patrol were out in force near Elco. Tagged at 91. Totally unfair as other cars had passed me just moments before.

Jack English
300SEL 6.3 #4768
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