long shelby story - very interesting read

Taylor

New Member
Found this on another forum, from someone who copied the original. I'm on page 2 or so and it's gotten REALLY interesting.

Posts: 179
Joined: 4-September 06
From: North Phoenix
Member No.: 431



It was one of those days. You know; the kind that you just wish you hadn’t even got out of bed for? Seemed like everything I touched just went in the dumpster all morning beginning with the stupid alarm clock.

It didn’t even go off. Piece of crap; finally, I had to admit that I was going to accept the fact that I was going to have to replace it. On top of that, I was already late for work and because I was hurrying in the shower, I cut my face shaving in not one but two places. I looked like a poster-boy for a toilet paper pieces commercial. But out the door I went, grabbing the keys to the GN on the way.

When I got out in the garage, I see another disappointment for the day. Damn! The right rear tire was low.

Again.

Sheesh… when will I ever learn? The tire needs to come off and be looked at. It obviously has a slow leak and since I hadn’t driven the GN since the previous Wednesday, I didn’t think about. Which, in retrospect, seems like something I do (or don’t do) a lot – think. Well, I was already late, it was forecast to be a great Ohio morning for late fall (a predicted high of mid-60* and this was two days after Thanksgiving – how great is THAT?), and I wanted to get the Buick out for the short drive to work just to work all the fluids around again. Of course, that great plan was now delayed since I was going to have to get the air hose and air up the Nitto DR again.

Yep, I shoulda learned a long time ago – deal with it now while you’re thinking about or you’ll have to deal with it at a time when you really don’t have the time.

This day was one of those ‘times.

As I was airing the tire up (which really wasn’t that low – it looked much worse than it actually was), I was running through my plans for the day. Head into work and put a fresh tank of 93 octane in the car on the way. Cut out early since I was only really going in to catch up on some paperwork and then head on over to Barstow to hook up with some friends for some wings and drinks before the big game. Ok, so I was going to be delayed a bit – was it really that big of a deal? After all, I DID have some extra time… so, I relaxed a bit.

Testing the tire pressure again to make sure it was up to snuff, I put the Chrome valve stem cap back on and coiled the hose back up before opening the glistening black door and sliding into the driver’s seat. No matter how old I get, sliding into the seat of a Turbo Buick will always be a thrill. For some reason that is unexplainable, it just makes me feel like I should expect something and that it will come to pass.

Something great. Even if it is just a drive or a cruise, doing so in a Turbo Buick, especially an 11 second GN, was indeed something ‘great’.

As I turned the key and listened to the fuel pump come up to pressure and kick off (love the sound of that Walbro 340M for some reason!), I thought about my previous GN’s I had owned. My first one was a brand new one back in 1987. Chuckling to myself, I remembered how the rear tires on that car only lasted a little over 600 miles. Yeah… it was always great to drive a GN – unless you were its rear tires.

Twisting the key on to “Start”, I smiled as I heard the motor fire on what had to be the first spin of the starter. Gotta love that 3.8SFI – I’ve never had a car that starts as easy as these cars. Maybe I’ve just been lucky but no matter; mine have ALWAYS started quickly and fast. Well, as long as I had a good battery in them.

Or, as long as that stupid Fan Delay Relay didn’t crap out on me.

Again. And out of town to boot. But that’s another story. 

Letting the car warm up for a moment before easing the shifter back into “R” to back out of the garage, I remembered that Brandon was supposed to be at B-dubs today. You’ve really got to meet Brandon to understand what I’m about to tell you but I’ll try…

Backing on out of the garage and touching the garage door opener to close, I head on out the drive and begin the drive to work. Hmm… I really need a hot coffee. I wonder if Mickey D’s is open? Those thoughts raced through my head… oh, where was I? Yeah – I was about to tell you about Brandon. Ok, here goes.

First of all, Brandon is loyal. He’s a guy who will have your back no matter what. If he is your friend, he’s there for you, no matter what. Even if you are undeniably wrong, he will stand with you to the end. So, for that I’ve always been grateful.

Brandon is also a pretty big guy. Not fat – just big. Nearly 6’3 which is two inches taller than me, he is an imposing figure. And, he has arms the size of cannons, mainly from all his years loading stock at UPS.

But – Brandon is also a Ford guy. Oooh…. Major flaw, right? Yeah, I thought so too. And did I mention loyal? Well, Brandon is one of those guys who will definitely bleed Ford Blue when he’s cut, assuming you can cut his alligator leathery skin. And on top of that, he’s not just a Ford guy – he’s a Ford Mustang Guy.

Yeah… one of THOSE guys.

So, you can imagine the debates we’ve had over the years. He’s always had a Mustang and I’ve always had GN’s (well, when I had the money to have a performance car, that is). While I’ve dallied with GTO’s, Camaro’s, Firebirds, Olds 442’s (not the anemic late 70’s early ‘80’s crap – the REAL hairy-chested 442’s from the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s), Brandon has owned nothing but Mustangs.

Now, he’s had some real impressive ponies I must add. He had a sharp ’67 Shelby (that he sold just recently at Barrett-Jackson for BIG bucks), a ’70 Boss 302, a ’69 Mach 1 with the 428 that ran solid high 11’s with the few mods he did to it, several 5.0’s, a ’95 Cobra R, two different Terminators (an ’03 and a particularly nasty Competition Orange ’04), and his current car, a white/blue striped ’06 Mustang GT (Screaming Yellow) with the Roush Stage 3 package. And, he’s had a few other Ford products over the years, including a stock ’03 Mercury Marauder, a few different F-150’s, and a ’70 or ’71 Torino GT that was a pretty good ride.

Like I said – Brandon is loyal to his Fords. But, hey – there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s just Brandon.

As I slowed for the intersection, I note that the traffic is light. Well, at this time of the morning (6:30am) it usually is on a Saturday. This morning was no exception. I pull on into the Golden Arches and when I roll down the incredibly slow-moving Buick window (gotta do that power window mod someday) I smell the wonderfully addictive smell of fast food in the cool, crisp air. I order my food and move on around to the pick up window (“Second window, please!”) but just as I round the corner I notice that there is some ongoing construction at this restaurant. Well, normally, that isn’t a big deal, right?

Wrong.

Because with construction comes mud. It could be the middle of July and no rain for a month – in this part of Ohio, if somebody is digging there’s gonna be mud. And yep, I have no choice but to drive right through it to get up to that Mecca of fast food – the Second Window. Please.

I hear the grimy clay-like stuff flicking and spitting off my tires onto my recently waxed fenders. Ugh.

Now isn’t that great? Brown clay spots on my black car.

Yep… it’s one of THOSE days.

So, I grab my order (Coffee, black and an sausage/egg McMuffin) and head on out, hearing more little ‘tic’, ‘tics’ of mud flinging off my tires and onto my car. Damn…

Oh well, I’ll have time to spray it off before I head to join the crowd. In a moment, I make the parking lot for work, park out by the fence away from everyone, get out, lock up and head on inside to knock out the work-du jour, a bite of McMuffin already being chewed to bits as I pass through the gate.

The 6 hours go by pretty quickly other than a big fight with the printer (just another part of this ‘day’) but just as I am ready to leave my desk the phone rings. It’s my wife.

“Did Brandon get a hold of you?”

“No,” I answer. I don’t know why, but the guy just refuses to call my work number. And since my cell was charging on the desk it was off. “What did he want?”

“I’m not sure. He just said to tell you that he’ll meet you in the parking lot by your car – he’s there now and he’s got something to show you.”

Hmmm… what could it be THIS time? A new girl? A new car? A new watch? With Brandon, you just never know. He’s a guy who changes stuff more often than anyone I know so it could be anything.

As I pass through the gate, I can’t see the parking lot but I crane my neck a bit as I round the corner of the office building and that’s when I see it.

A black late model Mustang without any stripes on it but it does look to have some big tires. Hmm…. The new body style (’05 or newer) for sure – which I think looks great.

But – this one has an unusual hood and wheels. It definitely isn’t his current ride, the ’06 Roush. What is it?

As I get closer (still a couple hundred yards away), I notice that the front grille doesn’t have the extra fog lights like his GT does but the sides of the grille opening area seem to have a peculiar slant to them. I wonder if it’s a V6 car for a daily driver?

I watch Brandon open the driver’s door as the passenger door opens too, both getting out at the same time. Well, the other one is Stacy, his latest (but nicest) true love (more on her later! ).

I see that there is an unusual emblem on the side of the car just about the same time I notice Brandon’s mile-wide grin.

It’s a snake. And not just any snake. It’s a Cobra. OMG… Brandon just stepped out of an ’07 Shelby GT-500 without stripes.

And it is drop-dead gorgeous.

He notes my lower jaw scraping the ground and comes up to greet me as I approach the car.

“Well?” he asks. “Whadayathink?” His brilliantly white, perfectly aligned teeth gleemed with the huge grin he was flashing - I was almost blinded by the glare from them in the brilliant afternoon sunshine.

I just grin back and nod, trying not to show TOO much excitement. “Is it yours?” is all I can think to ask as I take in the serious attitude of the Shelby.

“Oh, yeah baby. She's mine, all right. I just picked it up an hour ago. I happened to walk into Anderson Ford for some filters as they were taking it off the truck this morning. One thing led to another and then the next thing I know, I’m signing the papers. Man, you’ve got to hear this thing….”

I just stand there in amazement. An honest-to-God ’07 Shelby Cobra, all of its 500 Horses backed by that wonderful 6 speed, is parked next to my GN here in the light of day. I couldn’t figure out why there wasn’t a crowd of people gawking at it like I was until I realized that I had answered that question before I realized what the car was.

This car really just wasn’t that noticeable – without the stripes that every other Mustang you see on every street corner in Small Town, USA has. Actually, it kind of looked like a mildly body-worked V-6 Mustang which I thought was kinda cool. Stealthy…

“How far in you did they break off the price?” I asked him looking the lines of the car over, all the while thinking about all the ‘Marketing Adjustments’ of $10k or more I had read about on various car forums since the car was first announced.

“That’s the cool thing, Steve…. I got it for MSRP. After all, I am one of Anderson’s best customers, you know. They wanted me to give them a nickel over but I told them ‘no way’. So, in the end, I got her for sticker and I’m happy.”

I had to agree. Only paying a bit over $43k for this awesome car was a pretty good deal.

“So… where ya heading, Steve?”

“Well, I WAS just going over to the new car wash on Cable to blow the mud off my GN. Wanna follow me over? I would love to get a good look at your car but I’ve got to get the crud off mine.”

“I’ve got a better idea” he said. “YOU drive the Shelby, me and Stacy will take your GN. How’s that? I would really like to know what you think of it anyhow. I mean, it’s stock and it’s new so it’s probably gonna be a little doggy for a while but still, take her for a spin and tell me what you think, ok?”

How could I turn THAT down? So, I tossed him my keys to the GN, opened the door to the Shelby and slid on inside. What was the first thing I noticed?

That wonderfully delicious new car smell! Leather, plastic, metal, paint, cloth, carpet – it all overwhelmed my senses as I ran my hand over the passenger side seat suede insert. It smelled…

Good. I'm being honest here - it did!

It smelled (and felt) REAL good. But how would it drive, I wondered to myself as I slid the fat key into the ignition.

How would it drive? Hmmm.....

I sat back in the seat of the Shelby and was immediately swept back to another time - back to when I bought my first GN. Even 20 years couldn’t separate the feeling, the smell, the sensation of sitting in a new and very powerful car. It was a heady feeling; one of knowing that all sorts of excitement was at my beck and call by simply matting the pedal beneath my right foot.

Ah… but there was a difference too. Horsepower…

The Shelby has an alluring call to it. You only have to look down at the Cobra on the steering wheel emblem to know that it, like the GN, is a breed all its own. From the fat steering wheel to the gauges, from the feel of the contoured seats to the view out over the slightly bulged and vented hood, you know that the GT500 is all business - at least 200 more HP of business - stock - versus the GN as it came from the factory.

And there is no denying that when you turn the key…

Since the door was still open, when I slid the key on into the cylinder, the gentle ‘pong’ of the chime began to politely remind me to close the door, strap in, and hold on. And by rotating the key, I brought to life the engine of the most powerful Mustang Ford had ever built.

The motor didn’t ‘start’ as much as it angrily exploded to life. In a very similar fashion to the way the Intercooled V6 in my GN had started earlier that morning, the 5.4 seemed as if it wanted to jump out of the K-member and smack down anything that dared challenge its authority. And the subtleness of the exhaust belied the explosive power being fired in the cylinders – it rumbled but not in an untoward way… just a muscular beat but without a lot of ‘cam-effect’ that had a very, very sinister tone to it.

At nearly the same time, I heard Brandon fire the GN. I looked over at him but couldn’t see inside the deeply tinted glass but I knew that he, just like me, had a silly but appreciative grin on his stupid mug.

I snugged up the seat/shoulder belt, depressed the clutch (and was pleasantly surprised at how ‘real’ it felt, not overly harsh but not like a marshmallow either), released the e-brake, snicked the shifter into first and began to pull away. The first impression I had of the power was the ease that the car pulled out – there didn’t seem to even be a chance of stalling the motor. I’ve driven Terminators and they can be a little finicky at low RPM’s and can even be stalled fairly easily if you don’t have enough “R’s” to keep the torque flowing.

That just didn’t seem to be the case with the Shelby. It almost felt as if I could hook onto a house and drag it behind me and to be able to say that about a Mod-Motor is saying something.

This motor felt STRONG.

Running it through the gears was uneventful and smooth all the while feeling as if I was guiding a hungry panther through a sea of gazelles. Even the shifter’s position was placed in a good place and wasn’t notchy or sloppy in the least. At one of the first lights I was stopped at, I happened to look over to my right and saw that Brandon was beside me with the window down, motioning for me to roll down mine.

Waiting for the light to change, he gave me the “So?” look.

I gave him the thumbs up – I definitely was impressed. This car feels powerful and in turn, makes the driver feel almost invincible. There’s only one other car I’ve driven that made me feel like that.

Yep. My GN.

By the time we got close to the Carwash, I was feeling pretty good about the shifter and shift points so I decided to wind it on out a bit since we were in a 45 mph zone. Once I pulled away from the light, I left it in first and gave the pony most of the go-pedal, immediately rewarded with a massive shove against my chest and pushing me back into the seat without manners. The tach swept upward in a dizzying pace and I short shifted at ~5500rpm, feeling the torque once more and hearing the big blower howl with impunity. Just as quickly, I let out of it and noticed that Brandon was way behind me. Looking down, I watched the speedo spiraling downward from almost 70 mph.
I knew then and there that the Shelby is no poseur, even with less than 50 miles on the clock at that point.

I rolled on into the car wash and let the car idle a bit as Brandon pulled on in beside me. We both shut down within seconds of each other and I got out shaking my head.

“Well? Whadaythink?”, he grinned once more.

“Brandon…. THAT is a car to be reckoned with. No doubt – she’s got the power and it isn’t even broken in yet. I have no doubt that it’s a solid mid-12 second or lower car as she sits right there. With traction, you might even be high 11’s…. and I don’t care what people say about its weight – it just does NOT feel like a heavy car.”

He just nodded in agreement, his goofy grin still trying to blind me.

“Yeah, B… you did good.” I couldn’t lie – I liked his car. And after all, how can a GN guy not like a black car with balls the size of coconuts?

As we swapped places, I looked back at the GT500. I had to admit to myself that I really DID like its looks. The understated ness of no stripes, no big massive fog lights in the grille, no big “Look at ME!” scoop on the hood… it was a modern day GN to be sure. And after the experiences I have had with the Terminators (my son owns a black ‘03 10 second street monster), I just KNEW that the Shelby was a valid heir to the throne that had yet to be vacated by the Terms.

Yep… there is going to be trouble on the streets when more of these bad-boys begin to prowl.

Brandon and Stacy jumped in the Cobra, waved goodbye and headed on over to B-dubs. I watched and listened as the pulled away and only had one thought….

