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Old 09-01-2009, 03:31 PM
v8kyze v8kyze is offline
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Default '68 Coronet on Indiana turnpike

My Coronet 500 was hemi orange and black--looked a lot like a Superbee and everyone assumed it was a hemi, or at least a big block. Nope. 318 2bbl.

By the time of this story I had a 4bbl AFB on a junkyard iron intake, Cyclone headers and dual exhaust with turbo mufflers, Fenton mags with 60s, but otherwise was bone-stock. Rear was a 1-legger...about 3:23 I'd guess.

So my big brother and me motorvate to Warsaw, Indiana one weekend, to check out some B-Body muscle at a car lot (Superbirds and Daytonas were going for $25,000, which seemed ridiculous at the time-1988). The salesman must have said "it's a numbers-matching vehicle" a dozen times, assuming it would impress me. Then he asked about my car (it was pretty and inspired lots of "how much you want for it?" inquiries). I told him what it was and you should have seen his lip curl in disgust. I not only replaced the original factory air in the tires...I replaced the tires, too! And I replaced the factory oil (several times, in fact) with Valvoline. Omigod--headers??????? STOP THE SLAUGHTER!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, on the trip there, I averaged my usual 80-90 mph, which made my brother nervous: According to him, I wasn't attentive enough at anticipating speed traps and so forth. So I let him drive on the return trip, assuming that he'd drive more carefully, or at least not be nervous.

Urp, gotta go. I'll continue this later.
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:54 PM
v8kyze v8kyze is offline
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Before going further, I should mention that my exhaust system was an El Cheapo clamp-together arrangement I bought when I blew one of my Thrush mufflers.

So my brother's driving on the return trip, doing 70-80, depending on who is available to follow. A Grand Am is moving at a good clip, so he follows it for a while. (Cite HIM, officer! HE'S the instigator!) The Grand Am won't hold a consistent speed, though, so Big Bro latches onto a Marquis. Meanwhile, while we are switching from rabbit to rabbit, a Corvette latches onto our tail and is using my car for a rabbit.

About this time, we blow by a guy on a motorcycle. It was a big Suzuki, what model I dunno.

Now I'd taken the Coronet on many a road trip, and rarely saw the underside of 80 on the freeway--only traffic, bad weather or the presence of John Law got me to slow down. As plain-Jane as that 31 was, it had a nice growl, and when I blew by other motorists in pseudo-performance vehicles, most of them assumed I was up for a race. I almost never took the bait, though, lest I become the source of an urban legend about how some IROC-Z or SS-Monte Carlo (2 of the cars I remember doing this) blew the doors off a Hemi Superbee.

The motorcyclist was feeling his oats that day, I guess. Big Bro is holding about 80. The bike comes screaming back by in the right lane. By the angle of the dude's wrist and fist on the throttle, it's obvious he's going for broke. As he passes, he flashes such an exaggerated S.E.G. that, had he not had a face shield on his helmet, he'd have been scraping bugs off his teeth for weeks.

Now if I'd been driving, I'd have NEVER taken this challenge. Why? because all my life, my father had been preaching the superiority of motorcycles, due to their power-to-weight ratio. All those years of hearing him talk about bikes--especially the big-CC Jap bikes, had sunk in. I believed it.

However, my brother was at the wheel. He knew a few things I didn't. More importantly, he can't resist a challenge. It doesn't matter if he's driving a Ford Fiesta stuck in 2nd gear, missing on 3 cylinders, and the other guy's in a Bonneville streamliner...he ain't backin' down. (And he'll be pissed if he looses--no matter how impossible his chances were.)

I heard the RPMs climb in my 318. I glanced over at my brother's foot to confirm what was happening. I tilted my head back and howled, thinking this was crazy, but what the heck: he's my big brother and we're having fun.

I felt the sensation of the car lifting, for some reason. The road before us seemed to narrow. My speedo only went to 120, and that needle passed the last tick, kept moving down until out of sight (it never came back up, BTW).

To my astonishment, we were gaining on the cycle--which still had the hammer down. When we pulled abreast, the dude was no longer grinning. We passed him like he was on a bicycle instead of a motorcycle. It all happened so quick, I was still taking it in.

Then, all of a sudden, my brother says, "Aw, hell, I guess we proved our point," and lifts off the throttle. Yeah, you drive SO much more responsibly than I do, Bro. We decelorate back to the double digits and i almost suffer cardiac arrest when the Corvette--which I'd forgotten about by now--blasts by on the left like an F-18 afterburning.

Then the Coronet starts to shimmy and shake. Hard. Cussing, assuming my car was damaged somehow, Big Bro takes the next exit, which is a rest stop. We unass the Coronet but haven't even had a chance to check the rear axle yet when the first state trooper rolls by. The rest stop is crawling with cops, all glaring hard at me, my brother, and the Coronet. I assume CB gossip brought this attention.

Turns out there was nothing wrong, mechanically. That cheap exhaust system got soft during the burst of speed, and started pounding against the floorpan.

I learned that Japanese motorcycles are not invincible that day. And that plain-Jane 318 pulled stronger than I would have ever guessed.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:50 AM
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bulldog426 bulldog426 is offline
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the troopers give you any buzz about it?
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