Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • Civilian EVOC

    Posted on March 28th, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    I’ve been wanting to see how a RWD car (like the G8) handles when the rear end gets loose for quite a while. I have never owned a RWD car before the G8 (especially one with 361HP), so didn’t really know what to expect once the rear-end traction was reduced (by acceleration or driving conditions). I’ve done a few ‘spirited’ accelerations and had a taste for what it feels like, but was far from comfortable knowing with the whole thing.

    So, in a hope to get a better understanding of the mechanics behind the G8 GT I decided to take the Civilian EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operator Course) that is offered by the Alameda County Sheriff. I figured I would learn a bunch and get a chance to drive on the skid pad… besides, the $200 course fee is less than a ticket for doing donuts in a parking lot!



    The course started at 08:00 and we went over some basic ideas. Stuff like defensive driving, things to watch out for on the roads, etc. Nothing too ground breaking, but good stuff to know. There was a significant discussion about ABS vs. Threshold breaking and how your driving needs to change with one system compared to the other. We also spent some time talking about Rear End Cheat and Front End Swing (much more on this later). After the classroom portion we (there were only 6 of us in the class) headed out to the driving course.



    Accident Avoidance:

    You start driving down a lane of cones towards a pair of over-head lights. When you get close, one of the lights turns red and the other green. You are then to swerve into the green lane then back into the center lane… without applying the brakes. Once you avoid the accident you stop hard (force ABS).


    The first time through we went 25mph, then upped it to 27mph, and finally 30mph. All three times I had the right lane turn green, so I wish I’d have had at least one in the left lane, but it’s quite interesting how much of a difference 5mph makes. The 25mph run was cake… but at 30mph the tires were squealing and steering input was much more dramatic. It was really fun to thrown around a 4000lbs police cruiser, at speed, in a controlled environment!



    It’s simple… just drive down the first lane, come back to the top, and back-up through the second lane. What makes it difficult is that the cones are spaced just wide enough for the cruisers. This drill deals with the Rear End Cheat and Front End Swing.


    The first trip through going forward I went too fast and also turned in too soon… so much so that I even hit a cone! The key is to stay wide and turn in when the delineation cone (the tall ones marking the corners) is at your shoulder (I was turning when it was at the mirror). This allows for enough room to account for Rear End Cheat:


    So, as you can see… just because your front wheel makes it around the cone (blue trace), doesn’t mean your rear wheel (and the side of your car) will (green/black trace). This explains why every morning I (barely) drop the right rear tire off the curb when I exit my place… I’m just not taking into consideration the Rear End Cheat.

    Backing-up required me to take into consideration Front End Swing. Just visualize driving reversing in the previous diagram. So, when you are turning around an obstical on the passenger’s side of the car… when you clear the rear wheel (blue/black trace) the driver’s side front wheel (red trace) swings out wider than the rear wheel did (as does the front bumper). The key here is to stay close to the inside of the turn (giving the front end more move to swing), and once the delineation cone is at the rear axle (the pivot point when turning while reversing) you crank the wheel and point the rear towards the next apex (so to stay as close as you can for the next set of turns).

    The backing-up turned out to be the weak point for most of the people in the course… there was always along line of people waiting to go. I had no problems in this part. I guess I have to thank my Father for throwing me the keys to the Suburban when I got my permit… and then forcing me to drive around backwards in a parking lot for an hour.


    J-Turn (w/ABS):

    One of the things that was heavily discussed in the classroom was ABS. This exercise was designed to turn us into ‘poor breaker’ (not breaking before entering a turn) and to show us how you can still turn under heavy breaking with ABS. We were instructed to drive towards a wide 90deg turn at various speeds (25mph, 30mph, and 35mph) and to turn-in towards the apex. Once at the apex, we were to slam on the brakes (they described it at 10 out of 10, with 0 being no brakes and 10 being trying to put your foot through the floorboard). The key to this one is keeping the car to the outside before turning-in towards the apex… and keeping your eyes focused on the apex and beyond.


