Power steering

23 Jul

This week I cashed in the voucher that I had been given for Father’s Day and spent the morning over at Bicester Heritage driving three cars that I had lusted after as a teenager; A Lotus Cortina Mk1, an Aston Martin DB5 and a Jaguar E type.

None of these I had driven before, although I was only two days away from having a go in my mate’s E type when a baker’s van hit it and revealed some extremely dodgy repairs. I don’t recall if Rob got his money back, but he certainly lost the E type and I haven’t driven one until now.

My morning of fun started with the DB5, then the Cortina and ending with the Jaguar. The one thing in common, other than being objects of my teenage desire, is that none have power steering.

There will be a fuller report on each drive in the coming weeks when I get the file of images from the drives emailed to me, but for now I wanted to comment on steering. It comes as a shock when you first move the car. That feeling that something is very wrong and I was surprised even though it must be about forty years since I last drove anything that did not have assisted steering (except for a fork lift truck).

Once on track it got a little easier, but the Aston was on slightly wider tyres than I think it came with originally and the other two were on racing width tyres all of which add up when you have to do it yourself. My upper arms and shoulders certainly have had a workout. Getting back into the Insignia for the drive home took a moment or two of adjustment.

Modern cars are great in the way that they do so much for us, but a bit of old school steering with the wheels connected to your hands by various bits of metal is a joy. I enjoyed my little workout.

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