Reader Question: Favorite Review Car?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Mike asks: Just curious, a bit different, out of all the cars, what was your favorite one that you reviewed, and of course, in general, since you weren’t always reviewing. Thanks and have a great weekend!

My reply: There are two standouts – the first being the 1995 Cobra R Ford gave me to play with for a whole week. This was a rare treat, even for a car journalist, as the R was a competition model that wasn’t sold to the general public. It was a barely street legal race car that Ford sold only to active racers (you had to have an SCCA toad racing license as well as proof that you drove in competitive events). It had no radio. It had no AC. It had no back seats.

But it did have one thing no other new Mustang the pubic could buy had.

The R was powered by the last 351 (5.8 liters, in modern metric anodyne-speak) V8 that Ford ever put in a Mustang; behind it was a Tremec five-speed manual transmission. Cobra upgraded brakes and wheels; a lowered suspension.

It was born to run.

And I did so.

I knew a girl up in New York City; called her up – asked what she was doing a couple of hours from now. And left the parking lot sideways, headed for I-95 and downtown Manhattan – some 220 miles (and usually four hours) away from the DC suburbs where I lived at the time.

Burt would have been proud as I punched through the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel at 135-plus, the 351’s exhaust reverbing off the tiled walls.  I don’t believe in Jesus but I must have a fairy godmother or some such, because I made it to NYC and my friend’s place in two hours, twenty minutes and loose change.

The night was almost as fun as the trip there, too!

Another memorable one was the Bentley Arnage R, equipped with a turbo V8 and something preposterously wonderful on the order of 700 ft.-lbs. of torque. I power braked it in front of a buddy’s house  . . . and the thing dug ruts in the asphalt. There was so much smoke it looked like the Earth had opened up and Satan hisself was bowing to say hello. Most of the neighborhood was gone from sight.

Those ruts are still there, ten years later.

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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