It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that the Pacific Coast Highway is the right place to showcase a new model of roadster. Sun, sand and sea make for a perfect location to motor with the top down, it just doesn’t get any better. Or does it?
The good folks at Nissan are launching the 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster and Nismo Z on the left coast this week and we were fortunate to tag along on the first wave. While the coast roads were stunning, it was the roads to and from the coast that made the trip memorable. On the way from the luxurious Hotel Valencia to Costanoa, my driving partner and I chose a black cherry colored Roadster. We followed a series of nice twisty roads that wound their way through valleys and redwood forests. Thanks to the heavy police presence in the area, we chose to take our time and enjoy the sights. That was a good thing when Bambi ran out in front of us! When we commented to Nissan’s PR folks on the quality of the roads the response was: “Those are just the good roads, the ones after lunch are the great roads!”
After lunch at the Costanoa Lodge, we set out in a bright read Nismo Z for the return trip to San Jose. Turning on to Pescadero Creek Road, I turned up the wick a bit and started pushing the car a bit. From the start of this magnificent road and then on towards La Honda, there was close to 20 miles of non stop turns. Blind corner followed blind corner with rarely any straight between them. Couple this with very narrow lanes in either direction and lane discipline became very important, as did looking as far ahead as possible. We almost got caught out by a lady backing out of her driveway just past a blind apex, fortunately we weren’t pushing too hard at that point. While I have never driven it, my partner said that road more than equaled anything the the Tail of the Dragon offers, just without the legendary hype. Further along we crossed a mountain top on Skyline Boulevard, traveling at exactly that speed limit thanks to the State Trooper that decided to follow us for about 20 minutes.
Next up, I’ll give you my impressions of the 370Z Roadster and Nismo Z.