I am sure by now you are all tired of me sharing stories about our household’s automotive trials and tribulations. Which leaves me in a dilemma, “What should I write about for this issue of Wheel Tracks?” I dig deep for inspiration, but this ballroom dancing lady is struggling. Let’s see… I have been to one car show all summer; the catalyst for this was a visit from my father.
That old saying that women end up marrying men just like their fathers is all too true in my case. My father is a self-confessed high performance street car enthusiast (junkie), and the mastermind behind a line of race electrical products (Auto-Rod Controls). He grew up during American Graffiti, and remembers a time when a half a dozen full blown street races occurred nightly. I do not believe this happens much anymore, except for maybe LA (according to the motion picture industry).
I interviewed my father and had him list his most memorable cars: a 1958 something or another, 1940 Ford Coupe, 1962 Ford 406, 1969 Ford 428 Super Cobra Jet, 1970 429 Torino Cobra he trad-ed in for a 1970 Honda motorcycle and last but not least, a 1970 Ford Pinto he stripped down into a race car lovingly known as PERNICIOUS.
I have vivid memories of this car. I was frequently called into the garage to maneuver my small hands into tight places to hold bolts and wrenches in place. I will never forget the occasional starting of the engine; mind numbingly loud, our whole house shook, as did the neighborhood.
The rebuild took 4 years in total. Eventually, he and his race car made it to the speedway in Epping, NH. He raced the quarter mile; best time – 9.65 seconds; maximum speed – 138 miles per hour. I never got to see him race but I wish I had. That would be an image worth holding on to.