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Discussion Starter #1
Somebody love me. Very much.

So, I normally set the parking brake when I trailer my car (don't you love stories that start that way?). Actually, what I do is drive the car onto the trailer, set the parking brake, put the straps on and snug them, release the parking brake, tighten the straps, reset the parking brake. Turns out that last step is important.

I was dropping my car off for alignment. I had just taken the last strap off (right front) when suddenly I felt like I was moving forward. Look down at my feet...nope, I'm standing still. Flash back to high school physics. If a person riding on a train at 60 miles an hour throws a baseball backwards at 20 miles an hour, a person standing on the platform will see the ball move forward at 40 miles per hour. Makes sense. Oh, so it must be that my car is moving backwards which only makes me FEEL like I'm moving forward. Cool. Hold on...not so cool.

It's called "time dilation." When an event triggers excitement or terror, the body's adrenal response causes our perception of time to slow down. A drag racer remembering a run down the strip will recall it as taking up to twice as long as it actually does. In the middle of a car accident, a person's entire life can flash before their eyes in, well, the blink of an eye. And in a span of about three seconds all the following can course through the mind of a New Englander who stretched his budget and routinely bloodies his knuckles for the sake of experiencing the car with which he is resoundingly smitten:

Holy $hit. I forgot to set the parking brake. I gotta get to the parking brake. Hold on...it 5 feet to the door, so accelerating at approximately 7.5 feet per second squared it should take me 1.2 seconds to reach the door, half a second to open the door, a second to climb up on the trailer while walking alongside the car, a second to pitch head-first into the passenger seat, and a second of fumbling around like a SPED case to pull up the lever. 4.7 seconds total. Nope...don't have that much time. Lotus Elise curb weight: 1975 lbs. My last incline-sled leg-press: 8 reps of 720 lbs. I like those odds. Quick, run to the back of the car. Damn, it's already rolling down the beaver tail. And I thought that feature was just SO convenient. Hands on the back of the clam, push with all my might, still rolling. Is this thing going to fall on me if it rolls off? Romeo and Juliet died together, maybe it would be a fate befitting my affections. Nope, don't want to leave this world with my last vision being a steel trailer frame crunching through fiberglass rocker panels on its way to hideously distorting the backbone of my beloved Sasha. How am I going to explain this to my friends, my family, my coworkers, and, most urgently, the shop workers who will be drawn outside by the distinctive sound of delaminating epoxy and shearing glass fibers coupled with the night heron scream of the aforementioned New Englander. No. Unacceptable. Not on my watch. I'll catch you, baby. Jam my thigh against the back of the beaver tail, bury my shoulder in the back of the clam, reach down and grab the horizontal spoke of the wheel and lift up with every ounce of strength I have. Feel the contact patch begin to roll over the corner of the deck. Jam thigh harder against tire, pull up harder on spoke. She's holding. I'm straining. Someone's coming. "Little help here." It's the teenager I passed on the way in who was nervously parking a Bently outside the shop after giving it the complimentary wash-down following whatever service he probably wasn't allowed to give it. We've got it back up an inch or two. I can breath again. Two more people are running accross the parking lot like firemen running to catch a grandmother who's carrying a baby and falling from a tree from which she was rescuing a kitten. Workers from accross the street who had paused to admire the outlandish green car on a trailer that probably shouldn't be backed up quite so far before the ramps are put in place. Push her up off the tail, set the brake, let time return to normal.

After profusely thanking the workers and the teenager, dropping off the car, finding the teenager and giving him some dough for a few beers after work (God, I hope he has a way to get beer), I'm able to appreciate the magnitude of what almost happened. All the little pitfalls and annoyances that have come with ownership of my Elise seem so trivial. This one save so completely overshadows all the now trivial things, like someone backing into my car in a parking lot and not leaving a note, that I feel liberated and better able to cope with the inevitable complications of Lotus ownership. It's great to feel so decidedly lucky every once in a while.
 

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Ummmmm... without reading your post ill assume that you stopped the car.
 

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yea you had me way lost, guess you had to be there.
 

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Purist, sounds like your building a well prepped car!

You need to give Jim on this board a call. He got great plans for the Lotus Challenge Series. Be great to see the results of all your work.

Doug

PS Dont loose her before she is even ready!
 

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Humm so by ur story and my calculations 190horsepower < 3manpower + 1teenagepower, very interesting :p Nice save btw!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone...yep, will definitely be screwing some strapping down do the deck.
 

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Awesome story and that will surely snap you back to a different reality!
Glad you still have all your fingers!!!
 

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Well, I thought it was a very lovely story. And you tell it so well. With such enthusiasm.


(fave quote from forrest gump)
 

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Great story dude!
 

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Definitely a great read. Glad the car was saved. I was able to visual the whole scenario with a bit of wondering if would be able to do the same. Better hit the gym!
 
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