Torque Affair does a lot of fun and interesting things with cars. Which is great, because for so many of us, that's exactly the point of driving. Watch him take a massive V12 Mercedes Benz CL65 AMG to the drag strip and just let it go. Interesting to watch, and it sure looks like fun!
If you own a car that has 738 lb-ft of torque, there is one you have to do with it...at least once.
Take it to a drag strip.
The CL65 AMG was a $180K Mercedes supercar at the time it was built many years ago. Like all other AMGs, the insane depreciation that the CL65 experienced over the years has made it possible for my buddy to buy this beastly Mercedes for a mere $30K which I talked about here.
A drag strip makes sense in this case because the CL65 has so much torque that you can't really experience it in all its glory out on regular roads. Sure, you could floor it at a stoplight, but I wouldn't recommend it since some old lady with a shopping cart could step out in front of you as you're speeding down the road trying to show that STI who the man really is.
It's just not worth it.
At a drag strip facility, however, you can keep racing until the wheels fall off your car. Or until you run out of gas. Or until you are so bored of driving in a straight line over and over again that you just give up and go home with the end result being having to pay thousands of dollars for new tires and whatever else you ruined while you were racing.
Neither of us had ever been drag racing before and so we were excited - albeit a little nervous - to visit the place which was located out in the middle of nowhere. It was called the Little River Dragway and as we got closer to it, our phone signals started to fade.
Where were we?
Not only were there no signs, there were very few cars on the road.
After being in the near vicinity of where the facility was located, we went up and down the street a couple of times before spotting a tiny sign with the words, "The Little River Dragway", that were too small to read without squinting.
We took the turn and headed down a road that was barely paved. At this point, we still didn't see any cars and were surrounded mostly by grass. After driving for a little bit, we found a shack where we bought a $30 ticket that allowed us to race as many times as we wanted. Then we were directed to head over to the "Test and Tune" place. That sounded fine but where was it?
We headed out again to find the mysterious "Test and Tune" place. Still no cars in sight.
A little while later, all of a sudden, we found ourselves amidst American muscle like Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers, Corvettes and a few trucks. I'm not sure when, if ever, an AMG, has been to this place, but we certainly didn't attract any attention with the Mercedes.
If think about it, an AMG is really a muscle car dressed up with sophisticated accoutrements. The brutish CL65 AMG, is an especially powerful example of this with a gigantic 6.0L 604 hp V12 with 738 lb-ft of torque! It belongs on a drag strip and has all the luxuries that you would want so that if you get stressed losing to a Dodge Ram (and this is not even a joke), you can cool down with the vents in the seats and turn on the seat massagers during your drive home.
Eventually, we found the "Test and Tune" shack which was actually called "Tech" with red letters signifying this. Ironically, I didn't see anything remotely tech-related at the shack. They might have had some "tech" stuff hidden in the back but from what I could tell the "Tech" shack was just a shelter built to provide air-conditioning to the folks in the heat of the summer.
There were mostly trophies sitting on the desk outside and a paper we had to sign that made sure that if anything bad happened it was entirely our fault.
It was a little unnerving to line up to hit the drag strip. There were no instructions and absolutely nothing was conveyed that was safety-related. There were a few obvious hand gestures and some signals but no one told us anything about what to expect. On top of that absolutely anyone who had paid $30 (or you could probably even bypass that) could race. Anybody!
For example, there were these two cars that I think were rentals.
Or perhaps, they were just wanting to have some fun in their 4-door grocery getters.
I guess it's sort of obvious what you do at a drag strip, but shouldn't there be someone at least trying to give us some sort of instruction? Even at the McDonalds drive-in they tell you to pull up to the first window to pay, and the next window to pick up the food.
As we pulled up nervously, getting ready to launch, virtually everyone started doing really loud burnouts with tire smoke billowing. Of course, we didn't do it, because neither of us had ever done a burnout and also, we weren't interested in destroying the tires.
Our first race was against a Chrysler 300C SRT-8. We were beat badly but there is a valid excuse - it was mostly because of our very delayed launch and the fact that there were two of us in the car.
Next time around, we slowly and quietly pulled up in our not-so-great sounding V12 next to a powerful and monstrous...
Is that a Dodge Dart?
I had never thought of this before going to a drag strip but the next time I have a rental, I'm definitely going drag racing. For an auto enthusiast, who is in another city with a rental with nothing to do, this sounds like a great option.
Besides the rentals, there were a couple of trucks. Believe it or not, there was actually a huge Dodge Ram that was faster than many of cars out there. It hit the 1/8 mile marker in 7.5 seconds!
It took a few tries to get the launch down correctly although, as you would expect, it wasn't nearly as good as some of the experts who seem like they do this for a living.
Luckily, the torque in the CL65 AMG made up for the lack of experience in the launching department. Racing anyone was not necessary and for all intents and purposes it was pointless - although there was a guy in a SHO who did want to race.
I loved it when I overheard someone exclaiming "Dude, that's a V12!"
The track was only an eighth of a mile which means it was over before we even got started! A quarter mile strip would've been more fun - if you watch the video you'll see how quickly things end.
After a few more runs, we reached a respectable time of 8.28 seconds. Googling a 1/8 mile to 1/4 mile conversion table, it looks like a quarter mile time would've been reached in just under 13 seconds which is not bad at all!
I am very happy to report that after all that drag racing, the AMG is in perfect condition and drives like a dream - like it never went to the drag strip in the first place. I'm glad we went because experiencing that kind of torque with the AMG is intoxicating.
Here is a video where we put the CL65 on a dyno.
As Tavarish has mentioned many times - why buy new when you can buy cars like this and have this much fun with? I'm sold.