Family of Hot-rodders
Mojave Travel Blog› entry 4 of 62 › view all entries
When I got up to Lancaster, Larry wasn't home. I figured he would either be out at the Mojave Airport tinkering with his plane or at the Willow Springs Raceway. He is still a hot-rodder. I remembered riding home from junior high school in his '55 Chevy - pressed firmly into the seatback by unrelenting G-forces. Any 'flow of traffic' would always be somewhere in his wake. Late nights too, we would hear his thundering machine screaming through geared power changes along a nearby boulevard and tires screeching in drifting turns - sometimes right into dad's garage. Often, police sirens searched the empty streets, finding only a lingering smoky haze smelling of burned rubber. Larry knew how to build them and how to drive them. He has a '56 now. Its 500+ horsepower will match the acceleration and speed of his late-model Corvette.
I found him out at the Willow Springs Raceway up in Mojave; his '56 shining red and white in the pit area surrounded by Fords. It was 'Ford Day' at the track and our cousin Jerry was out from Phoenix pacing laps in his GT-40. Bright red, number 22. He is another family hot-rodder from an early age. I recalled bailing out of an old Ford Anglia that Jerry was building up back in Michigan. The car had caught fire and, with its temporary one-gallon gas can held between my feet, was still moving when I slithered out the passenger window. Flames reached all the way up to the telephone wires when it eventually coasted to a stop. Jerry went on to restore several Mustangs over the years and eventually stepped up to the GT-40, Ford's answer to the Ferrari. He was sweeping through the 'omega turn' far ahead of his competition when I parked my rented Escort.