Monday, March 13, 2006

A nice view of Taal Lake on a sunny day


Project_timemachine safe and sound at home after a trouble free drive from Tagaytay :)

The place where we stayed for the night - Discovery Suites Tagaytay (I highly recommend their Tinapa Omelet)

Spare ignition coil, contact point, and fuses...check. Rachet set, wrenches, and pliers...check. Spare tire, two liters of motor oil, brake fluid, and fire extinguisher...check. Fire extinguisher??? What the??? This might be overkill, but better to be sure than a roasted roadster...as I've heard.

It was 7 am when we left the house. Destination: Tagaytay. It was a beautiful day for top down motoring...the sun was out and not a cloud in sight. "Pre-flight check" routine: checked - coolant level in the radiator and reservoir, oil level, cooling system plumbing, brake and clutch fluid levels, high tension wires and distributor, and tire pressure)...no problems encountered. I lowered the soft top and with my favorite Tili hat on...I fired-up project_timemachine. Warmed up the engine for about three minutes and the idle settled into a silent low tone hum. What a perfect day it was.

Filled-up the roadster to the brim with Shell's finest and made our way to Tagaytay (Dad riding shotgun and a chase car with Mom and Sis behind). We made our way to C5 nearing SLEX and I spotted a Karmann Ghia coupe parked at the emergency lane with its chase car behind...looks like engine trouble (the rear engine hood was open and the driver was tinkering something). I immediately checked the water temperature gauge...it read 190F...normal. I thought to myself, "That would definitely ruin a sunny day." Still we "marched on" to SLEX and then Sta. Rosa without incident. I kept my cruising speed at about 70 kph @ 2500 rpm so as not to stress the engine and tranny. Note: exhaust note was excellent...well balanced! The engine was strong and offered good pulling power on the slopes even in third. The cooling system, brakes, steering, and tranny all worked in perfect harmony. The steering was light, but firm. The brakes were hard, but had great feel. The tranny's synchros provided smooth shifting. Driving the roadster without a hitch was indeed a treat! Mission accomplished! The day couldn't have been any better. All those long hours of maintenance, head scratching, repairs, and some more head scratching was definitely worth it.

The view of the countryside from a top-down convertible was remarkably different and exhilarating. It offers a more involving driving experience. The rice fields and pine trees seemed nearer and greener and so did Taal Lake at the distance. The smell of fresh flowers from the flower stands along the streets constantly "greeted" us as we cruised by...these experiences are really better felt than explained.

Several enthusiast cars were also present and roaming about Tagaytay - a silver Porsche 911, a red 924, a pair of red Z3's, a couple of Bimmer sedans (including two 1984 E20 body two door sport sedans), and (icing on the cake) an immaculately restored 1950's turquoise MGA complete with chromed luggage rack at the back...too bad it wasn't a chick driving ;)

All in all...that was one heck of a drive! Project_timemachine passed with flying colors! :)

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