She’s alive! Roadtrip to the SR20 Convention ’09.

Wow I haven’t updated since the beginning of the month! Either I’ve been really busy or things have been abnormally un-interesting lately. You decide. Either way, let’s jump right in-

So my car hasn’t run in 13 months. It’s a very long story and I’m not going to bother going into those details. Either way, a friend of ours came over last weekend (Sammy from Tiger Racing in Norcross, GA) to make a house-call. I’ve completely given up on even touching the damn thing since I’m so frustrated with it, but lucky for me Sammy knows his stuff and was able to determine what the problem was (exhaust cam timing was off by 5 teeth!) and get her running in less than an hour. Started her up and I happy-cried. I drove her around the neighborhood for a few minutes to make sure she wasn’t going to spontaneously combust and then stuck her back in the garage. Drove her to work for a few days to start to rebuild the “trust” and was able to confirm she would not explode.

This weekend was the SR20 National Convention sponsored by the SR20forum, G20.net and many, many others. They do a national convention every year, each time at a different location. This year it just so happened to be in Savannah, GA. I had made a hotel reservation for Friday and Saturday night and was planning on spending the whole weekend there and getting to see some of historic Savannah, but the weather had other plans. It started raining here on Friday and the forecast predicted “severe thunderstorms and large hail” in Savannah. The hotel did not have covered parking. I made an executive decision that we would stay in ATL on Friday and wait for the weather to clear up on Saturday.

Since we now had a free night to spare, Erik and I went to Dad’s Garage, a local improv comedy place, to see one of their shows. We wound up meeting a really awesome couple and went out to dinner with them afterwards at the Vortex.

Saturday morning we woke up and guess what? Still raining. A huge storm had settled over Georgia and wasn’t planning on leaving any time soon. Personally I’ve never really been one to let weather stand in the way of my roadtrips, so I said let’s go anyway. Packed our bags, loaded up the car, crossed my fingers and headed off towards Savannah.

The weather was absolutely horrendous – what should have been a 3.5hr trip took almost 5. The roads were flooding and my tires are definitely not made for rain driving. There were quite a few times I had to drop back to 40mph and drive with my hazard lights on just to make sure someone didn’t hit me because visibility was practically non-existant. We arrived at the convention hotel around 5pm and promptly headed to the hotel bar for a well deserved drink and a chat with some fellow SR20-enthusiasts.

All in all, Saturday was sort of a waste because there were tornado warnings left and right, nonstop torrential downpours and all the streets were flooded; didn’t get to go downtown at all. We (the convention crowd) wound up spending the night hanging out in the hotel bar/lobby looking at pictures from the track day at Roebling Road on Friday and playing Wii games. I was still pretty happy, however, since I got to see a lot of my friends who I hadn’t seen in ages and play with/talk cars all night. Good times 🙂

By the time we all woke up on Sunday the rain had (finally!!!) cleared out. There was a DIY carwash place up the rode so I grabbed some cash (which I had won off my friend the night before by betting him I had actually driven my car to the convention. He didn’t believe that it was running since it had been down for so long. Went out to the parking lot to prove him wrong. Sucker.) and gave her a nice bath. This was the first time in 2.5 years she’d gotten washed (the water restriction during the drought here made it almost impossible and I can’t take her through automated washes). I was SO happy to finally get all that brake dust off my wheels… they went from disgustingly-dirty-brown back to their pretty, shiny bronze. Yay!

Drove over to Fort McAllister Historic Park for the traditional car show & picnic. There were a ton of really dope Classics and even a real, RHD GTiR!! It was absolutely lovely out and I had a blast getting to see so many SRs all together. I find it funny how it used to be rare to have a DET or VVL motor and now it’s rare to have a regular DE.

Anyway, after the picnic we drove back to ATL (which, thanks to the good weather, only took 3.5 hours). Thanks to the turbo and staying in vacuum, my car absolutely loves highway cruising: I got 250 miles on a half a tank of gas (~35mpg)! Got back to ATL and went to the Vortex again (a different location this time) for dinner before the rest of the boys went their separate ways.

All in all, I’m bummed the weather sucked but glad I had such a fun weekend and got to see so many friends. I’m also really glad my car didn’t die and made the trip and was a rockstar. Thanks to everyone who made it possible!

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