    Now this was fun! I just wish they didn’t have us ‘panic breaking’ to a stop… even at 35mph I didn’t really need them all that much to make the corner. The instructor reprimanded me for not ‘stomping’ on the brakes (10 of 10: what this drill was to allow us to experience), but then complimented me on the threshold breaking technique (7, 8, 9).

    One thing that I did learn during this exercise is that I cross-over my hands/arms when making turns… rather than shuffle steering. The first run at 25mph it wasn’t an issue, but at 35mph I was at the maximum of what I could turn (with no room to add more steering input). The second run at 30mph I really concentrated on the shuffle steering and it when much better. I will need to practice this one over time.


    T-Box & Parallel Parking:


    The T-Box fairly straightforward drill, you drive into the box towards the left side… then back-up… and drive out of the box. This drill again worked with Rear End Cheat and Front End Swing. Same concepts as the other drills, just keep to the outside when going forward and the inside when backing-up.

    Parallel Parking is just what it sounds like. I was really surprised how well I did with this given my complete lack of experience with parallel parking. The first run I did back into the cone (car) at the rear of the space, but once I learned where the trunk of the car was I did fine. By the second run I was feeling quite confident. Now, don’t ask me to parallel park in San Francisco, on a hill, on the wrong side of the street!



    This drill had us driving into one ‘driveway’ then backing into another. The driveways were very narrow, so you had to be very good with the car control. The neat part was the idea of ‘getting ahead’ when backing in by turning away from the driveway, ‘pointing’ the rear of the car where you wanted to go. Yes, it sounds simple… but I know it will help me backing into parking spaces (like at G8 Meets).


    Slalom Course (Forward & Reverse):

    Head down going from one side to the next… then come back and do it again backwards.


    Going forwards was a no-brainer (for me), even did it without needing to touch the brakes (I kept going back for more throttle). Backing-up was quite a bit harder (and like before there was a huge line). I found that while I was able to make the turns towards the passenger’s side, it was seeing the driver’s side cones that rough. A real pain in the neck, literally. The idea for backing-up is to start your turn when the cone was blocked by the C-Pillar (winshield = A, door = B, rear window = C), which puts it right by the rear axle. You also want to turn the wheel quickly and make zig-zags, rather than wider archs. The first run I did OK, but had a tough time picking-up the last few cones… but I didn’t hit anything. The second and third runs went much smoother (didn’t even need to touch the brakes).


    Skid Pad:

    They saved the best for last! There were two police cruisers with slick (bald) tires on the rear. This allowed for very little traction on the rear end… and the chance to do some slide recovery drills. The instructor described what he wanted us to do (which was totally unclear) and then demonstrated it (made it clear). We were to drive a ‘belt tightened’ oval, oversteering when making the Turns.


    I was one of the first two people to take the course (two at a time). We also had a passenger (for the first time of the day), making things quite a bit more ‘stressful’. So, first trip around the turn and what do I do? Totally loop it… almost a 360… with no control what-so-ever. I felt really bad for my passenger, but she did well. After a few laps I started to get a much better feel for the car and what is needed to get around the corners smoothly. Like the instructor said, “Dance with the car”. I did make the mistake to not look where I wanted to go, and not just out the windshield (with no regard to where the car was going). I had several runs where I did the entire turn in a smooth ‘drift’.

    Half way though our 10 minutes on the skid pad we reversed direction on the course (from clockwise to counter-clockwise). This worked much better for me, as I could pass the inside cones very close to the driver’s side door without the risk of hitting them. Sadly, my time behind the wheel was up quickly (despite being given an extra 5 minutes).

    Now, I’m a terrible passenger when driving on the roads… and now I had to be a passenger inside a car on a skid pad! Turns out it wasn’t too bad. Maybe it was because I was helping guide/instruct… rather than stomp on an imaginary brake peddle! The person I was with had a hard time keeping up speed going into the corners, so wasn’t getting totally though them… but it got much better towards the end of her time.

