The Daytona came back just over a week ago and yesterday marked the first opportunity to take it out for a short drive inbetween rain showers. Conditions were less than ideal as the roads were damp with more rain likely at any time. Despite this I decided to head out for a short drive to begin the bonding process.
Key in the ignition, turn to the right, listen to the fuel pumps, as they slow, turn one more notch to the right, the beast awakens, give it a little gas, and we settle into a nice idle. Now comes the check of all the electrics, lights on, fans work, windows work (well kind of, you need patience as they ever so slowly crawl up and down) so far so good. After a few more minutes, we get a bit of heat in the engine, oh so not exactly light clutch in, select reverse, and roll back out of the garage. With the Daytona parked in the middle of the driveway, give it a few more minutes to heat up and do a walk around inspection. Everthing looks good except the fuel gauge is on empty. Clear where our first stop will be.
After a graceful flop back into the one piece bucket mounted behind the steering wheel, slot it into first and off we go. Shortly after clearing the gates, give the brakes a tap and they instantly respond. This is very good news as getting the brakes fully sorted had turned into a major project. Up into 3rd and the car is pulling nicely. After a quick stop for gas (the Daytona has a huge tank) off we headed up one of the main "A" roads. With everything now up to full operating tempature, time to run the gearbox and test the brake. First hard shove on the middle pedal and we have a slight pull to the right, brakes are stone cold thou and pads are new. On the second try, they bite strongly and straight. A couple of more brake tests and my confidence in the Daytona is growing. At this point, we do a quick u-turn and head back. Rain does not seem to far off, but we head off to run a nice twisty road anyway. With a bit of speed, the steering lightens up brilliantly and the corners begin to flow nicely. Even forty years later, the engine is highly impressive. It pulls very strongly and never seems to run out of grunt. Being a bit lazy, I just leave it in 3rd and take advantage of the massive torque as we wind out way up and then back down through the hills.
With the sky darkening back we head. Once in the garage I let it run for a few minutes to check the cooling fans. As soon as the temp gauge hits 90, they come immediately on.
Another good sign and a good end to a successful short first drive.