The right foot is always the big problem for most car guys.


What happens between the up position for the gas pedal and the down position hugging the floor board for the gas pedal can be a huge adventure in 2012.


Most car guys like the pedal closer to the metal when it comes to the ideal position and therein lies the problem for car guys. We live in a new era of super fast cars, whether they are fresh out of a showroom or fresh out of a huge horsepower bump from a resto mod project.




These are cars that can hit ¼ mile speeds that would have won NHRA championships in a bygone era and they are street legal, some of them in a just-barely sense.


We talk to some guys that can produce 800 to over 1000 horsepower at the rear wheels of their rides and can legally drive them to get groceries. That little factoid has the potential to make the trip pretty fast.


All of that wild and excessive horsepower would be a huge temptation for a guy. Holding back on the gas pedal would be a little like taking a very lonely Jennifer Aniston to a symposium on radish farming instead of a stylish lounge with incredibly good liquor service and a great house band that can nail the Righteous Brothers sound.




We will rule out the temptation of a night with Jennifer for obvious reasons of stone cold reality, but these days it is very easy to get the kind of horsepower that can get you in a lot of trouble.


One of the things that might become evident pretty quickly is how few people can actually handle the enormous trouble produced by their right foot. The super torque produced by a nitrous-fed supercharged monster engine can produce a pretty squirrely car when one rear wheel bites harder than the other rear wheel.


A car can shift from straight ahead to sideways in a heartbeat and the question becomes clear: can I handle this thing now that it has broken loose on me? The correct answer in most cases is “are you kidding?”




There are a lot of variables in the mix when the right foot gets tangled up with big horsepower. I have seen enough guys that pushed their cars right to the brink of control and were lucky enough to avoid catastrophe.


I hope that they were smart enough to recognize that good fortune trumped good driving and good judgment in their right foot adventure.


Jim Sutherland

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