Feb

4

Steve Mcqueen in BullittMy dad made me practice a few times turning the ignition off while driving the car at age 13 or so. It was at the race track parking lot. It never happened in the race cars as we had toe clips, but in the past decade some genius decided to get the kill switch close enough to 5 point harness, neck restraints and all the extra roll bars and padding they have today.

Only time I screamed "turn the key off" was when we worked on the 500 CID crate motor street car, a '67 corvette with a tri power (3 deuces). My buddy had the old tri power carb book and went to task rebuilding them for me. I let him drive the car. In a freaking neighborhood he shifted into 2nd and stood wide open throttle and when it pegged the rev limiter I knew the throttle linkage was stuck. I was reaching over to turn off the key as we were balls out ready to run off the end of the road into a freaking house. He turned off the key pushed in the clutch and we coasted to a ez stop. He said "sorry about that/" I said "hey jerk off, let's not test things in the neighborhood," my goodness.

What freaked me out was the 911 call where the cop and his family were blazing down the HWY @ WOT and his brakes were on fire. He was on 911 in a panic. How in the world didn't anyone say to shut off the damn engine.

I did see on the internet a motor trend guy say kick it into neutral or push in the clutch then get over and shut engine down. Yeah, so you can still use power steering and power brakes, but man, it's stressfull to hear an engine pegged against the rev limiter as you do it. And what if a kid threw it into reverse on an auto trans (race cars have reverse lockouts)? My goodness, just shut er down.

So this weekend we had 5" of snow. I taught the teenager not to panic while engine is pegged against rev limiter while in park. Taught him how to power slide, do doughnuts with real wheel or front wheel drive cars. Taught him anti lock brakes and with out. It's fun locking up brakes in snow turning wheel then let off the brakes and the car will turn, spin– what ever you need.

We ran out of time, but the best to learn is parking a car like the blues brothers. Do a 180 from 30 mph and land perfect into a curb parking spot. The other is the James Bond: as fast as it will go in reverse, spin the wheel to spin car in forward position, let off brakes and shift into proper gear and end up going perfectly strait under acceleration. That, my friends, took us 15-20 hours of practice as 16 year old kids, first in the snow them on pavement to perfect.

Only thing I haven't done is drive a car on 2 side wheels for a bit. Never really wanted to till now. I saw the X motocross racer jump the rally car on New year's. That's rough on the back.

Anyways flats, blow outs, catching the edge of the road at 70mph in the rain…stuck throttle. Don't panic and do not ever stand hard on the brakes. Look where you want to go and you will auto steer the correct way. Relax, kill the engine and coast to a stop. When you kick a car into neutral on auto trans as long as you dont depress the button on the shifter it will never go into reverse. So practice. Idle down the street, turn off the key and slap, yes slap, the shifter into N. Turn hard, no power steering, you can do it. You get 2-3 brake assists with the vacuum reservoir. Relax. You can steer and stop with out the power on…muscle it.


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