Its been a long time dream of mine looking forward to the day that I could pull “levers” in my very own race car. Not your standard stick shift, or liberty rowing mechanism, but the wild and exotic “levers” of a Lenco transmission. I started off driving an AOD equipped 3 speed automatic, before performance necessitated the switch to the ::YAWN:: 2 speed powerglide transmission I ran in drag radial for the past few years. Moving to Pro, I knew that a clutch was out of the question in terms of budget, but I was very eager to switch to my “Lenco/Clutch training wheels”…. a 3 speed BRUNO/Lenco combination with my tried and true Neal Chance Converter. The sale of my powerglide last year funded the Bruno, my bolt-together converter was changed for the twin/BBF upgrade, and I can’t thank Bill George enough for the CS1 Lenco he put together for me. Now, being that this has been my dream for eons it seems, you can imagine how long I’ve looked forward to the day I could sit in my driver seat and pull levers and make turbo noises. (Yes really. Anyone who knows me can easily make that visual.)
So imagine: I finally get the Bruno/Lenco in the car, and take place in my seat, hand on the transbrake ready to launch in my maiden fantasy lever pull. My hand on the steering wheel, I revv’d her up and let go of the transbrake button, winding her through low gear, reach up to yank the first lever somewhere around 7000 imaginary RPMS and….
I try again, this time straining with all my might…. still, NOTHING. I sit up out of the seat to throw my body weight back against it, knowing that this isn’t a feasible method of shifting, and yanked back on the lever again…
NOPE, NADA, NOTHING… REJECTED.
By now, the guys–all standing around the car to share in my first Lenco moment– are laughing hysterically. My Lenco fantasy has by now come crashing down… my every dream crushed into the utmost state of denial. I looked up at the guys, who seeing my frustration, only begin to laugh HARDER. I’ve known that Lenco levers aren’t the easiest thing in the world to pull, but surely there is a logical explanation to all this. I mean, it doesn’t need THAT much tower pressure, does it? The only thing I can muster:
“You’re joking, right?!?”
I’m not sure if that was as much a question as it was a plead for some form of salvage to my dream’s peril. The obligatory onslaught of women’s place-in-the-kitchen comments ensued, along with a handful of my favorite, [cue thick GAWWWRGAAAA accent] “This is grooown folks stuff right herrre” comments. Once they were out of breath from laughing, Dan reaches in the car and tries to pull it into gear. KLUNK. Damn him, the showoff. In my defense, it wasn’t so easy for him either. So another round of laughter at my expense, and Dan concludes that maybe THAT much tower pressure IS a bit excessive. He remanuevers the levers around a bit, and adjusts the pressure, and has me try again. I reach up and pull, and was ELATED when my KLUNK came right on cue. Somehow, it had lost its full effect, so after a few more half-hearted pulls, I got back to work. I guess I need to drag my butt back to the gym and start stacking up on my Wheaties again. BUMMER.