It Was One of Those Days - Part XXXIX


Here - watch THIS!
May 24, 2001
Hmm… so, ‘Kong’ was this girl’s car? Then, what did the “Kong’s” decal on the windows of the two cars mean?

They saw me trying to put 2+2 together.

Nathaniel leaned forward and smiled.

“Steve, here’s the situation… Kong is indeed what Christine calls her car. And yes, it is truly her car, bought with her own money. Wesley and I were only the intermediaries who had the connections within to make the deal.

And, to be brutally honest, Steve, she is the president of the car club she founded – ‘KONG’s’ – and of which we are members. Don’t let her smile and curves beguile you Steve – she is a fierce competitor and as knowledgeable about Software security AND drag racing as anyone we have working with us OR have ever met.”

Ok… my interest level continued to build as he continued.

“Here’s more… KONG’s is actually an acronym for King Of the Night Garage and Speed. Christine’s ZR1 – she likes to call him KONG like the huge ape of old - is a one of a kind factory freak, just like your GSX. But here is the interesting part – there are more cars like your Frankie, Steve…”

He now knew that he had Kel and me on the edge of our chairs. He not only had us hooked – we were already just floppin’ in the boat.

“C’mon, Nathaniel! What do you mean ‘more’?”

He sat back to pause for effect as Wesley took a long slug of his soft drink and spoke up.

“Steve - we have learned within the last year that there are actually several – but not many - of these rare and exotic animals around this wonderful country; one-off’s and development mules spared from destruction by enthusiasts. Do you actually think the 426 Hemi sold on the street did not have some wild development stories behind it? Or, that the 428 SCJ Ford just appeared out of nowhere? Or that the LS Series of big block Chevy’s seen in showrooms didn’t have some interesting history? Of course you don’t – just like we know the Buick 455 in the stock GSX’s had an evil and wicked father wedged between the frame rails of that black car of yours.”

Interesting was now an understatement. I honestly had not even thought about the possibility! Kelly’s expression mirrored mine – it had just hit her too.

It was Deborah’s turn to share some knowledge.

“Steve, I was actually the one who found out about Chris’s ZR1 and I did so by accident. You know how things work – you’re looking through Hemming’s or you’re talking to this person or that person and then one day, out of the blue, along comes that rare event that we like to all a “barn-find”.

Sort of like finding a ’67 Big Block Sting ray hidden under a tarp in some barn or out-building in the middle of New Mexico. Well, I was looking for a Vette for myself when I got a strange call one evening from a guy who told me he had heard I was looking for one. His 401K had pretty much been eroded away and his plans to retire were shattered unless he could find a way to make some cash. So, he told me he had this interesting Vette that he thought I should come take a look at.

So – I did. Turned out I didn’t have the coin to pay what he wanted but Chris did.”

“Deborah - was this guy on the original ZR1 development team?” I figured it had to be someone like old Dollar-Bill.

She smiled with beautifully perfect white teeth.

“No, but I’m not sure… and, I can not tell you who he is because I promised him I wouldn’t do that.”

“Why is that? He didn’t want to be hounded for info, etc?”

“It’s actually simpler than that, Steve.”


“It’s because he said he has two other cars like the KONG ZR1 and he knows of at least 8 or 9 other similar people who also have cars like it and they prefer to keep them off the radar screens. To be honest, we’re not entirely sure how many are out there. There aren’t a lot – but there are definitely a few. Your ‘Dollar-Bill’ is one of those guys. I talked to him actually… and - guess what HE told me?”

I raised my eyebrows in the universally accepted expression for “And what is that?”…

“Your Dollar-Bill now has another GM freak that he just recently acquired. Can you keep a secret?”

“Of course… what does he have?”

“Bill now owns the TRUE first development GNX that it appears no one has ever heard about. And according to Bill, this GNX freak makes the famous 547 look like cute little kittens… He bought it from another Buick employee who needed to shore up his retirement fund...”

I sat back in my chair and glanced at Kelly. She was as shocked as me.

“Steve… this is amazing… imagine the possibilities!”

It made sense. And I can not believe that I didn’t think of this before. Why WOULDN’T there be other cars like Frankie out there? Sure, car manufacturers did their best to destroy test mules and often went to great lengths to assure the general public that they did not exist. But – if Frankie survived, that meant that there HAD to be others, didn’t it?!

SURE IT DID. The question is – just how many still existed today (and were running) and where were they?

I asked the same question out loud and Christine answered.

“Steve, we have visually verified that there are at least 5 other incredible freaks like your Frankenstein, including the GNX-prototype. And to be honest, that was when we first heard about you and your GSX – when we met Dollar Bill who told us he had sold the car a while back to you. So, one thing led to another and that began our quest…

Here is one interesting little tidbit – there is a 2003 Cobra development mule that I am not so sure KONG can handle… I have seen this car and heard it run and it would lay waste EASILY to any of the factory ZR1’s. The most interesting part of THAT car?”


