Its campfire story time, so I thought I’d share one of my more comical stories from my past.
**Names/Locations may have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.**
This Flashback story takes us back to 2003…
I built my first project car, a 1992 LX Coupe that was once a FL highway trooper car from the ground up. Took it down to the metal, rebuilt a short block, and rounded up old odds and ends parts from across the shop to assemble it. Stuck a single turbo on the thing, and made it the ultimate street sleeper. The car had dark tint, no rollbar, and stock wheels with Nitto radials on back. An automatic and quiet as can be, it was completely unassuming. I built it with the intention of smoking Z06 Corvettes of that day… they loved to play from a roll.
One weekend, I got bored as I traveled out of Orlando for the weekend, and decided to check out the local race scene in another town. I pulled up for their midnight drag at the track (street racing style grudge night) and got out of my car in my heeled sandals and mini-skirt, to the curious stare of the local crowd. After a few minutes on the fence, I walked up and introduced myself. Well, that’s only half-true. I walked up and in a sugar-sweet voice, proceeded to put on an Emmy Winning performance.
You see, I was “new” in town. The car? It was my “boyfriend’s”. He just happened to be out of town this particular weekend, and I had decided to take the car out for a “spin”.
[Me]: “Hi, guys!”
[Local Track Guy]: “Uhh, hi.”
[Me]: “I’m a little new here, but ever since I saw that movie on TV, you know… the Fast and the Furious, I wanted to try this. My boyfriend’s out of town, and I’m out playing with his car tonight. What do I have to do to race like that here?”
[Local Track Guy]: “Well, uhh, do you even know how to drag race? I mean, have you done it before?”
[Me]: long pause. “Well, no…. but I saw it on TV and want to learn. What do I need to do?”
[Local Track Guy]: “Forget whatever you saw on TV. That’s not drag racing.”
[Me]: “Oh, really? So you don’t race for money and stuff here? What do you do then?”
[Local Track Guy]: Grins. “Weeelll, we DO still race for money, so you probably don’t want to try that right now seeing how you’ve never done it.”
[Me]: “Oh, that’s okay. How much does it cost and how does it work?”
The local track guy proceeds to tell me all about arranged “grudge” matches and how they pair two cars together for money, and race for the winnings. Sometimes, they negotiate for head starts they call “spotting a car length”, or they get to leave first, which they refer to as getting the “hit”. After carefully nodding during his explanations, I set in for the kill:
[Me]: “So who wants to race me, then?”
[Local Track Guy]: “What does that thing have done to it? Is it stock?”
[Me]: “I don’t know. Its my boyfriend’s car. Its pretty old, so I guess so.”
(Local track guys talk among themselves for a minute before one steps out)
[Camaro Boy]: “I’ll take your money… err…I mean, I’ll race you.”
[Me]: “Well, since its my first time, how much of a head start are you going to give me? I am just a girl trying to learn, you know.”
[Camaro Boy]: laughing cockily. “Pffft, I’ll give you a car and the hit.”.
So I lined up with a blue Ls1 Camaro, who proceeded to give me my 2 car spot and the head start. I was supposed to nod when I was ready, and then as soon as he nodded he was set, I could leave whenever I wanted. After a very good show of “barely being able to do a burnout”, I gave the signal and looked back for the nod. No sooner than I get it, and with my door still partially open (I can’t see out with windows tinted black), did I roll into the throttle. I left pretty good on him, so I didn’t ever really need to go to the floor with it. I kept the win to a few car lengths at the stripe, and proceeded to round the return to claim my cash.
My Camaro buddy was complaining he wasn’t ready (then why did you nod, fool?) and wanted to re-run, but using the starter and not getting any head start. By now, they were wondering what this muffled, quiet little car was capable of doing. It left quicker than expected, and didn’t sound stock. Surely this sleeper with an automatic wasn’t THAT fast??
We lined up again, this time straight heads up. I cleaned off the tires, and staged up. I had been leaving at idle so they didn’t hear the turbo too much before, though I think they had figured it out by now. So I tried to bring it up a little and took off. Admittedly, I was a bit late on this run, so I had to run her out a bit to chase him down, but ultimately, I had passed him at the stripe with a little change to spare.
Again, I return to claim my cash, met with lots of commotion and some real hard attempts to peek inside the car. It was getting late, and these guys were all stirred up. But before they’d let me leave, they wanted a Rd. 3 with a different car, double or nothing. This time its with a whistling fox body mustang that I know at least has a blower on it with exhaust and the rest of the goodies. I agree to line up, knowing I’d have to run it this time. I mean, I’m there to have fun, right???
We leave, and spin pretty good off the launch, which actually worries me for a few seconds. But I start to reel the mustang back in, and was able to pass him pretty good before the finish. Knowing I was done for the night, I stayed in it hard and actually ended up with a sizeable lead at the stripe.
I come around to collect my cash.
[Me]: “This is FUN!!!!!” Snatches money. “I didn’t know it’d be this easy! Thanks guys, but I gotta get going!”
(dumbfounded crowd starts asking to see the engine)
[Mustang Guy]: “You passed me like I was sitting still. I was doing 110 mph! Pop the hood on that thing.”
Smiling, I walk over and pop the hood. The guy lifts the hood up and gasps at the turbo, intake and all the other toys. The crowd starts complaining and asking if my boyfriend knew I was driving the car. I just started smiling and laughing, when I hear a guy walking up yelling from the back.
[Guy in Crowd]: “Man, don’t ya’ll know who that chick is? She drives a damn 8 second drag radial car. “
The crowd starts yelling, some laughing and others visibly pissed off. They start telling me to get the heck out of there, that I was one sneeky little bugger. (putting it nicely)
By this point, I am quickly closing my hood. My work there was done, and $200 to the good, it was time for me to go!!!