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Cruising, Driving & Plain ’Ol Fun - Shop Talk

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed spending time at the local car show digs. I suppose it all started in high school—it was a great reason to get out of the house and a somewhat valid excuse to stay out on a school night.

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While I can still appreciate a good car show, I’ve come to realize that I need a little more than a lawn chair and music blaring in the background. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy hanging out and bench racing with the best of them; however, these days I’d rather be behind the wheel at a performance driving event or cruising with a bunch of enthusiasts.

Is there a downside to pushing your ride to the limits? I guess it depends on how you look at it. The reality is, the engine, brakes, tires, and suspension are sure to get a workout, and the weakest link may eventually rear its ugly head. At the same time, there is no guarantee that nothing will happen while you’re heading to the local show ’n’ shine. Then again, some of us are just waiting for anything to break as an excuse to bust out the wrenches.

Even in our case, as magazine guys, we’re not without our own issues. As you know, we’ve been playing quite a bit with our in-house Z06. Recently its EBTCM (Electronic Brake Traction Control Module) went out. At worst, it just meant we didn’t have active handling or functioning antilock brakes. (In essence, it was like driving a nearly 600hp muscle car without the aid of modern technology.) The fix was to swap out the module, which wasn’t terribly painful, but the limited space and the initial know-how did present a slight problem. In the end, I learned something new, and I’m happy to lend a hand, should someone else run into a similar situation.

Then, there’s our ’72 Nova. Between staffer Sean and his older brother, I’m pretty proud that those guys have been taking every opportunity to flog the Nova. Their latest snafu happened on the drive home from a local cruise and show. Let’s just say a trans line got a bit heated from the exhaust and left them stranded on the side of the road. Even though they had to get a tow home, they managed to repair the line pretty quickly, and it’s already prepped for another outing.

I guess this was a long-winded way of saying don’t be afraid to drive, and take every mishap as a lesson learned. All things considered, would you rather park your street machine and show it, or put on the helmet and stab the throttle? Obviously there’s no right or wrong answer, and it’s all in what you like to do. Until next time, you know where I’ll be.

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