I wanted to run that car with my GN. I just had to know how strong the Shelby really was. Little did I know that I would find out much sooner rather than later.


By the time I got to the restaurant, my wife was already there sitting with the crowd. The parking lot was so full, I didn’t even see Brandon’s car but I knew he was there because my wife had called me on the cell to see if I had ‘got lost’. When I told her about having to wash off the car, I could hear the ‘he’s so anal about keeping that car clean’ sigh I’ve heard a million times. Thankfully, I know she’s not TOO upset about it.

Making my way through the crowd, I finally spied the tables where we had gathered, not too far out from one of the big Plasma TV’s scattered about the noisy place. The smell of wings and brews was mixed in with the sights and sounds of a noisy restaurant holiday crowd; sounds of clanking glasses, silverware on plates, children squealing with delight over their desserts, and so forth – it felt nice. That’s one of the things I’ve always liked about the place – it just feels like home.

As I got closer to the table, I saw Brandon and Stacy to my wife’s right with the girls engaged in conversation. Brandon was jawing with a guy I hadn’t met before but that wasn’t unusual – Brandon never met a stranger. I swear – he just loves to talk. And 99.9% of the time, it’s about cars. Well, as long as Stacy wasn’t around. Then, it was usually about girls AND cars.

I decided to say hello. Anyone who could last more than a minute listening to Brandon talk about Fords was either A) a Ford lover too or, deaf. As I got closer Brandon, stood up and pulled up a chair for me to sit with him.

“Steve, this here is Ned. I met him today at the dealership and invited him to join us.”

Ned and I shook hands but for some odd reason, I got a weird vibe – sort of one of those strange, deja-vu experiences. Had I met this guy somewhere before? I just didn’t know... Odd… the guy just seemed to be a bit unfriendly I thought. Maybe it was just my imagination but something seemed a bit off-key. Where did I see him and when? But good ol’ Brandon broke that train of thought for me.

“I didn’t get a chance to tell you but Ned here bought the first Shelby in the state. He got it up at Findlay – did you see it in the parking lot out there?”

“Nah, I didn’t. But I would like to have – I was sure impressed with yours so seeing another one would be icing on the cake.” I figured I would toss out a compliment and see if that broke the ice with Ned.

It didn’t. He didn’t say a word. No matter – Brandon had enough words for all three of us.

“Steve, his car is a Red one with white stripes. I gotta admit it – it’s pretty eye-catching. I can’t believe you didn’t see it out there. What side did you park on?”

“I parked out there on the Mall side away from everyone. Where did you guys park?”

Ned spoke. Yet, I couldn’t quite put my finger on why this guy seemed familiar.

“We parked across the street in the Lowe’s lot. I can’t believe you didn’t see my car, dude. Seems like everyone else has! Some clown in a Camaro ‘bout ran off the street just starin’ at the Shel!” and with that, he burst out in one of the most loud and obnoxious laughs I’ve ever heard. Some people jerked their heads around with odd looks on their face as if to ask, “Who let Mr. Ed in here?” But Mr. Ed, er, I mean Ned, didn’t let that stop him. Seemed like attention was the fuel that this guy needs.

“Of course, I’m used to it. Ever since I got the car back from the Tuner’s, it’s been getting a lot of attention. Just like it should – it’s the new sheriff in town now. When you leave, make sure you look at it – but take a napkin. I know you’re gonna drool.”

It was then that the memory smacked me hard! The word ‘Sheriff’ was the trigger.

National Trails drag strip in Columbus, about 8-9 years ago. He was banned from the track that year for having been caught tampering with his closest competitor’s car in the sportsman class. What the ‘tampering’ was had never been revealed (although there was a flurry of rumor about him loosening some lug nuts on a car) but the guy was a cheater and everyone in Columbus knew it. He disappeared from the area right after that and I had heard he had gone down south somewhere.

But I was there when the track officials confronted him that day in the staging lanes (I was two cars back from his supposed record-breaking car in the same lane) and ‘Ned’ laughed that same, egotistical laugh as he told the officials to take hike. Thankfully, they remained steadfast and called for the Sheriff to escort Mr. Ed from the premises, which they did. Some people said he made all sorts of threats about lawsuits and such but I never heard any more about the guy.

Until today. Yep, it was definitely one of THOSE days.

And now, here he was, back in the flesh, eating wings and drinking beer at the same table with me and B and our wives.

“Hey. Brandon here tells me you’ve got one of those old-school Buicks – is that right?” He seemed to even sneer as he asked the question.

“Yeah… it’s a GN.”

“Is it as fast as he says?” Hmm… where was this guy going? I wasn’t sure I wanted to know, knowing what I already knew about him.

“Fast enough, I guess.”

“Maybe we oughta line ‘em up after the game. You know, sort of a friendly little race just to see how well Old School can do against New School. I promise – I won’t embarrass ya TOO BAD! Har-har-HAR!!!”

Brandon had the oddest look on his face, almost as if he just found out his fly was open. It was obvious he didn’t know his new ‘buddy’ was an first class jerk.

“Not today, Ned. Too much traffic and besides, I would rather race at the track. It’s much safer. Maybe next spring, huh? By that time, Brandon will have his car broken in and we can take the three of them.”

Ned’s face darkened. “Aw, c’mon Buick-boy. I won’t even put any money on it. We’ll just run for fun and I can show you we get it done with the blue oval these days.”

Ok. Now, I’m a little pissed. “Let’s see how late the game runs, ok Ed? (I purposely said his name wrong just to poke a stick in his blood-shot eye…)”

“It’s ‘NED’, not Ed. And ok, we’ll see. I’ve beat everything else I’ve ran against, might as well add a Buick to the list. HAR-HAR-HAR!!!”

I noticed that Brandon was strangely quiet up till then but he spoke. “Steve, let’s go up to the bar and see where our waitress is. I want to tell you something I read in the manual about my car anyhow…”

So, off Brandon and I went, trying to snake through the crowd. But as we got out of earshot of the table, he stopped me.

“Steve, first - this guy's a JERK! But beyond that - Ned’s car is serious business. It isn’t stock either. I know you were impressed with mine and it’s a bad boy all right. But Ned’s hasn’t just been tuned. It’s had a LOT of stuff done to it.”

“Like what?”

“Suspension work. A new blower and CAI. Gears and an aluminum driveshaft. ET Streets on aluminum wheels. Dyno tuned. And more. If he’s not lying, it’s supposedly putting down nearly 700 rwhp, if not more - you just don't know what to believe from this guy it seems. I just thought you should know – this isn’t a stock Shelby you’re looking to run.”

I nodded my head as I listened.

"But I will tell you this Steve - his Shelby DOES sound wicked. It makes mine sound like a kitten..."

Hmmm....

“Brandon, a lot of the time and as you know better than anyone, in a race, it isn’t how much dog is in the fight. It’s how much fight is in the dog. We’ll see how it goes… ok? I’m not afraid of his shiny new red car. I’ve been beaten by better guys a lot better of a man than him so even if I would race and lose, that’s no big deal. But I’ve also got a feelin’ that ol’ Ned doesn’t realize what I’ve got under the hood either. Did you tell him about my GN, about what I did to it?”

“Nah… only that you had a Turbo Buick. And when I did, he licked his lips like a dog thinking of a raw steak. But he doesn’t really know what you’ve got.

“Good. Let’s keep it that way. At least for now…”


Brandon and I hung out at the bar for a minute or two until we found our waitress, ordered drinks and went back to our table. The girls were still talking a mile a minute and Ned had engaged another mutual friend that B and I both hung with from time to time – Jason. Even before we got to the table, we heard Ned’s obnoxious laugh (most likely at something he said that only HE thought was funny) – “Har-har-HAR!”

And it was true. Even as we sat down, Ned was regaling poor Jason about his new GT500 and how bad it was. We were fortunate enough to hear the repeat about the guy in the Camaro that ‘bout ran off the street just to get a good look at my Shel! Har-har-HAR!!”

Brandon looked at me with one of those “Good grief – is this guy for REAL?” looks. But Ned wasn’t about to let up now; not that he had an audience.

“Well, there ya are Buick Boy! Where ya been? Looking for more parts for your little V6? Har-har-HAR!”

The butt clown then slapped the table with his hand really hard for emphasis as he uncorked more of his ‘unique’ laughter at his own un-funny joke. Ok…. Enough was enough.

I leaned in towards him and just stared at him, unblinking. It took a second but Ned got the message. He shut his pie hole and just sneered a bit. I wanted to choke Brandon for inviting this guy but resisted the urge. But I also had something to say.

“You know, Ned… Brandon invited you hear out of the goodness of his heart – which is bigger than his brain, sometimes. But for you to talk smack and we don’t even really know each other seems pretty rude to me. Sure, you’ve probably got a shiny red car with cute stripes but still, it’s just a car. You like yours; I like mine so let’s leave it at that, ok? You’ve got a lot of nerve running your mouth here and not even knowing what it is you’re blabbing about so knock it off.”

Ned blinked. Most likely, very few people had ever spoke to him like that before but man, enough was enough. And I had had enough. Kelly, my wife, gave me one of her ‘Please don’t embarrass me!” looks and I smiled back at her.

Which, I don’t think helped. But I wasn’t going to stop now…

“Ed, everyone at our table is tired of your trying to be the center of attention. If you want to sit and have dinner with us, drink a couple of long-necks and have a good time, then you’re welcome to stay. But if this is gonna continue, why don’t you find another table because we’re tired of you and your act. You REALLY need to grow up.”

Sometimes, I surprise even myself. Brandon, for the first time since I had met him, was speechless. Angry at Ned, yes. But still, speechless.

I could see the red rise in Ned’s face and cheeks. I obviously had pushed a button or two.

“You know something, dude? I was just havin’ some fun and you go and get all pissy with me. Fine. I’ll head on out of this dump over to someplace that has people who can appreciate the opportunity to hang with someone like me. I was going to be nice and try to not embarrass you too bad whenever we run but no more. When we meet on the street or the track, I’m gonna bury you so deep, you will have to look up just to see your own ass. You have no clue who you are messin’ with, pal.”

“Oh, I am quite sure who you are Ned. I found out a lot about you when I watched you get escorted out of Columbus 8-9 years ago for cheating.”

Oh yeah. Shot, swish, point, game. I thought his face was red before but now, it was almost purple.

But to his credit, he just stood up, tossed a Twenty onto the table, and glared at me, his beady, rat-like features looking almost comical in the light.

However, he did have one more thing to add. “You’re gonna wish you hadn’t said that, pal. Oh, how you are gonna wish that you had not said that…” He then spun on his heel and left.

Brandon, always the jester, broke the tension.

“Well, that went well, didn’t it? Sheesh… what a jerk!”

We all had a good laugh and the rest of the evening at the restaurant went as planned. I didn’t even care who won the game because I’ve never been a sports fan unless it was a sport performed a quarter mile at a time. But regardless, before we knew it, the girls were all clamoring to head home. But then, Stacy spoke – asked a question really.

“Steve? Do you think Ned is waiting on you? You know, to run?”

I hadn’t given it much thought I guess.

“Aw, Stacy, I doubt it. He’s probably over at the Macaroni Grille right now with all his peeps, sipping on some fancy drink with a little paper umbrella in it, and has forgotten all about any sort of race. Besides, it’s after midnight – it’s too late for any silly stuff now. I’ve been up since early this morning and I’m ready for some shuteye.”

My lovely wife nodded her sleepy little head in agreement. But Stacy brought us back to reality.

“I don’t know Steve. That guy doesn’t seem like the kind of person I would turn my back on and I think you really made him angry. You just might want to keep your eyes open is all I’m sayin’.”

“Thanks Stacy. I’ll keep that in mind. Brandon, you guys leaving now?”

He pulled Stacy close.

“Yeah, let’s head on out. I’ve gotta drive right by your place anyhow so I’ll be right behind you – I want you to tell me if my headlights are aimed too high or not anyways. This will give me a chance to see your tail lights because I’m sure it will be the only time I’ll see them when I’m in ‘my Shel’ – Har-har-HAR!”

We ALL got a belly laugh out of B’s impersonation (a bad one at that) of Ned. It was definitely the nightcap we needed. With that, out the door we went and into the cold night air.

Actually, it felt great being outside after being cooped up in the restaurant all evening. We walked out the opposite door (which was facing Lowe’s) I had come in earlier and it was then that we saw it – something was on Brandon’s windshield. We couldn’t make it out what it was but it kind of looked like a big piece of paper or something tucked beneath the wiper blade. Maybe a sales flier?

Instead of separating there and my wife and I going to our cars, we walked on across the street to see what was on B’s car.

It was a note.

From Ned.

And it wasn’t a nice one. Brandon read it aloud.

“Hey buddy. Tell your Buick Boy I’ll be waiting for him tonight down at Wink’s Drive-In. I’ll be there until around 12:30 and if his balls are as big as his mouth, he won’t avoid me. I’ve got something I want to show him. And if he DOESN’T show, I’ll find him. It may not be tonight or tomorrow, but I’ll find him. He can’t dodge me forever. Make sure you tell him.”

I just laughed. “Man, did this guy ever get past the 7th grade?”

But - Brandon was furious. First, because someone had the audacity to touch his car. Or, the wiper blade TO his car. But beyond that, he was mad because someone had called out his friend and – remember the loyalty thing I told you about earlier? – he wasn’t having anything of it.

“Steve, let’s go down there and show him what’s what! I want to rip his head off for even touching my car but I’ll agree to wait until after you hand him his butt with the GN first. Whadayasay?”

Stacy spoke as Kelly pulled up tight and increased her grip on my arm. “See Steve? See what I mean? This guy isn’t right and to make a threat like that? That’s scary!”

“Stacy, he’s just a punk and a bully and most likely isn’t used to people standing up to him. Don’t worry about. I’m sure he’ll crawl back under his rock and we won’t see him again.”

I had no more than said that, standing there in Lowe’s parking lot at nearly one o’clock in the morning with a cold breeze brushing my face when I heard it.

‘It’ was a car with a very, very loud exhaust slowing to a stop at the intersection about 200 yards from where we stood. We all turned at the same time to look and at first, we just thought it was another late model Mustang with some stripes slowing to stop. But THIS car was pretty loud; louder than any other mod-motor Mustang I had heard on the street.

“Steve? I think that that is Ned’s car…”

Brandon had said answered a question I had just formulated in my mind. It was definitely a Shelby.

Weird isn’t it? You can go for months and not see a rare performance automobile but then Bam! You see TWO of them in the same day??! Like I said – it was going to be one of THOSE days….

We watched the blinker of the Shelby come on as it stopped at the light. Oddly, the breeze that had been tousling our hair and nipping at our cheeks stopped blowing and the night seemed amazingly quiet.

The Shelby sat there at the light, idling with a very deep, ‘basso-profundo’ exhaust note. It was Red. It had white stripes and it definitely had aftermarket wheels.

It HAD to be Ned’s car. And it was getting ready to turn into Lowe’s parking lot.

“This is gonna be interesting”, I said.

“Let’s go, Steve. You don’t need to get into a fight with an idiot tonight, ok?”, said Kelly, not sounding like she really meant it. Later, I found out that even SHE wanted a piece of Ned – but that too is another story.

So, we watched the Shelby idle. I could imagine how it’s turn signal flasher sounded after having driven Brandon’s car only hours earlier…

“Tinka… tinka…. Tinka… tinka… tinka…“

We watched the opposing lane’s light illuminate the caution.

Still, I could hear in my head that eerie blinker sound in concert with the exhaust note from from Pro-Stock Hell... “Tinka… tinka…. Tinka… tinka… tinka…. Badda – ba- badda – badda, badda – ba….“

The light changed and the events of the night were now set in motion.

The Shelby pulled into the lot, its front valance nearly scraping the inclined approach, Ned feathering the exhaust and the clutch to keep what sounded like a HIGHLY modified GT500 motor from stalling.

