Her Majesty and the Rat Pack rides again - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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Her Majesty and the Rat Pack rides again

A bit of a short story:

Oh, she was beautiful - was all I could think as Old Blue and I rumbled onto the airstrip late, because I couldn’t find her keys this morning. She was pure glistening white sitting behind her enclosed trailer on requisite polished American Racing rims with square feet of rubber contact patches and autocross stickers such as Carlisle Autocross, custom suspension stickers on the rear windows. She even had professional numbers and her class affixed on each side. This included flying the colors of the street gang; “Street Machines” - the premier custom show-‘gang’ in Rochester Upstate NY. Our hearts sank as Old Blue and I realized that Huskinhano and 2nd66 were about discover that we were Autocross imposters – the big time had shown up…

It was a beautiful Sunday morning and I was excited as Huskinhano was driving up from Pennsylvania for a Rat Pack reunion with 2nd66 and Old Blue (Dobrostang). We get together once a year or so to have fun putting 3 faces to all the anonymous avatars on the VMS Mustang blog, Kelly not-withstanding. It’s a playdate for three rat mustangs owned by shade-tree hobbyists who have kids and priorities that relegate our Mustangs to low-budget modest performance hacks. Both Husk and 2nd66 are running Bronco junkyard motors that truly pull hard and I do have a nice 351 I purchased back in 1998 BK (Before Kids) but otherwise, these cars have been built per Opentracker, Street and Track and VMF tribal knowledge (e.g. GT289 etc.) - on-the-cheap would be putting it lightly. We’re talking welders, innovation and rust.

Husk left at 5:30 am meeting 2nd66 at 7am and they convoyed to the autocross between Seneca and Cayuga finger-lakes about half way up both lakes toward the Seneca side. Its an old Army airfield that has been recently sold to a private party and they opened it up for autocross again. A great place for an autocross due the sheer size of the tarmac and potential for high speeds and long run opportunities for tracks. One of my favorite venues.

We worked for the first half of the day while the other run groups ran, then it was our turn. The second run group included the CAM-T or ‘Classic American Muscle Car – Traditional’ class, a class Old Blue and I were used to ruling. I sparked her up and started warming up to head for the grid when ‘she’ rolled out in front of us. A fantastic specimen of a white 1970 Chevelle whose big block motor could be felt in the seat of my pants through my tires and suspension. With chins held artificially high, old Blue and I pulled right up behind her defying anyone to challenge our right to park next to her on the grid. As her owner stepped out and spied our semigloss finish with rust accents and numbers and class fashioned out of blue masking tape - he was magnanimous in his acceptance of the riff-raff that was gathering around her Majesty. He had a warm smile with a barely perceptible smug ambiance of: ‘seriously?’ – or was it my insecurities...

Again, I will say it; she was magnificent. Sparkling white with what 2nd66 had to point out were ghost stripes of barely perceptible white/grey super-sport stripes – CLASSY- no - truly a CLASS ACT. I inquired as to what was under the hood as the suspension was announced in stickers on the windows. “502… blah blah 5XX hp…”. Holding back a stutter whist processing ‘five hundred and two cubic inches – over 500 hp SERIOUSLY’, I asked about the tires, “295s up front 3xx out back” I had stopped hearing after 295s as I knew I was outclassed 6 ways to Sunday as they say, feeling emasculated with my 351 on 225s. He made some confident statements about knowing his way around an autocross (26 years with this car). I was to be humiliated in front of my friends who looked up to me - to be discovered as an autocross imposter. Then he did the ceremonial unveiling of the Big Block, a ceremony that he had clearly played out a thousand times – opening of the hood which required removing pins slowly as the crowd gathered. There it was, against a sparkling white backdrop while the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang and light emanated from under the hood; BIGNESS - draped in aluminum and decorum befitting her Majesty’s whiteness with; and you gotta picture this: a pinstriped sign affixed between the radiator and grill announcing “Street Machines” in gang colors. This car clearly doubles as an autocross monster and a show car. Then he launched into his speech on her “suspension magic” and it all drowned out into a simple message, you and that cute little pony are going down and you’re goin down hard…