    So I was done driving, but one of the other students (who was having some difficulties throughout the day) needed a passenger. I guess I made a good impression on the instructor because he asked me to ride with her and give her some instructions/tips as we went around. Unfortunately the driver wasn’t being aggressive enough with the throttle, so was entering the corners too slow and not giving enough throttle to induce oversteer (despite me shouting “GAS, GAS, GAS!”). The one time she looped the rear I congratulated her and encouraged her to do it again. The instructor took over in-car, but it didn’t seem to make much difference.



    The course was over and we had a quick de-brief. I know that I did most of the exercises without any problems, but it’s always good to get this sort of experience in a controlled environment. I know I hit a few cones, which if it was “the real world” would have been curbs or cars, so I’m glad it was just a course and not the G8 GT.
    The biggest thing I need to work on is shuffle steering. The instructors tried to get it across that activities like steering are habit, and it will take time to break bad ones. When I drove home I made sure that I practiced shuffle steering. I will try to do the same in the future, but it will be interesting to see how it works on some of my more ‘spirited’ drives.
    Overall I think the course was very worth while. I only wish there was an ‘advanced’ civilian EVOC course… or at least something that would get me back on the skid pad for some more oversteer driving.


  • Laundry Day

    Posted on March 21st, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    I was not planning on taking a drive this weekend, so far as to tell people at work that I was just going to stay home, but I found myself drawn to the G8 GT. I knew I was going to head to my parent’s house for laundry/dinner, so I figured I’d take the long way.

    Total Distance: 112 miles
    Driving Time: 4 hours 26 min

    View Larger Map


    I figured that I would stick to the local curvy roads today and not do anything too extreme. As I was starting out I noticed a few nice BMW and Mercs leaving Hooters, but no one was headed my way. At this point it started to sprinkle. I hadn’t even thought to check the weather, but who cares… I’m not a witch!

    In general, nothing too crazy. I had to deal with some traffic on Foothill Rd, so decided to just enjoy the drive. I wish I could have had some more fun towards the Sunol end of the road, but there is always next time. I really think in the summer this road would be a great place to think about some car-to-car photos… there are lots of trees that hang over the road.

    I was going to Livermore to do laundry, but rather than take Hwy-84 (which is no longer an exciting drive), I headed north to Highland Rd. While driving through Pleasanton wasn’t too thrilling, Highland Rd. is a fun stretch that I am driving more and more.

    So I stopped at the Parent’s place and threw in my laundry. While I waited for the wash cycle to finish I took the time to eat some lunch (potatoes with chili). It was a nice little pit-stop.

    Once the clothes were in the dryer, I headed out towards the hills East of Livermore. Once I turned onto Cross Rd. I found myself stuck behind a STUDENT DRIVER! Ok, I understand you are a student driver… but the speed limit was 45mph and you were taking corners at less than 30mph! I guess this was as good a place as any to learn to drive… something other than a straight shot with little other traffic… but come on, just pull over and let me go. I’m sure I was making him nervous, but maybe that’s what the instructor wanted… the student driver to deal with ‘distractions’ behind them.

    At N. Flynn Rd. I was able to get some free road, and it was very fun. At the 90deg left from South to North Flynn Rd. I decided to try out the Manual Shift mode. I’m constantly surprised when I look at the gear indicator (in sports mode) and see that I’m running in 5th or 6th gear when going 30-50mph… I’d really figure I should be in 3rd or 4th gear. The nice thing about the G8’s power is that acceleration is quick even while in a high gear, but I digress. So I decided to manually downshift into the corner. I figured that the corner would be taken nicely in 2nd gear, and I was right! Coming out of the corner I rolled into the throttle a little too quickly and the rear end started to slide side-to-side under power. It was really fun, and the G8 GT was quite stable/controllable… even when getting squirrely.

