Memories Of Our Misspent Youths
Street racing is one of those things that can get magazines, such as Mopar Muscle, in trouble. After all, Wally Parks spent decades trying to make drag racing legitimate, and we all drank the Kool-Aid editorially trying to convince ourselves it really didn't happen. Since Stunkard and I partook in such experiences back in the old days, we decided this was a worthy subject to discuss, and since we weren't the only ones, we thought other enthusiasts might have similar stories to tell. So last spring we posted a question on Moparts.com asking for different street racing experiences people have had. The idea was the truth-no more, no less. Now mind you, we're in no way condoning street racing, we're merely retelling these tales of old. We used the screen names on the Internet to protect the "innocent" (yeah, right)
Nobody officially knows where street racing originated. One thing is certain, it's illegal and thrilling. When you're staring down a length of highway you're about to cover in mere seconds, knowing full well that if Johnny Law catches ya you're in a pile of deep stuff, the feeling is comparable to the feeling you had while sneaking your girlfriend into your bedroom (sorry, Mom). Your nerves get shaky, your pulse starts racing, and the thought in your mind is I can't miss Third, in either situation.
Anybody who has ever driven a musclecar while in high school can remember cruisin' the local circuit looking for action, and none of us would admit it then, but each of us thought our car was unbeatable, even if only against a Volkswagen. There's nothing wrong with that, and we all laugh about it now. Though they may not have happened that way, our stories all kinda lean to the win side in our memories. You know, the older I get, the better I was! So sit back and clear your mind, because as you read the excerpts here, we'll bet you'll be able to smell street rubber burnin' and hear motors windin' in the midnight air.
The Good Wife
My woman has more racing stories than I do right now. She gets to drive my 340 Challenger, while I get stuck with the Slant Six Dart. Every other night she comes home and says something to the effect of, "You'll never guess what happened. These guys pulled up next to me in a [insert vehicle of choice here] and they started revving the motor and smirking 'cause I'm a girl. Then the light changed, so I smoked the tires and kicked their [insert appropriate piece of anatomy here]. Did I do good, honey?"Yes, dear, you did great. Sigh.
It was the summer of '76 and I had just put a new 340 in my '66 Dart that had 273 emblems on the fenders. Anyway, I'm cruisin' Belair Road in Baltimore County, my girlfriend is with me, and I have only about 250 miles on the motor and have not run it hard yet. Well, along comes this '69 350 SS Nova, so I pop the clutch and jump him at half throttle, then he comes up and I let him go by. Well, this happens for three red lights in a row and my girlfriend says, "How long are you going to let him do that?" (that was the coolest thing she'd ever said to me). At the next light, I pop the clutch, nail it, and jump a car length on him before I hit Second gear. He gets alongside me and puts a half a car length on me; so, still in Second gear, I pull back alongside him and put a half a car on him again. I grab Third and put another car length on him with no trouble and now I'm doing 85 in a 40 zone, so I back out, as I think I proved my point. He lets off and won't come alongside me any more. It was great, and what a great way to impress your girlfriend! Too bad I've grown up and have better sense than that now! Ha ha!
Q: How did my dad find out I was street racing?
A: It turned out he was one of the cars being held up on I-295 one night when I was racing, and he recognized my car on the starting line. Oops!!!