This is another example of an Idiotic Car Story. Send us your “Idiotic Car Story and you might win one of our great prizes!
I was 18 and had just graduated from High School and was leaving for Iowa State University at Ames in a few days. I was out with a bunch of buddies; a prescription for trouble if I ever heard one. It was the Iowa version of American Graffiti! We were “scooping” or cruising the usual loop. We would go from the A&W to Putt’s Drive-In to see if there were any girls or hot cars in the parking lots. If we saw a Corvette it was a special night. This night would be special but it had nothing to do with a Corvette.
This is what we were cruising in, my 59 Studebaker Hawk.
There was nothing new at Putt’s and are stomachs were not yet ready for food so it was down to the City Square and out to the A&W. Again we came up with nothing so it was back by some other route to Putt’s. On this particular summer night we kept crossing paths with a car load of “hoods” (tough guys we didn’t like) in a 49 Merc. They were drinking (and I don’t think it was Pepsi) plus being a little rowdy. We gave them plenty of space but they were older and looking for trouble. They would “flip us off” and generally try to intimidate us. We were looking for love not a fight so there was no intention of a direct conflict.
This is a 1949 Mercury but it is more like grandpa drove back in the day.
We kept circling the loop and trying to ignore them. We were making one last circle towards Putt’s and we saw a local officer of the law sitting in a dark driveway of a grocery store as we went buy; he was looking for an easy score. When we got to Putt’s there were the hoods in the Merc just finishing up their burgers. As we made our loop through the drive-in parking lot they saw us, pulled out of their space and jumped on our bumper. We sped up and they stayed glued to our rear. This was usually a challenge to race but this time I had a different idea. As we approached the local police officer hidden off to the side of the road I slowed down to a crawl; the guys on our bumper thought we were a bunch of wimps, honked and flipped us off (again!) as they tore off around us and sped down the road out of sight.
Now this is a 49 Merc. If the hoods had been driving this, I would never have set them up; well, yes I would have.
As the Merc sped down the street they were greeted by the man in blue and his bright little bubble gum machine on top. Surprise! He found his victim. As the patrol car lights flashed and the officer approached our old nemesis we peacefully proceeded by at an appropriately correct speed and with all due respect.
We never did find any girls that night and never spotted a Corvette but it was a good night just the same.
Police cars were special back then; gumball machines on top!
Later, on a break from college there was this time a buddy and I drove down to Ottumwa and spotted a fast little 57 Corvette in downtown. However, the evening got even better when we met a pair of beautiful sisters in a maroon 66 Mustang. Sorry, that is where this story stops.