    After going up the Altamont Pass I headed out into the central valley. The weather was raining on-and-off, but I was having fun and didn’t need to be home for a few hours. I went down to to Corral Hollow and returned to Livermore. There was a VW behind me most of the way, and I’m sure both of us were having some fun. Once to Carnegie Park we got stuck behind some slow moving cars/trucks. There is a really nice (steep) climb and decent, but I’ve not yet been able to get through this area with clear road ahead. Maybe next time…

    I still had some time to drive, so decided to head towards Wente Winery. The road was clear, but doesn’t really go anywhere… just an out-and-back. After swinging by Sycamore Grove I headed home to get my laundry and have some dinner. I was really surprised to see how dirty my car was after the drive, but at least it’s raining.

  • Pi Day (3.14) Drive

    Posted on March 14th, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    With the talk of an April Greater SF Bay Area Meet on, I wanted to get out and try the route that I threw-out. It’s basically the South to North drive up Redwood Rd. from the Playing Hookie drive. I was quite interested to see what the bicyclist traffic would be like on a Saturday, as well as a few of the roads in the area… potentially resulting in a nice loop.

    Total Distance: 114 miles
    Driving Time: 4 hours 6 min

    View Larger Map


    Last night I had not decided if I would go for a drive today, so did not set an alarm to wake-up. I figured that I would let myself sleep in a bit, and hit the road closer to the time a cruise would be. I didn’t get out of the house until Noon, so there were quite a few cars on the road… including a Magnetic Grey Metallic G8 Sedan!

    I wanted to get onto Redwood Rd quickly, so took I-580W rather than some back-roads. Once on Redwood Rd. I realized that the last time I drove this road I didn’t pay much attention to the speed limit. Much of the road is 25-35mph, but during a ‘spirited’ drive I was doing about 45mph… not too bad. Several areas would be fun at 35mph, but they are a blast just a little faster. I also found that I like downhill stretches of road much more than the uphill ones. When traveling uphill you really have to keep your eyes open for bicyclists (as they are going really slow)… compared to downhills where they are often going faster than you are! Oh yeah, on a Saturday there are easily 10x more bicyclists on the roads… they are also in pairs/groups that make passing a real pain.

    Thinking of a car cruise, Pinehurst Rd. is really too tight for a string of cars when you have to think about bicycles. Also, there are several sections where… most noticeably going North (granted just at the end)… you find yourself on the inside of curves having to watch-out for the walls of rocks, bicycles, hikers, and all sorts of other things that may want to be in your way on the road. More than likely, I wouldn’t suggest this stretch of road for a cruise… I’m sure there is another way to loop around missing the really tight stuff.

    After Pinehurst Rd, I did the now somewhat familiar route of Skyline Blvd and Grizzly Peak Rd (I still love that name). There was no one at ‘The Wall’ today, but the view was still quite stunning.

    After leaving Tilden Park on Wildcar Canyon Rd. I had a wonderful experience with a guy on a motorcycle. I saw him come up behind me, so I pulled over to let him by. Once he made the pass I was quickly chasing after him. The downhill stretch to San Pablo Dam Rd. is nice and curvy and I was having a blast keeping up! I think this is the hardest I’ve pushed the G8 GT (I couldn’t tell you what speed I was going… my eyes were on the road) but the rear end started to get a little ‘light’ in a few corners (about half-way through I contemplated what the road would be like with a Pedders Track II Package).

    Bear Creek Rd. is a wonderful piece of road… 50mhp speed limit and wide shoulders for the bicyclists. Make sure to watch your speed on the downhills, but on the way up the hill you will need some throttle to keep up to speed. While not too curvy, this piece of road is worth the drive… just nice and relaxing. It also connects to Alhambra Valley Rd, which loops around (West) to San Pablo Dam Rd., but can also go (East) heading towards Marsh Creek Rd. The loop around Briones and San Pablo Reservoirs is well worth it… all nice driving roads.

