It Was One of Those Days - Part 40


Here - watch THIS!
May 24, 2001
Ok, I'm tired of Roman Numerals... so - on with the story...

It Was One of Those Days - Part 40

Several days had gone by and a lot of details had been wrapped up for the big night. Kellie and I, along with Rich Christensen, his brother Kale and the other execs at Speed had finalized the contract agreement for the race night. It was decided to promote it as “Pinks All Out Challenge - The Clash of Titans!” which everyone agreed was very appropriate. The qualifying runs would be on Friday and early Saturday, special guest racing (several NHRA class heavy hitters had already signed on for appearances) was going happen on Saturday night along with my grudge race against the Charger and then things would get super serious on Sunday with the money up for the taking for the freaks.

We also had decided to offer grudge racing Saturday afternoon if enough interest came in – and little we know how much interest we stirred up with THAT idea! Within 48 hours of posting that on the website (yep, Kellie along with Speed had set up a website for the challenge!), we had enough racers entered to fill the entire 4 hour slot. It was shaping up to be pretty much non-stop drag racing with something for everyone.

Rich and the guys and gals from Speed were especially excited about the sponsorship and prize money being put up by the KONG group. They had their contract already signed with the prize money escrowed.

$250,000 to win…. Incredible.

What had started out way back when as a simple grudge match between two guys had morphed into a spectacular weekend of racing with unbelievable interest. It had culminated into what was going to be the ultimate Sunday Musclecar showdown with Speed Channel tape delay broadcasting the Friday/Saturday highlights with live coverage of the Sunday Clash. ESPN 2 had also bought in and was going to tape delay broadcast the Sunday Clash later on Sunday night and two more times during the following week.

It was decided to qualify the racers in the style of “Pinks All Out” with everyone having to run flat out in at least two qualifying runs and then not break out of their established times by no more than a tenth of a second to eliminate the possibility of someone trying to pull a fast one. This method had worked extremely well for Pinks so far so we knew it would work again.

Poor Kellie! She had been completely buried with phone calls and eventual contracts from people who wanted to be part of The Clash since she was the legal liaison for the event. It was amazing! Brandon and Stacy even had pitched in during their off hours and were enormous help but even they weren’t enough.

The interest in the event had grown faster than anyone even dreamed of. Even Speed Channel execs were stunned. One example - Nathaniel and Wesley had talked GM, Ford, and Chrysler into bringing static displays of current performance vehicles to the site to add to the growing Vendor’s area! The Big Three wanted to be part of and help promote The Clash!

From food vendors to parts suppliers of every imaginable genre, Kel’s phone was ringing off the hook. She finally had to hire two temp girls just to assist her, all paid for by Speed who had the exclusive live-broadcast rights.

Magazine coverage was an unknown initially but within a few days there was no doubt that there would be plenty of media involvement. Every motorhead in North America into drag racing – especially of the muscle car genre – would be able to read about what was going to come down. This one was going to be special…

Kellie and I had to take a couple weeks vacation from our regular jobs JUST to keep the details in line and try to stay ahead of the interest. But, by the following Friday, we had everything set contractually other than a final tally on who all the vendors would be. It was a madhouse but it was going to be worth it!

The most amazing part of this whole thing? At this point, we still only knew that four of these factory freaks would be there for certain: our GSX, the ZR1 Proto, the automatic Terminator Proto, and a guy who owned a ’68 Charger lightweight prototype that had a hush-hush Turbo-Hemi experimental drivetrain. We had feelers out there and Nathaniel’s team was following up on their leads but four were all we had at the moment. However, we were assured that the thunder we could hear on the distant horizon would develop into one hell of a storm soon.

So… we were simply waiting to see who (and ‘what’) would step up next. Little did we know what was coming…

Also - I hadn’t heard yet whether Dollar Bill had signed on with the developmental GNX but I was hoping that he would be there most of all. I really, REALLY wanted to see that car in particular but at this point, it was still up in the air.

Yet, somehow, we just knew that ‘they’ would come… The date was set for a little over a month out – it would be the weekend after Labor Day which was sort of an off-weekend for NHRA fans following the big U.S. Nationals at Indy. We should be able to count on a good turnout, fan-wise.

Hopefully, the weather would cooperate too.

So, Friday finally came and after two weeks since the initial announcement the hoopla had finally started to settle down to just waiting to hear what cars would agree to enter.

While we all thought that the chance to win up to a quarter of a million dollars would tempt anyone into running, we also knew that not everyone is in the game for the money. (This could not have been any more true for one guy I’ll tell you about a little later.)

But now, it was Friday and we were all tired of dealing with details and phone calls and contracts. I suddenly realized I was hungry.

“Hey Brandon – how about the four of us head over to that new restaurant on Reynolds for dinner this evening? I’ve heard they’ve got great steaks and seafood; a thick, juicy Porterhouse sounds great right now.”

“Good idea, Steve. What’s the name of the place?”

