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Dartz

Well, that was an adventure

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Friday night, coming home from a customer job in Wicklow, I turned off the N81 to take a 'shortcut' up over the mountains.

 

And for the first few miles it was grand - the 8 having far more grip on tight, dark roads than I dared exploit. And occasionally accidentally exploited. As we climbed up out of the trees, the fog decended. It was a solid wall of white so thick, I had to run with only the front foglights on to see where I was going. Seeing the bonnet at times was a trick, but still we soldiered on... up... up...up..

 

Until the roads turned white with ice. A sensible man might've turned back, but I had no idea where exactly I was, or if I'd missed the turn North to Dublin or not, so I kept humming along until I came to a sharp left turn.

 

I turned the wheel. The car continued straight. On the outside, after a few inches of grass was a dark void - a long drop down to nowhere where no wreck would ever be found. And I was slidding towards it. Nothing for it but hangon and pucker and hope it found something. I felt the outside while hit the grass - it lurched and finally turned at the last moment, sparing me the drop. The most important journey this particular RX8 will ever make in its life were those few inches between darkness and safety.

 

The fog finally cleared at the top of the military road, leaving clear starry skies above and the burning glow if civilisation radiating up before me. The roads were black and grippy and the speedometer inched up again, probably higher than I should've dared.

 

Finally, we crest a hill and there's the city, a golden galaxy of glimmering light clustered around the black Dublin Bay. The payoff is staggering. I stop for a minute in a layby and shut the lights and engine off, stretching it on out into ten while watching the planes land at the airport. Ships are ablaze on the bay. The Guinness brewery steams in the distance. I regret not bringing binoculars because somehow, that view makes the trek over the mountains all worthwhile.

 

And in the still darkness, I wait and watch as no-one drives by, enjoying it all.

 

I sit back in the car and crank it over. It doesn't struggle to catch, but it idles a little slower than it normally does for a few moments before finally picking up. These things you notice when you own an 8, really. The rest of the journey home up the M50 is finished with the yellow light glowing on the dashboard, smoothly cruising along in the traffic.

 

A final fuel stop and another start sees it home and safe, parked up outside. I offered it my thanks for saving my neck, quietly regretting not having the money to get it the engine rebuild it's getting close to needing.

 

This morning, I check the car and find grass and scuff marks up under the front bumper, reminding me just how close it had come to a very different ending.

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