Home » Only Sabine Schmitz Could Turn A Plumbing Van Into A Track Weapon: COTD

Only Sabine Schmitz Could Turn A Plumbing Van Into A Track Weapon: COTD

Sabinecotd
ADVERTISEMENT

Sabine Schmitz was a legend we lost too soon. Before her 2021 passing, she was so proficient at driving pretty much anything fast on the Nordschleife that I bet she could have completed laps blindfolded while driving a garbage truck. By her own estimates, she lapped the Nürburgring over 20,000 times, 1,200 times a year. She was without contest the “Queen of the Nürburgring.” There are plenty of examples of her driving skills out there, but one still stands out.

During the weekend, contributor Rivers wrote about all of the cars that could one day take a 300 mph speed record. While few of us may ever even see one of these cars in real life, the prospect of going 300 mph in a road legal car is fascinating. Still, Vanillasludge isn’t convinced:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

300mph is useless until it can be achieved by a white plumber van on the Dan Ryan expressway.

In a fantastic reply, Rad Barchetta reminded us of Schmitz:

If Sabine Schmitz were still with us, she’d be reading this and saying “Halte mein Bier”

If you don’t know the context, Schmitz gained fame with a lot of enthusiasts from her antics on Top Gear. Jeremy Clarkson took a Jaguar S-Type diesel around the ‘Ring, posting a 9 minute, 59 second lap time. Schmitz said she could do better in a van. Then, she took that Jag to a lap time of 9 minutes and 12 seconds, destroying Clarkson’s time. Later, she did hop into a Ford Transit diesel and she came within just 9 seconds of Clarkson…in a diesel work van!

ADVERTISEMENT

Admittedly, one of my dreams has been to see if I could even come remotely close to her time with that van, but with a Smart Fortwo. One day I will get that chance.

Now that I have your heart all warmed up, let’s move to today’s Cold Start, which featured 7’1″ tall basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain getting shoved into Volkswagens. Now, you may ask why they didn’t go even taller with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Well, Trust Doesn’t Rust started a great joke thread:

VW originally wanted Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to star in the ads but he was too busy being a commercial airline pilot.

IRegertNothing, Esq. replied:

Surely you can’t be serious?

And Fuzzyweis laid down another side-splitter:

ADVERTISEMENT

Look kid, he’s busting his butt running up and down the court every night, tell your old man to go sit in that VW.

For some housekeeping, I’ve noticed some rather saddening anti-trans comments lately. We’re usually pretty lax with moderation but we do have a line. Moving forward, those types of comments will be deleted. Seriously, please remember that the people you’re talking to or about, even trans people, are just boring humans like you.

Have a great evening, everyone.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
53 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
LostinTransit
LostinTransit
1 month ago

1st: This is nothing new and just look at our 2020 Connect with Bilstein B6 struts, soon to be added Bilstein shocks, Cobra suspensions 40mm rear lowering springs, Superpro 10.5 inch end links, NGK spark plugs, 19” AXE wheels and 245/40/r19 Nokian tires.

2nd: I need you to do a shitbox show down between our 2020 Connect, Promaster and the Nissan NV200 You’ll get your chance to see our van on the track very soon. I’ll report back when I’ve completed the suspension and reserved time and date at the track/s. I did say “tracks” so the van may end up taking a few laps on several tracks across the nation this season.

Martin English
Martin English
1 month ago

I read your stuff because it’s fun, covers a very wide range of transport (m/cycles to locos) and you know what you’re talking about.

I’m pretty much the Oz equivalent of WASP, and when I saw Sheryl’s tweet about the transphobia and racism you face, a small part of me thought “What do you expect from the land of the free these days ?”, but mostly I’m pissed off that those wankers could be taking your focus off what you do so well.

TL;DR: Don’t stop what you’re doing, because we love it and we love you.

Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago

So…
A car forum is not the right place for the following question. I know that. But I live in a rural conservative area where I have few other resources. Also, I am socially liberal. I truly try to treat everyone equally, and I legitimately don’t care how someone chooses to live their life. I love you all! Hater’s can fuck off. I have not and will never be one of those hater commenters.
There is still a possibility that I am an ignorant asshole and need to be told to fuck off. I really hope not, but I’m open to learn.

That said, can I ask someone who knows about the LGBTQ+ labels? It used to be just LGB, and over the years more labels are added; I understand it’s to identify the broad spectrum of human sexuality. However, I don’t understand why it’s needed?

On the one hand, there is the philosophy that we are all just humans; our personal sexuality doesn’t matter, and shouldn’t define us to strangers. We should be free to live however we want with other consenting adults. I try to take this approach.

On the other hand, there seems to be a philosophy, and to me it seems to come from within the LGBTQ+ community, that every person needs to be labeled according to their individual sexuality. They’re not T, they’re Q, or Pan, or Asexual, or other, etc. I’m hetero, but I could breakout more specific sexual desires if helpful. 🙂

Where does the need to make these labels come from? What purpose do they serve?
It seems to have the opposite effect from “we’re all just humans and we deserve love”. Doesn’t it inherently create groups or tribes, or an overall environment of “us” as opposed to “other”? Which seems to be opposite of just “acceptance”? So if someone is not straight, but Pan, or Queer, or anything…. Why should that matter? What purpose do the individual labels serve?

I hope I can get mature responses to what I really hope comes across as an honest question. I want to grow and be a more understanding person. I kind of have no where else to learn about other communities. Well… I know people, but we don’t talk about sexuality, so strangers on the Internet seemed better…

If the appropriate response is “fuck off bigot, how could you not see the obvious answer!” I would hope to get some further enlightenment, but okay.
If this is too non-car related, please delete the comment, and I will stay on topic from now on.

And if you are a hater-bigot, don’t you dare reply and change my innocent question into something it isn’t!

TheWombatQueen
TheWombatQueen
1 month ago
Reply to  Jb996

I’m the L and the T and not any other letters so I can’t really speak from experience but: I think that adding more letters is just to directly include more people but I do think it’s gotten a little clunky. As for categorizing every human, I think that sometimes people who often don’t feel understood or even respected want to find other people who directly relate and have the same experiences. With more specific labels it’s easier to find the person who’s like you and has shared experiences.

I also want to say that I appreciate your open mindedness and desire to understand. I know sometimes it can be rough trying to ask questions and stuff when you don’t know all the terminology and come from communities that are conservative etc.

Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago
Reply to  TheWombatQueen

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I legitimately appreciate your helpful perspective.
Cheers.

Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago

I never understood people who apparently think that their own lives are so perfectly constructed, so completely figured out, that they can spend time and energy constructing artificial criteria, and then judging and criticizing other’s personal lives. Hating other’s personal lives really requires a “special” kind of arrogance and ignorance of one’s self.

My own life is a full-time job!

I just don’t see how anyone can have the time, energy, or feeling of moral superiority to care how anyone else lives theirs.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jb996
Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

…whose kneecaps are beggin’ for a bustin’? Ain’t no place for that kind of hate.

Last edited 1 month ago by Stef Schrader
Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
1 month ago

BTW, If you’re anti-trans or having any issues whatsoever with LGBTQ+ folks in any way whatsoever, then please do me a favor and go fuck the fuck off harder than anyone has ever fucked off in the grand history of fucking off. They are humans just trying to live their lives and if you have problems with that, then you are stain on humanity and need to be cleansed. I’m not a moderator, so I can say, seriously, kill yourself if you’re a bigot. You deserve nothing more than an agonizing self-inflicted death.

Jim King
Jim King
1 month ago

Mercedes, I am here for your lap around the Ring in a Smart Fortwo. With maybe a warmup lap in a Passat TDI?

