Last weekend was the 2010 Factory Five Open House. Finally, after four prior visits and three and a half years of working on my car, I was able to drive down to it in my Factory Five car! It was a VERY long time coming, but it really was so worth it.
Like the last few years, the drive down started here in town meeting up at 6am with some of the other local FFR owners. The turnout this year was a lot smaller than prior years — there was some threat of bad weather, and the people who were driving down to meet up with us from Manchester, Concords and other points north all bailed on the drive down.
This year my copilot was Paul, my girlfriend’s father. He is a hardcore car guy, and remembers fondly the days of loud muscle cars and (to quote him) “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll”.
I intended to shoot video of the drive down using a new camera mount that bolts to the rollbar. Unfortunately I didn’t have time on Friday to test the whole setup out, and discovered after the fact that the positioning of the mount was both in the wind-stream, which ruined the audio, and was pointing straight at the annoying NH inspection sticker, which goes at the top center of the windshield. I was able to salvage some of it, though, and the video I edited is linked at the bottom of this post.
We left about 6:15 and headed down the usual route — I93, through Boston down to Route 24 to meet up with a few other caravans at the Burger King just before the exit to 495. Its about an hour drive down to there from here. The drive was uneventful. It got pretty cold as we started getting south of Boston, but the heat in the car made it very comfortable to drive. Hanging my arm out of the car was a bit chilly, though. At one point we got a few sprinkles on the windshield, but the weather was still saying no rain, and that was it for the precipitation.
The crowd at Burger King started small, but grew over time as groups that had left later to avoid any weather issues started to trickle in.
After the stop at Burger King, the sun came out and it actually warmed up enough to toss my sweatshirt in the trunk.
The caravan from Burger King was a lot bigger than from southern NH. The half hour drive was far more exciting than previous years, now that I wasn’t tagging along in the Miata.
The Open House was pretty much as it has been for the last year or two — no vendors, and overall smaller than it was a few years ago. The turnout of cars was good, though, and it was definitely a blast having my car there with me.
After about two hours, AccuWeather (via my iPhone) was showing on the radar that most of NH was raining, and in many cases raining hard. This was a pretty big screwup on the part of the forecasts, which showed no rain until evening. The rain line was slowly drifting southwards, so we decided to pack it in and leave a couple hours early. We left at the same time as one or two other cars, and I heard the slow trickle turned into a pretty big exit shortly after we left.
The drive back was uneventful until we got north of Boston, when it started raining, and raining hard at some points. Thankfully the car was just fine in the rain, and other than just accepting getting wet, it really wasn’t a big deal. It turns out driving wet in the rain in a Cobra is still better than driving in anything else. It wasn’t looks of sympathy we were getting while moving slowly through traffic in the rain.
In all, it was a great outing. Hopefully the weather is better next year, so the drive back doesn’t have to be so abrupt and hurried.
I copied the video I got off my camera, and edited together a drive video for 2010. Its more stylized than the 2008 video, but I didn’t have as much decent quality video to work with.
This one isn’t in high-definition, but the quality is better if you click through to YouTube and make sure its playing the 480P version, instead of the 360P version.
The YouTube video itself is here.