Tuesday, 30 May 2017

IHWC 2017 Roadtrip review part I

I'm back, so watch it ;-)  I had a great roadtrip last week and the 400 behaved very well. Although I bumped into an issue - pun intended. Nah, quite frankly I'm pissed off by it. We stayed over a few days in Turin and when leaving the city in the morning we obviously had to cruise through the heavy traffic. I was standing still in front of the red traffic light and all of the sudden someone hit me in the back. It was an eldery man who clearly wasn't paying attention. Luckily he spoke English quite well. He pointed out the damage wasn't significant and wanted to continue his journey. Luckily my co-pilot was next to me and calmed the situation and arranged/agreed all the paperwork. Apart from the small damage it's also all the hassle I have to go through to get this all fixed again. Plus I don't expect they can't fix the bumper dents so likely it needs a new immitation - which I consider a shame as I prefer to keep the car as Original as possible. Of course I know there is Always a risk when making such roadtrip but I refuse to stay at home and lock this beauty away. What's the point if you can't experience this great GT. Rant over.

On my way to pick up the co-pilot in France the airco/air blower was functioning great. Untill my co-pilot decided to turn it off. When turning on again it no longer worked. So the whole week we were without cold air. I have to admit it was a little flaky prior to this as it was working intermittently. So I suspect the relais is now 100% dead.

And last but not least the front right suspension developed a nasty squeeky noise. The Italian roads are not the finest (especially compared with the Dutch road infrastructure) so this became a little annoying as well (when driving slowly). I suspect the shock absorber needs a little WD40 or such, at least I don't think it's a big issue.

Other then the above it was an excellent drive and I'm again impressed by the handling and build quality of the 400. The automatic gearbox is incredible smooth. Shifting manually in the mountain climbs was easy. I'm still of the opinion the auto gearbox is the best match for this type of car. Also high speeding on the Autostrada was a true pleasure. Éffortless driving is the best way to desribe it. It's very addictive. Not to mention the countless tunnel runs. The thing I'm even more surprised about is the oil usage or should I say not using any drop of oil. Trust me, I have been using the car in all conditions intense, hot and cold weather, mountain driving, city driving, autostrada driving (2+) and I checked the oil every day but it was a useless exercise. In total I have been driving 3500 km for this trip. Prior to the trip the only thing I had done was checking the oil and tyre pressure. That's all.

Now I have done in total 10k since the last maintenance. So yes, once the bumper is fixed I will get another large maintenance job done; refreshing all fluids and filters, adjusting valves, check the distribution chain, brake pads and whatever else might be necessary.

As for the trip we had a great time and visited neat places, ie Nardi and Villa d'Este to name a few. Expect a nice video compilation later this year. One of the guys had brought a professional drone so I'm very curious to see that footage. For now you have to suffice with a few pictures I made.

Start of the trip with 109.912 KM on the meter:

Filling up:

Almost empty - filled up with Shell V-Power


All participants lined up at Autobau CH

On the top of the San Bernardino pass

Varenna Lake Como - ferry crossing

And the the other site in Menaggio

Some Shell gifts, I guess one for every 50 liter, so we got 2 in one tank stop:

And back home with the Nardi steering wheel cover in the garage. the 400 does have a Momo steering wheel though, but the 400i does have a Nardi (so if you are a 400i owner this might be a nice gift).

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