    Unfortunately, once you get past Wildcat Canyon Rd… San Pablo Dam Rd. turns into something boring. Maybe it’s because I was stuck behind a street sweeper, but in general it’s just too populated. I wanted to drive Acalanes Rd. because of a nice uphill hairpin, and while it was fun, it was not worth the trips on Hwy24.

    Now, for a great little downhill stretch that I will work into many drives in this location… Claremont Ave. Watch out for bicyclists, and I don’t think I’d drive UP this road, but it’s a fun little downhill.

    I wanted to drive down Skyline Blvd a bit more to see how it is past the Pinehurst Rd. turn-off. The trip from Claremont to Skyline was less than interesting, but brought me back to the summers spent at the LBNL Advanced Light Source. Snake Rd/Shepherd Canyon Rd. has a cool little hairpin turn at the top, but probably not worth connecting into a loop.

    Skyline Blvd. is a nice curvy road and goes quite a ways past where I wanted to turn-off… Yes, I missed the turn because I was watching the BMW M3 in my rear view mirror. There is a relaxing stretch of divided 4-lane road where you can easily drive from lane-to-lane apexing curves… but it doesn’t go anywhere interesting (other than a golf course if you need to use the restroom). After I realized I missed the turn I wanted (I can’t wait for my GPS!) I headed back up Skyline to Redwood Rd.

    The connection road from Skyline to Redwood, a stretch I missed in the past because of driving on Pinehurst, is very nice. Just another reason why Redwood Rd. is my new favorite in the East Bay for driving. The name fits it well… driving through the redwood trees is a nice change (especially in the summer).

    A caution for driving on Redwood Rd., there was a motorcycle cop at the entrance of Anthony Chabot Regional Park. The speed limit was 25mph and I was going about 35mph… and had no problems… but never know what is going land you a speeding ticket.

    The rest of the drive was rather mundane, other than seeing a Hot White G8 GT (that needed to be washed) pulling in to get gas at a Chevron station in Castro Valley. I would have pulled in to fill-up (even though I still had a half-tank), but I wasn’t in the right lane.

    I will make a few changes to this route to avoid many of the ‘poor’ areas and see if I can put together a nice loop for a cruise.

  • Upgrades on the Way

    Posted on March 13th, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    It didn’t take too long… less than one month… and I’ve ordered my first upgrade for the G8 GT. One of the first things I read about the G8 was the ability to integrate audio/video into the in-dash stereo/monitor. In the process, I learned about the ability to have a back-up camera that activates when you put the car in reverse. Given that the G8 GT lives in a parking garage that is a bit tight for maneuvering, this would be something I’d use every day. Well, today I pulled the trigger and purchased the required parts (Video in Motion/Back-up Camera Kit) from JHP Vehicle Enhancements. In addition to the back-up camera, this will allow me (with a few more adapters) to plug my iPod into the car’s stereo/monitor.

    I had originally planned on waiting for my trial XM subscription to expire before getting the VIM/Back-up Camera, as I have found a few stations that get me by without my hardwired iPod, but I couldn’t wait after seeing JHP’s new (so new it’s not even out) In-Dash GPS Kit:


    This totally factory kit allows for the mounting of a 4.3″ GPS (like many of the Garmin Nuvi units) in the dash. I had read about a GPS install lower on the center console (next to the cig. lighter) in front of the shifter… but it’s not very functional. Also, given I have a 2009 G8 GT… without the ‘Atari Gauges’… it removes the (stupid) little shelf over the center air vents that has no real function. This kit will require pulling the dash apart, but it will be great fun!

    I’m for sure going to be taking some before, during, and after photos… and writing up a report on the installs once all the parts arrive. I can hardly wait!

