It was about 3am. I was on my way home from a small gathering at a friend's house. There was no alcohol at the gathering, and I was not drunk. I was, however, feeling quite stupid that evening.

I decided to see how fast my Mazda Protege could go. In retrospect, despite the fact that nothing was damaged and nobody was hurt, this was a very bad idea. But the speedometer went all the way up to 140mph, and dammit, I wanted to peg it!

On a deserted road in a mildly-populated area of town, I pointed the car straight ahead and floored the accelerator. The peppy little four-cylinder engine gave an annoyingly tinny growl of determination, the car's frame shuddered, and the front tires squealed in delight. I would like to say that I was forced back into my seat by the massive boost, but I was not.

I watched gleefully as the needle in the speedometer rose steadily. 50, 60, 70...the car began to become unstable...90, 100, 105, 107, 108...acceleration was beginning to slow. No! I MUST keep accelerating! Go, car, go! 115, 118, 120...I was having trouble keeping the steering wheel steady...124, 126, 128...I began to fear for my life as the front end seemed to literally want to just fly off the ground...129, 130...the instability was more than I could handle, and I was quickly running out of road. I whomped on the brakes and slowed down to 40mph (which happened to be the speed limit on that particular section of road).

I quickly decided that the Protege was not built for speed, nor was it the least bit stable or aerodynamic at any speed over 65mph.

Back to Highway Tales

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.