Clearing the opening, the Shelby accelerated quickly towards us, angling across the parking lot and ignoring the lines and lane striping. Straight at us it began to hurdle, sounding like it was still in first gear and flying now, covering the distance in the blink of an eye.

And just as quickly and loudly as he arrived, Ned slammed on the brakes to stop oh-so-melodramatically, his window down.

He shut off the Shelby and it was oddly quiet again. Off in the distance, we could still hear some of the noises from the restaurant and the sounds of cars being started to leave. Normal cars; not cars like the Devil Red Mustang in front of us.

A train’s horn sounded far, far off….

I just looked at Ned and grinned. Brandon went to step towards him but I put my arm in front of him to stop him. Surprising, he stopped.

Ned spoke, clearly proving he was a disturbed man.

“So… where y’all been? I’ve been waiting for ya down at Winks, telling everyone how some fool in an old Buick was challenging me to a run. But I told them that I knew you wouldn’t show up. And, you didn’t. Probably for the best there pal, doncha think?”

He tried to grin but it was obvious - he didn’t know how. He just had some odd look on his contorted face as if he meant to pass gas but got a surprise instead.

“Go on home, Ned. There’s not going to be any racing tonight. Like I said in there (nodding towards B-Dubs) – let’s get together next spring at the track and we’ll have a go at it.”

He was shaking his head before I even finished.

“Oh, no-sir-ree, Buick Boy. We’re gonna dance – tonight. I saw your car over there in the lot when I left so I know it’s here. Let’s line ‘em up down there at the light and I’ll show you why you’ve made a big mistake.”

“No, Ned. Not tonight. Next spring. C’mon guys, let’s go.”

With that, Ned shook his head angrily but still started his car. I turned my back on Ned walked back towards Brandon’s Shelby and heard Ned leave back out the way he came in. Stacy and B went ahead and got in the car and Kelly and I turned to cross the street just as I heard Stacy yell out her window before Brandon started his car.

“Watch out for him, Steve. He’s trouble.”

I thought for a moment and then answered.

“You know, Stacy? I think you might just be right. I’ll keep my eyes open… g’night.”

As I walked Kelly to her car, neither of us spoke. Sheesh… what a day, I thought to myself. Just a little drive home and then a nice, warm shower and on to bed. At least THIS day was over - finally. I kissed Kelly a quick good-bye kiss and headed on over to the GN, glad it was over indeed.

It wasn’t until a few short moments later that I realized just how wrong I really was….


Kelly pulled out of the parking lot just ahead of me, her ’05 GTO’s lights leading the way. We headed on down Market, winding our way through town. I had kicked on the stereo and was just about to scan the channels when a traffic light separated us – she made it through but I was a little too far behind her to make the caution. No biggie – I just slowed to a stop with Brandon and Stacy behind me. While I waited for the light to change I hit the ‘Scan’ button on the faceplate.

I glanced ahead and saw Kelly’s tail lights slowly fading in the distance. Then, I saw the brake lights come on along with the right turn signal as she was turning onto Arlington, the road that eventually took us out to near where we live.

Since the intersection was a four-lane with a turn lane, it took a couple of minutes for the lights to cycle through, obviously not having vehicle detection built in to the logic. I heard the radio skip through a couple of stations when I heard a loud engine noise to the rear and right of my car. Still waiting for the “Green”, I craned my neck around and back to see what it was that sounded like someone trying to blow their motor. I knew it wasn’t Brandon – his car was too new for him to be playing Rev-King games. When I glanced in the passenger’s side door mirror, I got my answer.

It was Ned who had just jumped out of an alleyway and was coming up to a stop beside me. Oddly, I felt a chill down my spine – not out of concern about a race but rather out of concern for Ned’s mental state. First of all, he was definitely abusing the crap out of the Shelby. It sounded like he even bounced the rev limiter when he bolted from the alleyway. And then, he downshifted it and dumped out the clutch as he came to a stop beside me, to my right. All of this was within 10 seconds or so.

He had his window down and I could see that he was smoking a cigarette; one of those ‘funny-looking’, hand rolled jobs. So, that explained a lot of the attitude tonight – alcohol and weed are a bad mix. He motioned furiously for me to roll down my window, continuing to rev his car as he did so.

I rolled it down.

“Let’s go, Buick Boy. Let’s go – right here, right now. There are no cops around, no traffic. Let’s run ‘em right NOW, funnyman! C’MON! LET”S GO!!!”

For just a second, I gave a thought to doing so but I also knew that I would regret it, either way. Sheesh… what a way for the night to end. I glanced in the rear view mirror and wondered what Brandon was thinking about this turn of events. I would find out a little later.

“Ned, settle down. I told you – I don’t race on the street. Go home and sleep it off. Tomorrow, you’ll be glad you didn’t do something so stupid.”

That only infuriated him more.

“F*ck you, pal! LET’S GO!” More revs, more sounds like he was trying to shoot the blown 5.4 out the hood of the gorgeous car. The motor sounded way too healthy to ignore and to assume it would be an easy race.

I said earlier that my GN was an 11 second ride. Well, that is true. It WAS an 11 second car – what it was now I didn’t know for sure. I hadn’t had it to the track since I had put the built Stage II in it. To be honest, I had yet to run the car for a full run so I just wasn’t sure.

But my car wasn’t 100% in Kill Mode either. I knew the alcohol tank was low but I didn’t think it was empty. The air pressure in the Nitto’s was probably in the low 20’s and not in the upper teens where I set it when I run. On a cold street, I doubted if adequate traction could be had. Of course, ol’ Ned would have the same problem so…

Why NOT?

I didn’t answer him. I first hit the switch to open the cutout – gotta love the solenoid operated cutout option I had installed. The sound and attitude of the Buick went from quietly powerful to serious business.

It was now officially “Go-time”….

I then hit the line-lock and set about doing a short burnout, right there on Market Street at one in the morning with no other traffic in sight. Looking over at Ned, I saw him grin and then yell something back over the noise of the engines and then roll his window back up but I couldn’t make out what he said exactly. I heard him rev and dump the clutch a couple of times to clean his tires. In my mirror I saw Brandon back up a bit, cut over around us and run the light to get down the road a ways to watch. Again – no cops in sight, no traffic in this part of town at the moment….

I released the line lock, pulled up a little closer to the intersection as did Ned…. I set the trans-brake… Ned picked up some revs…. I began to boost the Stage II, 2psi… 3 psi… 4 psi… 6 psi… lights are cycling… I’m pushing up against the 3200 rpm converter…

The Shelby is now screaming in my right ear. I have no idea what Ned has the rpms at but it is way up on the tach I’m sure. He’s going for a banzai launch… but so am I.

The Stage Motor hits 8psi of boost just as the opposing lane’s light goes from yellow to red. In a split second, our lane goes –

GREEN!

We both launch together, rocketing forward and I am absolutely crushed into the seat as I note the front end lift and the steering goes unbelievably light as the front tires nearly lose full contact with the pavement. Thanks to the suspension mods, there is no torque twist of the car – it shoots out straight and true, fender to fender with the radical Shelby.

But the Shelby is absolutely screaming in anger now and Ned grabs the gears better than Even Smith. The GT500 doesn’t miss a beat and we’re STILL as if welded together as I feel the 1-2 shift of my tranny, the front end bolting upward just a bit as it does.

Thankfully, we’ve now passed the last houses on that part of Market. I try to scan the gauges but am absolutely overwhelmed at the sheer, raw power and noise that both of these cars are making. It is too close to tell who – if either – is ahead; the Shelby is not giving an inch but neither is the Stage II. Everything seems to become a blur that is moving so fast it’s almost as if it’s in slow motion.

As the 2-3 shift comes up, I sense that the GN is ever-so-slowly inching ahead just by the slightest of margins. But then - I hear a LOUD bang to my right, catch a glimpse of what looked to be the hood flying up and off the car like a leaf in the wind, and see a flash of light as the Shelby suddenly drops behind as if an anchor was tossed out. I back out of the accelerator and look in the rear view mirror to see what happened.

Just as quickly, I wish I hadn’t.

In unbelievably slow motion, I see the Shelby’s striped hood floating back to earth while at the same time I see flames licking out of the GT500’s engine compartment. There is no way that Ned could see out the front window – it looks to be a massive fuel/oil fire.

But then, to make matters worse, the Shelby suddenly yaws left and then back right, as if the rear brakes had locked up and then it goes into a sideways skid, off the road to the right.

At what had to be still at least 60 mph if not more with the driver’s side leading the way…

My foot is on the brake hard as I watch the Red Mustang sliding in my rear view mirror…the front wheels hitting the stoned area just at the edge of the road… stones and dirt and dead grass flying up for a moment… enormous blue/red/yellow/white/orange flames dancing devilishly from the nose of the car… the rear end trying to pass the front end of the Shelby… I see the nose dip down as the forces of physics draw the car down into the ditch… more grass and dirt and debris being blown up and about… eerie lights and shadows playing about the roadway…

And then I witness the sickening sight of the Shelby hitting the power pole on its driver side – how near the door I could exactly see - with enough deadly force to wrap the car nearly around it. The dust and debris still fill the air but the flames are building even more….

I slam the GN into a power turn and race back there with Brandon and Stacy right with me… We bail out of the cars and run upward, me with the extinguisher I grabbed from the mount on the rear floorboard of the Buick…

I try to knock down the fire and have only enough success to slow it down for a bit as Brandon tries to rip the driver’s door open… Ned is slumped in the seat; a huge gash visible on the left side of his head… the flames beginning to build again as Brandon smashes the window of the door that unbelievably did not break in the crash… Stacy is screaming while she dials 911 on her cell…
It’s only going to be a matter of time before the Shelby explodes… fire is trying to work its way back underneath the car but thankfully, the fuel tank held – for now…

The extinguisher is empty… I run to the passenger’s side and that’s when I see the girl moving her mouth as if to scream but no sounds can be heard… she’s hysterical and blood is streaming from her mouth and nose… her eyes are huge with fear and she’s trying to loosen her seat belt but for some reason, it won’t release… I see that she’s got a five-point on and for some odd reason she’s feeling along the edge of the seat… I smash the window with the empty extinguisher…

In the distance, we can hear sirens begin to wail… possibly coming our way?

The heat is building… the flames are coming back stronger than ever…

Brandon is leaning in the driver’s window and is trying to free Ned from his five point but Ned is not moving. For all we know, he’s dead… we just can’t tell… seconds are going by… the heat is building…

I hit the release on the girl’s five point and suddenly she’s screaming loudly in my ear, begging me to pull her through the window – the door will NOT open due to the body damage… I grab her under her arms and pull but she only gets part of the way out…

The smell of burning plastic, paint, oil… insulation… it’s overwhelming now… I finally get the girl out of the car and surprisingly, she takes off running… Stacy goes after her as I race around to the other side of the car to try and help Brandon…

I see Brandon straining and straining and pulling and tugging, trying to extricate Ned from the Shelby… Ned’s head is just flopping about but Brandon does have him almost out of the car… I see foamy blood from his nostrils but it does appear that he’s breathing…

Finally, Ned is free… his feet slide down the side of the door… multiple siren sounds are getting louder and louder… Stacy catches the girl and holds her close, their silhouettes visible against the back light of the town we just left as she tries to bring her back and around the wreck… with Brandon carrying Ned’s torso and me lifting his legs/feet, we get Ned safely away from the Shelby and over onto the grass near where the GN is parked…

The Shelby doesn’t explode but it burns frantically, its headlights are still on and mysterious groans and hisses emanate from the burning hulk… the fire department and EMS services arrive… firemen attack the burning car… EMT’s and Paramedics run over to us with wheeled stretchers and orange emergency kits, asking us who is hurt… they see Ned is seriously hurt and two of them get to work on him immediately…

Police cars pull up, their blue and red lights swirling and dancing about the fields… reflecting off of street signs, the cars, our faces… life is blurring again… I realize that I’m exhausted and tears are in my eyes as the reality of what just happened hits me like a train from behind… I see the EMT’s doing CPR on Ned, intubating his airway… the defibrillator is pulled from the closest ambulance and ran over as the lead Paramedic rips Ned’s shirt open…

“CLEAR!” I hear the EMT yell as the paddles are rubbed together and then slapped onto Ned’s very white chest… I see Ned’s body jump as the jolt of electricity tries to get his heart out of ventricular fibrillation… Again, “CLEAR!”… ZAP!.... his body jumps again…

“I’ve got a pulse! Let’s load and go – NOW! We may not get him back if he goes again!”…

Cars are now coming from everywhere… ambulances and sirens are magnets to those who are curious… Stacy continues to hold the girl’s hand as a female EMT does a first assessment of her condition…

I realize that I am shaking… and that I miss my wife, Kelly… and that I wish this day had never started…

Brandon comes over and puts his arm around my shoulders… we just stand there, absorbing what has happened but not understanding it…

It was not turning out to be a very good day at all… and it was already two days long…

Just then, I heard, “STEVE! Are you ok?!” It was Kelly – she had seen the lights and since I had never made it home she came back…

She came running up, grabbed me around the waist and hugged me… it was about the best thing I could think of happening at that point in this very, very bad day…

And I didn’t even know or care how tomorrow might be…. Looking back, it was probably best that I didn’t…


The next morning, I was sitting at the kitchen table sipping on a very hot cup of black coffee and smearing some butter on the pancakes that Kelly had just fixed for us when the doorbell rang. As I got up to go answer it, I noticed the Sheriff’s cruiser in the drive that neither of us had heard pull in. Suddenly, I had a bad feeling that today wasn’t going to be any better than the yesterday.

Opening the door, I recognized Jim, a former neighbor who served on the department. Jim had a pretty straight face on when I invited him in.

“’Mornin’, Steve. ‘Mornin’, Kelly… I hate to bother you guys on a weekend but I’ve got some questions I need to ask you about last night’s accident. Do you have a few minutes?”

“Sure Jim. Just pull up a chair at the table. Want some coffee and pancakes?” My wife is always the hostess – even if our visitor was Bin Laden, I’m sure she would offer him some food.

But Jim politely declined, waving his big meaty hand that was holding his flat-rimmed hat in the air.

“Nah, Kelly. I’ve already ate. This shouldn’t take too long and I’ll get on out of here and let you enjoy your breakfast.”

I could see Jim waffling (pardon the pun) about the coffee though. Kelly DOES make the best coffee around.

“Ok, Kelly… go ahead. I guess I’ll take a cup of coffee if you’ve got enough. It sure DOES smell good…”

In a flash, she had it poured and the wonderful smell of fresh coffee rose from the steamy liquid’s surface like fog off a lake. Jim took a delicate sip, careful not to burn his tongue, sat the cup down and pulled a small tablet out of his breast pocket.

“Sure is good, Kel! Ok… let’s get this over with…Here’s the first question…”

For the next 20 minutes, Jim basically just asked us about the previous evening and what transpired. Not once did he broach the subject of street racing but I felt that sooner or later, he was going to ask me about it.

As he wound down, he finally sat the tablet and pen on the table, picked up the cup of coffee and in one long drink, finished it off. He sat upright and leaned forward and looked me straight in the eye.

“Steve… I’ve only got one last question. Were you racing this guy? I don’t have any eyewitnesses who say that is the case and even the girl that was in the car with this Ned fellow says he wasn’t racing, that it was just an accident. So, tell me – were you racing?”

Damn. Just when I thought he was going to ignore the obvious, he surprised me.

“Jim, before I answer that, I need to know how Ned is doing.”

Jim looked at his hat as he twirled it on his hand in sort of an awkward manner.

“Ned’s going to be fine. He was banged up pretty bad and had a broken bone in his left wrist but considering how his new Mustang looked, he’s lucky to be alive. Investigators said he hit the pole sideways, doing something like 60mph… if his car had hit farther back on the driver’s side, he would probably be dead. But it looks like he’s gonna be ok. He’s supposed to get out of the hospital later today. The girl was fine; nothing other than a few scrapes and some bruises. Just goes to show you how well these new cars are built.

