I had to take Her Majesty the Hotness to the dealer for service last week. She had developed this annoying little habit of pulling sharply to the right at high RPMs when the accelerator was punched, and then lurching back to the left when stepping off the accelerator. Pretty disconcerting at, ahem, 100 miles per hour.

I braced for the worst.

The verdict? Turns out the right rear tire was just a few pounds of pressure less than the left rear tire. Apparently, in high-torque, high-revving (and, apparently high-strung and temperamental) rear-wheel drive autos, this minor pressure difference affects performance significantly. In Formula One and NASCAR vehicles, it often sends them into the wall.

Well, at least I was out only thirty bucks. Good girl…

We did get a little bit of a surprise, however.

When shipped from the factory, temporary spacers are installed in the springs of the car’s suspension to avoid wear-and-tear during transit. Babycakes never had her’s removed by the original dealer!

The car was always exceptionally stiff, which I always ascribed to the intentional design and engineering of her species as a torsionally rigid street racer built to hold fast turns and curves tight. But she was always particularly teeth-rattling on rough roads and railroad crossings, and just a few hours in the cockpit left you exhausted with the beginnings of a headache.

Now we know why.

Anyway, she rides like a different car — softer, sweeter and more liquid — yet still aggressively edgy and stiff where it counts, which is in the frame, not the suspension.

In return, last night she gave me one of those happy-to-be-alive-aren’t-I-lucky-to-live-in-Vermont evenings. Clear and crisp, where every color seems more vivid, the air more nourishing, and your fellow humans less annoying than usual. We made a loop around Lake Dunmore and then straight home.

Tonight, she gets a bath.

AuthorJoseph Fusco