Did you really drive *that* quickly 'back in the day'?

Did you really drive *that* quickly 'back in the day'?

Author
Discussion

Pvapour

8,714 posts

207 months

Thursday 21st May
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Bournemouth - Westover road was the raceway, its tiny! Full of cars and people queuing for ice rink or cinema..

We all hit over 80mph in under 200hp cars, 92mph was the fastest my mate achieved in an audi 80 sport, i hit over 100 on a gpx600r

We often grabbed air over bridges at Fordingbridge, matchams lane consistant jumps..

We were loons quite frankly.

Johnnytheboy

19,884 posts

140 months

Thursday 21st May
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Tony33 said:
The level of commitment on those National events was beyond belief, at that point I realised that all the talk about which road car is faster is all rather academic as it comes down to who is the most committed (or these days I would probably say irresponsible!).
I've long thought that, when people talk about others "not knowing where their car went in the twisties"; the limit of cornering speed is very rarely grip, most frequently how much you are prepared to compromise your own available braking distance.

21st Century Man

32,924 posts

202 months

Thursday 21st May
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I haven't grabbed air for about fifteen years, I must be slowing down or getting fatter.

Mr Tidy

11,069 posts

81 months

Thursday 21st May
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s m said:
They did a similar test with a modern performance car ( same E30 M3 but a 130i rather than a 123d ) and the modern car was a fair bit faster
I love that comparison as I had a 123d for over 6 years, until I saw the light and bought a Z4 Coupe then an E46 325ti, another Z4 Coupe, an E91 325i, E90 330i and now a Z4M Coupe.

I'll even confess to being a 2 times Capri 2.8 Injection owner back in the 80s. And I might have hit the rev-limiter in my 4 speed Capris.

Pit Pony

2,563 posts

75 months

Friday 22nd May
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Drooles said:
Yes.

New set of front tyres on my 998cc Mini lasted me 1400 miles!
That's how long they lasted.

Jamescrs

889 posts

19 months

Friday 22nd May
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Definately used to drive like an idiot after I passed my test, especially considering most of the time it was in my mums 1.1 litre Fiesta.

I would do over 100 on the motorway no bother.

I wouldn't do that now probably mainly as there's too many cameras around but when I think back to how me and my mates all drove its easy to see why insurance for new drivers is so high.

Luckily I never had a crash other than a carpark ding.

SpudLink

2,745 posts

146 months

Friday 22nd May
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Jamescrs said:
... when I think back to how me and my mates all drove its easy to see why insurance for new drivers is so high.

Luckily I never had a crash other than a carpark ding.
I’ve said this to youngsters. People like me are the reason they have to pay so much in insurance.
I did crash too often. Driving beyond the limits of my own skill.

m444ttb

3,079 posts

183 months

Friday 22nd May
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I used to drive generally faster back in 2001 when I had my first car. Mostly on a country road that I'd drive every day to see my girlfriend at the time. But that road is much busier these days so it'd be difficult to do now. However there are a few moments that at best I'd look back and think I was an idiot

Tannedbaldhead

2,560 posts

86 months

Friday 22nd May
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I'm not going to say a number but I will admit to knowing the top speed of a Yamaha 1000 Thunderace without needing to look it up in Performance Bikes Magazine.

That's not the lunacy. Am sure there isn't a man alive who hasn't maxed their transport just out of curiousity on a quiet bit of motorway. The lunacy is I tried to do it all day every day.

Sadly such lunacy carries consequences. Mine are pain, a funny walk, odd posture and the frustration that due to low cloud grounding the air ambulance I can't answer yes if asked "have you ever rode in a helicopter'".

Magnum 475

1,364 posts

86 months

Friday 22nd May
quotequote all
Pvapour said:
Bournemouth - Westover road was the raceway, its tiny! Full of cars and people queuing for ice rink or cinema..

We all hit over 80mph in under 200hp cars, 92mph was the fastest my mate achieved in an audi 80 sport, i hit over 100 on a gpx600r

We often grabbed air over bridges at Fordingbridge, matchams lane consistant jumps..

We were loons quite frankly.
I used to hit 80mph with 48 bhp (Triumph Herald 1200, my first car). It took a very long time to get there, but once wound up it would maintain 80 quite happily until it came to going up any sort of hill. I may even have got more than that out of it occasionally, but only going downhill.

My next car was a Spitfire, which gave me a whole 75bhp to play with - that went quite a bit faster, and even more so after performed some major engine surgery to take it up to around 115bhp. It's safe to say that as 20 year old student I drove that Spitfire like an utter tt.

I only really calmed down a few years later when I managed to buy a 928GT Manual. I quickly realised that if I drove that car like an utter tt I'd end up at best losing my license, at worst either dead or in jail.