So… were you racing?”

I figured honesty has always been the best policy and I sure didn’t want to be found out later that I was lying during the course of an investigation.

“Yeah, Jim. I was. I know it’s wrong but I was definitely racing him.”
Jim just looked down at the floor for a moment. He seemed to be thinking about what to say next…

“Well, Steve… our friendship goes back a long way so I’m not going to lecture you. Since I didn’t see it and since no one has come forward to make a statement that you two were letting it all hang out, I’m going to act like I didn’t hear what you just said. But I’ve got to tell you this, Steve - if I see you so much as chirping the tires in that Buick of yours, I’m gonna run you in, you got it? Street racing is illegal and dangerous, as you two clowns proved last night. Both of you could be dead right now along with some innocent driver or pedestrian. So take it to the track, ok?”

Whew…. I sighed to myself. I was thinking that Jim was going to write me up for a real nose-bleed of a ticket. I was very, very lucky. I just nodded agreement…

“One other thing, Steve…”

“Yeah, Jim?"

“Were you winning?”

I paused for a moment, appreciating the fact that Jim too is a motorhead and a drag race fan.

“Yeah… but not by much if at all and we still had more to go. Ned’s Shelby is – er, WAS – pretty bad ass. You know my GN doesn’t have the original motor in it right now, don’t you? I put that Stage 2 mill in that I built last year. But even with the Stage motor, that Shelby had enough mods itself that it was really too close to call. I can’t really say if the race had gone the full distance who would have won.”

Jim shook his head in amazement.

“By the way, did you guys find out what happened? What caused the Ford to lose it?” I was definitely curious as to what happened.

“Well, we’re still investigating it but it looks like the nitrous backfired somehow through the blower but the explosion blew the blower off the engine, taking the hood with it. According to Carol – the girl in Ned’s car – when the hood – it was a fiberglass one by the way - blew off, Ned jerked the wheel to the right and lost control, going into a slide. It also looked like the motor might have seized and with the clutch still engaged, the rear tires just lost traction.

Like I said, we’re still investigating it but it looks like he basically blew the motor up, lost control, hit a pole, totaled the car, and is damn lucky to be alive this morning. Oh – one more thing…”

“What?”

“He wanted me to ask you to give him a call. Here’s his home number… he didn’t say what he wanted you to call him for… just that you should give him a call tomorrow sometime.”

“Ok, Jim. I’ll do that. Anything else?”

“Nah, Steve, Kelly… that’s pretty much it. Ned’s insurance has already been contacted and he claims he’ll get another car out of it. I guess EVERY one involved was pretty lucky last night. You guys take care. Kelly? Thanks for the coffee. And Steve? Remember what I said about taking it to the track, ok? I’d hate to have to scrape you up off the road.”

With that, Jim left. Kelly looked at me with one of those patented, “I TOLD you so” looks.

“See Steve? See why I’ve been telling you to get your head out of your butt about this racing on the streets? That could be YOU laying up there in the hospital, with more serious injuries than a broken wrist. Promise me – you won’t race on the street anymore, ok?”

I pulled her in close and gave her a hug. How could I resist?

“Sure, Kel… I promise…”

Even as we kissed, we both knew I was lying…

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Later that afternoon, I finally got out in the garage and under the hood of the GN. It didn’t look any worse for the wear following the previous night’s events but as I was checking the oil, I thought I saw something on the floor beneath the engine.

Something… shiny… and wet.

Putting the dipstick back in, I grabbed the flashlight off the bench and knelt down in front of the grille. Flicking the switch on, I shined the light back under the car, not seeing anything at first.

But then – it caught my eye. There was definitely a puddle of liquid; maybe even two. Due to the angle, I couldn’t tell where it was coming from so after putting the flashlight back, I grabbed the floor jack and axle stands and got the car up in the air.

Lying back on the creeper, I glided back under the car with the flashlight in hand once more. I examined the puddle closely and smeared some of the fluid on my fingers. Bringing them up to the light, my heart sank.

Oil. And lots of it… and right beside it, almost mixing in with the oil, was a slightly smaller puddle of antifreeze.

Double Damn!

Where the hell could it be coming from? Twisting back over on the creeper, I cast the light up into the dark recesses of the underside of the engine bay, looking for a tell-tale drip or run.

It didn’t take long to find where it LOOKED like the oil was coming from - the passenger’s side of the block, possibly from around the front corner area above the pan. Not a good sign… The Antifreeze source took a little longer but ended up being just a bad thermostat gasket that was seeping and letting the fluid drip on down to the floor. But the oil leak worried me.

Three hours later, I came to a bad conclusion – the motor was going to have to come out of the car. After tearing off nearly the entire front end of the motor, it appeared that there was either a leaky pan gasket or more likely a small crack in the block casting. I just couldn’t be sure without pulling the motor so rather than guess, I slid back out from under the car and went inside to see if I could get Brandon on the phone.

Luckily, B was available and came on over. As soon as he got there, he slid under the GN and then slid back out with the same opinion – the motor needed to come out of the car.

Sheesh… here was yet again ANOTHER one of the ‘those’ days…

A few hours later and after several scraped and bloodied knuckles, a couple of large pepperoni pizzas and some sodas, the Stage motor was out of the car and on the stand. Parts and tools were scattered all about the floor of the garage, tagged and identified for return back to the car. Sure enough, there looked to be a small, hairline crack just above the bolt hole for the pan mounting that was allowing some oil seepage. Only after complete disassembly could I be sure but it didn’t look good.

Damn, damn, damn… what a sucky weekend….

Thankfully, I still had the original motor on a stand under plastic in the corner of the garage. It was all stock internals but did have a TE-60 turbo, 009’s, etc and had propelled the car to the to a best ET of high 11’s but still had some room in it I felt.

After some debate, B and I decided, “Why not?” So, we set into another wrench fest with a fury and in a few more hours had the GN’s original motor back in the car. Thankfully, everything went back in with not much hassle. After a few spins of the starter, the 3.8 fired off and settled into a nice staccato rhythm of exhaust noise, the exhaust still not hooked up to the Downpipe. Kelly had given up a few hours before but I had no doubt that she had to have heard the motor fire – it was after midnight and in the cold night air, the little V6 sounded like a Top-fueler in the pits at the US Nationals.

For the first time that day, I think I finally smiled.

“You know, Steve – I never liked that stage .
 

Taylor

New Member
part II comin at ya !


I wiped my hands on one of those orange shop towels – you know, the ones that come in a bag of 100 or so and put off enough of the pesky orange lint when they’re new to make a large rug – and took the phone from Kelly.

“Hello?”

“Steve? This is Ned… *cough*… how ya doin’?”

“Well, from what I hear, better than you. At least I’m not in the hospital – how are YOU doing?” I was genuinely curious because he sounded pretty good for having just wrapped a new High-dollar Shelby Mustang around a power pole.

“*Cough*… Not too bad, I guess… I’ve got a broken left wrist, a couple of busted ribs, and feel like I’ve been ran over by a semi load of illegal immigrants but other than that, I sure can’t complain. Although I don’t think I’ll probably ever Vickie back in a car with me again.”

Apparently, that was the girl who went for the joy ride of HER life that night. I don’t remember if we got her name or not…

“Ned, a deputy was here and asked me questions about the crash… I told him we weren’t racing – at least, officially that is. Did you talk to them?” I knew he had based on what Jim told me but I still didn’t trust this guy.

“Yeah, they were here for quite a while last night and again this morning. Asked me and Vickie about the same thing; whether we were racing, who *cough* we were racing, and so forth. Got all my insurance info – god, there’s gonna be a helluva rate-hike on this deal – and such but really, he didn’t cite *cough, cough* me for anything. They believed what I told them and that was that the motor locked up due to mechanical failure, the clutch was engaged, the rear tires locked at the same time… and so I slid into the pole. I was just damned lucky the car didn’t hit a few more inches rearward or I would be wearing a dirt suit today…. *cough… cough, cough*”

I found myself nodding… that was probably one of the worst wrecks I’ve seen and for him to not get killed was a miracle.

He continued…

“Steve, that isn’t the reason I’m calling you though.”

Ok, here it comes…

“Ok, Ned. Then why DID you call?” I must admit that listening to his annoying cough was much better than that “Har-HAR-HAR” horse-laugh of his.

“Steve, I want to race you again. I really think I was pulling you and had you beat but when the engine backfired up through the blower – I think the Nitrous was a bit too much or I lost fuel – it was all over. Would you be interested in running me again when I get my new car?”

I thought for a moment… I also noticed Kelly and Brandon standing there watching my face for some sort of clue as to why ol’ Ned was calling. I didn’t think agreeing to another street race would have gone over well.

“Ned, I’ve got to be honest. I screwed up by just racing you that night. I told you at the restaurant as well as there on the street that we should just wait and go to the track but you goaded me into it and look what happened. On top of that, I found a problem with the mill in my car and Brandon and I just finished pulling it out this evening and putting the other mildly modded stock-blocker back in. So, really, I’m not interested in another street race for both of those reasons.”

There was a long pause at the end of the line. Oddly, I felt like I could feel anger in the silence…

“Listen, pal… I was pulling your Buick and you know it. If you want to leave it like that we both know that I was winning and that’s cool. I’m just offering you a chance to try and redeem yourself, maybe make up for being part of the problem that night.”

I felt my face flush with anger. The nerve of this clown! First of all, saying he was pulling me and secondly, blaming me for his own stupidity.

Pausing, I decided not to reply in kind. After all, ol’ Ned might just be a little heavy on the Vicodin talking. Or not.

“Ned, I’m not street racing you again. And with the shape you’re in plus the fact you don’t even have a running car, on top the fact you’re probably a little spacey – understandably so – from the pain killers, I’m going to ignore the tone of your voice. But no – I’m not interested in racing you and for the record, you weren’t pulling ANYone, pal. I had you and you know it. You stayed on the Nitrous too long or something – it wasn’t my fault. But the bottom line is that YOU were the one being pulled.”

More silence. I could hear some shuffling around and some more *coughs*. Finally he spoke again. This time, it was like he flipped a switch.

“Sorry Steve, it might be the drugs talking. I gotta disagree with your opinion as to who was winning but that’s not important – we just didn’t get to finish the race, right? So let’s finish it and then we’ll both know. How about we hook up together the next warm spell out at the track? Bernie Niswager is the owner and a close personal friend of mine *cough*… I know he’ll open it up anytime I ask. I’ll pay the rental fee and we can get several runs in. Maybe even invite some friends too, whadayasay?”

Wow. When Ned flips a switch, he seems to pull the breaker too. This made me all the more wary.

“Hold on, Ned…”

I put the phone on “Hold” and brought Kelly and Brandon up to speed. They looked like they could just burst from waiting to find out what he wanted and after seeing me get pissed off, they were all the more curious.

After I explained it, I got the expected responses. Kelly said an emphatic “You’re crazy to even be on the same piece of highway as that nut job” opposed by Brandon’s, “Hell yeah! Run that bastard and show him what your car will do.” I looked back at Kelly, hoping she might give in after hearing B’s answer and seeing my face.

She did.

“Aw go ahead. As long as it’s on a track though, ok? You’re done street racing, Mario…” She gave me a quick peck on the cheek and exited the garage….

I clicked the phone off “Hold”.

“Ok, Ned… here’s what I’ll do. We’ll go when the next warm spell comes along and after you’re all healed up. You sure don’t need to be driving in your condition... If you can get another car by then, fine then we’ll race. If not, let me know when you’ve got one and we’ll give ‘er a try – IF it’s warm enough, IF we can run at the track, and IF everything is legit. But here’s the other part of the deal – no Nitrous, no monster blower or crap like you did to your last one. My GN is now in street kill mode with a bolt-on modified stock motor. It should be a mid 11 car or so. From what I’ve read about the Shelby’s, with traction and a few bolt-on’s equivalent to what I’ve done, you should be able to be the same. Let’s see what we can do then, ok?”

“*Cough… cough..* Har-HAR-HAR! Now THAT’s the spirit Steve… let’s have some fun. But beyond that, I look forward to running that old car of yours… for more reasons that you really need to know. For now, that is… *cough*”

I didn’t bother asking him what that meant. More vicodin-speak was my guess.

“Ned… let’s try and get some other cars to come too. I know Brandon would like to run his completely stock Shelby and I’ve got some buddies just itching to get on the track one more time but we all figured it was done till spring. Do you care if they come too?”

*CLICK* The switch seemed to flip again…

“Look Steve… bring all the witnesses you want. Sure, they can run. But they can’t run you until AFTER I do. Otherwise, we’ll wait for another time. Sooner or later, we’ll meet on the street again…”

“Ned, no need to space out here… ok?” Man, this guy is nuttier than my grandma’s fruitcake.

“Let me know when you’re up to it, ok?”

“Oh, Steve… it won’t be as long as you think... *cough*” Of course, I doubted he would remember half the conversation by morning.

“Sure Ned. Whatever… I’m usually off weekends but I need to know by a Thursday at the latest so I can make plans with my wife if we don’t go. So, you let me know.”

“Fine. I’ll be in touch… Oh – and one more thing.”

“What’s that, Ned?”

“I’ve already got me another car. It will be here Wednesday.”

Now, how in the hell did he get another Shelby that quick? I bit…

“How, Ned? How in the hell could you get another GT500 bought that quickly?”

“I didn’t go buy it. I already had it at home. The one I wrecked is one of three that I own and actually is sort of the middle-of-the-road, performance wise. I guess you missed the part about me being real good friends with the dealer, huh? Money talks, pal – bullsh!t walks. I’ve got the coin and I’ve got the cars. My black one is the one that bites the most. Evolution performance tuned it for me and it should be off the transporter later this week. Maybe someday, you can race it too. But you’ll need a couple more cylinders to play in its league! Har-HAR-HAR!!! *cough* See ya when it’s warm, ok?”

“Click”

He hung up. I guess for me, the biggest shock of the entire day was learning that there was a person on the face of this earth that had (or at least CLAIMED to own) 3 of one of the rarest cars in the universe right now.

I couldn’t help wonder what the other two were like…especially the black one.

I quickly filled Brandon in on the balance of the conversation and watched HIS jaw drop as much I’m sure mine did when I told him about Ned’s claim of owning two more Shelby’s.

“Man, I had no clue, Steve. I knew he said he bought the red one at Findlay but I do believe he’s got some seriously deep pockets. You should see the pics he was flashing around of his house and garage – man, he’s makin’ it somehow… and THREE Shelby’s? His garage must be loaded!”

I nodded my head. Knowing what I knew about Ned, I doubt if it was a good work ethic that ‘earned’ what he had. But hey, I didn’t know that for sure so I just bit my tongue.

“You know something, though B?”

“What’s that, Steve?” he answered grinning, knowing where I was going.

“He doesn’t know what I’ve got in MY garage either though, does he?” I just grinned back.

I reached up and began turning off the lights in the garage, listening to Brandon putting the tools back in their places, the clanking of the steel on steel a reassuring sound for some odd reason. You can always count on the right tool to do the job...

“I’ve got to get some shut-eye, B… I’ll give you a call tomorrow or the next day, ok? If you hear something let me know and I’ll do the same.”

I knew Brandon was as tired as me. He just nodded agreement, tossed his soda can in the recyclables container, and headed out the garage with a wave. I went on in and grabbed a quick shower before collapsing in bed beside my wife… mercifully, sleep came quickly…

* * * * * * * *
_________

Later the next day, just as I was beginning to pull into the garage in my wife’s GTO (I had to take it by the dealer on the way home from work for a look at what appeared to be leaking struts), my cell phone rang. Hearing the distinct Ford Mustang Exhaust ring tone I had downloaded for Brandon’s calls, I knew it was him.

“What’s up, B?” I asked.

“Steve, you’ll never guess what I just found out. I can’t believe it myself…”

Hmmm… Brandon doesn’t usually sound THIS excited.

