I was Car Crazy plus I was a Car Idiot!
Dad’s 1959 Rambler was similar to this picture.
This is an anonymous story on “The Most Idiotic thing I ever did With a Car, To a Car or In a Car!” Send in your “Idiotic Car Story” NOW.
I am not an angel but street racing is for punks.
Today, I have nothing but the highest disdain for the idiots that street race. I don’t mean the old stop light to stop light stuff we did as kids. Likely this was most often done from a rolling start and lasted a very short distance. When it was done it was often in remote areas without houses or people near by. Unfortunately, today it happens in front of elementary schools or in industrial parks with rows of young spectators. Or even more commonly on crowded freeways and interstate highways. You have seen them, usually small economy cars with loud exhaust racing through traffic. They rush up on cars passing on either side and cutting in and out of traffic like everyone else is simply an orange pylon cone to navigate as fast as possible.
I will admit to being guilty of some stupid actions in my youth. However, today I know what can happen. Many years ago I lost a very young and very close relative to a horrific auto accident that claimed the lives of several teenagers, and I have also seen friends scarred (physically and emotionally) for life from stupid actions in a car. Although I have witnessed terrible crashes and have come close I have never been involved. With all that said, I was an idiot in high school and would often street race down narrow alleys in the dark, speed around city streets and charge blindly through intersections. Although I had my own car, on special date nights I would get the family car. It was a red 1959 Rambler. What it missed in horsepower it made up for in smallness and good cornering.
On one Friday night back in 1964 a friend had his parents 1964 Ford Galaxy 2 door with a 390. I had a special date and my parents 1959 six cylinder Rambler. In those days I liked to play cat and mouse more than drag race. (Remember it was a six cylinder automatic Rambler; trying to drag race anyone would have truly been idiotic.) In cat and mouse you chase a friend and try to catch him or he chases you and you try to loose him. This was real TV type stuff accept no film crew to clear the streets for you. Like I said, I was a real idiot.
Not only were such actions dangerous but what was I thinking; a six cylinder Rambler against a 390 Ford? This should not have been a race at all. That big block torque should have eaten me up. However, I was the rabbit being chased by the big dog so I got to set the path.
The 1964 Ford Galaxy chasing me was like this but turquoise and white top.
On the straights that Ford could haul but I would dust it off in the turns. So, my plan was to turn at EVERY possible corner, the sharper the better and the narrower the road the better so I mostly went down alleys. Every time we got on a stretch of straight he was on my rear bumper.
I began to turn at every alley and looked for the narrowest ones I could find and I began to pull away. Suddenly, there were no headlights in my mirror. My thoughts were typical youthful optimism: “Wow, I am good! Can’t believe I got away from that new Galaxy with a 390.”
I figured I had some bragging to do!
Unfortunately, Monday at school I heard the rest of the story. It seemed that as I, the “mouse“, made my get-a-way from the “Galaxy cat” he got caught by the “black and white dog“! The Sheriff had spotted us and nailed the Galaxy. The “man” with the badge asked the Galaxy driver who he was chasing. With some “man in uniform” coaxing and a promise of getting only a warning ticket he gave me up. When I heard that, I knew I was in trouble, big trouble. I wasn’t worried about the ticket as much as what my Dad would do. I was sure my Dad would not get a call right away. This wasn’t the first time I had been in this predicament. The police knew that for most of us teenage idiots waiting was the worst part so it would be a few days before Dad would get THE call.
Are you like me, the waiting is the worst? I just can’t stand waiting for the call to come so I can get my punishment. I waited and waited but no call; every night when I got home from school I was waiting for the TALK. A week passed and then two. It had never taken this long before. The call never came!
Then I figured it out. We lived in a small town and there were only two other families in town with the same last name. I am sure the wrong father got the call! How cool is that?
I actually got away with that one, but not all of them. More on that on another day.