Mother Mopar's blessed sons, the Ramchargers. What kind of car company turns their engineers loose with a '49 Plymouth business coupe and no blueprint? Walter P. Chrysler's wildass spirit lived on in the form of the seminal High and Mighty, which ultimately spawned the Viper. Huh?!
Somewhere along the line, I read that the "Mopar" moniker was short for "Motor Parts", which headed Chrysler Corporation's early parts requisition forms. Factual or not, such trivia obviously clings to my remaining brain cells, and this seems as good a day as any to propagate an amusing urban myth (or historical footnote - somebody please clarify this). It just seems appropriate, coming from the ballsiest American car manufacturer ever in terms of concept, design, marketing, and backdoor support: When Ford and GM whisked their racing programs underground, Mopar blatantly labelled theirs "Direct Connection" and boldly flatfooted it to Winners Circles and showroom sales, right in front of God and everyone. Amusing. And as usual, only remotely related to this week's topic. We've been over this before, but it's really the soul of the blog and deserving of a tune up: The connections - direct and otherwise - that we all share.
There's obviously a thin but tenacious thread of humanity, spirituality and petro chemicals holding us together. I'll say it again: This bond no longer surprises me, but continues to amaze me. Example: Mere minutes after posting last week's contribution from Cole Foster in California, I received a note from Ray Guarino in New York, concerning a recent Foster connection of his own. My half baked theory: When we're fully present in our lives, that presence creates a ripple effect that reverberates through everyone we know, then through those people's connections and so on, until it ultimately boomerangs back to us, indirectly.
Meanwhile, the momentum of last week's childhood revelations theme rolls on. Motormouth Ray shares a glimpse into his past and a look at where he ended up. As for his future, that's up to any radio or TV program directors wise and/or brave enough to place Real McCoys like Ray and partner Chris Switzer into a larger market than their current Long Island beat...
MIDDLE: "Cruising around, wearing a fedora, while puffing on a pipe. Not PC at all, but hey, it was the Mad Men years, after all. I'm probably picking my fingernails with a switchblade, just for good measure."
BOTTOM: "Driving at last, and finding out that vehicle maintenance comes with the turf. You're looking at all the tools I owned, stashed in that one red toolbox (which I still have). What you can't see is the car raised on a screw jack, while I crawl under it and change the clutch. Yikes!"
Get a load of the following answer to last week's SGE contribution from (tubing God) Pat Foster's son, Cole...
Ray directed me to Cacklefest.com for insight into Billy's rail. I got a snoot full. My eyes are still watering, but I'm not complaining.
Psyche! In 2006, Lynch contracted Pat Foster to recreate his old Race Car Specialties steed at Foster's new Moscow location (Moscow, Idaho, that is). This would be "Patty"'s final project. Follow along and drool over Foster's shoulder, as he waves his magic wrench over some tubing and creates a masterwork... Please pardon Patty's filthy shop.
After my computer fireballed in the lights last week, life went eerily silent. Following a classic thrash, the monster machine was finally refired yesterday and the initial online test run turned up this amusing tidbit: Shirley Muldowney has agreed to pilot a recreation of her (rarely seen) pink '73 Satellite Funny Car at select 2014 events, where she will match race Bruce Larson's USA-1 machine. John Worm at Slingshot Dragsters (instrumental in Larson's build) contacted Shirley and offered to supply the car, which is already on the jig in Worm's Pennsylvania shop. Muldowney stated that her sponsorship search has been relentless since her forced retirement in 2003, after 40+ years of racing. Shirley added that if the Worm deal doesn't come to fruition, she's throwing in the towel for good. In a surreal twist of irony, I'm typing this while ESPN2 coverage of the 59th annual Chevrolet Performance National Hot Rod Association Mello Yello U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway (whew!) drones in the background and echoes throughout the SGE complex. And Shirley just confirmed the above rumor, on camera.
Danny Thompson (son of Mickey) and uber-fabber/elder statesman Kent Fuller weren't ready to run their respective streamliners (both finished with help from Kickstarter campaigns) at SCTA's Speed Week, but both will be on the salt for this October's private Shootout event. And get this: Shirley Muldowney will join the saltfest at the 2014 Speed Week, shooting for 500 MPH in the Doug Herbert - Ray Evernham streamliner. This has been the best week for racing news in a long, long time!
Special greetings to Tim Bradham and Tim Newey! The latest SGE followers are now eligible to learn the secret SGE handshake and fraternize with the others. Keys to the executive washroom are in the mail to the Tims. SGE Gold Cards to follow.