Spring Drive with 350Z
Yesterday, for the first time in several weeks, my redline '03 track model got exercised on several trips around town. Here in Denver, we get the majority of snowfall in late winter and a week ago were buried under a huge snow that blew through. But most of it melted off quickly, and I enjoyed driving the Z again.
What I noticed were the things we take for granted if the Z is a DD. Things like the precise control that having a clutch offers when stopped and making a turn. While my preorder Z has over 100K on it now, the clutch still has a precise bite point that gets it moving right when you need power. The Z still uses the original flywheel, but by simply replacing the original clutch disc and using heel-toe rev matching has kept the system in great shape.
Beyond the precise steering and handling, I found myself wondering about how much I enjoyed NOT having the latest stability and safety features of 2019 cars. There was no warning from the pre-collision braking system as I let off the gas and judged the closing rate on a turning car in front of me. Nor was there a shake of the steering wheel (lane keeping cameras) when I flicked around a lumbering truck blocking the road. Setting CC on the highway meant I had to use my long distance depth perception to judge following distances, and not rely on radar or sonar sensors embedded in the front bumper.
Beyond all these things, my springtime drive around Denver made me again realize how much the Z33 design gives me everything I want and desire in a sportscar and nothing more. The complexity and expense of many features now standard on 2019 vehicles seem to pale compared to the inherent goodness of the Z.