…back a couple weeks ago, I ordered a new racing seat for the Cobra. My credit card was charged. And last night, I paid the credit card bill.
But I don’t have my seat yet.
Next weekend, I’m supposed to be gong to a test & tune, and I’d like to run the new seat. But I may be spending a little time *installing* the seat the way things are looking right now. This makes me sad.
Then again, I could call the shop tomorrow morning and find that it’s somehow miraculously arrived late this afternoon or this evening, and run down there tomorrow (with car literally in tow) to get it installed.
Okay, Jim, you’re asking, why do you need a new seat anyway?
Glad you asked. There are several reasons: 1) My old/current seat is worn out — I’ve had it since 2000 and its original owner bought it in 1996 — and the backrest won’t stay in place anymore without help (it wants to recline). 2) My current seat is way heavy. 3) It sits way too high — my helmeted head is hard into the roof of the car. This wasn’t too much of a problem until I got a new Snell SA2005 helmet in ’06, which is taller than my previous Snell SA1995 helmet due to more cushioning required to meet the 2005 standards. But now, it’s a major issue. 4) Nail in coffin: It’s no longer legal. The backrest isn’t high enough to meet the new seat rules we (and I say “we” because I am on the committee that changed the rule) implemented for this year in the interest of increased safety.
The new seat is FIA homologated, a one-piece non-reclining seat that’s also HANS-device compatible. For those of you wondering about *that*, the HANS is a Head And Neck Support system, and if Dale Earnhardt, Kenny Irwin, Adam Petty, and a few other drivers had been wearing one when they had their fatal wrecks, they wouldn’t have been fatal wrecks.
I don’t have a HANS yet. But I will before too long. I need to get a harness bar first to make sure the shoulder harnesses in the car come at me from the correct angles, but after that, the new-for-2008 HANS Sports model at $695 is on my list (plus a bit extra for the sliding-tether system that allows the degree of head turning needed for autocross). I paid the extra $42 when I got my helmet to have the HANS buttons attached from the factory, so that’s ready to go when I do get the HANS. I’ll probably be the only autocrosser wearing one — it’s not a sport where impact enters the equation except on very very rare occasions. Don’t care. It’s my basal skull, and I’d like to keep it intact. I figure it’ll be particularly reassuring when doing open track events.
At some point, I may have to spring for a full cage, but I’ll probably buy a car specifically for track-dog duty to do that. I am loathe to mangle the Cobra in ways not easily reversed. Everything I’ve done to it so far is reversible and I could have the car back to factory stock in a few days of work (most of the effort would be replacing the urethane suspension bushings with OEM-spec rubber bushings), and I have all the stock hard parts I’ve replaced (springs, shocks, original seat).
I’m ready to go racing. It’s a huge stress-reliever for me, and right now, I’ve got a lot of stress to relieve.