Friday, March 31, 2006

Am I the Only One Who Thinks There's Something Not Quite Right About the "Rendezvous" Clip?

The more I watch this clip, the more it seems to me the motion one should see given the sounds of the engine, shifts and tires doesn't quite match with the actual motion portrayed in the clip. Am I the only person with this reaction?

I raced open-wheel Formula Fords, as well as a variety of fendered race cars, for three years and I've spent a good amount of time since 1985 on race tracks across the country testing new models from the manufacturers. So I have some sense of what high speed looks and sounds like.

The vehicle in "Rendezvous" sounds like it is powered by a highly tuned naturally aspirated V-6 that is routinely capable of moving the tach needle way over to the right while straining toward top speed in fifth gear. The car is said to be a mid-70s Ferrari, so my guess is it's a Dino because I don't quite hear the tearing sheet sound of a Ferrari V-12.

And the powerplant that dominates the senses during the clip also sounds imminently capable of reaching velocities far into triple digit speed territory that are clearly suggested at several points in the clip. Allegedly, the top speed reached during the clip is 140 mph.

But ... at the end of the long, long straight (perhaps the producer meant to suggest Mulsanne?) in the opening scenes where the driver is flat out in fifth, for example, he barely slows from what sounds like 150+ mph for what appears to be a large, open traffic circle.

The cars being passed and other elements of the scenery don't approach and flick by as swiftly as they should and there are times braking into and accelerating out of corners where the tires squeal long after they should have, given the turn-in and track-out points.

Even if there is something fishy about the clip, though, I have to admit that I love the sound of the engine as the driver blips the throttle and downshifts in the traditional heel-and-toe style that is disappearing now in the age of clutch-less paddle shifters and manumatics.

And I appreciate that he misses a couple of upshifts, over-cooks it getting in to a couple of corners and misses several apexes. But I wonder why there is not much more vertical movement when traversing a couple of rises in the road.

Anyway, this clip just doesn't look like it sounds. Could this be an automotive analogy of lip-synching?

What do you think?