It was immediately apparent that Newman Car Creations came to the Shootout with their "A" game. This was a car that emphasized and rewarded "slow in, fast out" driving and made it look easy. The initial offset slalom element had me sliding into the entry slot, then quickly matting the accelerator pedal all the while looking for, and steering around, the next apex cone. Again, no fuss and no drama.
Directional lane changes to the crossover at the end got a little dicey as using the brakes found them good on initial bite but grabby under a hard pedal. Light but steady brake application worked best and made turn-in, mid-corner, and corner exit much smoother. Power was huge and got the car down the fast transitional left-right-left section quickly to the finish. What I liked best was the feedback this car offered and hard to believe this came from a two-ton station wagon! Looking ahead was easy.
I loved every minute behind the wheel of this car. The ride quality was great and the wagon felt like it had some body roll, but hell, it's a friggin' wagon! A compliant car should roll some and this obviously didn't affect the suspension or steering performance. Just think-this car, a couple of hours, Mulholland Drive, a GoPro camera pointed out the back capturing motorstuff getting downsized, and no cops ... doesn't get any better than this, methinks.-Mary Pozzi
Driver's Impression - On the Street
There was a lot to like about the Newman Car Creations' 210, but the fact that it put a smile on the face of everyone who came in contact with it was at the top of my list. Paul told me the car had keyless start. I got in looking for a button to push, but there wasn't one. In this case, all you had to do was twist the ignition switch and the car would fire up. That made me grin even more.
But it was the actual driving of this Tri-Five that blew me away. The smaller-than-stock steering wheel really improved the ergonomics. The shifter was positioned perfectly and was the proverbial hot knife through T56 butter. The ride quality was outstanding thanks to C4 Corvette underpinnings. Whudda thunk it?
All in all, we'd say it drove like an oversized Vette. It was predictable, with amazing grip. Quick, accurate steering. Immediate turn-in. Excellent ride quality. The brakes were responsive, with no dead zone. Hit the pedal and the car stopped hard and straight. The LT1 engine from an Impala SS provided decent power and driveability, but we wouldn't have objected if it were making an additional 100 horsepower.
The crew at Paul Newman Car Creations should be proud of itself. It has turned out a world-class performance car that blends timeless styling with modern grip.-Jim Campisano