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The biggest street race of all time (old school)

This is a discussion on The biggest street race of all time (old school) within the Kill Stories forums, part of the Racing Forums category; The Quarter Million Mile - by Tony Defeo (Cars Illustrated article) He stood on the other side of the counter. ...

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    The biggest street race of all time (old school)

    The Quarter Million Mile - by Tony Defeo (Cars Illustrated article)

    He stood on the other side of the counter. To his left was an Accel catalog rack. To his right, an empty Diet Pepsi that had been downed with one massive gulp. An unbelievable feat performed by an unbelievable man who was about to tell an unbelievable story. Bobby was a well known, sometimes liked, never understood speed shop merchant. He had occupied the same spot behind the same counter for as long as any of us could remember.The fact that he moved on and left his lifelong vocation for a position in some construction company left a void in the local hotrod social circle.

    It took him just a little farther away from the thing that had made him a cult hero for so many years. You see, Bobby used to be a street racer. We shared many afternoons together straddling each side of that counter, bullshitting, bench racing and learning. The learning was a one sided thing-he did the talking, I did the absorbing. We would go on for hours, talking about things ranging from our imagined ultimate performance combinations to the discipline needed to be a winner.

    Invariably, the conversation would always wind down to what he saw as being wrong with the street scene today. These kids today are assholes, he would say slowly and deliberately. He had a way of talking, you know-like a first grade teacher discussing a subject that was going to go over the heads of his pupils. Bobby always talked that way. He would say, I mean, like they have no concept of how to do it. Street racing is a lost art to these kids. They sit around in a parking lot with their hoods up. Not only do they show each other what's under their hoods, but they tell each other what's in their damned motors! Give me a freaking break. It's a generation of assholes.

    Bobby used the term asshole a lot. In fact, he called me asshole so many times I almost started answering to the name. It was his way of making a point, and more often than not, he was right. "Back in my day," he would say, "you built a car to race, not sit in some damned parking lot. And nobody, but nobody knew what you was runnin' under the hood! Nobody, not your brother, not your best friend, not a damn soul." When Bobby was right, Bobby was right. "Street racin' was a way of life. Back in my time, he said. You did it because it was the thing that made you better than everyone else. And you worked with what you had. You worked the pieces you already owned, and when you needed somethin' and nobody had it, you made it. Shit, you didn't run out and buy a cam. First you messed with the valvetrain and screwed with the geometry 'til you got the motor to breathe the way you wanted.

    These kids today are schmucks. All they know is gimme this and gimme that. It's monkey see, monkey do, and no one knows what the hell is goin'on inside there. Bobby had always made it clear that in his day, he was truly hot shit. 1, not knowing him on any other level than as a great dude to bench race with, took most everything he said about the old days with a grain of salt.

    Bobby went out of his way to remain vague about the past. It was always we and they. That is, until this afternoon. 'Tony, he said, let me tell you a little story. I'm gonna tell you about the biggest street race in the history of the sport. You wanna know where I'm comin' from? You wanna know where I been, listen up 'cause this is where it's at, man. It was 1968, he began, you ever hear of the Mudd Brothers? (1 hadn't, and felt stupid like, after all, how can you call yourself part of the street scene and not know a group of dudes known as the Mudd Brothers.)They was the king of the street. (To my ears, they sounded a lot like a we, or even I). You see, back in the late'60s he continued, there was kind of a war going on. It was the guys from Jersey and us dudes from Brooklyn. These people have all the names that you've heard before. We're talkin' about the classics, dudes like Levi Holmes, Jesse, Brooklyn Heavy and a guy that went by the name of Doug Headers. Headers, man, he made the front page of the Daily News for blockin' the Gowanus during rush hour to get a run off. These guys had style. There was a bunch of guys, all of Them heavy hitters. The good ones, the real good ones, went on to run Pro Stockers and shit like that.

    These are the dudes that made drag racing what it is today. They all came from the street. See, back then, the innovation came from the street and went to the track. These days, it's the opposite 'cause the same people that made the news on the street are on the track now, sendin' it back. It's an inner circle. We was right in the hot of it. (There goes that we deal again, sounding more like an I every time).

    Bobby leaned closer on the counter and confided, there was a war goin'on at the time. Those guys from Jersey were good, real good. They'd come over and kick our asses, they'd take our money and make us look bad on our own land. Yeah, they were pickin' us off left and right. The Mudd Brothers were good, though. They were tough, ya know? And it didn't take long before we started makin' the Jersey boys look bad. Yeah, it was the Mudd Brothers and Super John. John was a Chevy man, and we was always into the Mopars, the Hemis you know. John was runnin' this Camaro with a big old Rat under the hood. That baby was stormin'. We was runnin' this big old Mopar with the Hemi in it. We'll skip the bullshit and get right to the heart.

    Between the Mudd Brothers and Super John, we pretty much turned the Jersey dudes away. We took a lot of bread off them. So here it comes, after a few years of jerkin' around with these guys, it comes down to the Mudd Brothers and Super John. There had to he a king and it came down to one run between the two cars. The stakes were high. Now remember, we're talkin' 1968 bucks here. It was $125,000 a side, a quarter million buck purse. We weren't fuckin' around man. Super John had Dickie Harrel set up his Chevy. Dickie was a big funny car dude back then, runnin' the Rat motors and doin' real good 'til he died a couple a years later. Super John's ride was a legal SS/AA stocker. It was a high class pro effort and he had the deck stacked with Harrel. It wasn't gonna he easy to beat ,em. What we did was buy the S&K Speed Hemi Dart. It was still a brand new car at the time. Stick machine, it was set up for SS/B. In fact, the night the run went off, we had just painted the car black and the paint was still tacky. There was all kinds of hand prints all over the back of that sucker.

