It Was One of Those Days - Pt XXIII


Here - watch THIS!
When I got home with the TTA, the first thing I did was pop the hood and begin an assessment of the car. Looking under the hood at the LC2, it was clearly obvious that this car had a little more ‘oomph’ than it came down the assembly line with… I wondered aloud who installed them and when the mods went on the car…

Jim told me that he didn’t know much about the car other than how his department came to own it. Seems that a local wannabe who thought he was destined to be a big-time drug dealer got a little sloppy, sold some crack to an undercover deputy and then even began regaling the deputy with details that he should have kept to himself. Had the ‘hero’ kept his lips shut, the worst he would have been looking at was possession to sell.

The undercover officer played it cool though – he kept asking the right questions and stroking the guy and he fell for it, even so far as showing the undercover his laptop that he had kept in the rear compartment of the TTA. But because he got stupid and began bragging (while dealing out of this F-body) he ended up and got busted on the spot. The cops did a search, found a whole bunch of evidence not only in the car but at his house (and his greenhouse!) and confronted the guy with his choices – he could turn State’s evidence and give it all up in exchange for a lighter sentence OR he could play stupid and spend a LOT of time cuddled up next to Bubba in a cell in some far-away max-security pen with the tune “Prison Bitch” running through his head...

He wisely chose to take the deal.

All of that led me to the white car I was standing in front of.

The first thing that stood out was the size of the uptake pipe. It was HUGE. Looking down I saw the stock location intercooler was not stock at all – actually, it looked like it might be one of PTE’s monsters but it was hard to tell for sure. Either way, it was not the old stock unit.

The down pipe from the turbo was also much larger than stock. And – the turbo itself was also a monster, looking for sure to be at least a 70mm+ unit. It was also clear that the guy who did the mods spent a lot of money and either he knew what he was doing or he hired it done right – the engine looked like it came from the factory.

Looking deeper, the headers were aftermarket stainless but not coated, the valve covers were nice black powder coated pieces, the doghouse was polished aluminum and of very high quality (at least looking at the welds), and the engine bay itself was spotless.

I then pulled the car around to the bay with the lift and put it up. Getting underneath it, I saw subframe connectors welded in place, the beads of weld looking like artwork. The rear end was not the factory one either – in its place was a GM 12 bolt unit. The rear wasn’t tubbed but the suspension looked like it also had been reworked. I also noted the transmission pan, Differential cover, and drive shaft (with enormous U-joints) were not stock. Plus, a red heavy duty drive shaft loop was bolted in place.

Lowering the car back to the ground, I thought about the mileage shown on the odometer…. 4200. IF that was correct, this was a very valuable car.

I gave Jim a call…

“Wolcott County Sheriff’s department – what is your emergency?”

“Is Jim Forsythe there?”

“One minute please…”

“Sheriff Forsythe speaking…”

“Jim, this is Steve….”

“Hey! How’s it going, Steve?”

“Pretty good, actually. I was just checking the TTA over and it seems that the previous owner – was he the original? – had a lot of performance work done to it. Do you know anything about it or what might have happened to the stock parts?”
“Just a sec…”

Silence… the muffled sound of papers shuffling… the sound of a drawer being opened, more paper rustling…

“Yeah, here it is. Ok… let’s see here… wait…”

More paper shuffling…

“Ok… yes, we do have a bunch of parts that was confiscated from the perp’s – that would be a Mr. Chris Teak’s - garage. Actually, he said that these parts should go with this no matter who had it – he claims it’s one of 24 such TTA’s built like the one you have. Said it was because it had leather but no T-Tops and that was what makes it so special. Anyways, that doesn’t really matter, does it? Hmmm… I know that stuff is in here somewhere… ”

One of twenty-four cars built like this? My interest got really piqued…

“Ah, yes… Mr. Teak is listed as the original buyer. Well, according to our records, his mother bought it with him and then a few years later signed the title over to him with his name only on the slip. So, yes – he’s the original owner…”

“Did he say who did the work or what all he had done to it? The entire car is built to run and a stock TTA is not shabby. I’ve NEVER seen one built to this extent – most guys keep them bone stock or maybe a few minor bolt-ons from what I’ve seen. But THIS car is a sleeper for sure…”

Calling this car a ‘sleeper’ was like calling a Great White shark a ‘fish’ – it was a huge understatement. The white paint, the stock appearing wheels, the stealthy sound of a V6 (but it DOES roar nicely when you get into it) – nothing about this car would indicate on the surface what it was capable of. It actually looked like it would be more at place in a car show than in the heat of battle on the 1320…

“Nah, he didn’t mention it and they’ve already moved him up to Pittsburg to keep him hidden so I can’t ask him anything easily. Do you need this info badly?”

