Racing on the Back Roads

The return of the Mustang, Challenger, and Camaro rivalry brings a smile to my face. The Blue Oval, the Bow Tie, and … now what were the Dodge/Plymouth fans called? You’ll have to help me out here.

Mustangs, Challengers and Camaros

In my many miles of travel, I see a lot of Mustangs, and lately, a lot of Challengers. I am anxious to see the Camaro out in the wild, untamed and looking for trouble. Yeah, that’s the way I roll. I know racing side by side on the strip is safer, but there is nothing that gets the heart pounding and the knees shaking like street racing. The cars hit the red light at the same time … the opposing light turns yellow … the engines rev and in an instant the smoke appears and the black lines lead into the distance.

The winner is always the one with the most guts, or least intelligence, whichever comes first, but the thrill is always there.

2010 Shelby Cobra GT5002009 Dodge ChallengerChevy Camaro concept

Back Road Racing

One warm, summer night in 1970, I was out with a few close friends cruising in one’s 1967 Chevelle SS 396 that was NOT stock. It had that certain something that moved the ground for some distance when it idled. Dynamometers weren’t prevalent back then, so no one knew what that 396ci delivered to the real wheels, but let’s just say, it delivered.

Another friend from school had a 1953 Chevy Bel Air coupe with nary a stock part on it, especially under the hood. It was covered in black primer (no paint) and all we knew was it had a four-speed transmission and a full out small-block Chevy engine that wound fast and high. I also suspect he had an extra juice bottle in the trunk.

I don’t think the ‘53 Chevy had ever been beat, but that night on a back road far from the lights of town, the ‘67 Chevelle pulled away half-way through 3rd gear and never looked back. Talk about an adrenaline rush. We were high on the victory for hours, talking about it for weeks, and remembering it now for decades.

I believe if the Chevelle was a “stock” 396, it would have been trounced by the old small block ‘53. I’ll never know for sure, but that extra horsepower was all used that night.

Wild & Crazy Guys

It was wilder and crazier back then. Cool cars, big engines, four-speeds, and no seat belts …

Do you have a night that you’ve remembered for decades? Relive it in the comments so we can all enjoy.


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