“Ok, bud. What’s the scoop?”

“Well, I was down at the dealer’s this afternoon to pick up some filters for the Mustang when in comes this drop dead gorgeous brunette. I mean G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S! And she’s standing there talking to the service writer and I’m just trying to listen to her silky smooth voice when I notice her pointing outside and talking about her car. I slide away from the counter and look outside and what do I see? An honest to god, Ford GT, Steve! A red with white striped Ford GT! You know – the $165k jobs? This sweet thing was driving this GT!”

I still didn’t get what had him so excited other than maybe not getting out much?

“Ok, Brandon. A Ford GT. Cool. But man, we’ve seen a few of the around and even sat in that one down at Dayton a few months ago. Big deal. So why all the excitement?”

“Oh, Steve… you are not going to believe this. This lady begins giving her info and keys to the service guy and he asks her to spell her last name, and she seems all upset or something. Even sounded like she was crying... So, she does… R-e-y-n-o-l-d-s…. Mira Reynolds. Well, that kind of catches my ears because that is the same last name as old Ned. Remember? Ned Reynolds.”

“Ok, B. But I thought he was single and-“ Brandon cut me off…

“Steve, you’re not letting me finish. I heard her clearly tell the service writer that she was Ned Reynolds’ wife! Well that sure caught my attention! I know that the girl with him in the car the other night was NOT this lady. But even THAT is not the big news… man, let me get a drink of water… hang-on, ok?”

What in the world had Brandon so wound up? Just then, I saw Jim in his cruiser slowing down for my driveway with his blinker on, preparing to pull in.

“Steve, I’m back. I found out why she seemed upset. I first thought it might have been something to do with her being Ned’s wife and him being out with that girl?”

“Ok?”

“But bro, that isn’t it. She actually begins to sob a bit…”

Jim shuts off his car, steps from the big black Crown Vic and dons his Sheriff’s hat and begins to walk on up the drive as I hold the cell phone to my ear…

“She tells the service writer that her husband just died this morning….”

What? I couldn’t have heard him right, did I? Is he saying what I thought he was saying?

“Brandon, you must be mixed up. Ned Reynolds is not married, nor could he have died this morning. I just talked to him less than 36 hours ago and he sounded fine.”

“Steve… it’s true. I made a couple of calls after getting more info from the service writer. Ned died this morning, supposedly due to complications from the broken ribs and his lungs… seems he drowned in his own blood before they could rescue him…”

The color washed from my face and even though it was cold outside, I felt even colder inside. How could this be? Ned? Dead?

“Steve, ya got a few minutes? I need to go over your statement again…” It was Jim this time…

“Brandon, I’ve gotta go. Jim’s here and I imagine it’s about what you just told me…” We exchanged quick good-byes and I flipped the phone closed and into my pocket.

“Sure Jim… is this about Ned?”

“Well, sort of Steve. But it’s also about you and what really happened Saturday night… Let’s go inside and talk, ok? This may take a while…”

To be continued…
_________________
 

Taylor

New Member
As I closed the door behind Jim and watched him walk on down the drive back to his cruiser, a cold wave of fear crept up my spine. Jim’s visit this time was not nearly as pleasant as the first time he was here – a fatality in a traffic accident that was potentially linked to street racing puts law enforcement in a foul mood. Jim was no exception to this.

Ned’s death completely changed the course of the investigation, according to what Jim said as he listened once more to my description of the night’s events only a scant two nights ago. Those two nights now seemed like another lifetime ago for some reason… most likely because so much had transpired but then changed and especially because so much emotion had been experienced during the same time. I have street raced my entire life; not a lot but I have off and on. Usually, the ‘races’ weren’t much of a race; mostly just two guys getting into an impromptu red-light run-off. And, for all those many, many years, not so much as a ticket for “Display of Excessive Acceleration” – until now. Now, my actions were under investigation for possibly contributing to the death of another person – something I had never so much as thought of before…

I guess that is what hit me the hardest – I WAS racing Ned. Had I not been, perhaps none of this would have happened. I kept replaying the events that night, over and over. To be honest, it was eating me up and Jim’s visit along with his serious tone really cast a pall over the idea of ever racing again. And that wasn’t me… competitive racing is in my blood and it runs deep. But this was something else… something I couldn’t quite grasp.

“Steve, it wasn’t your fault.”

Kelly’s words brought my thoughts back to the ‘now’.

“I don’t know, Kel… if I hadn’t been racing him, this wouldn’t have happened…” My voice just kind of trailed off.

“Stop it, Steve! Now listen to me and listen well. Yes, street racing IS stupid. But it goes on and ever since the second guy had a car way back when, racing on the street has been here. The truth is, if Ned hadn’t been racing you, he would have been racing someone else and the same thing might have occurred, perhaps worse. Maybe instead of hitting that pole, he might have hit some mom in a Minivan and wiped out a family. Did you ever think of that? Maybe instead of his motor blowing and causing the slide where it did, maybe he would have wiped out onto a sidewalk of school kids. YOU just happened to be the poor guy who was in the other lane but Ned was the one without any sense.”

I listened…

“Steve, Ned was an idiot. Yes, he’s dead but you can’t change that. But HE is the one who put that huge Nitrous kit on the car. HE is the one who took the stupid chances he did. HE is the one who lost control, not you. In the end, it’s a combination of fate and Ned’s stupid choices. If YOU had ran him off the road, if YOU had lost control and hit him, if YOU had caused his wreck, that would be one thing. THIS is different Steve… and you should know that…”

She moved closer and embraced me, her arms warm and kind…

“Honey, you didn’t cause his death. It was just one dreadful accident that was caused by a series of bad mistakes by Ned, not you. If you hadn’t been racing him, it would certainly have been someone else. And don’t worry about what Jim said about the D/A looking into the case. They HAVE to examine this because of the fatality. But it will be fine… really, it will be fine… ok?”

She looked up at me and smiled… I just wished that I believed her as much as she did…

* * * * * * *
________

By Wednesday, the story faded off the front page of the local newspaper and off the air on the local news. Ned’s funeral came and went a couple of days after that and the details about his wife finally surfaced. Seems he was separated from her and had been for nearly 3 years but they were still technically married. Vickie was his latest love interest and also attended the funeral, much to the dismay of Mira, Ned’s legal wife. The funeral went well, Ned was spoken of kindly in numerous ways, he was buried and things seemed to slow back down to normal. Jim had even called the day after the funeral and said that the Prosecutor had decided to not press any charges because he did not have any evidence or witnesses who would testify so it was a closed case. For the first time in days, I finally got a good night’s sleep.

The days and weeks passed and as they always do, they turned into months… winter came and went without much hoopla or snowfall. Thankfully, it was a mild one and the greedy CEO’s in the fuel/propane industry didn’t get as rich off me as I’m sure they wanted to. I even sent the Stage II block out after tearing it down for some work to fix the source of the leak which turned out to be not much at all. When it came back, Brandon and I reassembled it and I thought about putting it back in the GN but decided to wait a while, perhaps until late spring. Why? Well, mainly because I was thinking about buying something else and perhaps putting the Stage motor in it. The ‘something else’?

A gorgeous WE4 with a blown motor that a guy I had been bugging for years to sell. The car had less than 20k miles on it and had been in his garage from the day he bought it late in July of ’87. He blew the motor the second year he had it because he didn’t get the filter on tightly enough and lost oil – his wife had been driving it and thought the little red light on the dash meant she needed to check the oil the next time she filled the car up.

The engine seized up less than a mile from home. He towed it home, parked it in disgust, and there it sat, just waiting for someone to pick it up and bring it back to full glory. Well, that someone was going to be me – at least I hoped so. Assuming we could agree upon a price…

________________********____________

It was a glorious, mid-March Saturday evening. The temperature was bumping mid-50’s, the days were slowly but surely getting longer, and even the last of the snow was gone. Kids were seen wearing shorts and tee’s which I always thought was interesting. If the temps had been in the 80’s and dropped to the 50’s, they would have all been wearing parkas and snow boots. But after a long winter of slush and cold temps, let the thermometer climb to 50* and out come the flip-flops and the shorts! Funny, isn’t it?

I had been busy for most of the day cleaning the garage out and had even taken Kelly’s GTO out for a wash and drive. The GTO had grown on me over time – at first, I couldn’t see what she liked about it. I thought it was a bit of an ugly duckling but after driving the LS2 several times, I came to appreciate the car for what it was. It’s a luxurious, powerful automobile with an exceptional drive train and build quality. The interior was second to none and even though getting into the back seats was an exercise in patience-testing, the car was definitely impressive.

When I rounded the corner near our house, I saw Brandon’s car in the drive. Pulling in the drive and on into the garage to park the goat, I saw Brandon leaning against the primary work bench with his arms crossed, waiting patiently with a huge grin on his face.

I turned off the GTO’s 400hp LS2, removed the 2lb key/fob from the ignition (why DO they need a fob that HUGE?) and as I stepped from the car, Brandon just kept looking at me with that goofy grin of his.

Something was definitely up.

“Ok, B – spill it. What’s the reason for that stupid grin on your face? You look like you just got home from dollar night at Hooters.”

“Oh man, Steve… it really isn’t nothing. Other than I just wanted to tell you that the track is opening up next week! And I’m going!”

I had completely forgotten! The first weekend after spring, the strip finally opens and that was coming up. Brandon had been itching all winter to get his car down there and now here was his chance. And I had the itch too it seemed. I had retuned the GN, had pulled the motor from the WE4 (and I STILL felt I paid too much for the car but hey, they aren’t making them anymore…), and was in the process of rebuilding it, still swaying back and forth about putting the Stage 2 in it. I had plenty of time though so I wasn’t in any hurry. It wasn’t like I didn’t already have a car to drive.

The accident from last fall had been almost forgotten at this point but we never did hear any more about Ned’s affairs or what happened. Brandon had said that he heard that Mira got it all – and ‘all’ included two Shelby’s, an ’03 Lightning, an ’03 Terminator, a couple of Mach 1’s (a ’70 and an ’04) and some other toys including a PowerStroke Excursion. Seems that Ned had quite a stable – oh, and that included his wife’s Ford GT as well which was actually Ned’s. Apparently he gave it to her to drive – nice guy, eh? It seemed like it all might have been a bad dream… a really bad dream. Still, life had moved forward once more...

“So, you’re going too, right? To the track, I mean?”

“You know it, Brandon. I’m going. I’m hoping to bust into the 10’s with the GN but I don’t know. It will all hinge on traction and good air. But yes – I’m going. And Kelly had told me a while back she would like to take her goat and see what it could do. That would be interesting!”

We visited for a while as I listened to Brandon’s latest round of local car news. Nothing exciting but he had heard that a black and white Shelby had been seen around town and supposedly there was a wicked SRT-8 Charger or Magnum that had surfaced and that supposedly had been a test bed for some Super Charger company’s preliminary development work, possibly ATI or Vortech.

“If that’s all true Brandon, it should be an interesting year in the neighborhood. And these are just the two you’ve heard about.”

“Well, there’s another interesting angle besides these new rides…”

“What’s that?”

“If what I’m hearing is correct, Ned’s widow is the driver of the Shelby. And from what I’m told, she can drive.”

Now that WAS an interesting twist. Although I hadn’t seen the car around town, I was looking forward to doing so. And I certainly was looking forward to running Brandon’s stock Shelby at the track, if for no other reason than hoping he would let me take it for a pass or two.

Brandon’s car had really come into its own since the day he picked it up. Once he surpassed the factory loaded power reduction (some preset number of miles or engine starts), the power really woke up. He took me for a ride one evening and the stock tires did not have a prayer of hooking up. He already had bought a set of drag radials (E/T’s I think) and had them mounted on a spare set of wheels ready to go, so I hoped to see the beast put down some good times. But I wasn’t sure if his claim of ‘stock’ was legit (knowing Brandon, anything was possible) so I thought maybe I should ask.

“I haven’t heard you say much about mods – is your car still stock other than the wheels? Knowing you, it might have a twin-screw, smaller pulley, and more by now.”

Ah-HA! That grin! I knew he was keeping something under wraps.

“Well, to be honest, I did do one thing – I put a Cold Air Intake in it but that’s it. Other than the CAI and the drag radials however, the car is totally stock. It should be interesting.”

Just as Brandon finished his sentence, we heard the sound of a car that had some serious power coming down the road – actually, it sounded like two different cars. As they neared the curve in the road down from my drive, it was easier to tell it was two cars with two completely different exhaust tones and one even sounded like an automatic. Hmmm….

Brandon and I stepped out of the garage a bit and turned to look down the road into the setting early spring sun just as the lead car came into view. It was the black Shelby with the white stripes. And right behind it looked like a much larger car but one that’s exhaust note was almost overshadowing that of the Shelby – it looked to be an SRT-8 Charger. This car was not one you would lose in the parking lot – it was a bright red but had a blacked out hood and a black spoiler. While the Shelby appeared to be wearing stock size tires and wheels, the SRT-8’s looked to be 20’s but with very wide rear tires, perhaps 315’s or so from the way it looked. And the Charger even had a more sinister whine – it sounded like a big S/C was lurking beneath that power-bulged hood - which was very noticeable as both cars slowed as they neared my drive. Obviously, these were the two cars Brandon had just told me about only moments before…

B and I both thought that perhaps they were just slowing to get a look at his Shelby since his was actually hard to tell from a distance since it wasn’t striped. But when both of them stopped right in front of the house and sat there, it seemed as if they were doing more than looking.

Both cars’ windows were tinted so it was impossible to see who the drivers were but in the still, cool air of that March evening the sounds of the engines idling. Kelly even came to the door and looked out. In the setting sun, the two cars had a long, shadowy look…. There wasn’t any revving or thumping of a stereo as we often hear… they just sat there idling and whining

Idling… whining… idling… whining…

Then, the SRT-8 began to pull around the Shelby and then pulled up even, both noses now side by side. The size differential of both cars was amazing – the Shelby looked tiny compared to the girth of the Charger yet the Charger looked like it could have been just driven from the gates of Hell. The scooped hood, the big meats, the stance – it had a serious, take-no-prisoners attitude. And the paint – it was wickedly gorgeous to be honest. It looked like wet, red metallic, lava – lava that was still cooling…

Brandon and I just stood there, our arms crossed, watching and waiting to see what the two cars were going to do. Perhaps a smoky burnout, as if to challenge? Or, a quick race as if to demonstrate?

Idling… whining… idling… whining…

But then, the sound of transmission linkage being engaged was barely heard above the engine noise. And ever-so-slowly the SRT-8 came on around the Shelby and got back in the lane as the Shelby began to accelerate as well. Very, very slowly both cars drove on by the house and then went on down the road. B and I watched them go on over the slight rise which was about a half mile down from my drive. Neither of us thought to look at the plates – the cars were gorgeous and kept our eyes busy enough.

Brandon turned to me then and then asked, “What do you make of that? Speak of the devils!”

“I don’t know Brandon but didn’t you say that Ned’s wife was supposedly driving a black Shelby around town?”

“Yeah, I did. So, maybe that was her. But I don’t know who owns the SRT-8 and actually, I’m not even positive the Shelby is Ned’s old one. It’s just that I heard she was the driver of one running around town – this one might be a completely different one, I just don’t know…although it would be hard to believe there are even more Shelby’s around. It’s got to be her, don’t you think?”

“Well, I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. They seemed to be interested in your car, that’s for sure!”

Brandon shook his head. “I don’t think they were looking at my car at all, Steve. I think they were looking at something else.”

“What would they be looking at?” I asked...

“What’s sitting over there inside that far bay of your garage, perhaps...? Some people do know about it, you know… maybe they were looking to see ‘it’.”

“I don’t think anyone knows about that car, Brandon… It’s never left the garage yet except at night. It’s not quite ready and I’m still waiting on the new turbo’s plus the experimental air/water intercooler so it hasn’t even been on the street this year at all.”