“Well, not really. I’m just wondering about the history. But if you have the stock parts, that’s good enough.”

“Ok… I’ve got to run. If you want, I’ll drop the parts off at your place this evening after shift. I need a good excuse to look at the toys in your garage anyways. Will you be around?”

“Jim – I’ll make sure I am! What time?”

“Oh, say around 5:30 or so?”

“Ok! See ya then…”


I hung up the phone. Suddenly, I realized it was raining and that it must have started while I was on the phone… At first, it was a light sprinkle; then, it got heavier and heavier and the clouds got darker and darker. I had to flip on the overheads in the garage where before enough light was coming in from outside. The smell of the early spring rain filled the air and the steady drum beat of the rain sounded soothing and peaceful, in spite of the darkness. Rain always has a way of washing the earth clean and it seemed fitting for the moment… perhaps that was what this very rare TTA needed – a clean start.

Thinking about what sort of ‘life’ this car had led up this point, I felt it was probably a safe bet that, while it was now set up for the quarter mile, in reality it most likely had never been raced. But that was about to change… as I closed the hood of the car and walked around to sit back in the driver’s seat, I began to think about this plan that Jim had proposed to me. To be honest, it seemed pretty far-fetched and even a bit ridiculous to think that it might be successful.

We would know Saturday night.

The plan was actually pretty straightforward in planning – it was the executing (and of course, the details) that would be decide if it was going to be successful.

Jim had two goals that his department hoped would be met. The first one was probably the easiest to accomplish – reel in and catch the two biggest names in the original owner’s drug files.

Those names were none other than Jeremiah and Jonah Reynolds. Sons of the recently departed – and now arisen it seems – Ned Reynolds.

Supposedly, they were high-fliers in Teak’s business. Connections that they had to a big name supplier from Miami were identified but they had yet to be identified with the goods in hand. Their role in the death of their mother had never been identified but they were ‘persons of interest’ in the new investigation that Jim told me about.

But what I had not shared with Kelly or Brandon was who the two ‘goons’ were that were shown in the picture as well as who B had seen with Nate/Ned and Bill down at Anderson Ford.

They were Jonah and Jeremiah. Kelly knew the names from her office’s work but she had never met them so she couldn’t identify them. She was right about one thing she had told me a while back – they were not nice boys who would make a mother proud.

It didn’t explain why Bill was racing the SRT at the track nor did it explain why neither of the twins was even seen at all – until the pictures and the events at the parts counter.

I sat there pondering all this seated in the comfort of the TTA, listening to the rain continuing to fall… I pulled the driver’s door shut and was immediately rewarded with golden silence. Even the weather-stripping was good as new.

What was hopefully going to happen was that I was going to show up at the usual meeting place that Teak always met with the Reynolds boys. His meetings were usually one of three specific purposes. The most common was for Teak to pick up product from one or both of them. A second reason to meet was to update information about drops or particular ‘special pricing’ available if the Reynolds had a particular shipment that needed moved quickly. But the third reason that they would meet was the most interesting…

To simply talk cars and watch the Reynolds boys street race with Teak being one of the lookouts and to listen to the police scanner while the races were going on. According to Teak, he had never raced his car at these races but he was often challenged. He always declined.

I had expressed concern to Jim about being identified by one of the Reynolds, or that perhaps even Bill, Ned, or Mira might be there who would certainly identify me. And with me driving Teak’s car, they would disappear as quickly as they came...

He assured me that neither of them would be there and that they had never been there in the past according to Teak – seems that the ‘business dealings’ of the two boys were something they all allegedly chose to turn their back on. But – Jim was sure they were connected in some fashion. If he was able to nab Jonah or Jeremiah, especially if they were carrying narcotics, he felt that they might roll over on Ned or Bill. And he was SURE that those two fish would be big catches for a variety of reasons – but reasons that he did not share yet. However, I was sure that the insurance investigations, Mr. Sleagle’s phone call, Sasha, Bill, Ned/Nate, Ned’s death and ‘resurrection’, and the drugs were ALL connected in some way.

