Thursday, February 27, 2014

The thrill is gone

I'm not sure exactly when it left me, but the thrill is gone.

When I talked the Farm Manager into that Mustang Fifty a couple of years ago, I thought the thrill would still be there.

Instead, I found out that I can't keep my foot in that car for even ten seconds without feeling that I'm going way faster than I want to go.

That's a different philosophy than what I subscribed to in my youth.

I remember a Dodge Dart 340 approaching 7000 rpm's on the tach on the Hanlon Expressway after midnight and hours at the bar. We were somewhere around 150 miles per hour. If the road was long enough and you kept your foot in it long enough you could do that back then.

That was a story repeated almost every night for years. If it wasn't my latest 340 it was Johny's big-block Super Bee or Kipling's hemi Charger or my Super Duty Trans Am.

Which barely got over 120 by the way. But it got there pretty damned quick.

Young men.

Fast cars.

I think where it all changed for me was about ten years ago, when I was asked to speak at the memorial service for four young men who had died in a car crash. They had run into a train at a level crossing at what was euphemistically referred to in the papers as "a high rate of speed."

I knew those kids and they were just like me and Kipling and a million other young guys.

They were young and had a fast car.

It was a late model Z-28 with some serious motor work. 150 mph was no problem for that car. They knew they'd beat the train to the crossing...

They were wrong.

Driving fast has never had quite the same attraction since.

The thrill is gone.

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