    John had Harrel and we wasn't gonna be outdone by that shit, so we got our hands on Jake King. Kings the guy that' put Sox and Martin on the map. That guy really knew those Hemi motors. Anyway, he set up the Dart. The race was a one-shot winner take all. It was a weeknight. We were gonna run down at Kennedy Airport, 150th and South Conduit. Bumpy as shit today, but back then it was prime real estate. This run was big news. I didn't count, but somewhere around 5000 people showed up. We had an official police escort to the strip. When something's that big, with that many people and that kind of cash involved and the whole thing's gonna take but a few seconds, what could they do but make it as smooth as possible. Yeah, so we had one cop in front and one cop out back. We cleared out the road and set the two cars up under the overpass.

    Both machines sounded strong, you know, that cackle that a super healthy motor makes. The smell of racing gas was heavy in the air. Both machines pulled behind the line and did a couple of massive burnouts. Man, they were soundin' strong. On the dry hops, the Chevy looked like it was makin' all the right moves. He'd plant the gas and that sucker would just lean back and dig in. The Hemi would get up there hard,'cause it was a stick, but the Chevy looked like it was gonna take it. Both cars pulled to the line and the starter stepped between 'em. They was both bringin' up the revs, clearin' the mills out and you could just hear the sound carryin' and bouncin' off the landscape. The ground was shakin', the overpass was shakin' and all along the street people was finalizing all the side bets. God only knows how much money changed hands that night.

    The starter raised his hands and motioned the guys to get ready, and, except for the cars, there was total silence. He counted to three, quick, and both machines dug in and left hard. Tha Camaro pulled half a car on the wheelstanding Dodge. A little way down, the Camaro pulled the lead, by almost a full car on the Hemi. We thought we was beat. But you know those Hemis, man. They ain't worth shit on the bottom end. But man, when they start breathin', look out ,cause nothin' can stop' em. The Camaro was in High as the Dart hooked into Fourth gear. The Dodge had eaten up about half a car by this time, but there was a half to go and the quarter was commin' up but fast. Tony, he said, let me tell you, my balls were in my mouth.

    Continued next post

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    But then it happened. I heard the noise and man, it was beautiful. Once that big mutha of an Elephant got comfortable there in Fourth gear, the noise just changed. That Camaro was makin' the same pulling, working growl the whole quarter, but when that Hemi hit High, the deep roar turned into his floating pulsating, reverberating hum. You could literally hear, from a quarter mile away, the power that bitch was makin'. It was beautiful. The Hemi stormed by the Camaro with about a hundred feet to go. We won the whole muthafuckin mess and we were kings' SO Tony, man, when you hear me talk about the scene out there today and the kids out there and I talk to you and try to get your head straight, you know where the hell I'm comin' from. I was pretty blown away by the whole deal.

    The story, if it happened the way it was told to me, was fantastic. 1 was inclined to believe the man simply because I had always known him as a straight shooter. But one small thing stuck out in my mind, one thing bothered me about the story. If it was that big, with that many people involved for that kind of money, and it involved the people that he named, how come I had never heard of this before? I mulled it over as I bid Bobby a good day and went on with life. 1 never told the story to anyone, that is until I was at a Mopar meet in New Jersey. I was talking to a fella named John McBride, a well known super likeable guy who specializes in rare and hard to find Mopar stuff. To make a long story short, we were on the subject of Hemi Darts and he began to relate this story to me about this super big buck street race between a bunch of guys known as the Mudd Brothers and their Hemi Dart and some guy known as Super something or other. McBride had heard about the run back during his racing days and made a trip up to New York to cheek out the action. (1 also called) Ronnic Sox and he confirmed the connection as he remembered doing some subcontract work for the Mudd Brothers for that race. So there you have it. A factual account of the events that took place that night some 18 years ago when the biggest street race of all time went down to he forever etched into the annals of the sport.

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    NY Representative basballny2's Avatar
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    long read for a later date

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    Senior Member SS02's Avatar
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    Very Long read... Copy Paste I hope!

    I will read when I am awake.

    Peace

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    Senior Member Rhinohuey's Avatar
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    I read it. Really good story. I wish there were more books out there like this....im not really too much of a reader but I'm always having to have books and stuff for my english classes

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    Member Damon33's Avatar
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    Cool story man

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    formally 01 T/A 0verkill's Avatar
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    that was sweet i wish i could find more stuff like that.

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    Supercharged Raptor285's Avatar
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    Great story! As the others said, I wish there were books like this.

    Too bad street racing isn't what it used to be, some guys racing outside of town on a back road and being left alone. Now all the strips are closing, and everyone wonders why people still try to street race. Makes you wish you were a kid back then, huh?

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    Senior Member 00z28bubba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor285 View Post
    Great story! As the others said, I wish there were books like this.

    Too bad street racing isn't what it used to be, some guys racing outside of town on a back road and being left alone. Now all the strips are closing, and everyone wonders why people still try to street race. Makes you wish you were a kid back then, huh?

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    NY Representative basballny2's Avatar
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    just read it, great read.

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    Very cool!!

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    Just a souped up sunfire. Ryans99LS1's Avatar
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    thats awesome.

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    Senior Member Z28boy2000's Avatar
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    great story

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    OOHHH YEAH! jray0305usa's Avatar
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    bad ass...

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