A few years ago, when I owned one, I was very much in favour of fitting ballistic missiles to sports cars. Not you common or garden Fiesta S and such like, I’m talking about the likes of Ferrari’s, Porsches, Imprezza’s, Cosworths and the like.
You see, from behind the wheel of such a car, with a degree of go beneath your right foot, there are certain people who strive only to slow you down. Not just 80-year-old Sunday drivers, but many people in various vehicles. Of course, there are disadvantages to fitting nuclear hardware to the motor vehicle, one such problem is the changing of the power to weight ratio, the more weight your super car carries, the slower it will go. And naturally there is the carnage factor, if your create mass destruction in the name of going faster then the likelihood of getting blood and flesh on your pride and joy (road kill can be a swine to get out of alloy wheels…) and of course the scratch factor must be considered while debris could blemish the polished paintwork.
These days, I drive more sedate machinery (more a choice than fall from grace) and such ideas are not in my thinking. However, I mention the subject as it reared its head over my Bank Holiday weekend. Bank Holidays are synonymous with traffic queues, but usually I have my methods of avoiding them. This weekend though I’ve spent my time in South Wales, approximately 180 miles from Steak House (Nr Liverpool). Of those 180 miles, none are more stressful than those spent on the M6, through Birmingham. This is a nasty stretch of road. Being confident I set out at 12.30 on Friday for a three hour drive. An hour into the trip and I was stationary.
If I had hair long enough, it would have been forcibly removed.
Manfully, with the benefit of Hilton Park services, I struggled through to the sanctuary of junction 8 and the M5. It was raining hard at this point, but my spirits were buoyant, I had cleared the worst, although three junctions had taken me an hour and a half to navigate. I knew it was my day when I encountered roadwork’s on the M5, which backed me up further. These essential works dropped me like a stone to 50mph, amidst driving rain and 5 mobile speed cameras. 50 mph has never seemed so slow.
With Gatso out in force, progress was slow although by camera number 4, all my fellow journeymen had discovered they were dummies. So as a throng of vehicles encountered number 5, optimism and speed was up. Now, also, are the Governments funds and numerous insurance premiums, the bastard was real. Thankfully, the illumination of a builders van 30 yards ahead of me enabled me to tickle my newly installed brakes and evade the only points that don’t make prizes.
Following the road works came the ritual rubbernecking that follows a minor prang from people slamming their right foots down after the cameras and losing control of their shopping trolleys. By now, I’m in a nasty mood, but leg three of the trip goes without problem, until I’m 10 miles out from my destination.
One thing to know, Welsh drivers are absolute lunatics. Get in the way of one at your peril. I have discovered that there are only five slow drivers in South Wales, and all five got in my way on the approach to safe haven. They worked shifts, as one turned off, another appeared. It was at this most frustrating time that I harked back to the halcyon days of unmetered power under the right heel, and again considered the need for missile systems to be fitted to certain cars.
For the record, the return journey last night was free of traffic (but not rain) and took three hours.