Mini-van – The Ultimate Performance Enhancer

I love just about anything that has wheels but, in particular, I have been a huge fan of the Porsche 911 since I was a kid. I still remember holding a model of a 911 as a young child and wistfully wondering what it would be like to own one.  These were cars for rich people – which we most certainly were not!

Performance driving became a passion of mine from the moment I first got behind the wheel, and if I wasn’t upgrading my car, then I was using snow-covered areas as make-shift skid pans or spending money on track days.  I then turned to the ‘dark-side’ once I discovered that motorcycles offered a far cheaper way to get in touch with The Force, and I still dabble in those black arts today with my BMW R1150GS.

Joanne tried to save my soul in 2005 when an alignment of the stars (a mid-life crisis, a wedding anniversary and vodka induced spousal approval 🙂 ) brought a ‘pre-owned’ 2003 911 C4S my way. That car is now my daily driver, clocking up around 15k miles each year.

The car is fast but, after months of every day use, it all  starts to feel a little…ordinary.

I used to solve this problem by buying new cars, or by spending money that I could ill afford on performance parts.  Carburetors, tune up kits, cold air intakes, free-flow exhausts and that gold standard for teenagers, the K&N air filter, have all seen use on vehicles I have owned.

But a few years ago I stumbled upon the secret of getting my jolly meter back into the red without spending large sums of money on things that do little more than invalidate the car’s warranty.  The solution…use someone else’s car for a couple of weeks!

I first achieved this trick with the use of my father-in-law’s Hyundai G350 a few years ago, and I have just detoxed again by using a rented VW Routan mini-van to take in the delights of Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Big Sky and the mountains of Colorado on our recent family vacation.  Since my kids have seen the film RV, the van was immediately dubbed the ‘Rolling Turd’ for the duration of the trip.

After two weeks of driving The Turd, I came home to re-discover the joys of my C4S.  Just backing down the driveway was enough to let me know that I was in something a little different and, once underway, even the slightest touch on the throttle would have the car leaping forward like…umm…a very leapy thing.   It is so addictive that other road users must think I’m drunk, because I find myself speeding up and slowing down again repeatedly, just for the heck of it.

My new enhancement method is far cheaper than a new car or adding a supercharger, and is unlikely to leave me stranded at the side of the road with oil dripping from the engine!

So, only one interesting question now remains.  If I have two vehicles at home that can cover the zero to sixty sprint in five seconds or less, then why is it that my first speeding ticket in ten years was acquired behind the wheel of a rebadged Town and Country mini-van? Doh!

Despite the speeding ticket, I have a hard time visualizing my kids longingly holding a hot-wheels Routan Mini-van and dreaming of the future.


Filed under Automobiles and motorcycles, Travel

3 responses to “Mini-van – The Ultimate Performance Enhancer

  1. Joanne

    And seeing their Dad being pulled over by a cop for speeding is not a good visual either! Naughty boy…. 🙂

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