“I don’t know, Steve. Word gets around…. I’m betting they’re looking for the big dog in this town. Everyone knows where the biggest dog house is… my guess is that they’re more than just curious. For now, anyways…”

To be continued…
 

Taylor

New Member
It had been a few days since the black Shelby and the SRT-8 had ‘stopped by’ and still, neither B nor I had a clue as to who actually owned the car. We had even heard the cars were from out of town but oddly no one knew exactly who the owners were.

We were only a couple of days away from going to the track so with work and other normal home chores, it was hard – but not impossible – to finish up getting the GN and the GTO ready. Since the track wasn’t that far away, we were just going to drive the cars there. My GN isn’t caged yet and it’s not going to be so I was pretty sure that if I was lucky enough to grab a high 10 second ET, the track officials would quit looking the other way and boot me for sure. Oh well, not a bad reason to have to leave the track, right?

Just as I was finishing the last coat of wax on the GN, I heard the sounds again. It was yet another unreal March evening, with the sun setting later and later so I finally had a couple of hours after getting off work to work outside. That was when I heard it – or should I say, “them”…

The black Shelby and the Red SRT-8 came from the other direction this time… slowly easing to a stop just at the property line and this time, the SRT-8 was in front. It was pretty much a mirror image of what happened on Saturday evening… they pulled up, the cars just sat and idled, the sounds of the forced induction motors droning and whining in the cool, early spring/late winter air… then, the Shelby pulled around the Dodge and they both began to pull away with the Shelby taking the lead just as they passed my other property line, this time disappearing into the setting sun’s long shadows of the evening.

I watched the cars go by and wondered who the drivers might be… was the Shelby driver Ned’s widow? IF so, who was driving the Dodge? As I leaned against the very polished and very slick surface of the GN’s driver’s side rear fender, I heard the familiar sound of what I was pretty sure was Brandon’s car coming from the same direction that the two cars had disappeared into.

As B pulled into the drive and stepped from his car, he was shouting before the door was open.

“Did you see ‘em, Steve? Did you SEE THEM? I just passed both of them less than a mile down the road!”

“Calm down, B! Man, a blind man would have seen those cars go buy, they sounded so good. Did you get a look inside as you passed them by?”

“Nah, man… the glare off their windshields prevented that…. I don’t know... it’s weird isn’t it? Less than a week apart and they both drive by two times, yet no one has seen them in town and no one knows for sure who owns either one of them. That’s some weird stuff, for sure…”

Brandon was right. I hadn’t said anything to Kelly about the cars’ odd behavior last Saturday just so she wouldn’t get worried about some stalkers or something but she just happened to be coming down the drive as Brandon was saying his last nugget of observation…

“So, Steve… what’s up with these two cars? What are they?”

I took a couple of minutes and tried to down play it but Kelly’s reaction absolutely floored me.

“Steve, I know who both of those cars belong to – if you had told me about them, I could have told you a couple of days ago… and I think you’re going to be surprised. At least as surprised that I am that they have been coming by…”

Brandon and I just looked at each other with a “WTF?” look on our faces.

“Well, who are they, Kel?” It was Brandon who spoke first.

Kelly didn’t smile and that gave me a weird feeling… very seldom does the love of my life not smile.

“Steve, who do you THINK they are?”

“Well, possibly Ned’s widow in the Mustang but we don’t have a clue about the Dodge. C’mon, Kel – spill it. Who are they? And how in the world is it that YOU know who they are but we don’t?”

“I’ll answer the last part of your question first. I know them because my law office defended them in an insurance fraud case. I didn’t handle the case but I do know that the partners got them off on a technicality.”

“Ok, and since your office is located nearly an hour away that might explain why we wouldn’t have heard about them assuming they live near Dublin.”

“Oh, they don’t live near Dublin, Steve. They live right here. But they do ‘business’ in Dublin and Columbus. And it’s allegedly not the kind of business that would make a parent proud…”

Hmmm… Brandon’s brain was humming as much as mine was…

“I give up, Kel. I STILL do not have a clue…”

She just stared at us both for a moment….

“Steve, they are Ned’s twin sons… and they are not nice boys…. Why don’t you put the GN away and I’ll tell you what I know.”



**********----------------*************------------


After Kelly filled us in I don’t know who was more surprised – her or us. She was shocked to learn that the twins apparently were checking out our home and then she shocked us with more detail.

She told us about how Ned and eventually his sons had been under investigation on some life insurance payment-related investigation that resulted in charges being filed. Seems that Ned’s first wife (and we didn’t even know about her!) had died of some ‘un-natural’ causes, that Ned as well as the boys were listed as beneficiaries on the five million (yes, that is a 5 with SIX zeros behind it) policy, and that the autopsy showed the possibility of foul play. Supposedly, she had killed herself but the autopsy also showed suspicious marks on her wrists and other parts of her body that brought in a suspicion of homicide. Neither Ned nor his boys could corroborate their alibis at the time of death but the cops couldn’t disprove them either so the D.A. barely got the case past the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury wavered about even sending it forward based upon so much circumstantial evidence.

Then, the hot shot lawyers in Kelly’s firm got them off on some paperwork technicalities resulting from a poorly executed search warrant and failure to give at least one of the suspects their Miranda rights. Oddly, while ‘grieving’ the death of their mother/wife, Ned and the boys (Jeremiah and Jonah) had a good ol’ time of a shopping spree, buying up a lot of toys and real estate with their newly found tax-free wealth, all the while waiting for a trial that never came.

Then, Ned died with the boys inheriting their father’s cash – rumored to be nearly another two million plus one of his life insurance policies of another million split between them with Mira getting the cars, yet another million dollar policy, and all the real estate he owned. All of this happened in a matter of days with all the paperwork being handled by Kelly’s office since her firm’s corporate legal office (in another building) also represented the insurance company. She definitely had the details…

We also found out that sometime recently Jeremiah bought the Shelby from an eBay seller and Jonah picked up the SRT-8 from a big Chrysler tuner on the west coast. This was all brought out in the depositions. Ned had bought his Shelby last fall and of course, it was gone. But Kelly did mention one thing that didn’t quite add up – the SRT-8 that Jonah had bought was listed as being black in color – the one that had been passing by the house was a bright, liquid red. And, it was hard to imagine that someone would have changed colors but we all agreed that anything was possible. Either way, there was a lot to think about given the information that we all had.

However, we didn’t really have time – nor reason – to dwell on it. In the end, we agreed that the weekend was upon us, that we were going to the track, that even IF the two cars that had been by the house were Ned’s boys that it didn’t really matter because no harm was done. Ned was dead; some hot cars drove by and seemed to be sniffing around but again, nothing really out of the ordinary.

And still, no one knew what I had in the East Bay of the garage…

After Brandon left, I walked out in the garage and past the first three bays. On the east wall is a walk-through door that takes you on into the other garage which is really a big two bay set-up that also has the main shop/lift in its east side. This is the part of the garage that never has the doors open during the day. This is where my ‘special’ projects have come to life over the years. And this is where ‘it’ sat…

I had actually come across this car several years ago. A guy had it advertised in Hemming's; he was close and on a lark I gave him a call. He didn’t have a price listed nor would he give me one on the phone. He simply said he wanted the car to go to someone who he felt would appreciate it for what it was and also sign a contract to not sell the car for a minimum of 15 years – IF he even decided to sell it to the prospective buyer.

Well, all of those conditions really piqued my interest so Kelly and I took a drive to his house one day. I think it was around 1990 or so…

It was one of those typical hot late-August days that Ohio is famous for – humidity that was off the charts and a temperature trying to break into the 100’s. We were thankful that the air conditioning in the Impala we were driving back then worked because even having to get out of the car to pump gas put you into a full sweat. And then, there were the darn bugs…

The previous winter had been exceptionally mild. Not much of a freeze and that had the farmers grousing about the ground not working right that spring as much as the merchants were moaning about all those unsold Carhart’s and RedWing boots that still were languishing in the aisles along with snow-blowers that gather dust for at least one more season. So, the bugs had a fairly easy go of it – and they took to biting and annoying humans with a vengeance.

As we pulled up the long, dusty lane at Bill (“Just call me ‘Dollar-Bill’ because I’ve still got the first one I ever earned!” – and he must have said this 10 times if he said it once) Davis’s farm, we could see swarms of bugs swirling in the hot air above the hood of the car. Dust rolled and hung behind us. The few cows he had were trying to find shelter from the mid-day sun under the lone Oak tree near the fence, their long tails trying unsuccessfully to swat away the million or so flies trying to have a warm blood snack at their expense.

Getting out of the car, Dollar-Bill came out of his house along with his dog. Well, we weren’t really sure it was a dog at first - until it barked. It looked more like a small pony with a hair-growth problem.

And big, white teeth.

That shined brightly as it growled with one of those deep, guttural growls that sends a wet chill down your back. Even on the hottest August day you can imagine.

“Shut up, you ol’ flea-bag!” yelled Dollar-Bill. “Just ignore him – he’s all bark and no bite. Shoot – Ringo ain’t bit no one for nearly a year now so I’m sure you’re ok.”

We exchanged pleasantries, my hand (which isn’t small) was immediately engulfed in Bill’s meaty ham-fist – a fist that was more sweat and grease than it was anything. Kelly looked down at it as I did and then grinned a bit, knowing that I was dying to wipe the crud off.

“So, ya wanna see the car, do ya?”

I nodded, fearing that even speaking would either get me bit by Ringo or make me sweat even more. At that point, I would have rather been bitten than sweat any more – I was sure we were dehydrating at an alarming rate.

“Then follow me…”

Ok. We had foolishly hoped that ol’ Dollar-Bill might have stored this car in a cool, shady garage but no such luck. We had to hike out across a stone farm machinery-laden lot that I’m sure had to an annex parking lot for a Wal-Mart because it seemed so huge. By the time we got to the dilapidated looking red barn with the faded red paint and a barely visible “Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco” logo on its side, we were soaked in a miserable, shirt-sticking-to-your-skin sweat and our ankles hurt from turning them every other step in the loose pea-gravel he had for stone.

And did I mention the bugs? We must have looked to the bugs like the finest meal they had ever seen (actually, looking at Bill, his dog and his cows, we probably DID look pretty tasty as an alternative). Regardless, our swatting one only invited the attacks of at least three more mosquitoes or horse flies (think small sparrows that want to pierce your flesh with a biter the size of a McDonald’s straw) that had absolutely NO fear of us.

To say we were miserable would have been the understatement of the decade.

And we hadn’t even seen the car yet!

Thankfully, Bill got the door open quickly and we stepped inside. The first thing we noticed – was that we could hardly see. It was so dark inside and our pupils were so downsized due to the hot sun’s glare, the darkness made us blind as – well, as the bats that surely lived above our heads and that Kelly was just SURE were going to swoop down upon us and bite our necks.

Not that we would have been able to differentiate between bat bites or those of horseflies. My guess was that IF a bat did attack, it would only be to try and drink some water that was pooling and running down out backs. They had to be as thirsty as we were!

“Now, y’all just give your eyes time to adjust and I’ll go over here and open the side door. That’ll let in the light. I brought the keys out in case you want to try and start her up but I haven’t had it running for a couple of months – well, since the time the other guy came down to look at it. He wanted to buy it but I didn’t like him. I knew he would take this car and sell it and I ain’t sellin’ my girl to just anyone, ya understand me, boy? I’ll let her stay in this barn forever before I sell it to some snobby boy who wants to drag my girl off to that fancy auction out there in Arizona or something…”

Again, I nodded. In the general direction I heard his voice coming from since I still could not see him.

Then, with a dusty and rusty-sounding creak, we saw another big door begin to swing open and a slowly broadening beam of brilliant light pierced the darkness. A breeze was stirred up and the smell of musty, old hay and straw began to fill our nostrils. Years of dust that had not seen rain or water since before Teddy Roosevelt was president was stirred up and billions and billions of dust-particles floated lazily in the shafts of light now pouring into the darkness, dancing and moving like the tiniest of stars in the night sky... Somewhere deeper in the bowels of the barn we could hear chickens clucking and moving about, occasionally we could hear scratching in the dirt... It was almost as if we had stepped back in time at least a hundred years…

We watched Dollar-Bill walk back our way and motion for us to follow him on over into a corner. As we got closer, we could see the outline of a car beneath a big, green tarp. My first thought? The paint has got to be shot sitting out here in this dirty old barn beneath a TARP…

But as our eyes grew more and more accustomed to the lighting, we could see that the tarp was only over a very, very nice car cover apparently to protect the cover from the aerial bombardments of the flocks of pigeons that we just noticed staring down at us. At least they looked like pigeons – Kelly was sure they were bats but when I pointed out the tail feathers, she had to agree. Still, she kept a wary eye out for the killer vampire bats she was certain were waiting to pierce her jugular.

We moved around a bit to get a better view of the car’s profile. Long hood, short rear deck…a moderately sloping backlight-rear window area… dual sport mirrors… Dollar-Bill began untying the gathers that kept the padded cover from moving on the car when he put the tarp in place.

He began to pull back the front of the cover. Black paint that looked to be every bit as good as it was new came into view… we could see the quad headlights…

He pulled the cover on back over the long sloping hood and the small scoop came into view… the gold stripes were now visible on the passenger side fender that we were standing by looked to be as new too… the cover slid on up and over the windshield, the two big wipers sitting there gleaming in all their glory… the small sport mirrors now uncovered and we watched as more and more of the gold swooping side stripes came into view, the shiny black paint they overlaid looking as if it was wet… how was this possible? We wondered…

Dollar-Bill pulled the cover from the rear… we walked on back and watched as the wide blocky tail lights were exposed, the gleaming chrome bumper shining above the dual exhaust pipes that were now exposed… then, a rear spoiler came into view, the gold striping swooping up off the fender and on across the spoiler…

Then, with one swift and coordinated tug, Bill pulled the cover completely off the car which stirred up some more dust and old-barn smells. The tires looked to be Goodyear’s (Polyglass?) and the wheels looked to be original vintage...

It all looked good. Especially the big blocky letters on the black fenders…

GSX.

We were looking at what Bill claimed to be a one-of-one car – an honest to god, BLACK, 1970 Buick GSX Stage 3 car… And we figured he ought to know – he claimed that he helped hand-build this car as a prototype in 1969 and that he had all the documents to prove it was the real McCoy…

Suddenly, the day wasn’t as hot as it seemed… another chill seemed to creep it’s scaly hand up my back, the cold being real and lingering... the drops of sweat becoming tiny liquid droplets of ice...

In my head for some odd reason, George Thorogood’s notoriously famous “Bad to the Bone” guitar riff started to play…

And the name of the car came to me... it had to named exactly what Bill had told us it was on the phone a couple of days earlier.... it fit so well... just like the faded Ohio vanity plate said...


CRSTEEN...





CHRISTINE


To be continued
 

Taylor

New Member
As I opened the walk-through door into the ‘annex’ of my garage and stepped through, all of those memories came flooding back… reading the Hemming’s advertisement the first time and thinking, “Nah, it’s gotta be a fake…”, seeing Dollar-Bill’s big-teeth dog that day we first saw the car, the sights and smells in the old musty barn… and even the feel of the door handle in my hand as I opened the driver’s side door for the first time…

*********_____________*************_____________** *********

I walked around Dollar-Bill with Kelly right behind me. Neither of us could scarcely believe what we were seeing. My first reaction was, “Ok, where’s the documentation?”

Bill just grinned…

“Open the door there, my friend. You will find everything in the glove box that pertains to this car, just like it was when it left Flint. Papers on the lightweight fender liners that Oldsmobile got all the press for, papers on the trunk mat delete, papers telling us to not put any insulation at all in the car of any kind…. Hell, I even have the documents that our department heads signed off ordering the car to be destroyed. GM did not want this car making it to the streets. They used a lot of its design in the GSX series but not all of them and as usual, they wanted the prototypes destroyed. This is the ONLY prototype we built like this and they knew it – they wanted it crushed, melted down and gone forever. But we fooled ‘em good…’

“Oh yeah? How’d you do that, Bill?” I paused, my hand on the gleaming door pull, about to depress the release button below it. I paused, seriously interested in how this car came to be…

“Aw, it was easy really. We just had a regular black Gran Sport crushed and when the suits came to see the remains, they didn’t even check to see if it was anything but a black bodied car. Meanwhile, we had all drawn straws to see who would get to keep the car and I was the lucky one. Seemed fitting somehow… the motor in this car was hand assembled primarily by yours truly. The public knows that 678 1970 GSX’s were built but actually there were 679.” His wink said it all.

Bill seemed to have a gleam in his eye but then he seemed to be swept back in time… back to those days in the prototype works arm of Buick Corporate… I could see that far-away look in his eye, most likely reliving the memories of hefting the huge pistons in his hands, of hearing the motor come to life the first time… and many more.

He explained to us in great detail about how back then, almost $1200 was added to the price of the Buick Gran Sport 455 in 1970 to get the GSX. But if a person spent the extra money, he got a four-speed transmission with a Hurst shifter, G60-15 tires on mag-style wheels, a posi-traction rear with 3.42 gears, Rallye Ride and Control Suspension, power front disc brakes, bucket seats and a small console, a big fat three-spoke steering wheel, spoilers, hood tach and more. The Stage 1 package – for a measly $113.75 when ordered with the GSX package - added a hotter cam, a reworked carb, and bigger valves with freer flowing heads. Most GSX buyers ordered it.

He also told us about a dealer installed Stage 2 package that added headers, gears, the scooped hood, and some other things that he wasn’t sure about but that were all to be done at the dealer. But the granddaddy of them all was supposed to be the Stage 3.

The car before us was supposed to be the culmination of everything Buick’s performance division could muster and that the engineers hoped to get added to the option sheet for prospective buyers. Other GM divisions were kicking Buick’s butt in sales; particularly the new GTO Judge and the Chevelle SS 454 and Olds 442 W-30 car (with its red plastic fender liners) were leaving Buick behind in sales. Buick fans wanted to be the king at the track and on the street. It was hoped that ideas borne from this car were going to help Buick get the crown for them in a very quick way.

Before I reached back down to open the door, Bill had popped the hood. Oddly, the hood was not on springs and he propped it up with a prop rod that was along the driver’s fender. I tucked that observation away for a moment as I began to circle up to the front of the car along the long, curvaceous fender…

“Look at this… if this doesn’t make you drool you’re dead, boy…”

Bill had produced a flashlight from somewhere and was directing its dust particle-filled beam into the cavernous engine bay of the GSX. As I stepped nearer, I could see what he meant. This was a serious race car.

The first thing I noticed was the massive intake system. There were two four barrel carbs sitting on what was obviously a hand crafted intake connected to a common air inlet that sealed up against the yawning hood. No insulation was on the underside of the hood and when I reached up to touch it, I noticed it wasn’t metal at all – it was fiberglass! The scoop was worked onto the surface of the hood because there wasn’t any attachment hardware visible at all. No wonder there weren’t any hood springs…. Casting my gaze back down into the engine bay, Kelly was on the opposite fender and looking on with appreciation for something special. Bill continued with some more details….

“Steve, this car is definitely unique. I saw you staring at the intake – it’s beautiful, ain’t it? Wendell in fabrication made that for me and those two Holley 600’s on top have his linkage hooking them together. The cam? I don’t remember the numbers exactly but they are on the sheet in the glove box. I CAN tell you this thought, this car has a lot of trouble idling – it’s VERY rough and sounds a lot like a pro-stocker. Engine vacuum is almost non-existent at low rpm due to the size of the valves and the cam.”

I tried to imagine what it must have been like to build this monster…

“The internals are all forged, balanced and blueprinted as best possible. The compression ratio is almost 12:1 and this car HAS to have premium fuel. Actually, it liked the old Sunoco 260 but you can’t find that good stuff anymore… Anyways, the transmission is a built Turbo 400, not the 4 speed that you see in a lot of the cars. Tests showed us that the 4 speed would not take the torque of this motor… The rear axle isn’t a GM 12 bolt – it’s a Dana; and it has 4.10’s stuffed in it. Notice those big headers? Those also were all special made by Wendell and his crew and they were designed to maximize torque. If you recall, these here Buick 455’s were famous for their torque. Well let me tell you this – STOCK Buick 455’s WISH they had the torque this motor does…”

I saw that memory-laden stare in Bill’s eyes again… I scanned the engine bay, admiring the Spartan assortment of plumbing, wires and such… this was full-boogie race prep.

Kelly came on around to my side as Bill stepped back, a look on his face not unlike that of a father looking has child for the first time.

“Open the door, Steve” Kelly whispered… “See what’s inside…”

I felt the heat returning back to the environment… “Bad to Bone” still ran in and out of my thoughts… I put my hand back on the door pull – it felt hot… pressing the metal release, I felt the linkage move, heard the clicking of the release of the door latch, and pulled the heavy door open.

More smells… the smell of plastic; old plastic and vinyl and glass. I noted a thin rubber mat on the floor… no carpet. I slid on into the car on onto the seat.

It felt like… well, like a big old flat sofa. The seats were supposed to be ‘buckets’ but compared to today’s bucket seats, these seats were not much more than small sofas sitting side by side. A seat belt was all that would have kept us in check. The steering wheel was HUGE in diameter! It had a gray vinyl material which also felt hot to my hands but it fit. It kind of reminded me of the steering wheel in my GN but much bigger yet. The three spokes were not solid – they were semi-split but afforded a good view of the instrument panel, which to my surprise, was one of the best laid out panels I’ve ever seen.

It was obviously also hand assembled. It had a tach (no hard to see hood-tach here), oil pressure, battery, fuel level, speedo, and water temp. All the gauges were black faced with white numbers and needles. The smell inside the interior swept me back the 20 years or so (remember? This was 1990!) and I could imagine how it might have felt to be able to walk into a Buick Dealership on Main Street in Any Town, USA and buy one of these beasts. There wasn’t any console and the standard floor shifter (sort of an inverted “U”) was housed above a small box that hid it’s linkage to the Turbo-Hydromatic 400 beneath the massive floor raise.

I sensed Bill standing out side the door but he wasn’t speaking….

I ran my hands over the passenger seat and noted that the rear seat was still in the car. Kelly had opened the passenger’s door and slid onto the seat, opened the glove box and pulled out a very aged-looking manila envelope. On the outside of the envelope was “1970 GSX S-3 P-Type – TOP SECRET” stamped in fading red ink. In the upper left corner of the envelope were GM’s logo and the name “William R. Davis” which had “Property Of:” stamped above it as well.

It looked like Bill was legit after all. I suddenly forgot how hot I was and ignored the sweat beading on my brow and my upper lip… I didn’t know if I was sweating now or drooling… THIS car was indeed very special.

“Here, young fella… see if she’ll start for ya. Christine is a bit temperamental and I don’t know how fresh the battery is so try your hand. My guess is, if she like’s you, she’ll start. If not, don’t take it personal, ok?”

The battery? I didn’t notice a battery under the hood.

“Bill, where IS the battery? Is it in the trunk?” I asked this as I slid the key into the ignition cylinder. No chime rang out but I also noticed that there wasn’t any sort of interior lighting either. Apparently prototypes (or maybe S-3’s only?) do not get fluffy stuff like interior lighting…

Bill grinned. “Yep, it’s in the trunk. And it’s a big one too… takes a lot of amps to turn this high compression monster over…”

Ok... here goes… I rotated the key in the cylinder forward. Actually, the action took more effort than I thought it would… possibly just due to lack of use? I noticed then that as the key passed the “Run” mark on the column that the gauges all flickered a bit and then jumped up off of their dead position.

The battery had at least THAT much juice… but – would it have enough to turn over?

In a millisecond, that question was answered…

The first rotations of the reciprocating mass sounded like what surely was the noise of hell-hounds being stirred from a deep slumber…

“Grrr… grrr…. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr….”

But the speed of the rotations began to pick up speed.

“Did you pump the accelerator, boy?”

No. In my life of becoming comfortable with electronic and computer controlled fuel injection, I had completely forgotten about chokes on carbs! I let off the key and it returned to the run position, the needles on a couple of the gauges jumping back up to their live status.

I matted the pedal a couple of times, hearing the linkage work on the carbs out front… what a delightfully, mechanical sound… a lost and long ago sound of power and mobility…. Millions and millions of Americans had grown up knowing that you ALWAYS pump the pedal a time or two before staring a car.

But not me… Duh… I completely had forgotten!

Lifting my foot from the pedal, I rotated the key again. This time, the results were vastly different.

The motor didn’t start as much as it exploded to life. The fast idle of the carb settings must have been set up to at least 2000 rpms if not higher… looking at the tach, I saw I was close – around 1900 rpms was being held fairly steady. But that wasn’t the main attraction.

That glory fell to the exhaust.

Even at the high rpm of the cold-start (now, there’s a misnomer for an Ohio August afternoon…), the idle was rougher than I imagined possible. The cam HAD to have at least numbers that were nearly off the chart for street use.

“Bap! Bappety, bap-bap-bap-BAPPETY-bap…”

The explosions within the cylinder walls were a cacophony of mechanical music, the pulses ringing within the big-tube headers and exiting what had to surely be nothing more than a chambered exhaust (which I later found to be exactly what this car had – NO mufflers at all)… It was deliriously beautiful yet had the deadly sound of a very angry mechanical beast…

It was then that I noticed the dust had really kicked up in the barn, dancing about in the sunbeams… a few small pigeon feathers slowly wafted down from above... Obviously, the pigeons (and most like ANY animal within earshot of the barn) had exited in a hurry, fearing for its life. The falling feathers confirmed this fact at least for the birds that were previously looking down upon us in curiosity.

Bill was trying to talk to me but I hadn’t a clue what he was saying. Maybe the grin meant it was good?… Kelly had her fingers in her ears… I was probably damaging my hearing with each second but I didn’t care. This car was calling my name… it was the song of the siren, asking me to come closer to the rocky shoals of mega-torque and Horsepower… Christine owned me right then and there with her sultry and abundantly loud voice… “Bad to the Bone” was gone… now, I could hear (barely, even in my own head) AC-DC’s opening intro to “Hell’s Bells” began to circulate in my brain’s ‘ears’…

Dust… feathers… exhaust noise… the acrid smell of high compression exhaust fumes… darkness… light… life… death… good… and evil… oddly, all of those sensory stimuli were bombarding me at the same time… I was terrified yet could not run…

Christine wasn’t mine. Oh, no… not hardly. No one could ever truly ‘own’ an entity like this car. Our best hope is to be able to share years with a car like this, knowing that we can not take it with us when we cross over to the other side… Christine surely didn’t come from the other side of light and music and angels and trumpets…

Christine was forged with the fury of molten steel, of flaming forges, and of mighty pile-driving hammers striking hot metal to shape its soul… hand built by people who knew what she might be capable of.

Bill agreed to sell me the car at that moment. He saw ‘it’ on my face. He knew that I didn’t want to own Christine. He knew that I knew what he knew… that she wasn’t going to be mine so much as…

I was going to be her’s…


********___________*************____________****** *******


Standing there in the garage bay that evening, I looked her over again. I can never look at Christine without feeling the same things I felt the time I first fired her up in that run-down old barn over fifteen years earlier. I had only taken her out at night… LATE at night, when no one was really around. I never took her into town… only out in the country where she could breathe the cool, dense air of the night, where her exhaust noises wouldn’t wake anyone but the dead (and those sleeping)…

But I had not had her out for several months. It was about time… it wouldn’t this weekend. But – it would be soon. I felt it… she knew it… sooner or later, I would have to feed her.

And Christine was a cannibal of the worst kind… she had no one to fear and thus, feared no one…

Sooner or later… it was coming. I stood there feeling the same kind of chill I felt… and I thought I heard her soul rumble deeply within me with approval.

It was time to start finishing her up…

Yes… it was definitely time.

To be continued…

..............................

That Saturday morning started out dark and heavily overcast… it was looking to be one of the typical Ohio spring mornings that could bring any sort of weather for the day – rain, clouds, wind, snow, and/or even sleet – well, like I said - anything. The dark gray clouds hung low and heavy, as if ready dump a deluge of precipitation if they were poked with anything sharp. Given the temperature, at least it wouldn’t be snow – by noon it was already nearly 50 degrees and the forecast called for much higher than normal temperatures for the rest of month. As long as the rain held off, we were going to the track.

I had the GN ready and Kelly’s GTO was ok to go as well. I had already put the Drag Radials on her car the night before and it was going to be interesting to see what it could do. Brandon and Stacy came over right after lunch and B was his usual self – just itching to get to the track early for tech. He had previously decided to mount a new set of M/T E-T DR’s on a spare set of wheels that he had in the trunk of the GT500. He wanted to see what the Shelby would do on the stock 285/40-ZR18’s first, although neither of us had much hope that they could withstand the torque of the blown 5.4 even on a prepped track. Our experiences in his car in the past weeks held little hope of that. After seeing how the stockers would do, he planned on bolting on the DR’s and see how much effect they would have on his ET.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry anymore about losing air pressure in that pesky right-rear tire (the old Nitto D/R). For my birthday, Kelly had bought me a brand new set of 275/60-15’s along with a new set of Centerline TelStar aluminum wheels for the Buick. And at this point, they were already on the car. My old set (which only had about a thousand miles on them, if that) were up over the garage with all my other “I just might need this [insert name/description of item] someday so I can’t toss it out” items… sound familiar?

By mid-afternoon, amazingly the clouds begin to pull back and break up. A slight warm southerly breeze began to pick up and the thermometer on the side of the garage was bumping 60*. By 4:30, we were pulling out of the driveway and heading to the track, Brandon and Stacy in the lead, Kelly behind them and my GN bringing up the rear. In no time at all, we were there.

Pulling into the track entrance, you drive under a huge metal sign, “Tri-County Drag Strip – The Track of Champions”. Tri-County was a newer track than the one at Barstow and the entire complex is much nicer because of its age. The entryway drive is about a hundred yards long and you have to drive through a set of lockable metal gates. The entire complex is surrounded by a large masonry/brick wall along with reinforced chain-link fence.

After you enter the main entry gate, there are three ticket booths – one between the two entry lanes and one on each outer side to accommodate who might be paying the freight. So, as we figured might be the case for the first weekend and with the outstanding weather, a LOT of cars were there. There is a steady stream of vehicles of all varieties waiting to pull into the track and all three ticket booths were busy taking money from anxious racers and fans. Money was being made for sure.

Immediately after paying your entry fee of ten bucks (for Test and Tune Night) if you are the driver or five dollars as a spectator, you are then directed to one of three different tech areas depending upon how busy the event might be. Normally, most cars are sent single file to T-A 1 where you have to fill out a two sided sheet of paper giving the owners of the track all the info on you, your car, and your driver’s license as well as signing a release that absolves the track and it’s owners/employees/affiliates of any liability should you wipe your nice ride out. No problem there – do it at your own risk is how it should ALWAYS be done.

As soon as you fill out the Tech/Information sheet, two or three tech inspectors may look your car over depending upon what event might be planned and at what level you are participating. If they know your car is a heavy hitter, say running 10’s or better, they will be all over it and especially want to see the cage. However, for T&T night they pretty much just make sure that, if you are the driver, that you’ve got a helmet, long pants good shoes, and a car that isn’t leaking anything. They will then write a huge entry number (dependent upon what number of entrant your car is in respect to who came in before you).