  • G8 and GTO

    Posted on March 13th, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    There is someone at work who has a 2005 Cyclone Grey GTO that occasionally parks it in the lot in front of the building where my office is. Since I purchased the G8 GT, only once have I been in the lot at the same time… and of course I parked right next to him. Today after work I was driving home, just about to get on the I-580W, and I saw the GTO in my rear view mirror. He was not going to get on the freeway, so I decided to take the scenic way home!

    I slowed down a little and let the GTO get along side. The passenger was looking over my car, so I can only assume that they were talking about the G8. It’s a nice feeling to have someone interested in your car… not really something that I’ve ever felt before.

    I had hoped that we could line-up at one of the many traffic lights on N. Vasco Rd, but there was never the opportunity. At one point the GTO got stuck behind a slow moving car and made a quick pass (to catch-up with me). It was great to run down the road, a G8 and GTO!

    I decided that I shouldn’t drive all the way up Vasco (a REALLY long way home) and took the last left onto Dalton Ave. I hoped the GTO would follow for a little fun on the back roads, but I didn’t expect it. The rest of the drive was fun too, but heading into commute traffic made for a less than relaxing drive… unlike the road at the same time on a weekend.

  • “Hey, I like your G8”

    Posted on March 11th, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    I was walking through the halls at work today and heard someone say “Hey, I like your G8”. Of course I stopped and turned around to address the wonderful comment. Turns out the guy has been looking at buying a 2010 Mustang or Camaro. I gave my $0.02 of course… highlighting the features of the G8 GT that I like most (361HP and 385 lb-ft of torque).

    I think is is looking for something 2-Door, so the ‘refined’ and ‘grown-up’ nature of the 4-Door G8 GT may not be his style. To be honest, I don’t really know if I’d want him to buy a G8… One of the things I like best about the G8 is that it’s rare. Having two of them parked next to each other in the parking lot would be cool… but I’d no longer be unique.

  • Skyline – “The Wall”

    Posted on March 6th, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    After reading about Skyline Blvd. online, I was really looking forward to stopping at “The Wall” to try and get some shots of the G8 GT with the SF Bay in the background. The weather worked-out very nicely (no bright sun, no fog, etc.) and there were no other cars parked ‘cluttering’ my shots.

    [svgallery name=”G8_20090306_Skyline”]

  • Playing Hookie

    Posted on March 6th, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    I woke-up this morning and there was no rain falling… I’m ditching-out on work to take a drive!

    Total Distance: 149 miles
    Driving Time: 5 hours 38 min

    View Larger Map


    I have been looking forward to driving on several of these roads. I decided that a Friday drive would probably work out better than one on the weekend, due to minimal cyclists. Things worked-out well as I only had to pass a handful of cyclists and there was plenty of room to do it.

    That reminds me, the roads that were in great condition. I tried to pick roads that were all two-lanes, and I did a great job at it. Some of the roads even had hard shoulders! Also, despite all the recent rain there was very little ‘slide’ debris on the roads. Other than a few places with a little gravel or dirt, the roads were well paved (all of the roads in Contra Costa Country were perfect)… if only all the curvy roads around the East Bay were like this.

    I started-out with a somewhat ‘normal’ trip towards Livermore. This time rather than just driving on I-580E I’d take Highland Rd., which was a great choice. The road was all two-lanes with some gentle curves and nice green rolling hills. Unfortunately, when I pulled onto Vasco I was stuck in the slow traffic (stupid semi-truck).

    Fortunately, once I turned onto Camino Diablo, I was able to get some clear road ahead of me. Marsh Creek Rd. was very nice as well, until I got stuck behind another slow moving vehicle. This time I pulled-off the road to give myself some more room… and proceeded to hit a nice big pothole. I love the tire pressure monitoring system on the G8 as it reassured me that I didn’t blow a tire. Once I had some more room I started out again… and it was much more enjoyable not looking at the back of a Saturn that was going 25mph! Oh, but watch out for the Clayton Police officer who was sitting at the side of the road at the entrance to town.

    At this point I made a loop around Concord to drive on Kirker Pass Rd, which was a total waste. While Bailey Rd was fun with some nice elevation changes, all the time spent driving in towns just killed the short bit of fun. Ygnacio Valley Rd didn’t help either, as getting stuck in lunchtime traffic in Walnut Creek sucked big time! I need to find a better connecting route from Marsh Creek Rd. that doesn’t include a bunch of city driving.

    The driving didn’t become enjoyable until after I was on Reliez Valley Rd/Alhambra Valley Rd. More of the two-lane curves through green hills. I did get stuck behind another slow vehicle, but it was close to turning onto Bear Creek Rd., so not a big deal (even though I did pull-off to wait for a few minutes, just to turn off two corners later).

    The next few roads were very nice to drive on. I didn’t see another car for quite some time and the handful of cyclists were not a problem. More of the ‘standard’ curves, but the closer to Berkeley I go the greater the elevation changes were. Wild Canyon Rd. had more cyclists and tourists, and I’m sure it would be packed on a weekend, but it was enjoyable. The road runs around the top of the ridge and there are some nice trees covering the road (something different than the grassy hills).

    Once out of Tilden Regional Park, I turned onto Grizzly Peak Rd. (how cool is that name!) and headed south. The first bit was residential, but it turned into a nice curvy road. While I was trying to concentrate on driving, the view to the west was spectacular! I stopped at ‘The Wall‘ to take a few photos.

    Back on the road I found myself on one of the greatest stretches of road imaginable… Grizzly Peak Rd to Skyline Blvd to (my new favorite) Pinehurst Rd. to Redwood Rd. These roads curve around the Berkeley hills through peaks… all the way down to valleys with redwood trees. There were extreme elevation changes as well as several hairpin turns (and I’m talking 180deg with elevation changes as well). Unfortunately, I think these roads will be crawling with cyclists when the weather warms up a little (and it’s not a Friday afternoon). While the roads are two-lane and nicely paved, there are the times when making a pass becomes difficult (due to a blind corner… or a bike on a wicked downhill doing 45mph in a 25mph zone). I still think I’d give these roads a shot this summer, they were just too good to not drive on!

    The really nice thing about this route is it dumped me out in Castro Valley (just over the hill from home). I think starting here and driving North would be just as fun. At this point I made another loop to drive on a pair of roads that was a total waste of time. I went up Crow Canyon Rd (nothing but traffic) and came back on Norris Canyon Rd (much better, but only on it’s own). I took E. Castro Valley Blvd. to Dublin Canyon Rd. rather than heading home on I-580E to get back home, which was OK (not a freeway that’s all).

    Overall the drive was fun. The G8 GT did an awesome job on the curves (as always) and behaved very nicely being thrown around tight corners… especially for a >4000lbs 4-Door ‘sedan’. There were a few things that I would definitely change the next time I head out that direction (like the city driving).

    After a little fine tuning, I think this will become a regular drive for me.

  • Questions from the Guards

    Posted on March 3rd, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    As I drove into work I was honored into a special club… one reserved for either hot females or owners of cool cars. I actually had one of the guards ask me, “Is this one of those new Pontiacs? How do you like it?” Typically all I get is a “Have a good day”, but to be acknowledged above and beyond by someone who must ‘see’ thousands of people a day was kinda cool.

    I have been waiting in anticipation for one of the guards to comment on the G8, but until now it had not happened. I told the guard that it was a ’09 G8 GT and that I love it (which I do). He commented on how it looked like an Acura… to which I pointed out that it has a 6.0L V8 (not some wimpy 3.2L V6). He asked about gas mileage… and I pulled-up my average (18.6MPG). The guard even called over to his buddy at the other shack to ask what he thought of the G8! At this point a line of cars had formed behind me (which the other guard commented on), so I drove off.

    While it may seem trivial, this sort of attention is new for me. Having driven less than special cars the rest of my life, knowing that people are interested in what I am driving is very cool… rather than mundane.