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What age do you think you should be allowed to drive a 350z?


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Just a little discussion topic since I don't know the average age of forum members but I gather the majority are 25+ onwards. I've been told numerous times that the car is too powerful for me, what do you think is an "appropriate" age.

 

I'm 20 for those wondering and have owned my DE for 9 months :thumbs:

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My nephew is 34 and i wouldnt trust him to sit the right way round on a toilet let alone drive my zed, could he handle the car, yes no problem, but do i trust the way he drives, no, i hope that makes

Because we're immature and stupid  All you oldies have a bit more experience

Mod was referring to G's quote ... I think ... now removed 

Physical age or mental age? I mean that sincerely, as I think it requires a bit of maturity - the 'kid' that bought my zed I preached to for about 30 minutes about how to drive it assuming he knew nothing, turns out he is in the army and drives challenger tanks :lol:

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Depends on the person. I know 17 year olds who are more than capable of handling a 350, and I know 40 year olds I wouldn't trust with a Fisher Price trike.

 

Genrally speaking though, I'd be in favour of a similar power limit like they have for bikes on cars, so over 21 would be a good base to start from. Everyone is different though, I bought my first sports car at 23 and I had no idea what I was doing with it or how to drive at all at that age. It was mid-engined too, so far harder to drive quickly (and easier to get wrong) than a 350.

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Guess it all depends upon experience. By the time I got my first car at 19 I had been driving my parents cars on private land for 5 years. I remember on my very first driving lesson when I was 17 I was doing 3 point turns, reverse parking, everything most people wouldnt do until much later.

 

But looking back now, how I used to drive in my 20`s scares me, and that was with much less powerful cars. I didnt get my zed until I was in my 30`s and felt that my attitude towards driving and risk taking was more appropriate. But everyone's different and it depends on how sensible you are really.

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1 hour ago, coldel said:

Physical age or mental age? I mean that sincerely, as I think it requires a bit of maturity - the 'kid' that bought my zed I preached to for about 30 minutes about how to drive it assuming he knew nothing, turns out he is in the army and drives challenger tanks :lol:

The guy I bought my Zed from funnily enough lectured me about driving it. Haha

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Like Ekona says, its down to experience and maturity - I was rocking around in a modified 200SX before I was 20 ......... but it took me well over a year before I ever put my foot down in it properly. 

 

It genuinely scares me that 450+hp cars are becoming so accessible these days though - a Zed is a quick car, for sure, but 450hp is mind bending quick and IMO not something you should be let loose in without a good bit of experience behind you. Or else this happens: https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=1678200 

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I'm 20 too and I've had my DE for 1 year and 2 months nearly! :) yes it's a reasonably powerful car for anyone, but at the end of the day it comes down to how sensible you are.

My mates drive fiestas and polos faster than I drive my Z and that's fine by me :lol: 

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Ill agree with everyone on here its more about mental age and driving ability than physical age. Its like a lot of things some people have an outright knack for driving and could make any car dance other people could drive for 20+ years and still look like they are day 3 of driving school.

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I'm echoing what others have said, maturity, experience, and ability.

 

If someone is a 'bad' driver, lacking any sense of adaptability or self control then it doesn't matter if its a Corsa, a 350Z, or a Ferrari. They will bin it eventually at any age and it will only be shear luck that stops them from killing or injuring themselves or anyone around them.  I don't think anyone can claim to be a perfect driver but adapting to the situation and knowing where the line is is key. 

 

When I did my ARDS they taught us that smoothness would develop speed and to drive at 95% of your ability because that 5% might just save you if something goes seriously wrong. If that's how they teach people to drive on track to then there is no way people should be getting anywhere near 95% ability on the road, let alone above that IMHO.

 

Having written this I stated to wonder if actually the problem lies with driving lessons/test rather than the power of the car. Remember the first time you experienced understeer or oversteer? Unless it was in a controlled environment (even then...) I expect it was a brown trouser moment. Did your driving instructor teach you what to do? Did they even mention it beyond steer into a skid? I'm all in favor of car control being a mandatory part of the driving test. Let them find the limit in safety rather than putting others at risk! That or make advanced driving qualifications more accessible and obvious to general public rather than those who choose to go looking for them.

 

I think @Ekona has a point. A limit for the first few years of driving (rather than age, though age implies maturity so I'm torn) might be good. But as I said above, you can still do life changing damage in a 1L Corsa.

 

Back to the point, I bought my 350Z shortly after I turned 22 at which point I was ready for it. My previous car was a 1997 Toyota MR2 with no traction or stability control that I drove around on summer tyres all year round! To say it was a handful at times would be an understatement but I leaned a hell of a lot from that car. Had I not experienced that I think the 350 would have been too much of a handful and I'd have binned it by now!

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1 hour ago, longsh07 said:

Having written this I stated to wonder if actually the problem lies with driving lessons/test rather than the power of the car. Remember the first time you experienced understeer or oversteer? Unless it was in a controlled environment (even then...) I expect it was a brown trouser moment. Did your driving instructor teach you what to do? Did they even mention it beyond steer into a skid? I'm all in favor of car control being a mandatory part of the driving test. Let them find the limit in safety rather than putting others at risk! That or make advanced driving qualifications more accessible and obvious to general public rather than those who choose to go looking for them.

The driving test teaches you nothing but to pass you're test, if you have the ability to repeat a task (three point turn etc) you will pass, nothing in it suggests you have the ability to control a car or be safe (on the most part), let alone there is nothing regarding driving at the national speed limit or on mways.

 

When i did my bike license the instructor simply stood outside the test centre and instructed you to drive round the block and surprised you somewhere with an emergency stop, i kid you not.

 

I was in the boat industry and there is absolutely nothing needed to drive any boat in this country, its recommended but nothing to stop you buying a 70mph + jet ski, speed boat or come to that a million pound superyacht, its utter madness and positively scary when you see some people at the helm. 

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25 minutes ago, Jetpilot said:

The driving test teaches you nothing but to pass you're test, if you have the ability to repeat a task (three point turn etc) you will pass, nothing in it suggests you have the ability to control a car or be safe (on the most part), let alone there is nothing regarding driving at the national speed limit or on mways.

 

When i did my bike license the instructor simply stood outside the test centre and instructed you to drive round the block and surprised you somewhere with an emergency stop, i kid you not.

 

I was in the boat industry and there is absolutely nothing needed to drive any boat in this country, its recommended but nothing to stop you buying a 70mph + jet ski, speed boat or come to that a million pound superyacht, its utter madness and positively scary when you see some people at the helm. 

Pass plus covers motorway but is voluntary and a bit of a waste of time. Why they can't just add it to normal lessons/test I don't know. I thought I'd done dual carriage way in my normal lessons but that was a good few years ago.

 

Sounds like we need better lessons for all methods of transport then!

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Progressively faster cars has been good for me.

 

1) 55bhp

2) 145bhp

3) 170bhp

4) 276bhp

5) 430bhp

 

1-2 was a big increase but I'd had that 55bhp piece of plop for years being a right hooligan and learning that no I'm not Senna.

 

That Primera GT was fun.

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Id agree with TT350 and I think having a reference point helps. Thinking back sure I would have loved a 350z as a first car, but i wouldn't have appreciated it the same way I do currently.

 

Insurance costs effectively enforce this principle already though.

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All about attitude and approach. 

 

Years back I sold my s14a to a kid from Liverpool. Stepping out of a diesel polo and into a 300bhp s14a. I was early 20’s id say he was same. 

 

I asked him to take it handy until he got used to it. Off he went to get boat back to Liverpool. 

 

3 weeks later I heard he binned it into a post trying to drift it on a public road about. 

 

Attitude and approach lol

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I was 26 when I got mine many moons ago now but I agree with Dan its about the type of person, you can get young mature or idiot and you can get old mature or ...usually crap at driving (I know that's a sweeping statement but you know the people, not looking, randomly making turns, wheel shufflers...etc),  Some people would be fine with it yet I know some people miles older than me that'd crap themselves trying to drive and prob be frustrated at its clutch and jerkiness. Even though I was...mature I still hooned about in it and still do but the diff was I understood what it was what it could do and what could potentially go wrong.  Winter and high powered RWD is a good test of getting you 'mature' I feel. Tested me a good few times and its survived for the last 5 year lol.  Ignoring the mindset I'd say for high powered anything 23+ (making my own judgement)

 

Since its been mentioned also, which I thought was novel, my last three steps haven't hung about... 59bhp.... 141bhp ...309 bhp..... (I'd like the next to be on the 400 mark)

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To add to the stages thing I learnt in a 1.3 diesel corsa which felt like it was running in the single digits for horsepower. Then had two 1.6 Astras about 105bhp brand new so probably on the underside of 100 by the time i drove them then straight to the 350. I think in some regards its a fantastic car to learn more in, if you have the right mindset. Its a bit of an arse to see out of so makes you more aware to check blindspots, the clutch is pretty tricky (coming from an astra where the clutch just did it) and means that now whenever i jump into another car the clutch isnt an issue. Also the fact that its RWD it a different experience too you can feel it on wet days sipping and chirping a little under heavier acceleration sort of letting you know where the edge of its grip is. (obviously that takes a bit of finese to not just mash the pedal). I personally think the 350 has already made me a much better driver or at least more aware of how i drive and made me want to improve. But i think its because I didnt get in it and immediately take it down to my local tesco and try to drift it about and wrap it into a wall.

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On one of our Welsh driving weekends (many moons ago :blush:) we had a 17 year old driving his mother's glorious UY GT4 and his road craft could not be faulted - a credit to his mother, who was an avid supporter on the forum at the time, and it was her son who chose most of the very tasteful upgrades - his Welsh drive opportunity probably being a thank-you for the way the car was looked after.

 

If Photobucket had not cocked-up the picture hosting for us users I would have posted up a pic or two, but sadly they have ruined some great historical image history of early days on the forum.

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Ignoring what everyone else says. 17. Queue the oft repeated anecdotes about being able to die and kill for your nation, being liable to pay tax, vote etc etc. 

 

Letting someone drive a 1litre corsa but taking umbrage at a 3.5 V6 - what are you actually targeting? Young drivers or arsehole drivers? Because focusing on age does that idea a serious injustice. 

 

Give everyone equal rope to hang themselves I say. Not literally, obviously. 

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