We flew down to Arizona to get it and drove it back to WA. Spent the first night in Vegas, then drove back the 93 to the 84. The 93 is perhaps the most desolate major highway in the US; it's all high desert, big flat valleys and stark snow capped mountains. There were a handful of fun twisty mountain passes, and some big straights where I got the car up to 130 or so. It was an excellent way to get acquainted with her. You can see an annotated slideshow at flickr .
(while I was at it, I also finally put up some Thailand pictures ; these are pretty much all N's nice photographs).
Of course I went through most of the US without much trouble from the fuzz, and immediately got a ticket in Oregon for going 85 in a 65. Fucking Oregon. I now have also found that Oregon is one of the worst places in the US to get a ticket, because they don't have a system where you can use lawyers to get off; apparently they have laws or precedents or whatever which means you can't do the normal thing that lawyers do of challenging the radar gun calibration. (of course, hypocrites that humans are, it's not like Oregon is just generally a more law-abiding place or a place where you can't get out of charges; try searching for "Oregon Lawyer" and you will find that the state is absolutely chock-a-block with drunk drivers who get out of their convictions, there are no speeding ticket lawyers, but masses of DUI Diversion lawyers). (see more at end)
How's the car? (you ask) , eh it's fucking great. Is it worth it financially? Surely not, you could be almost as happy in a 370Z or an Rx8 ; really the modern Japanese sports cars are such amazing value that buying anything else is pretty retarded. But I've never felt anything like it. The controls just feel so good, the cluth is so heavy and solid, the steering feedback is sublime, the gas pedal is responsive. The suspension is too stiff for the terrible Seattle road conditions, and it's not an ideal commuter car, but when a gap in traffic opens up and I slam the trottle, or when I go ripping around a corner, it makes me smile and everything is right with the world.
I've been joy riding around Seattle a bit, looking for fun roads. We went and cruised out Redmond - Snoqualmie Valley - High Bridge Road - Snohomish this weekend, which is one of the classic motorcycle rides in the area; not a bad run. On the way home for AZ, we took the 14 through the Columbia Gorge a bit, which was pretty sweet. There are some really classic roads in that area that I'll go back to some day ( Rowena Loops on Hwy 30 in Oregon, Maryhill Loop Road off the 14, and then you've got Wind River Road and lots of good stuff in the Gifford Pinchot, but that has to wait for summer). When you're looking for good driving roads, the best way is to look at motorcycle web sites, since those guys actually pay attention to scenery and pavement quality and twisties and all that good stuff.
More ticket related ranting : when I got the ticket in Oregon, I was of course travelling along with a few other cars at exactly the same speed. The cop singled me out and popped me with laser and came over and picked me out of the group. That's a fucking awful disadvantage of this car. There's a story going around the net that Geico gives millions of dollars worth of laser & radar guns to police departments. Dunno how true that is, but it is pretty sick the way the police are basically giving money to insurance companies. I actually don't have a big gripe with police using traffic stops to raise money for their cities. It's not their fault, it's the fault of all of you - the fucking retarded voters who vote against taxes and yet want services and give them no other ways to raise money. The sick thing is that even on a $300 ticket, after the cost of the police time and the court and everything, they probably only get $20-$50 for the city. On that same ticket the insurance company gets $2000 or so over the next five years.
Oh, also while I'm ranting, the fact that tickets are based on amount over the limit is fucking retarded. It should be more like *percent* over the limit. 85 in a 65 on a fucking wide open freeway is a big difference from 45 in a 25 , but both are tickets for twenty over.
Maybe I'll write up a full review of the car for the internet's benefit some day.