September 22, 2008

Memory Lane: My 1970 Z/28 Camaro

Back in 1970, I owned a car that looked exactly like this, except for the license plate.

Since I considered my driving skills to be exceptional, I did not always drive this amazing vehicle in what you'd call a responsible fashion.

One afternoon my brother Frank and I drove to a brand new section of road, freshly paved, flat as a pancake and straight as an arrow for a mile or two, way out in the middle of nowhere west of then-developed suburban Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We turned off the radio, rolled up the windows, tightened down our seatbelts (no shoulder harnesses in those days, kids) and I put my foot down. Up through the gears we screamed, until the telephone poles were flicking by at an amazing rate, and I noticed that we were in fourth gear and the engine was wailing away, 500 rpm past its redline.

Some years later, sitting with coffee after a family Christmas-season dinner at my parents' place, with the car safely gone to other parts, I was remembering the car fondly. My mother asked me how fast I had gone in it. I told her, "You really don't want to know." She insisted. I reiterated. She insisted again. So, I told her, "One hundred and forty-five miles an hour."

"I wish you hadn't told me." she said.

No comments: