but i'd also been exactly a month walking 6mi to work each direction, which even for me was usually 75min to an hour and a half.
combined with a 50hr work week that simply wasn't going to fly any longer.
i didn't have the money to pick up another beater car, but thankfully stevens creek vw somehow made a 0-down deal fly with my b-grade credit-
(since the other enthusiasts will ask, '02, 52k mi, existing mods are prodrive stage 1 [which is rear-section exhaust and ECU reflash], boost gauge, and the nifty titanium STi shift knob. price was $16.7.)
took her out and drove the hills above saratoga in anger last night, and found perfect subaru weather- pea-soup fog and damp pavement.
it really is unbelievable the amount of margin for error that AWD allows. it took me about 10 minutes to realize i was taking everything at 15-20mph above what i could have done in the dry in my bmw, with complete confidence-
"look where you want to go and make sure you get the braking distance right" is really all that's necessary.
not that i don't still owe the bimmer thanks for everything it taught me, because the "3.5k and up" powerband of the two engines is similar, and after two years i think i'll spend the rest of my life conscious of when and how the rear end of whatever i'm driving might step out on me. the difference with the subaru is that oversteer is now a correction method rather than a mistake to be avoided. feints and e-brake slides are still on the menu, but the exit strategy for them is now "keep the right foot on the floor".
i've spent years talking up these cars, but i never really knew just how amazing they are.