Time would tell…

Leaning my head back on the seat, I felt tired… my eyes closed easily and I sat there in the silence of the metal, glass and plastic cocoon that the TTA had become. I wondered about the potential of the car – if I COULD use it to lure one of the boys into a street race even though Teak had never agreed to do so; if I COULD convince them I was there on behalf of Teak; if I COULD find out if they did have the stuff that Jim wanted to nail them with…

And I really, REALLY wondered if it was all worth the risk.

The Reynolds were obviously people who did not care who might get hurt in order for them to get what they wanted. IF Bill, Mira, or Ned WERE at the meeting place on Saturday, a LOT could happen that would be disastrous. I didn’t care about the Race Wars deal – I just didn’t want to blow Jim’s plan by doing something stupid. I guess I should have felt comforted that Jim believed I could pull it off.

I just wished that I felt the same way…


The next thing I knew, I heard the sound of knuckles rapping on glass… I opened my eyes to see Kelly looking into the window with a funny look on her face. I opened the door, having not realized I had locked it before…

“Are you ok, Steve? You looked dead!”

“Yeah, I’m fine… just tired…”

She knew that I wasn’t ‘fine’ – but true to form, she didn’t bug me about it.

“Well, maybe if you get a good night’s rest tonight, you’ll feel better tomorrow….”

I slid out of the seat of the TTA, stood up, and closed it’s long, white door. The ‘Ka-CHUNK’ echoed a bit in the garage… We both started walking back toward the walkthrough door…

“Yeah, I’m sure you’re right… did you just get home?”

She hooked her arm through mine, walking in stride with me…

“Yep. I actually got out a bit earlier than usual. I’ve been pulling a lot of extra hours so I told Denny I was leaving early today. He actually encouraged me to do so! I thought that was nice of him…”

We stepped on into the utility room and closed the garage door behind us. I saw Kel’s purse and a few Meijer bags on the counter of the kitchen and her coat on the rack….

“Well, I’m glad you’re home!”

“Hey – I’ve got a great idea, Steve. Let’s call Brandon and Stacy and see if they want to go to dinner tonight? What do you think?”

I gave her a big kiss…

“I think that’s a GREAT idea! We haven’t been out with them for a couple of weeks. I've got to wait until Jim stops by though - he's bringing the stock parts off the Trans Am and he said he would be here around 5;30 or so. Hey! What car do you want to take?”

“Hmmm… tough choice, Steve. How about that Firebird?”

“Well, I would love to but we better keep it under wraps until Saturday in case the wrong person would see it. If it’s done raining by the time we go – it’s what, four now? – maybe we can take the black car…”

“Steve – it stopped raining over an hour ago. You WERE asleep, weren’t you?! Oh - and nearly all of your cars are black. Which car do you want to take? We could take the Goat, you know!”

She giggled, knowing she had me dead to rights.

“Ok – then, if the roads are dry, we’re taking the Buick.” I grinned back at her now…

“Steve – you’ve got how many Buicks in those garages, the majority of which are BLACK. WHICH BLACK Buick are we going to take?”

Inspiration struck... immediately, I KNEW the one I wanted to get out... it hadn't 'been out' for some time.

NOW - it was time.

“The one with the bad disposition…. Let’s take the GSX….”

The idea sounded good at the time...

To be continued…
Dangit man "The idea sounded good at the time..." that doesnt sound promising...

Great story! When will the next chapter be out?

Another great chapter- The TTA already has performance parts:biggrin: :biggrin: (I think the car will really be SLOW):rolleyes:
and now out comes the GSX ( where is the Hurray smilely)
Keep up the good work
Denny? Denny Crane?;)

That conversation they have at the end sounds like my house... buicks, black cars and such... The "boss" swears that we must all think alike as Morton sounds like me and the rest of the local buick guys...

keep it up.:biggrin:
Everytime he posts a new chapter, we're all like kids waiting for Christmas morning to arrive.
Good job Steve, looking forward to reading about Christines' unleashing.

Its a good thing I havent been on here in a while

Now I get to go straight to the next chapter, but thennnnnnn.... I will have to wait for the next one. Always good, like I say, I dont read books, just instructions or text books, this will be my first novel. Hmmmmm, but I and many others will not want it to end.