Hi folks, This one is partially true and partially fiction. The guy who wrecked his Mustang and went into a depression about it is absolutely true. I met him at this year's dream cruise. Coming to Mustang Alley and seeing all of the ponies was part of his therapy. I did let him know that I'd be taking a lot of liberties with his story. But there were some things that were too great to leave out. One of thse is his real life, uber supportive, uber beautiful wife Saraya. I had to throw her into the mix. The rest of it is pure fiction. I'd also like to thank Barney-R for coralling my grammatical and spelling wildness. Maybe someday, I'll leave it alone when he changes all of my buts to howevers. And by now most f you know that I've never met a comma I didn't like. Enjoy, and drop me a line complaining about it if you don't like it. Readers, start your Engines. SS06
My name is Vee. Okay, that's not actually my name; it's just what most of my friends call me. My actual name is Irving Raymond Dallbinger. As I was growing up my parents called me Irvy. My friends shortened it to Vee. I liked it. Vee sounds a lot tougher than Irvy. And it's less nerdy than Irv.
As I sit here my life flashes in front of my eyes. My right foot spikes downwards revving my car's engine. Seven hundred horsepower responds and an absolutely hellish sound erupts from the three inch tips of the Gibson Performance side exhaust system I recently had installed on the car.
I look to my left and stare into the most beautiful brown eyes on the planet. The woman the eyes are attached to, smiles at me. Why shouldn't she smile? She has nothing to lose.
On the other hand, this race means everything to me.
Race. It's a funny word. It's something we're born doing. Five year old kids get together on the playground, look at each other and ask... "Wanna race?"
In its most basic form the word refers to a contest in which two or more competitors endeavor to discover which of them is the fastest. We can race on foot. We can race bicycles. We can race cars. Shit, we can race almost any mode of transportation.
In this case we're racing cars. It's something I used to do regularly. But I haven't raced in a little over two years. That last race cost me almost everything.
A tapping sound drew my attention. I looked across and saw her smiling at me. Her extremely white teeth contrasted against flawless caramel skin. "This ain't no ten second race," she smirked. "We're doing a lap of the entire park. If losing is too humiliating for you, you can just keep going when the race is over. But I hope you're man enough to at least come and congratulate me." I just nodded my head at her.
She revved her engine a couple of times and then started flipping switches. I realized then that she was setting her launch controls. Her engine revved up to its launch rpms and she looked over at me.
"No launch control?" she asked. Her expression, with one eyebrow raised was even sexier.
"Don't need em," I said. "My car's an automatic."
Her laughter was musical.
"I thought that real men drive Manual transmissions," she said.
"Real men drive whatever's faster and less complicated," I said. "I can't wait to see how manly you are on your back with me between your legs."
Her eyes seemed to light up when I said that. For the second time since I met her I was confused. It almost seemed as if she was on my side.
A man wearing a business suit walked out in front of us and between us. He snatched the handkerchief from his pocket and raised it in one hand. "When the handkerchief drops" you guys haul ass," he said.
Time stood still as his arm slowly rose above his head. He looked at both of us in turn to make sure that we were ready.
This was so different from my last race. This was semi organized, although still illegal as hell. That last race had been utter chaos. It had been an unplanned thing that just happened. I mean when I left the house that morning, I didn't consciously think, 'Okay, today I think I'll fuck my car up and risk dying. I just wanna ruin my God damned life, and I think today is that day!'
What happened was I was on my way to work and as I was cruising down the freeway, minding my own business, there was this Challenger. And you guys know that all of those guys who drive Challengers have something to prove. And this guy was showing his ass, so I had to edumacate him.
When I heard his tires chirp, my reflexes kicked in. My foot stabbed the gas pedal and the torque of my acceleration snapped my head back. I love that feeeling. (Yep, I intended to use three E's. Driving that fast is a feeeling.) I caught up to him in less than a second and rocketed by. He tried to keep up, but once I got past a hundred miles an hour, he backed off. Truthfully, I don't think it was any lack of speed in his car. I think he was a bit skeered, as they say in Ohio.
I took the off ramp and left the freeway, feeling good about once again defending the brand. Another victory for the valiant Mustangs over the tyranny of the Italian owned Chrysler Empire.
I was driving down Woodward Avenue, headed for my office, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a biker on a crotch rocket. 'What the fuck, ' I thought. It was a no lose situation. He was on a bike. Everyone would expect him to have faster acceleration. But I have those race car driver reflexes. We were stopped at a traffic light. He looked across at me and smiled. He revved his engine and I could tell he thought he would have me for lunch. He revved his engine again, but in mid rev, just as he was backing off, the light changed.
My foot hit the gas like lightning striking the earth. My pony car's forward leap caught him flat-footed and I was gone. The bike was far lighter, but I was pretty sure he couldn't match my top end speed. The problem was getting there. His acceleration was epic, but I had a big lead. As my speedo circled towards 100 he was gaining ground far faster than we were eating it up.
Unfortunately, we were running out of real estate. As we hit the end of the block and the next stop light, I still held a small lead. The light was red and I hit the brakes, but just as I hit the brakes and my six piston Brembo brakes began to clamp and slow me down the light changed to green.
He had nearly stopped, but I still had the momentum going for me. I hit the gas again and leaped forward through the light. A quick glance to the side confused me. He was looking at me and wasn't trying to get ahead of me.
Again my reflexes kicked in. But no matter how fast I was, it didn't mean shit. Life is full of all kinds of things that only matter in certain situations. They say that before you die your life flashes in front of your eyes. Mine didn't. I had perfectly clear vision and way above normal reaction time. The problem was that there simply wasn't enough time.
Thought moves at the speed of light. But waiting for physical action and mechanical movement is painfully slower.
Remember my ridiculous, six piston Brembo brakes I spoke about earlier? Why are they ridiculous? Because my front brakes cost over three thousand dollars. You can buy a used older model Mustang v6 for that. When you throw in another nineteen hundred for my rear brakes you begin to see the issue. No one who isn't totally obsessed with cars would ever pay that.
But I'm not alone. I've seen the same brakes on several Camaros and a few Challengers. They're standard issue on the higher end Corvettes too. And truthfully, they're usually worth it. My brakes can slow me down from sixty miles an hour to zero in only ninety three feet.
The problem I had that day was that I was moving a lot faster than sixty and the wall that appeared in front of me was a lot closer than ninety feet.
I watched with endless and painful slowness as it happened.
He was bored. He'd been on the job for too many years and had been driving for too many hours straight. He was doing a double shift that morning and had simply become complacent.
He always drove through the yellow in this spot. He was making the U-turn in front of the old State Fair grounds. It didn't really matter, if he went through the red light. Who the hell would ever hit a bus? This time of the morning there were very few cars on the road. And he had very few passengers. He had also had a few drinks between the end of the midnight shift and the beginning of the morning shift. His reflexes weren't quite as sharp as they should have been.
I later found out that he never even saw me. His first realization that I was there was my Mustangs thirty four hundred pounds slamming into the side of his bus so hard that it nearly tipped over.
I can remember it in infinite detail. I remember the hellish shriek of tortured tires. My expensive, super sticky, performance, directional radials crying out in protest. The aforementioned brakes clamping down so the car was simply sliding towards the bus.
Emotionally, I felt it as my front bumper deformed on contact with the bus. It was funny. The price of a replacement front bumper went through my mind even as that one was ruined. My custom grills were next. I could feel it as the aluminum billet grills bent and snapped. My chin spoiler was ripped from the bumper as the radiator was pushed into and through the serpentine belt. The engine mounts were designed to break loose under extreme pressure.
.... There is more of this story ...