“Jed’s Steakhouse, I think.” The place was not even advertising on TV or anywhere – simply word of mouth. And the ‘word’ going around was ‘phenomenal’.

“Ah… yeah, that’s the place I’ve been hearing about. A guy at work was there just this week and all he could do was rave about the place afterwards so it must be good. Sounds great!”

“How about you and Stacy meet us back here around 6 or so? I’ll make the reservations so we’ve got seats – sound ok to you guys?”

They both nodded in agreement and I swear I saw B lick his lips.

“We can either ride together or follow each other… I’m thinking of taking the GN out for a cruise since it’s been a while so I’ve got the room if you want to ride with us.”

That was one thing about the GN – plenty of room in the back for people if needed.

“We’ll decide when we get here. I’ve got a new toy that I’m interested in that was supposed to come in today that I want to surprise you with so if it shows up so if it DOES, I’ll be driving it. I got a text message from the dealer a little while ago but I haven’t connected with him yet so I’ll find out.”

I could only grin – Brandon’s passion for his ‘toys’ was legendary. That guy bought, sold, traded (and one time gave away) more cars than I could keep track of. He was keeping the details secret on this one but one thing I was sure of – it would be a Ford. Brandon is a dyed in the wool Blue Oval boy. His GT500 wasn’t going anywhere and I was sure of that – he was hopelessly in love with the supercharged horse.

I wondered what it could be as Stacy and he headed out the door. I knew that what ever it was, it would be pretty radical…

At a few minutes before six, I heard the unmistakable rumble of a slowing muscle car. I was under the GN’s hood checking the oil when I heard the approaching car being downshifted so I figured it had to be Brandon. I stepped out of the garage door just in time to see...

A brand new all black 2010 Camaro SS pull into my driveway and stop. With the sun’s reflection on the windows along with the factory tint, I couldn’t tell who was driving it…

The door opened and I saw a foot step out.

And THAT’S when I saw BRANDON step out the driver’s side door! OMG - you could have knocked me over with a feather!

“Brandon – what have you DONE? YOU BOUGHT A CHEVY? I thought you had Ford Blue in your veins? You jumped the ship and bought a GM car????”

I admit it – I was blubbering.

I was so stunned! Kellie had just walked out behind me and was equally floored. Stacy (who was looking all sorts of HOT in her outfit by the way – more on THAT later) was now standing in the open passenger’s side doorway of the Camaro, leaning her arm on the roof smiling and shaking her head.

“I know Steve… Brandon just picked me up in it and when I saw him get out of the car I was as shocked as you! Do you believe it? Brandon? In a Chevy???” She was grinning in amazement.

I just kept shaking my head as I walked around the curvaceous flanks of the F-body. It was breath taking. The paint looked wet, the wheels were highly polished, and the whole look was just to die for. Chevy got THIS one right…

“Congratulations, buddy! She’s a beaut but man, I still can not believe it…. YOU… in a CHEVY!” I shook his hand and slapped his back as I looked in the car. It was absolutely shocking... Sinister black paint with a black interior; 426 HP LS3 with 420 ft/lb of torque, a six speed manual transmission… a very well laid out interior (and I especially liked the console gauges – really retro-ish, reminding me of the old generation 1 Camaro).

I was as much impressed as I was shocked. This new Camaro is something special.

“I don’t know Brandon… I can’t blame you for buying this but what made you jump to a Camaro? I figured your next car would be a Supersnake?’

I was STILL shaking my head in disbelief… “I just do not believe this…”

He grinned and then burst out laughing. Now, Kellie and I both were confused!

“C’mon, Steve, Kel - you know I’m a Ford guy.” He looked over at Stacy who burst out laughing as hard as Brandon. He looked back as me as he almost doubled over from laughing so hard.

“Steve, Kel? This is Stacy’s new car! Gotcha – you guys should have seen your faces!!! I love it but no, it’s not mine! My new toy did come in this afternoon but the dealer hasn’t prepped it yet so I won’t get it until tomorrow.”

He had to pause to wipe the tears from his eyes, poor sap. Sheesh – he DID get and he got me GOOD! I had to laugh too!

“But how about this Camaro – awesome, isn’t it? I’ve got to admit it – Stacy blew ME away when opened up the garage door to show me when I got to her place. She said the dealer even delivered it to her! I talked her into letting me drive over here to mess with you guys and man, did it WORK! You should have seen your faces – it was freakin’ hilarious!”

Stacy continued to grin and we were all still laughing from the joke. It was a great one.

“Well, good for you Stacy! We’re happy for you!”

Kellie, who like me was still struggling to regain her composure, finallWe better get going or we’re going to miss our reservations. I’m guessing we’re driving separate?”

Stacy spoke up, “Well, I do want to drive my SS since Brandon drove it over here and there isn’t much room in the back for adults so, yes, we’ll just follow you guys.” Stacy’s grin was still beaming.