MC Bodge

13,209 posts

129 months

Friday 22nd May
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Tannedbaldhead said:
Am sure there isn't a man alive who hasn't maxed their transport just out of curiousity on a quiet bit of motorway
That may have been almost true in the past, when normal cars could creep up to 100-110mph downhill and avoiding speed enforcement relied mostly on spotting Police cars or having an apologetic conversation at the side of the road whistle

Nowadays, even fairly normal cars can do 135-140mph, speed is monitored more stealthily and high speeds are punished harshly. Fewer people are into cars too.

spaximus

3,698 posts

207 months

Friday 22nd May
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When I was 17 I went to tech to do motor vehicle technology. On the first day the lecturer made us stand up one by one and say our names and so he could get a long look at us. Once we had done that he told us that by the end of the year two of us would be dead from car or motorbike accidents.

He was 100% correct.

We all had cars that were faster than others as we spent time tuning them. My Cortina had a full race crossflow which would rev to 7.5k and really flew everywhere, but had nothing else done to it. I passed an unmarked police car once getting a pull when I pulled over to chat to a mate.

Progressed through faster cars and eventually got a 3ltr Broadspeed Bullit Capri. That was spectacularly fast and I drove it when ever I could as fast as I could. Going to Scarborough once in and out of traffic I got the fuel consumption down to 8mpg (triple down draught webbers).

Looking back I was like many on here testosterone driven and lucky to have had nothing serious happen. I do think looking back the sensations of speed were better then than now as you could do high speeds now cossetted by all the electronic devises to keep you safe.

Now I keep it on track where you realise there is a huge difference between being very good in a car and great.

velocemitch

2,872 posts

174 months

Friday 22nd May
quotequote all
Johnnytheboy said:
Tony33 said:
The level of commitment on those National events was beyond belief, at that point I realised that all the talk about which road car is faster is all rather academic as it comes down to who is the most committed (or these days I would probably say irresponsible!).
I've long thought that, when people talk about others "not knowing where their car went in the twisties"; the limit of cornering speed is very rarely grip, most frequently how much you are prepared to compromise your own available braking distance.
This.... Road Rallying still goes on, the commitment is still there and the rate of knots the top crews cover the ground is still astonishing, they don't need 500bhp and 4WD. 180bhp ish, light weight, very well set up suspension and brakes and a lot of talent will do the job.

Tannedbaldhead

2,560 posts

86 months

Friday 22nd May
quotequote all
spaximus said:
Now I keep it on track where you realise there is a huge difference between being very good in a car and great.
Years ago (late 80s) I attended a day out driving Formula Fords at Knockhill.
After three laps sitting as passenger with an instructor driving and three laps in our own cars for tuition we were let loose in the FF.

There were a group out for a works jolly and who were not particularly quick and there were a few enthusiasts like myself who were reasonably quick.

We thought we were quick when comparing ourselves to the works outing brigade then a saloon car racer interested in moving into single seaters hit the track.

The enthusiasts thought they had done well looking at the gaps in their lap times and those of the less driving focussed types. After a real racer posted his time we realised that in comparison with this guy we were all mere mortals.

Racer then told us that even at his lowly level he didn't consider himself that good and was more a journeyman having fun than a properly competitive racing driver.

TameRacingDriver

13,086 posts

226 months

Friday 22nd May
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Its like anything else, practice makes perfect. Some good tuition doesn’t hurt either.

FiF

37,335 posts

205 months

Friday 22nd May
quotequote all
Tony33 said:
velocemitch said:
FiF said:
Well yes and no. When I got my own first cars, as opposed to driving the family hack, I had to keep a clean licence so more or less behaved myself, but then out in the Peak District on dark nights things were less restrained. This was of course the days before the current set of limits, and once you'd left the 30 limit heading out on Ringinglow road it was NSL, so 70 legally though was reduced during oil crisis. It's 40 today, even on a dead straight 3 mile stretch over open moorland.
frown

Away from that, in the 70s I spent time rallying, and of course like everyone you started with road rallying using Targa timing. This was basically road racing on open public highway, how we got away with it is probably inconceivable to the younger set today. So it was indeed pretty much flat out, even up the whites, eg for Lincolnshire-ites, they'll know Ermine Street, which on the unmade part of it is a dead straight unmade track to the west of RAF Cranwell heading north for quite some distance from Byards Leap. Public highway, 120 mph up there in an Escort, on a rough farm track. Must have been mad.
I wondered how long it would be before road rallying got mentioned. Those days were mad. Couldn’t possibly happen today could it........
I did some road rallying too and marshalled on some Motoring News events. The level of commitment on those National events was beyond belief, at that point I realised that all the talk about which road car is faster is all rather academic as it comes down to who is the most committed (or these days I would probably say irresponsible!). I doubt most would beat a top road rally driver’s time from the 1980s in a 200bhp Escort or Chevette in a modern day car of twice the power. It was pretty awesome to have witnessed.
I used to think I was a bit of a hot shoe on a good day, often placed in top 3 on local area championship restricted. Then I did some Motoring News rounds, yikes got overtaken by someone driving in the ditch. More yikes Escort Mexico rounds, Christ on a bike.

Went to spectate on an RAC one year, group of oiks in a motor home living off beans, fish and chips and greasy spoon full Englishes. One of the entries down the field was indeed the local area championship hot shot, he came along, reckoned my grandma would have been quicker in comparison to the real guys like Timo Makinen.

Gave up road rallying for stages when it got too silly even for then. In those days it was before the compulsory coming to a complete stop at give way signs was introduced. The general practice at cross roads with a major road was to switch all lights off, see if no lights on the main road, and if nothing, full lights back on and keep foot in the bucket. One event, someone who shall be nameless, not me, but I do know who it was, flew across one crossroads and was so close to a vehicle driving down the main road they left a paint trace. No reg number, or competition number spotted, so police went round every white Mk1 Escort looking for the evidence. Some squeaky bum time for many, fortunately mine was a red Mk1.

MC Bodge

13,209 posts

129 months

Friday 22nd May
quotequote all
TameRacingDriver said:
Its like anything else, practice makes perfect. Some good tuition doesn’t hurt either.
Every man thinks that they can fight and drive with the best of them, without any training.

velocemitch

2,872 posts

174 months

Friday 22nd May
quotequote all
FiF said:
Tony33 said:
velocemitch said:
FiF said:
Well yes and no. When I got my own first cars, as opposed to driving the family hack, I had to keep a clean licence so more or less behaved myself, but then out in the Peak District on dark nights things were less restrained. This was of course the days before the current set of limits, and once you'd left the 30 limit heading out on Ringinglow road it was NSL, so 70 legally though was reduced during oil crisis. It's 40 today, even on a dead straight 3 mile stretch over open moorland.
frown

Away from that, in the 70s I spent time rallying, and of course like everyone you started with road rallying using Targa timing. This was basically road racing on open public highway, how we got away with it is probably inconceivable to the younger set today. So it was indeed pretty much flat out, even up the whites, eg for Lincolnshire-ites, they'll know Ermine Street, which on the unmade part of it is a dead straight unmade track to the west of RAF Cranwell heading north for quite some distance from Byards Leap. Public highway, 120 mph up there in an Escort, on a rough farm track. Must have been mad.
I wondered how long it would be before road rallying got mentioned. Those days were mad. Couldn’t possibly happen today could it........
I did some road rallying too and marshalled on some Motoring News events. The level of commitment on those National events was beyond belief, at that point I realised that all the talk about which road car is faster is all rather academic as it comes down to who is the most committed (or these days I would probably say irresponsible!). I doubt most would beat a top road rally driver’s time from the 1980s in a 200bhp Escort or Chevette in a modern day car of twice the power. It was pretty awesome to have witnessed.
I used to think I was a bit of a hot shoe on a good day, often placed in top 3 on local area championship restricted. Then I did some Motoring News rounds, yikes got overtaken by someone driving in the ditch. More yikes Escort Mexico rounds, Christ on a bike.

Went to spectate on an RAC one year, group of oiks in a motor home living off beans, fish and chips and greasy spoon full Englishes. One of the entries down the field was indeed the local area championship hot shot, he came along, reckoned my grandma would have been quicker in comparison to the real guys like Timo Makinen.

Gave up road rallying for stages when it got too silly even for then. In those days it was before the compulsory coming to a complete stop at give way signs was introduced. The general practice at cross roads with a major road was to switch all lights off, see if no lights on the main road, and if nothing, full lights back on and keep foot in the bucket. One event, someone who shall be nameless, not me, but I do know who it was, flew across one crossroads and was so close to a vehicle driving down the main road they left a paint trace. No reg number, or competition number spotted, so police went round every white Mk1 Escort looking for the evidence. Some squeaky bum time for many, fortunately mine was a red Mk1.
The tales from the lanes are endless, more so back then as it was so unrestricted.
One of my favourites of more recent times was the one about some youngish hot shoe who was driving as fast as he could in his M3 over Hardknott pass one winter night. He got caught and passed to his amazement by two old blokes in an Austin Healey 3000.

CrutyRammers

9,808 posts

152 months

Friday 22nd May
quotequote all
Magnum 475 said:
I think most people of my generation had a period of driving faster than is considered acceptable today. I passed my test in 88, and the accepted view then was '40 in a 30 limit is OK - police won't bother you for that'. On a motorway, plod wouldn't be interested in anyone doing < 90.

As a previous poster mentioned, it's all changed since Tony Blair. His 'speed kills' bullst message has totally changed the attitude to driving in this country. His message should have been 'crap driving and poor anticipation' kill, but you only have to look at some f the 'bad drivers' on youtube to realise that crap driving and poor anticipation are everywhere on our roads. There are two solutions: either train drivers much better, or lower the speed limits. Guess which one is easier to do??
I distinctly remember a tv police program around 1990-ish where a traffic officer was explaining that 100mph on the motorway "wasn't really very fast" and the limits should be increased. Can you imagine the media outcry if that happened today?

vixen1700

12,265 posts

224 months

Friday 22nd May
quotequote all
So it's safe to say driving habits have changed over the past thirty years after reading through this thread. hehe