Well maybe not just yet….
Fridays were race-night in the environs of Ohio where I grew up – it’s all we had to do. Tinker with our cars, and race them. Today it’s Honda’s & Mitsubishi’s out there warring on the streets – sometimes with disastrous results. It took long years and an street racing crash that left a friend in a wheel chair and almost took my own life before I became wise enough to understand the phrase “take that shit to the track”. But if I had to do it all over again – I probably would.
My first car was a 73 Monte Carlo and it was powered by a 2 barrel Rochester Carb feeding an anemic 350 cubic inch small block. That car was a ‘compromise’ of sorts between my Dad and I – I wanted a 68 440 Hemi powered Charger – back then they were cheap – you could pick one up for about 4 grand used – but ‘wisdom’ prevailed and I ended up with the Monte. Dad knew I (and I know now) – I’d not be sitting here writing this – I’d be dead, that charger had a long list of tweaks on the already impressive performance list it came out of Detroit with. It was a beast – and I’d have killed my fool self with it.
I hated that Monte at first – the thing wouldn’t even turn the drive tire unless you stomped on it going around a corner and to be blunt – water helped that particular effort considerably. There was absolutely nothing about the car that was fast.
One night coming back to town on I-680 I had another Monte pull up next to me – Gold, maybe a 78 or 79 or so and challenge me, I said “oh what the hell” dipped my lights and it was on – as I watched the needle flirt past 110 MPH – I noticed something – that 79 was about 15 cars length behind me and I was pulling away. I had just won my first race in this ‘grandpa’s couch cushion of a car”.
An obsession took hold, could I really turn this rolling couch into a sleeper ? And it wasn’t long before the 350 was replaced with a 454 – the rear end swapped with a Posi and various other modifications – but it still kept the “old mans sofa” demeanor – I had built a high 12 second sleeper and I won as many as I lost. It was especially fun to smack around a Camaro or Trans-Am of the day back then.
Over the years I owned various other Monte Carlos – some fast, some just basic transportation and some – one in particular a 1972 became another obsession. In fact I had a damn website once devoted to that very car, it sits idle now.
I found it in Chattanooga – out on E-bay for 4000.000 bucks and it had all the makings of another sleeper – 454 Power plant included. That was back in 2007. I more or less stripped it and it’s been mostly rebuilt. It was a 1972 low optioned car when it rolled out of Baltimore back in the day – and because it came to me with a few parts done in primer – I dubbed her “Patches”.
As fate would have it in 2011 after 5 years, a lay off and some bad times meant the 72 called Patches and I had to part company. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, there was 10’s of thousands of dollars in the car by this point and what I ended up selling it for was not even half of what I had in it – but you can’t live in a car – and I sold her to the guy, Mat, who built the 496 Cubic Inch Rat I stuffed in between her front wheels.
A couple of days ago I got an E-mail out of the blue – Mat had finally had time to fire up that 496, the car’s been in various stages of interior and body work since I sold it and as friends do – Mat promised to keep me posted on the car’s progress. Car guys do that sort of thing I guess.
I got the this video and thought I’d put it here – maybe lighten up the mood around the Empire going into the weekend – G-d knows we have enough bad shit to think about with Herr Obama – Holder and the rest of the craven punks running amok these days…
So here is that 496 and the 72 Monte Carlo called Patches – I’d say it’s turning out pretty good…..enjoy! And Oh – Might as well deem this an “Open Thread” going into the Weekend….