“It’s got a 6 Speed automatic transmission. Oh, Steve… you have no idea just as we had no idea when I first started looking for a Vette. Maybe it’s the economic times, I don’t know. But people really like to talk about cars once you get to know them, don’t they?”

I nodded my head, still mulling over the idea of a bad-ass Terminator with a Frankie-type mill being hustled by a six-speed auto…

“We’ve all heard about John Moss and his toys, about his counterpart at Ford, about Delorean and so forth… but the secrecy goes much deeper than anyone ever imagined… much deeper.”

It was all coming together…

“So that is what we are proposing, Steve. KONG’s Car Club will SOLELY arrange for as many of these freaks possible to see the light of day. We will put up a half million in prize money with a percentage of promotional fees and television rights paid back to us. And I am willing to put the title up for this ZR1 to anyone who can beat it with another freak, including your GSX. Honestly? I don’t think it’s possible but who knows?”

“Ok, but you never did tell us what your third condition was?”

Nathaniel and Wesley looked at each other and then over at the girls. And then, right at me… Wesley spoke next.

“Steve, we know the other guys with those special cars – at least the ones we’ve talked to so far - will probably not race their freaks for titles and I don’t blame them. But from what I’ve heard, you are a gambler of sorts, right? We want you to offer Frankie to who ever might beat it, including Christine and her ZR1.

Imagine the publicity for this night, Steve. Cars that millions of enthusiasts never dreamed of even existing being seen for the first time publicly…. Hearing them run, seeing them race… some of them being wagered… who knows – maybe we can talk one or two of them to put up THEIR slips too… We will follow Rich’s format and establish base times to make sure we’re not running an apple against an orange. But from what I’ve learned, I think that they all are fairly equal. IF you make it to the semis, you get fifty thousand dollars. If you go to the finals, you get seventy-five thousand dollars.

But if you win and are the last car standing, you will win AT LEAST $250,000 plus what ever other sponsors and Speed puts up – IF you have put up the title to your car to run. If you win but have not put up the title to run, you will still win $100,000 plus other prizes with the balance of our money going to a fund to support or upgrade the track – or tracks - of the winner’s choice.”

He let it all sink in…

“So, that’s it in a nutshell guys. What do you think? Do you think Rich will buy in? Do you think Speed Channel or even ESPN would like to broadcast this? Do you think the magazines will cover this? Can you IMAGINE what the pits would be like, what the vendor’s row would be like, what the concessions would make?”

Kelly and I sat and thought… and grinned. She beat me to the punch…

“How do we make this happen, Wesley?”

“Just give us your word that you will at least put up Frankie and that you will support this idea to Rich and to Speed Channel. We’ll take care of the rest once you let us know that Rich and his team are on board and of course we’ll have contracts. Kelly – we would like to retain you as our attorney to handle the contract issues if you don’t mind, ok?”

“No problem here.”

“And, we don’t want to take away from your grudge match with the Charger but I think this event here with the eight or ten cars we hope to muster can be the grand finale for the night or weekend… deal?”

I knew that ‘Grand Finale’ would be an understatement. Wesley stuck out his hand to shake as everyone stood as if on cue.

“You bet, Wesley, Nathaniel, ladies. Let’s make this happen…”

As we shook hands with everyone and watched them as they walked back to their cars, Kelly leaned up against me with her arm around my waist. The garage was cool and quiet.

“Steve, do you think this is a smart thing to do – you know, to take a chance on losing Frankie? I still think there are some unanswered questions…”

I knew where she was going. Kelly had the intuition of a fox and she was a little more conservative than me.

“Well, babe, I can’t say for sure. But I will say this – I know that Frankie is a pretty stout car. If putting up the title – which IS a risk – will bring out some more of his ‘family’ for some of the best racing we’ve never seen before, then I’m willing to take that risk…”

She hugged me warmly…. “Ok… I’m with you Steve.”

We listened and watched as the Supra and Z fired up and then drove away… For a fleeting moment, I recalled that I thought I had heard a V8 pulling up when they first arrived. I chuckled to myself standing there in the shadows of the garage... Things are often never what we first think, are they?

The air was noticeably cooler than when they first arrived but it was still a beautiful day. My mind raced with the possibilities of what we might get to see… of what the reported GNX development car might be… what other cars may be out there with one-of-a-kind drive trains designed, built, tested and then hidden away by factory corporate employees….

But - if only I had known that day what I know now… if only I had a clue…

To be continued…
lol man you know how to keep people wanting more !!!! Great , keepum coming! Daniel
keep it coming!
i think when (and if) the story ever ends, you should collaborate all of the parts together and get it printed for the fourm, id pay for it!
If this keeps going we'll have a great trilogy going here. 3 summers of the greatest car movies ever made. This could be the greatest cult series ever!!!!!!!:eek: Need to put this thing to film. I'm jealous, I should have been a Hollywood movie star. I would be satisfied being the bum at the track no one liked.:frown:
:cool: Been following your writings for years. Great stories...

Now does anybody from pinks or car magazine writers read your stuff???
captivating as always Raven, hopefully it wont be a long wait for the next installment