Could I be desensitized to speed?
I was told it would happen when I upgraded my Mustang from a 6 cylinder to a V8. I was told it would happen when I got my first Corvette (1984 C4 with 205 hp). I was told it would happen when I got my second Corvette (07 C6).
And I was sort of told that numerous years ago by an Air Force pilot. I didn’t believe it each time.
No one can fault me, except some “car purists”, for taking the 250 straight 6 motor from my Mustang and replaced it with a V8 302 bored .030 nor when I attempted to increase the HP in my C4 Corvette from 205 to 245 with a new fangled intake (never actually took place). Those were pretty understandable upgrades considering the 250 in the Mustang had no get up and go (more like lay down and won’t) when the AC was on. For that matter why would ever limit a Corvette to 205 hp?
Now the C4 is gone but the Mustang puts out about 300 hp and the C6 is at about 420. I remember saying, “400 hp? That’s plenty for me!!!” when I bought the C6. And it should be. I’m certain that this SHOULD be ‘true’. But why then, do I have a set of 351 Cleveland Cobra Jet heads sitting in the garage for the Mustang. And why am I pricing superchargers for the Corvette?
I started thinking about this driving the C6 on my way to work today, recalling back when the Mustang was 195 hp and the 84 Vette was just 10 more than the Stang and wishing I had more. As I stepped on the throttle entering the Interstate, I thought to myself, I which I had a bit more power now. That’s just plan crazy talk!!! Just a year ago I was happy with the C6′s power and now its like… yeah its powerful, most powerful in the HOA I bet (why didn’t I just say “neighborhood”?). What happened?
What has happened is that I drive the Vette daily and it as become common place to have that power at a bend of my right ankle. I am sure that if I drove a Toyota Corolla every day and took the Vette out on the weekends, I would still be in awe of the power. I’ve just come so accustom (not complacent, mind you) to driving the car that it doesn’t seem extra ordinary (although intellectually I know that 400 plus hp is no joke).
That doesn’t explain the desire to upgrade the Mustang though, does it? So what does? I think that rational here is more rooted in my own attachment to what the last 60′s and 70′s muscles cars should be. But still when I’m driving it I wish for more power. You understand that don’t you? When you look at a 1969 Mustang and it has its original 6 cylinder in it, you say…”That’s nice. Its all original.” However when you see a 1970 Mustang Mach I with its massive engine…you say…’WOW!!! F-ing A that’s what I’m talking about!!!!” So it’s some of that for sure.
So here is where I am with my cars and thinking about it took me back to one of my military supervisor. He was a LT Col and was one of the few that flew the SR-71 for a living. He shared a story with me about flying a mission and on the return trip received a warning light on the instrument panel. This required him to have to slow the aircraft down bit. He said to me, “…and I thought GREAT it’ll take forever to get home at only Mach 2. I realized how relative speed it was.”
Thanks for reading and keep it under Mach 1. (Yes I’m sure that’s enough power…perhaps.)