During these proceedings, the cars in front of us on the grid were starting to run and it was time to start preparing for our run. I parted the discussion with her Majesty’s owner who actually was truly a decent guy – for a bow-tie owner that is. As I was putting on my white beat-up outdated Snell helmet, I looked over to see him don his custom painted helmet and pull on his 5-point restraints whilst I fastened my 1966 original equipment lap belts. We heard the Big Block fire up as did the people in Atlanta GA and off he rumbled while my little 351 made cute little fart noises out the tail pipes. I was flagged to follow him, and Old Blue and I settled into our routine of gathering oneness and forcing out all existential interference to clear our minds and prepare to tackle 20 turns in 40 seconds. All of a sudden, my Wa was broken as the passenger door swung open and Husk jumped in – I had forgotten I had invited him to ride – I was to have a firsthand witness to my humiliation. Her Majesty launched into the course with a vengance registering on Richter scales in Japan and Hawaii as I repeated my mantra; one, two, go… There were two turns then a straight and having watched 25 cars go 5 times each in the first run, many made the mistake of thinking it was a slalom out of the chute thinking one, two, three, four… But it wasn’t and car after car blew it on three and had to correct – Ha, her Majesty blew it…

The flag dropped, and we left two strips of rubber, I feathered the throttle, let the tires catch and launched - one, two – shift to second and GOOOO – Blue grabbed the Tarmac and we launched deep into second gear watching the slalom fly towards us furiously. As I approached the first cone, I waited till I was almost on top of it going way too fast, left foot braked and thanks to John at OpenTracker and my (free) extra half leaf modification he taught me, Old Blue squatted on all four tires instead of nose-diving and I corrected her speed hitting the slaloms hard. A few lefts and rights later, there was the straight I had identified at the end of the second slalom and just before I exited the last gate I floored it and hung on hoping I could just slip through two mid-point gates they set up and run the entire section wide open throttle. Sure-enough Old Blue managed to thread gates and she gulped the straight. I was so focused on the straight and excited I had made it that I totally lost focus on the last two turns. Before I realized it, I was already on top of the second to the last cone going way too fast. I planted the front end with my left foot (braking) turned hard hoping I could control the rear end as it started breaking loose. Without lifting completely, I floated the throttle as the front tires cleared the cone and turned hard toward the exit of the course, the rear flipped toward the opposite side and as she lined up for the exit, I floored it hoping to grab that last microsecond and Old Blue leaped for the gates with the rear end swing wildly to the opposite side. I just got past the final gates and she flew into a final wild spin taking Husk and I on a one and a half turn view of the world sending cones exit cones flying.

41.9XX seconds was on the clock as we rumbled back into the grid parking next to her Majesty. I got out as her driver was standing removing his helmet. First thing out of his mouth; “how did you do” – I told him - expecting the worst, with Husk listening. “Wow you beat me by 3 seconds” - Mormon Tabernacle Choir again in my mind as I noted he looked over Old Blue with a little more respect. I was able to stay pretty much 3 seconds in front of her Majesty the rest of the day - lost no face with my friends, had an absolutely wonderful day and promoting ponies over bowties for another day – a grand feat for any day…

Heavy Metal Thunder Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW3L_O7N_xs

Last edited by dobrostang; 08-27-2018 at 06:16 AM.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 07:21 AM
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You just surpassed Jean Claude Van Damme on my hero list....
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Get off my back, get out of my pocket....

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 07:41 AM
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Just got up, poured a fresh cup of coffee, this is the 1st thread I read. You sir made my day. Too bad there wasn't a video. I would have loved to send it to a particular Chevelle guy I know who constantly jabbing Ford guys. But I'll tell him all the same.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 07:50 AM
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You just surpassed Jean Claude Van Damme on my hero list....

Get off my back, get out of my pocket....

1965 2+2 painted (66) Vintage Burgundy, 1998 roller 5.0 with GT40P heads, plans are for Sniper, T5 and 3:55 rear.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 08:04 AM
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Alright, thatís what I needed to go win a Monday. Thanks for that.

The anvil of reality.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 08:07 AM
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Mormon Tabernacle Choir? I will settle for Charlie Daniels.....

Coyote build in 65 GT Fastback in body work https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/b...e-powered.html and on Facebook @65gtmustang
F150 SCREW Ecoboost as my daily
66 Emberglow Coupe first car,71 Torino GT, 82 Fastback slooooow 6 banger, 71 Boss 351, 85 GT all long gone
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 08:15 AM
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I had AC/DC playing "Thunderstruck" in my head while I read it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntingky View Post
Mormon Tabernacle Choir? I will settle for Charlie Daniels.....
But a little "Devil went down to Georgia" works for me, too.
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1965 2+2 painted (66) Vintage Burgundy, 1998 roller 5.0 with GT40P heads, plans are for Sniper, T5 and 3:55 rear.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 08:48 AM
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It appears that Miss Kelly_H now has competition for being the best writer/author on VMF. Fantastic story!
Or was Kelly the ghost writer?
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 09:38 AM
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Excellent write up!
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 09:40 AM
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Great read...congratulations.

