Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mission Accomplished

Flew into Charlotte NC last Saturday from Atlanta where we had our Company Holiday Party.
Lynn's car was waiting for her in Denver, NC at Lake Normal Imports. A small Son and Father (son actually runs it) dealership that specializes in super nice "sporty" vehicles.
Really good folks to buy a vehicle from. We were somewhat nervous buying it over the 'net before we actually saw it or test drove it, but it seemed to be a reputable outfit and the CARFAX report was good and with 18k miles we felt it should be in good if not great shape. We weren't disappointed. The bow was a nice touch.

It drove real nice, as one would expect. Only got it to 80-85 a couple times....kinda by accident...(that's what I told Lynn anyway) had to use cruise to stay in check. The 4 cylinder turbo automatic pulled all the hills in VA and WV at 77mph without downshifting once. Seems it's not underpowered, even with the smaller engine. Found out from a Finnish work friend it's all about the turbo power band.
It was too cold, 40's and high 30's by night fall, to drive with the top down.
Got to the west side of Cincy the first night without incident.

In the morning we awoke to snow on the ground. We made it to Champaign, IL then all the fun began.
Although the TT comes in AWD we had a FWD model with traction control. It drove great heading west in snow, slush and icy patches all with a cross-wind from the north gusting at 40-50 mph. With flashers on and creeping along at 5-10 mph at times because the blowing snow had visibility to almost zero, we shuttered to think what would have happened if those semis driving blind with a string of cars behind them passing us and a few other "sane?" folks had smacked into the back of the snowplow we went by as it came in and out of view just feet to my left like it was dropped from the sky and was just hoovering there. The chance meeting happened at the exact spot a pickup on the right shoulder sat dead in the water. If a semi or anything would have been passing us at that time the little TT would've been toast.

No issues with the top sealing considering the frigid temps and huge cross-winds. The heated seats were sweet.

We turned north at Bloomington, IL and things improved as the north wind was just blowing the snow down the highway and not across it. By the time we hit the WI State line the sun was shining and the roads were clear. The little red sled was quite dirty....but it still looked nasty and nothing to mess with parked out in the snow. Lynn was all smiles as she gazed at it from the windows of the fast food places we had stopped at along the way.

Some may question the conventional wisdom of buying a convertible in the winter.....but, when do you think they can draw the most money? (or least?)
Now, driving it in a blizzard was not on the program but it was rather nice knowing that it could handle all that a midwest winter could throw at her.
I guess a car with heated seats and a rear window defogger was built somewhat to run in the winter, although our intentions are to keep mostly garaged during snow time. The Germans did a good job with her.

Frigid temperatures, snow on the way

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Central Illinois from 3 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Light snow is expected to develop across the area by late Saturday and continue into Sunday with one to three inches of accumulation expected.

As northwesterly winds increase Sunday, blowing snow will cause restricted visibility and travel difficulties.

Wind gusts as high as 40 to 50 mph are predicted across the Illinois River Valley by Sunday morning then will spread eastward to the Illinois-Indiana border by Sunday afternoon.

Strong winds will continue throughout the day Sunday, gradually diminishing by late Sunday night.

The wind chill is expected to make temperatures drop below zero Sunday, with readings ranging from 10 below to 20 below by early Monday morning.

While heavier snow is expected to pass to the north late Saturday and Sunday, the combination of very strong winds, blowing snow and bitterly cold wind chills will create hazardous conditions.

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