I pity the kids today and maybe I shouldn't... but it saddens me when I see a perfectly good white kid driving some souped up rice rocket (that is more rice than rocket) - with a gay wing and a stove pipe exhaust. Give it up kid. HAR HAR HAR!
Pardon me while I put on my old fogey's hat and reminisce about better times. Back in the 70's my brother drove a Ford Pinto.
Ford had to stop making these. They had a nasty habit of rear end collisions where the rear mounted gas tank ignited and the impact would lock the doors and jam them so the occupants couldn't get out.
His was a ghastly mustard yellow but it was cheap on gas and allowed him to save up. When he had enough money he bought a 1968 Firebird with a blown engine.
Back then one of these with a mint body and a blown engine could be had for $700.00
Pop was dragged in to the project right from the start. He went down, arranged to have the beast towed to our shop out on the acreage - and then he went to work. At first he grumbled and grouched but soon he was as enthused about it as we were. When he was a kid, the new Ford Mustangs were the rulers of the dragstrip, and he built a '49 Merc that he claimed would 'eat Mustangs alive'. Right from the start it was clear Big Bro couldn't pay up front so Pop would have to finance him as well. I helped pull the blown engine and sat in on the discussions as Pop lectured us on engines and components. Pop decided this car would be fast - but reliability would not be compromised. There comes a point where you start pushing parts and materials to their limits and then things begin to fail. Once Pop had an idea of where we were going we went to work. Big Bro ran back and forth between the part shop and our garage; I stayed home and wrenched with Pop.
When we finally got it done Big Bro was off at work and Pop and I took the car out for a shake down cruise. I will never forget it. My dad is a sensible, responsible man and a straight arrow at all times - you can set your watch by him, he is so reliable and trustworthy. But on that day, on the Gas Line Road... he ran that beast up almost to its limits. He pushed the car up to 80 and I thought nothing of it. I started to liquefy as he got up to 110. "C'mon, baby, show me what you got," he crooned like a loon. I was an unconscious puddle of organic mush on the floor mats when he hit 120... and STILL he poured on the coal..."127! Oh yeah!!!" he crowed!
Thankfully the car finally began to slow and dropped out of hyperspace as it went sub-light. Pop was babbling like a happy kid "That's plenty of power for a kid! We can get more speed out of this girl yet, Glen - but we would need a proper track for that! Of course, once ya go that route, the trick becomes keeping the car straight when ya shift, and keeping all that horsepower on the road rather than spinning your tires and burning them up...it's called wheel hop...". It wasn't until later that I was flabbergasted to learn that my dad was probably the coolest dad alive! Most 14 year olds and all my friends were ashamed of their parents and don't want to be seen with them. I started buying hot rod magazines and planning out my car - it was gonna be a '71 GTO ... but life happened.
I have no regrets, being a dumbass... I probably would have killed myself (and worse, maybe someone else) with a car like that! At least, that is what I tell myself when I pass the informal 'show n' shines' going on every summer. Hot rods are for the cool kids and I am not cool nor am I a kid anymore.
But...every so often I still feel like one and that is enough.