Regards,
Patrick
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 10:21 AM
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Oh, when we had our posts to work I was assigned post 1. Good Iím thinking, close to the starting line. I would say the course was about 1/4 mile long. As I started to walk to the beginning of the course and to my rightful place to post 1, I see the number 5! Well I had a nice walk. After about 2 1/2 hours in the sun with no shade, the first half over back to the pit for lunch. Even the porta potty was a hike unto itself. No sooner to I get back to the pits I see our group going out. I literally woofed down about a half of a hero sandwich with jalapeŮo peppers when I see Mark getting into his car and I strap on my helmet to go with Mark. Mark is a very modest person when it comes to driving. He can drive! So many times I thought we would nail a few cones but he artfully went around them.

As for me? Well I made the 250 round trip unscathed after thrashing on my car. I totally screwed up with my camera. It gets so hard to see those tiny numbers if itís recording.... or not.

At least I didnít go off course (too far), have one of the staff suggest having a experienced driver tag along with me. My first pass, well all my passes my car was loose. Total lack of traction. About halfway through my first pass I started to loop the car and headed straight off the track into the corn feilds. I realized I hadnít hit any cones and thought I was safe as far as that goes. Everything seemed to slow down and recovering was easy. I finished the lap without hitting anything! I did a 49.9 second lap. I got a thumbs up from one of the track spotters for the smoke show.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 02:11 PM
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You guys did better than I autox'ing this weekend. I came in 6 seconds slower than the faster car in my class (Race).


ALTHOUGH: 1) I did not check the weather Friday evening or Saturday morning. Up to that point, it was a 10% chance of rain. I left off Sparky's wipers (they shake alarmingly at speed), and did not take them with me...so of course, it poured, and I could barely see. 2) Manual steering on a course with 10' wide gates that was designed around a Honda Civic. 'Nuf said. 3) It stopped "raining" in the afternoon, reduced to a sprinkle...but by then, I'm tired and my shoulder is crying from cranking the steering wheel (I have a torn rotator cuff). 4) I physically could not turn the wheel back and forth fast enough - even with 16:1 ratio. 5) I did come in 4 seconds faster than the fastest Novice car, so there's that...but still. I bagged the second day so I could nurse my arms. I've autox'd this car many, many times...but this course was not kind to us.



Next weekend I'm taking the ST lol.


https://youtu.be/6XspDQIyoHM
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 04:41 PM
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Sparky that looked a lot better then mine. I spent most of the time sliding. When I was working the last post by the timing lights, there was a 90ís something automatic Honda Civic running stock skinny tires knocking off 45 second runs. The lowest I got was a 48.18

Tom

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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huskinhano View Post
Sparky that looked a lot better then mine. I spent most of the time sliding. When I was working the last post by the timing lights, there was a 90ís something automatic Honda Civic running stock skinny tires knocking off 45 second runs. The lowest I got was a 48.18

What tires are you running? I had very few traction issues, surprisingly. Rears only at the start and fronts only skidded a few times on sharp turns (nothing like my Fox used to do and plow through turns lol). I suppose the surface can make a big difference...this was in a unused parking lot that's been "scrubbed" clean by many an autox day lol.


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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky66 View Post
You guys did better than I autox'ing this weekend. I came in 6 seconds slower than the faster car in my class (Race).


ALTHOUGH: 1) I did not check the weather Friday evening or Saturday morning. Up to that point, it was a 10% chance of rain. I left off Sparky's wipers (they shake alarmingly at speed), and did not take them with me...so of course, it poured, and I could barely see. 2) Manual steering on a course with 10' wide gates that was designed around a Honda Civic. 'Nuf said. 3) It stopped "raining" in the afternoon, reduced to a sprinkle...but by then, I'm tired and my shoulder is crying from cranking the steering wheel (I have a torn rotator cuff). 4) I physically could not turn the wheel back and forth fast enough - even with 16:1 ratio. 5) I did come in 4 seconds faster than the fastest Novice car, so there's that...but still. I bagged the second day so I could nurse my arms. I've autox'd this car many, many times...but this course was not kind to us.



Next weekend I'm taking the ST lol.


https://youtu.be/6XspDQIyoHM
Reminds me of this a bit from a couple years ago
https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/m...ross-hell.html
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