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
1 month ago

Thanks for the moderating, I’ve tried to keep the spots I go on the internet fairly conflict free, and this is one of the spots I like to frequent because it’s fairly conflict free. You also don’t get as preachy as the old site did, just a bunch of car folks enjoying cars generally, and that’s all I think most of us here are looking for.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
1 month ago

To this day I think Sabine could’ve beat the time if the van had been left-hand drive. By Top Gear’s standards of cheating, their having brought a right-hand drive van all the way from the UK for a German to drive in Germany was really subtle, not lampshaded at all, but it was still completely unnecessary.

As is the hate. And from the haters’ point of view must be like peeing one’s pants in winter, it gives them a very warm feeling for a very short time.

Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago
Reply to  Nlpnt

Love that analogy. “… like peeing one’s pants…” going to use that.

Similar too that afterwards, they’re left looking like the guy who just peed his pants, immature and not someone anyone else is eager to get close to.

Andreas8088
Andreas8088
1 month ago

I’m quite glad I missed those comments, and I’m sorry you had to deal with them. People can really suck.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago
Reply to  Andreas8088

We all may not play on the same team. But being a hate filled asshole does little to even the field. They can go screw off…

The Artist Formerly Known as the Uncouth Sloth
The Artist Formerly Known as the Uncouth Sloth
1 month ago

Jeezus, Mercedes, I can’t even fathom what goes through the minds of some people. I’m not fishing for anything here but some days I am honestly, genuinely, sincerely ashamed to be a human, and anybody who understands anything about anthropology would feel the same way

Hamish48
Hamish48
1 month ago

It wasn’t just the masterful driving – it was the bubbling spirit of joy she brought to all of her endeavors. RIP, Sabine.

Myk El
Myk El
1 month ago
Reply to  Hamish48

By the accounts of the folks who were asked after she passed, that’s just who she was. Not even a case of her turning up the volume on her personality for TV. Seemed to me she just exuded enthusiasm.

Todd Beauchamp
Todd Beauchamp
1 month ago

What people chose to present as makes no difference to anyone. I’m personally more interested in your reaction time on the drag strip than if your dressing in drag.

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
1 month ago
Reply to  Todd Beauchamp

“You become what you give your attention to.” -Epictetus

Last edited 1 month ago by getstoneyII (probably)
Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago

MAGA?

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
1 month ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

I have no idea what your reply means. Feel free to explain further.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago

Self explanatory.

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
1 month ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

Ok, then. You do you.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago

You have misunderstood the comment. Sorry.. Your quote is your answer. Try again. No malice intended. Seriously.
“You become what you give your attention to.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Col Lingus
Steve Balistreri
Steve Balistreri
1 month ago

Sabine’s lap was one of my favorite Top Gear segments. Imagine taking your super bike out on the ring only to be passed by a Transit van driving like a bat out of hell. Some incredible driving.

Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago

Definitely. Like others, that was my first awareness of her. Great episode to highlight a great person.

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
1 month ago

This site is awesome and there is room for everyone in the Autopian commentariat. Whether you’re Cis, Trans, Am, or other, just know that posting hate will see your credibility dissolve faster than a rocker panel in Michigan.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
1 month ago

Cis TransAm would be a great user name.

Sarah Blikre
Sarah Blikre
1 month ago

transphobia can go ahead and skedaddle on out of here

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  Sarah Blikre

Exactly: people is jest people
chromosomes/identity don’t affect one’s enthusiasm, and that is what this site is about

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
1 month ago

Anyone else have a quality crush on Sabine? I know I did and her loss hurt about as much as Dana Plato’s did.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
1 month ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

Heck yes. She was so awesome. Joy and fun just seemed to surround her.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

Her incredible competence and work(wo)manlike demeanor were quite endearing to me. And her sheer joy! Looking back, I think she reminded me of the Northern European-stock Midwestern women I grew up amidst. The kind of lady who would casually castrate a calf or replace a shear-pin—then prompt not-yet-understood feelings when appearing in a sundress the next day

Jason Smith
Jason Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

I adored her! Personality, appearance, competence behind the wheel… Everything about her was a joy to behold.

