There was no doubt about it, those big halogen lights and the auxiliary lights low down in the airdam worked, they cut white swathes far into the inky Karoo night, but Kudu are a menace on these roads, so my sight was focused deep at the edges of the pool of light racing ahead, flicking from side-to-side watching for the telltale retinal reflections.
A V6 Essex has never been a particularly refined engine, even the hydraulic engine mounts used in the luxury Sierra’s could not completely subdue the NVH from intruding, I was aiming to keep to a responsible 140km/h, but my focus after all was out there where the light blended with the night, eventually I became conscious that things seemed “quieter”, glancing down at the cluster set to it’s lowest night setting, the big orange needle hovered at the 190km/h mark.
Tap off… watch the speed bleed away, get her back into the zone. Focus on the edge again, she goes all quiet again…
After this repeated enough times, I mumbled under my breath “OK you bitch, if that’s what you want, I’ll let you run free”
I remember driving that lonely Karoo road before in lesser vehicles, 150km between Van Rhynsdorp and Calvinia, another 150km to Brandvlei, yet another 150km to Kenhard, the road seemed endless, yet this night each 10km marker flashed past, the road shrunk, driving was effortless and exhilarating, all too soon I came across the single-lane trestle bridges spanning the mighty Orange River at Keimoes, only 40km remained to my destination at Upington.
The first half of the route from Cape Town to Upington is a single carriageway winding through the mountains, the arterial route to Namibia, traffic is heavy, and opportunities to pass are scarce, so the first half of my journey was slow going, interspersed with stops to alleviate the boredom, and yet my overall time for the journey was 6hrs 30minutes.
The vehicle was a then 12 year old 1990 model 3.0GLX Ford Sierra Station Wagon, despite her size and the hard driving, average fuel consumption worked out a tad lower than 8l/100km, these are the attributes that make Old Fords the greatest cars ever!