Nine hours driving from Indiana to Alabama’s Bankhead National Forest, camping under the stars, a quick swim in the morning, then the last five hours drive to New Orleans.
I really like the car. Its a big change coming from a 3 series BMW though. As much as I loved it, my E36 really only did one thing REALLY well: carve up winding, smooth roads like a champ. It was a pleasure to drive there. Around town in New Orleans, it was loud, the ride was harsh and it got horrendous gas mileage.
The Outback seems to be able to do a little bit of everything okay. It handles fine without being too harsh, but what’s impressive is that it handles fine on any surface. I think combined mileage is supposed to be 25; I got 29 miles per gallon almost the entire trip. I tested it on a few miles of fire trail in the forest; no problems with loose gravel, mud, or hardpack. Leave it in first gear and it will crawl its way up some impressively steep slopes.
While I’ll miss the E36, my new Outback seems to be a much better all-rounder.
In 2009, Steve McQueen’s 1963 Triumph Bonneville Desert Sled sold at Bonhams & Butterfields’ first-ever motorcycle and
memorabilia auction for $84,240. The bike was personally built by
McQueen’s good friend, Bud Ekins, the famous stunt rider and off-road
racing champ, and was painted by another legend– the epic painter,
striper, builder, fabricator, etc., Von Dutch.