Saturday, August 9, 2008

Going Fast

Several years ago I wanted to know what it was like to go fast. I had several cars that were intended to perform well on the street. The first of these was a 1962 Chevrolet Impala. It was equipped with a 327 cubic inch displacement V-8 that was modified to have better horsepower and torque than the stock engine. I wrecked that car. I took the engine from that car and put it into a 1953 Ford Sedan.

I did some things to that old Ford that were maybe a little unorthodox. I put the Chevrolet engine, transmission, and differential into to Ford. The exhaust was difficult to get to work. I bought some steel pipe headers and cut them up and then welded them back together. After a bit of trial and error I managed to get it to run fairly well.

One day I decided to see just how fast that car would go. The speedometer registered only to 120 miles per hour. I also had a tachometer in the car. The tach went up to 1o,000 RPM. When the car was traveling 120 MPH the tachometer was at 5500 RPM. The needle on the speedometer was buried past the 120 MPH mark, and the tachometer registered 7,200 RPM. The car commenced to vibrate violently for about a half second. I released the throttle and coasted. I lost the drive-shaft. It had broken in the middle. The front half fell out from under the car as the back half dropped and fell into the pavement. The shaft stuck into the pavement and broke the back universal joint. I coasted for a couple miles before the car came to a stop.

I did the calculations and came to the conclusion that the car was going 157 MPH when the drive-shaft broke.

There were two other times that I remember seeing how fast one of my vehicles would go. I had a red Chevrolet pickup that I got to go 100 MPH.

The most recent time that I intentionally went fast for the thrill of going fast was when I lived in Littleton. My mother came to visit. I was showing her where I worked. I turned to her and asked her if she had ever gone 100 MPH. She said she had not, so I stepped on the accelerator and headed down Highway 121 toward Martin Marietta. The speedometer began to climb ... 90, 100. I asked, "Were you scared?" My mother answered, "Yes, were you?" I had to admit that I was a bit scared. The old Pontiac Grand Prix had a 455 CI V-8. It was probably a good thing I sold that car.


  1. When did you go 100 in that truck? How come I am just learning about it?

  2. When we lived in Greenville Texas I was out on a country road going from the Bishops house to take a boy home. He turned to me and said, "Go 100!" So I did.

  3. I don't want to believe it. Driving 100 with a teenager, bowing to "peer" pressure? What were you thinking? I am glad you are both okay.

  4. I remember the day that you drove 100 miles an hour. That is the only time I ever rode in a car going that fast. I guess that is something to remember. Mom

  5. One time I was going 100 mph in my 1971 Ford LTD with my hand out the window. It really hurts when a bee hits your hand when you are traveling that fast

  6. Anybody seen my little brother? I miss him......

  7. I am here now. Time has taken its time and slowed me some.


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