All this talk of gorgeous HD Point-of-View driving videos reminds me of a knockout drive to share here as part of a travel article.
The four videos show the high-def ascent of the Pikes Peak Toll Road outside Colorado Springs, Colorado. Taken earlier this summer by none other than this grinning goon.
The car of choice for this adventure is the only car for the job, in my opinion. My cherished but battered 2005 http://www.topspeed.com/cars/subaru... Subaru Legacy GT manual Wagon.
This is the car that I mention in my bio as currently non-functional in garage ion the updated TopSpeed Team page...
It is still needing a big electronics overhaul to come back to life as spunky as it was when new.
But watching the clouds roll by while the upgraded turbo spins furiously and boost spikes as high as 19 PSI.
Climbing Pikes Peak takes about 45 minutes and costs about $12.00 per car. It is mostly tourists driving very slowly, with double yellow no-passing zones all the way to the top.
But on that rare sunny day, the only things slowing you down are fear of heights and the thin atmosphere at the 14,000-foot crest of the peak.
Click past the jump for the next four videos in this series, in order, going up and coming down the legendary Pikes Peak in all its high-definition glory.
Travel - Going Up Pikes Peak
This starts pretty gently at 8,000 feet above sea level. But as the mountain air gets thinner, the Subaru ’s turbo is audibly huffing and puffing.
Car of Choice Detail - Modified 2005 Subaru Legacy GT
Travel - Coming Down Pikes Peak
This next video is right after I turned around at the top. So this is the full height of the mountain. Lots of engine braking is the only way.
In this next segment, the road is a bit flatter and smoother than the steep zig-zagos from higher on the mountain.
Trees are visible instead of just rocks, which is all that remains at the top of the mountain in its thin air.
Winter Warning Sign Detail
Coming around corners brings huge gusts of wind from out of nowhere, and rain was always a corner away.
The Car Is Critical At Pikes Peak
Not too fast or intimidating, because of all the weather changes, but not slow or you will be passed by enthusiastic bicyle riders going up and coming down.
The Subaru Legacy GT performed admirably, but the constant shifts into first gear are no fun. But the snow and ice did mean I had to road to myself, even for a few terrifying spin-outs on shady ice corners.
Our second visit to Pikes Peak, this time the summer weather was much more bearable for the Subaru , myself, and the two dogs panting away in the back seat of all my adventures.
While my foot is on the floor much of the time, the car was having mechanical issues and had to get us back to Chicago. So forgive the lack of wild corner speeds.
How to Visit Pikes Peak
Few people visit Pikes Peak as their ultimate destination, simply because the mountain is a sparsely-populated area of state and national forests.
The mountain is actually an easy day-trip from almost anywhere in the Denver metro or even from Summit County in the Mountains.
Some of the "back way" mountain roads toward Breckenridge are spectacular in and of themselves. On one ride we even saw a convoy of heavily-disguised Ford small crossovers pushing their cooling systems to the max.
For less than the price of admission at a sticky and gross movie theater, any driver in any car can attempt Pikes Peak.
Doing so puts both man and machine to the test. The moment you upshift or come off the gas pedal, the car will nearly grind to a halt.
As the highest public road in the world, Pikes Peak is a must-do trip for any car guy.
But if you are in a rental car: make sure it has a V-8.