For PetrolHeads only


Yes, they're legendary.  No, they're not what you expect ... for the most part anyway.   There are not that many unrestricted sections anymore, and the traffic is so heavy in Germany that it's very difficult to get near 200 kph, let alone the 300 kph of many supercars, without either nerves of steel or total irresponsibility.   Ironicallya the autoroutes of France would be far better (in terms of surface, width and undulations) for such high speeds, but of course, the French have joined Swiss and the Victorian state police in managing speed very strictly indeed.

This is your sign of freedom:

Water Temperature

The Elise normally runs at 87°C water temperature regardless of the weather.   It runs up over 100°C in heavy traffic or steep climbs but never below 87°C.

However, the autobahns provide the opportunity to see what the water temperature does at sustained high speeds (180-200 kph).   what do you think happens?   The temperature creeps up, especially at the 30+°C air temperatures that we were experiencing.  That's what I thought, which is why I was checking the readout.

Nope, it falls.   Right down to 81-82°C.   And then goes back to normal when speeds fall to 160 kph or less.   Back up again, several times, to check that it's not heat affecting my brain or eyesight.   Each time it was the same.

The Elise

It's been running a dream as usual.  The only niggling worries (you have to be worried about something when taking a car such as an Elise 9,000 kms up to and back from the Arctic Circle) have been:

-  when I brake very lightly, there's a strange noise, like a very light metal vibrating.  It's only been there since I had the disks and pads replaced last September.   But brakes work perfectly.

-  then yesterday evening, the brake light flickered once or twice when taking uphill, right-hand hairpins.  I guess the new pads have bedded in and the fluid needs a slight top-up.  But I don't have the little allen-key with me to remove the yellow plastic front that covers the reservoir.

Speed limits in Norway

The national limit is 80 kph but if there's a house within cooee of the road, the limit is 70 or 60 kph.  In towns it's always 50 kph.   Norwegians seem to abide by the limits quite diligently.  On the other hand, the roads are covered in tyres marks where people have obviously been doing burnouts, both of the donut variety and the fish-tailing type.

The roads are generally of very good condition and a pleasure to drive in the Elise.  Straight roads are unknown.

The Arctic Circle Speedway

Now there's a place to do a lap or two ... especially in the winter!!

What the Norwegians drive ...

No, they drive very few SUVs or 4WDs despite the conditions.   Most cars are just regular 2WD sedans and station wagons.   But I have only seen 1 Norwegian-registered convertible north of the Arctic Circle ... an MX5 ... could he have been lost ... or just visiting?

More tidbits as the days roll on ... and as I get good internet connections ... like the Iso Rivolta that I saw on Day1 ... now there's a car from my youth ... it was rarer than hen's teeth and faster than hell.

... to be continued ....