If you do not want your ET shown on the lights, they will write “NO TIME” on the side window facing the announcer’s stand. This will clue the announcer (assuming he’s paying attention) to turn off the lighted display at the far end of the track prior to your run (and for your lane only) telling everyone what you are running. Some guys want this done, especially if they are bracket racers. Most of us there at T&T don’t care – show how well we ran to the world, we don’t care. And, we don’t usually care who is in the other lane – T&T night isn’t about racing an opponent as much as it is seeing what you need to tweak on your own car or abilities to get the absolute lowest ET and maximum MPH for your runs.
Waiting in line to get to the Tech area, Brandon shut down the GT500 and walked back to the GN with Stacy hopping in the passenger side seat of Kelly’s GTO. We definitely were going to have to wait a bit – apparently we weren’t the only racers who thought getting there early would mean we could get through tech faster!

“Hey, Steve! Man, I am PUMPED! I can not WAIT to launch the Shelby tonight!”

Like I said, B is anything but subtle.

“How many miles do you have on her now, Brandon?”

“Well, I just looked at the odometer and if I remember right, it’s around 2200-2300 miles or so. Hard to believe I’ve driven it that much but man, those Fords are meant to be driven. With the mild winter, I’ve gotten a lot of seat time in it so I’m feeling pretty good tonight!”

Remember me telling you about Brandon’s loyalty, especially to Ford? He is one dyed-in-the-wool B.O.B. (Blue Oval Boy).

“Hey – by the way, Kelly’s Goat sounds pretty good! Did you do anything to it?”

“Nah, it’s the stock exhaust. Other than the Drag Radials, it’s completely stock. Those LS2’s are pretty healthy but the thing that hurts that car is its weight – I think it’s nearly 3800lbs. If that car was about 400-500 lbs lighter, it would be a killer. As it is, it ain’t no slouch and she’s told me about embarrassing a lot of ricer-boys and even a few of you Mustang jockeys at the stop lights!” I couldn’t resist trying to deflate B’s enormous overly-confident Ford ego – and as usual, it didn’t work; he just ignored me and kept going. Ya gotta love the guy!

“I haven’t seen anyone yet that I know. But man, there is a lot of nice iron here tonight! Did you see all the 5.0’s? One of them that was two or three cars up from me – and that was driven here – has a chute on the back of it! Could be an interesting little notch-back to see run. And I can’t believe the number of trucks that are here! And I know at least two of them are diesels! Steve, the world is changing…”

He was right; vehicles that we used to think would never be seen on a drag strip were now repeat visitors and beyond that, many of them were downright scary. Take the diesel pickups – I saw one run a 10 second ET last fall! Black smoke was bellowing from the exhaust but the white Dodge Ram absolutely destroyed some guy’s confidence in his LS1 SS Camaro – it only ran a ‘lowly’ 12.2 – and STILL lost to a diesel pickup!

The 5.0 crowd was definitely well represented this evening. Looking over the parking area where everyone picks their ‘space’ to de-trailer, mount tires, etc, there were a LOT of Mustangs that had numbers on their glass. Several old muscle-cars could be seen, including a couple of SS Novas, a few Chevelles or Malibus, a few Cutlasses, and so forth. But as it always happens, time has a way of weeding out the old stuff. The VAST majority of competitors tonight would be stuff that was mid ‘80’s or newer.

By this time the line had begun to move again so B jogged back up to the Shelby and we moved forward. In no time, we were all though tech and then proceeded to head over to the parking area just south of the staging lane entrance to the track. We found three spots that were adjoining and pulled in, having decided beforehand to walk up and see how the track looked.

At this point, it was almost 5:30. The sun was beginning to get low in the sky but with Daylight Savings Time only a few weeks away, darkness didn’t fully descend until around 6:30 so there was some sunlight still to enjoy. Yet, the air temp was already dropping - the big digital thermometer and clock on the back side of the announcer’s stand read a cool 53*. Forecast was for a low of 46* tonight so we were more than a little concerned with even being able to hook up to such a cold track. But those fears weren’t going to deter us tonight – in less than an hour, we would be racing!

We all joined up and headed over to the stands. Already, cars were running and the wonderful sounds of engines being revved for burnouts, staging, and launching/shifting were filling the cool evening air. The air smelled clean and fresh – except when the clouds of tire smoke may drift over us. Or, the smell of burnt race gas or alcohol might try and intoxicate you with their heady, semi-sweet but pungent aromas. For a racer, all a girl would have to wear for perfume would be something along the lines of “Eu-de Tire Smoke”; he would be helpless in her company! The earlier breeze had died entirely – the Stars and Stripes hung limp and lifeless on its pole so the smells of full bore racing were plentiful the closer you got to the track.

Nearing the stands, you have to pass one of the two concession areas first. Here is where the really good smells are found! Nachos and cheese, hot-dogs, Coney-dogs, hamburgers (grilled on an open-flame grille), French fries, popcorn and more were ready to go for hungry racers and race-fans. The smell of a fresh quarter-pound burger right off the grille, sizzling on a soft bun with all the condiments on a cool spring night is hard to describe but if you know what I’m talking about, I bet your mouth is watering right now.

Being too excited to eat, we passed the busy concessions and headed on up into the stands. Amazingly, the fans were out in full force! The seating area on both sides of the track looked to be over half full which was a lot more than you usually would see. The announcers were busy doling out the info that had been transmitted to them for each car/driver; information that was gleaned from our entry sheets earlier.

“Up next in the Mobil 1 lane is Darrell Thompson in his ’88 Monte Carlo SS. Darrell is a local boy and has been racing here for a few years. His Monte has a 350 with some other goodies and is always competitive here at Tri-County. In the far lane, that would be the Summit Racing lane, is Hannah Myers. This is Hannah’s first year here at Tri-County and she’s fielding one of those new Honda Si’s that we’ve been hearing about. Hannah tells us that the car is stock and that tonight is her first night ever on a drag strip. Don’t worry Hannah! We all had a first time here too so you’ll do fine. And while Darrell and Hannah get staged, on back in the burnout area are…”

The guys never stopped. There is never any dead air time at Tri-County; if they aren’t talking - such as during an oil-down on the track - music is playing. I guess that is why T-C became so popular – a racer or a fan just feels comfortable here…

We watched a couple of pairs of cars run. And actually, Hannah didn’t do badly at all – she ran a very low 15 second ET! It appeared that, despite her claim of this being her first time at the drag strip, Hannah was no stranger to launching and shifting a competitive car. She did very well indeed.

B and Stacy had gone down to the concession area for some popcorn and drinks and were just coming up the steps to where we sat when the announcer’s voice got our attention again…

“Well, folks, here are a couple of interesting cars coming up for you. In the far lane, it’s one of those new Dodge Chargers – an SRT-8 to be precise. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Dodge’s new Charger, this version is the big boy of this release. It’s got a 6.1 liter HEMI with a rated 425 hp. Yes, it’s got four doors and many of you are saying, ‘That ain’t no Charger!” but wait until you see it run. It’s FAST….”

Sure enough, waiting to pull through the water in the burnout box sat a blood red SRT-8 Charger. And it looked like the very same car that had been shadowing the house in recent days. The announcer continued…

“However, we won’t get to see the time that this bad boy might run – as you can see on the window, it says ‘NO TIME” so the display will be turned off at the driver’s request. But I’m SURE you’re gonna enjoy it – if you listen closely, you can probably hear a noise you don’t normally hear in the new SRT-8. It’s the whine of a blower or something. I don’t have any more info on this car other than the driver’s name. Driving the big red Dodge sitting over there in the Mobil One lane is…”

Brandon and I glanced at each other, waiting to hear who was driving the car – if it WAS the same car we had seen twice earlier. Hell, it HAD to be – how many SRT-8’s like this were around? Who could it be? Even as we were waiting, the SRT-8 was melting the hides having just pulled through the burnout box. The whine of a blower was EASILY heard – to be honest, the blower wasn’t whining as much as it sounded like it was screaming…

“… hold on folks, the writing is smudged a bit here… ok, I’ve got it now… driving the Dodge is…”

Ok… enough suspense already… We all were leaning forward in the cool evening air waiting to hear…

“…driving the Dodge is another new driver here at Tri-County. Folks, it looks like EVERYbody wants to run at Tri-County and don’t’ think for a minute that the Yates brothers who own this fine place don’t appreciate it! Anyhow, driving the Dodge is Bill Reynolds. Bill hails from…”

Oddly, I didn’t hear what else the announcer said… Bill REYNOLDS… why did that name sound familiar? Reynolds… Reynolds… nah, it couldn’t be, could it? Was Bill yet another person related to Ned?
Once more, the announcer kept reading… all the while the car opposite the SRt-8 did its burnout but with much less gusto than the Charger. We all agreed – while the LS1 Camaro in the Summit Racing lane might sound healthy, it was going to be cannon fodder for the Dodge. But just as we were watching the pair pull into the beams, the announcer’s voice caught our ears again…

“And while we wait for those two get staged, take a quick glance at what just pulled into the staging area. It’s one of those new high-dollar Mustangs, race fans! It’s a gen-you-wine, bona-fide, 2007 Shelby GT-500! Oh, yeah folks, this is a bad, BAD boy… and from what I hear, it ain’t stock either… just take a look at those stripes people, this is one gorgeous car!...”

Once more, B and I were surprised. It appeared that both the Shelby and Dodge were here tonight and we were going to actually see them run… we waited to hear who the driver was… meanwhile, the SRT-8 had the Pre-Stage and the Stage bulbs lit; the Camaro had only the Pre-Stage beam broken…

They were both idling at the line… the Camaro was creeping forward…

“…and driving that Shelby folks is someone whose name we’ve seen in the papers recently. We were all shocked by the death of her husband in that tragic car accident last fall…”

Now, both sets of bulbs were lit… both cars’ engines picked up rpms, preparing to launch…

“…Ned Reynolds was known as a long-time supporter of drag racing. He will be missed…”

The first amber light lit… both the SRT-8 and the Camaro were straining to be loosened of the mechanical bonds that held them fast…

“… driving the black and white-striped Shelby is – whoops! We’re about to launch the cars folks! Directing your attention back up to the line…”

Second amber bulb is lit, the third is about to illuminate… everyone’s eyes are focused on the two cars, especially the SRT-8, its blower shrieking in anger… the Camaro had to be a stick car – it’s RPM’s were much too high to be on a converter…

The third amber lit and both cars launched, breaking the beams at what seemed to be identical times. But within 200 feet, the SRT-8 was walking the Camaro… it was already over. The Camaro was dead…. We watched both cars race to the finish as we heard the next pair (just ahead of the Shelby) finish their burnouts and being to pull into the lights…

The Dodge won easily, that was clear but it also sounded as if the driver may have backed out of it a little early. It was too hard to tell from the stands... No time was shown on the display at the big end of the track for it. The Camaro rolled through with a highly respectable 12.16 @118mph. That meant that the big Dodge was at least a mid or low-eleven second car, maybe more…

“Steve – who the hell is Bill Reynolds?” Brandon’s mind was racing as much as mine…

“I don’t know, B… I’m guessing he’s some relative of Ned’s, maybe?”

Kelly spoke up.

“He’s Ned’s father, Steve. I remember seeing his name on some of the documents… Bill Reynolds is Ned’s father… And while we’re talking about Ned, you’re not gonna believe what just pulled onto the track behind the black Shelby…”
 

Taylor

New Member
Fine cliffnotes

Guy has fast turbo buick, runs into a jerk with a highly modified / nitroused shelby gt500 (07), shelby keeps egging on grand national guy (main character) to race on the street ... they do...

SHelby has a bad nitrous backfire, loses control, nails a street light... guy dies 2 days later. This guy's dad and wife drive a supercharged srt-8, ford gt, and another modified shelby and keep messing with the same character. Main character also has a very rare grand national gsx he is waiting ot bust out at the right time.


Thats where im at so far.
 

luniz7

Always better in three's
Ok 1-3 page cliff notes. Steves buddie B got a new Shelby Cobra. Steve has a GN (grand nat) Steve started out with a shitty day. Later met up with B at resturaunt for some beers and food. When Steve arrived at the table his friend B was talking to someone unknown to Steve. His name is Ned. Ned an old sheriff got a shelby cobra. Ned talks **** to Steve about his GN and wants to run. Steve says no he doesnt street race. Steve says some rude comments to Ned about how Steve remembered him, cheating at the race track, loosing someones lug nuts to win. Ned gets pissed and leaves. Steve, wife Kelly, friend B and his girl go to leave resturaunt. B finds a note on the car along the lines of racing at winks den at 1230am. Steve says screw it and they all get in and start to leave. Steve in his GN, his wife in her GTO, and B and his girl in B's new shelby. Wife Kelly makes the light, Steve and B are stuck at red. Ned comes flying out of an alley behind Steve. Head to head, Neds cobra to Steves GN with a stage II motor. They race at green, they are head to head and Steve starts to pull. The hood blows off the Shelby, spins out and wrecks. Ned almost dies from the crash. The cop Jim comes and talks to Steve the next day. They are old buddies. Neither are cited for racing. Ned is alive. Ned calls Steve after 36 hours after wreck and wants to race again. Steve says only on the track if and when you get a new car. Ned says I have 3 shelbys. Steve says at the track. Ned ends up dying. B calls Steve and tells him Ned has a wife, while buying filters at the ford dealership, she was buying a ford gt40. Steve finds out Neds wife is driving a shelby and wants race him. Steve decides to buy a WE4 and starts to build it.

Anybody else read from pages 3 on post cliff notes! Im tired of reading NOW! BLUESIX THIS IS YOUR JOB!
 

stang101

^Bryan^
Ok 1-3 page cliff notes. Steves buddie B got a new Shelby Cobra. Steve has a GN (grand nat) Steve started out with a shitty day. Later met up with B at resturaunt for some beers and food. When Steve arrived at the table his friend B was talking to someone unknown to Steve. His name is Ned. Ned an old sheriff got a shelby cobra. Ned talks **** to Steve about his GN and wants to run. Steve says no he doesnt street race. Steve says some rude comments to Ned about how Steve remembered him, cheating at the race track, loosing someones lug nuts to win. Ned gets pissed and leaves. Steve, wife Kelly, friend B and his girl go to leave resturaunt. B finds a note on the car along the lines of racing at winks den at 1230am. Steve says screw it and they all get in and start to leave. Steve in his GN, his wife in her GTO, and B and his girl in B's new shelby. Wife Kelly makes the light, Steve and B are stuck at red. Ned comes flying out of an alley behind Steve. Head to head, Neds cobra to Steves GN with a stage II motor. They race at green, they are head to head and Steve starts to pull. The hood blows off the Shelby, spins out and wrecks. Ned almost dies from the crash. The cop Jim comes and talks to Steve the next day. They are old buddies. Neither are cited for racing. Ned is alive. Ned calls Steve after 36 hours after wreck and wants to race again. Steve says only on the track if and when you get a new car. Ned says I have 3 shelbys. Steve says at the track. Ned ends up dying. B calls Steve and tells him Ned has a wife, while buying filters at the ford dealership, she was buying a ford gt40. Steve finds out Neds wife is driving a shelby and wants race him. Steve decides to buy a WE4 and starts to build it.

Anybody else read from pages 3 on post cliff notes! Im tired of reading NOW! BLUESIX THIS IS YOUR JOB!


k let me start off by saying i read everything Taylor posted, and is this story even true?? everything sounds so made up that I dont believe one bit of it.
anyways, to continue the cliffs:
Steve is getting his GN ready for some sort of race day, when a "liquid red" SRT-8 Charger and a black 2007 GT500 pull up outside of his house, but he cant see in the cars because both of them have very dark tinted windows. Turns out that Steves wife, Kelly, "just happens" to work for some sort of insurance office that processed Ned's life insurance claim for his first wife which was $5 million dollars (do they even go that high?) Then Steve tells a story about how in 1990 his friend showed him some sort of "1969 prototype GSX" that was one of a kind and was supposed to be crushed after it was made. And from what I under stand Steve's friend sold him this car, but i am not postive on that one. It's late. So anyways race day rolls around and the liquid red SRT-8 charger rolls up to the line and the announcer says that "Bill Reynolds" is the driver of it, Kelly then informs Steve that it is Ned's father. the SRT-8 is also supercharged.
 
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