The Artist Formerly Known as the Uncouth Sloth
The Artist Formerly Known as the Uncouth Sloth
1 month ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

here to confess this

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

So cute. RIP.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 month ago

Having nestled myself comfortably (sometimes extremely uncomfortably, I know I’ve gone too far sometimes) in the Autopian comment community since the sites inception.
A thought.

I’m an old ass man who never commented on the internet until JT and DT brought this maniac site to fruition.

I’ve fucked up so many times here only to be welcomed back in if I can behave.
I’ve offended some people who’s comments and articles/writing I’ve since learned to deeply appreciate.

I can’t help but think that some ground rules and moderation could be helpful.

You’ve gained a good amount of extra traffic since your early days…
Maybe update the on ramps?

Might make for a good “Autopian Asks”?

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 month ago

You of all people? Look at you…
asking for moderation?!

If this site had moderation you wouldn’t be here!

Last edited 1 month ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 month ago

But…
look on the bright side, neither would you.

Douglas Lain
Douglas Lain
1 month ago

I think that the basic “Don’t Be A [expletive deleted] Jerkwad” goes a log way where ground rules come in. Basic Human Decency is another good one.

Oh, wait, this is America (well, and other places, sure) in 2024.

Maybe we DO need it spelled out…

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 month ago
Reply to  Douglas Lain

I think the same thing sitting in traffic every day. Only difference is I don’t delete the expletives from my thought process.

Last edited 1 month ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 month ago

Are you implying that the loss of attention and politeness, once inherent in the art of simply driving, is becoming a lost art?

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 month ago

Exactly!
The timeline of asshole drivers lines up perfectly with the timeline of the advent of social media.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 month ago

*act
( you know where)

Thousand dollar car, ain't worth a darn
Thousand dollar car, ain't worth a darn
1 month ago

Funny, the Mt Panorama Ford Van got me to look at Sabine’s lap last night.
Holy shit. What a driver. So sad that she is gone.

Clarkson was trying to kiss her, she was doing her best to dodge it. A bit creepy.

He goes on to say that they could pay her less than Hammond and that she is taller. Because Clarkson?

I guess Sabine’s van was a manual? I had a 6 speed Diesel Hilux in Australia. It was a hoot.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

sorry that you have to deal with those comments 🙁

This site is awesome 🙂

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
1 month ago

Great job everyone, and thanks Mercedes!
#transally #lovewins

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

Is it ironic (or just sad) that a lot of the people who post anti trans messages are likely the same people who would enthusiastically embrace a Trans Am?

Last edited 1 month ago by Canopysaurus
Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Fwiw, I’m happily pro-Trans, Am or otherwise. There’s a gorgeous orange Turbo that hasn’t moved in at least months, and I’m thiiiis close to knocking on the front door and seeing if the owner is willing to sell it. I never thought myself a muscle car/muscle car adjacent type guy but TURBO TRANS AM just really rustles my jimmies every time I see it.

*If there is something more to this, like Pontiac was secretly a dog whistle brand for -phobes, I am not aware of that and mean no offense.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
1 month ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

Leave a note. I lost out on three vehicles I could have had free (I learned later) if I had only left a note. I own a rare vehicle that I love to talk about, so I entertain anyone who wants to stop by an talk about or leave a note. I get notes several times a year.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago
Reply to  Knowonelse

“and that’s why you ALWAYS LEAVE A NOTE”

That’s a seriously good idea, I think I’ll give it a shot!

Scottingham
Scottingham
1 month ago
Reply to  Knowonelse

Whatcha got?

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
1 month ago
Reply to  Scottingham

Rare, but desireable for only a narrow audience. A ’64 F100 crewcab built as a special order for a customer by Crown for a rich customer in Sacramento. Dad bought it from that first owner a year later. Ford started to make crewcabs in ’65 from F250s and F350s. If you search for ’64 F100 crewcab, mine is the light blue one.

53
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x