“No problem at all. Let me close the hood on the GN and we’re ready to roll!” I had to admit that I was really hungry now.

Brandon and Stacy switched sides and loaded up in the Camaro as Kellie and I got inside the GN…

Every time I open the door on the GN, it takes me back to the ‘80’s. The big, heavy door… the big cloth seats and roomy backseat… the gauges… the smells… the feel of the steering wheel… it all just is a time capsule for me. I love this car… Frankie is a beast from another generation but deep in my heart of hearts, this ’87 Buick GN is my favorite.

Maybe it’s the killer way the turbo spools up… the evil hiss it makes as you mat the pedal… maybe it’s the sleeper (yet sinisterly black) look… or maybe just because it’s another piece of automotive history; of when performance was finally making a comeback… Of when GM’s golden boy, the Vette, had to take a back seat performance-wise to a big car with a little V-6 that could pull the Vette’s panties down and smack its ass anytime it wanted to.

The feel of the ignition key sliding into the key slot with the chromed raise tabs… the sounds of the open door chime if the door is open when you put the key in… the sound of the fuel pump coming up to pressure as you rotate the key to the run position…

But best of all – the absolute most favorite thing in the world to me about this car – is looking out over the hood and feeling it come to life as you fire it up.

It doesn’t rattle your world as Frankie does. It doesn’t shake and snarl… it just sits there and idles. It always fires quickly and cleanly and with the cutout closed and even going through muffs, the car is quiet.

Deadly. But quiet.

I let the V6 warm a bit as the gauges all came up and settled in. I hadn’t driven the GN for a while and that made this drive all the more enjoyable. Like I said, it’s like going back in time….

I revved the engine a bit, listening to the whistle of the turbo, let it idle back down and snicked the shifter into “D”, which is always fun. The car changes character immediately…

Even with the high stall speed converter, the car lurches just like Frankie does when it’s put into gear. It’s like Jekyll and Hyde – one minute it’s a demure looking family grocery getter but oddly, when it’s go-time, that’s all over; NOW, it’s time to kill.

I released the brake and began rolling out of the garage as Stacy was backing the Camaro out the driveway in front of me. I reached up and hit the door opener remote, watching the door close in the rear view mirror as I pulled on out. Kellie reached over and touched my arm…


“Yeah, babe?”

“It’s going to be a good night. We’ve got a lot done for the Clash so let’s have some fun tonight, ok? I’m really looking forward to getting out with Brandon and Stacy and I can’t wait to taste the food… it’s going to be a fun night!”

I had to agree – we were due to have some fun and what a great two weeks it had been. How could it get any better? Yep – Kel’s right, it’s going to be a fun night.

But - I didn’t realize until just a little later just how right she was. Because halfway to the restaurant we happened to pull up alongside a very unique car at a stoplight that I had only read about in the magazines or newspapers but had never, ever seen before.

It was an import, yes. But – not one of those annoying little 4 cylinder ricers. This was one from a country not profoundly known for performance imports in this country…

Actually, THIS particular import hails from – of all places – France; Molsheim (Alsace), France to be exact… but this was no ordinary ‘import’ in any sense of the imagination.


It was a Bugatti Veyron 16.4. Red and black – and, it sounded very, very nasty; demonic, actually.

THIS is what the beast looked like...


And – it just so happened that he wanted to play. ;)

To be continued…
excellent. i always love reading these stories cant believe its up to 40.cant wait for 41:biggrin:
Again, what can I say? I am sure you heard it all by now. Need #41! Can't wait to see the film version! EXCELLENT!
Maybe it’s the killer way the turbo spools up… the evil hiss it makes as you mat the pedal… maybe it’s the sleeper (yet sinisterly black) look… or maybe just because it’s another piece of automotive history; of when performance was finally making a comeback… Of when GM’s golden boy, the Vette, had to take a back seat performance-wise to a big car with a little V-6 that could pull the Vette’s panties down and smack its ass anytime it wanted to.

Excellent story as usual Raven, but I have to say, that is the most EPIC quote I have ever read on
Bravo sir, Bravo.

Excellent story as usual Raven, but I have to say, that is the most EPIC quote I have ever read on
Bravo sir, Bravo.


I must admit - I kind of like it too. :)

Thank you Patrick and thank you to all of you for the other nice words. This storyline now seems to have a life of its own, doesn't it?

I have received numerous PM's, emails, and other correspondence about this story. I never dreamed it would become so popular; even readers from other forums have began following it.

So, again - thank you all for supporting this story and particularly for supporting
OHHHHHH.... I just can't wait to read the next installment of this story. I've read and re-read this story up to this point to make sure I haven't missed anything.

Amazing as always Raven... I'll be waiting.
OHHHHHH.... I just can't wait to read the next installment of this story. I've read and re-read this story up to this point to make sure I haven't missed anything.

Amazing as always Raven... I'll be waiting.

With any luck, Part 41 will be up late tonight. :cool: