Pegged needles are forever seductive.
When I first reported to driver simulator class in 1978, I ran into the room with glee, because this was a necessary step on the pathway to a driver’s license, and the freedom (and British cars) that came with it.
In the basement of the Archbishop Stepinac High School I ran to the first available seat in what looked like a well-anchored bumper car. This would be my first car, in a sense, even though it never moved. We were to simply follow along from these seats while a “Leave it to Beaver” era driver education movie played, with bouncing balls and doors opening when you least expected. We were to “drive” along with the film, and respond accordingly. Our cranky instructor may have seen this film a few too many times, but he did teach me about covering the brake, and about how much time that can save, so I thank him for that. But technology was so absent from this equipment that I would swear the entire modern video game industry was inspired by these prehistoric simulators.
We each had our own controls, but the period GM steering wheels freewheeled and the gas pedal didn’t seem connected to anything. However, if you floored it, which we all did upon sitting down, the horizontal speedo climbed all the way to the far side of the dial, about 120, and that felt really good, even though it made no difference at all when the Impala in the movie pulled out into your path, or the lumber fell off the truck you were following down Elm Street.
We are all hopelessly addicted to the top end.
And so I found myself on the highway this week in our Frog-E electric, which we have re-geared for max acceleration. The higher gearing means higher RPMs, which is good with our particular electric motor, which can run up to 10,000 RPMs. I’ve driven more than 250 different Bugeyes. This was the first one I have held at red line for my entire journey. It was smooth and effortless. And also a whole lot of fun.