Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ol' Red

After I graduated from high school I went to work for the Alabama Highway Department and soon afterwards for a place called Hutchinson Company in Pinson.  I started making pretty good money but I was still living at home.  I needed a car but I had no credit. Luckily my dad had great credit and said he would sign with me so one Saturday morning in June we went a-lookin’.  Once we were in Used Car City (Jasper, Alabama) I immediately saw the car I wanted.  It was a 1965 Chevy Impala SS.  
It was fire engine red and had a motor bigger than Texas with a four on the floor.  It still surprises me that he signed for that rocket but he did and I drove that monster home.
It did not take long to realize that car was really fast.  
Back then, street racing on the 78 highway or other major roads was common. I won more races than I lost.  
One Sunday afternoon I was on highway 31 in Gardendale stopped at a red light when just as luck would have it, a guy in a 1967 Pontiac GTO stopped beside me. I looked over at him and he raced his engine, I revved mine and we both knew it was about to be a thang.  We were both ready with motors just at the right RPM with the light about to change when by chance I looked in my rearview mirror……..there was a State Trooper right behind me.  Just then the light changed and I let off the gas and started off slowly.  The poor guy in the GTO was so focused in getting the jump on me he never saw the policeman and he almost burned the rear tires off his car. The trooper pulled out behind me and started after him.  He was in third gear running about 90 mph when it finally dawned on him that it was not a race…..I can’t even imagine what he was calling me when he saw the cop.  The GTO slowed and pulled to the side and the trooper was getting out of his car with his ticket book in hand as I passed by at 40 mph.  I tried to put on one of those “hey man, I didn’t see him in time to warn you ….I’m soooo sorry”, looks but the guy wasn’t buyin’ it.  As I drove by he stuck his hand out the window and gave me the middle finger salute.
It was probably fortunate for me the car was stolen a short time later (probably the guy in the GTO just to get back at me) and not long after that I was drafted into the Army.I’ve never had a car that I’ve loved like Ol’ Red.

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