After doing my best Indiana Jones impression, it was my turn to drive. I hopped into the Oldsmobile 88 Royale. Compared to the little Nova, it was a tank.
The dirt road we were on was wide enough to fit a logging truck with a bit of space on each side. It was close to two lanes wide without a shoulder. The road had a drop-off on one side, and a steep embankment running upward on the other side.
I took the lead in the Oldsmobile, racing ahead of the Nova. It was not a particularly winding road, but, it had plenty of curves. We were in a cat and mouse chase. The Nova had enough power to catch me in some of the curves, giving me a love tap from behind.
We switched cars after five or so minutes, playing the same game of bumper tag. Despite the road noise and loud engine, all I could hear was the song, “Sabotage”, from the Beastie Boys. Not on the radio, but, in my head. When the music stopped, I couldn’t stop laughing. There were some new scratches and dents on both cars, but, the bumpers held up well.
Somehow, none of us ended up with whiplash, or plummeting into the ravine down below. The little things.
A few of the other guys took turns playing chase before we stopped to do some quick car mods. Our first mod was a sunroof on the Nova. Who doesn’t want to put “sunroof fabrication” on their resume?
I pulled out the pickaxe and started putting perforation holes around the edges of the roof. We all took turns punching holes in the roof until one of the guys pulled out a reciprocating saw. The pickaxe was therapeutic, but the saw, it was satisfying.
Even with the saw, it took about 10 or 15 minutes to chop the hole in the roof. As we stood back to admire our work, it was obvious none of us were professionals. The roof opening now resembled a tin can that was opened on a camping trip. Sure, there is a hole on the top, but, the remaining edge is now a medieval torture device.
Man code dictated that somebody had to stand on the backseat of the Nova like a tank general. Fortunately, the bachelor was up for the challenge. His gloves kept his hands from becoming mincemeat when he braced himself on the edge of the roof.
Just as we set off in our new open-air vehicle, we found a little clearing that must have been for truck staging or turning around. It was a perfect place to camp for the night, so we dropped the RV and truck off. Fortunately, we had the Oldsmobile, which has room for 12 in the back seat. We consolidated everybody into the two derby cars and set off to find the top of the logging road.
The road had a dead-end not too far from our camping area. We turned around to check out a little turnoff somebody spotted along the way. This road was definitely less traveled, and I don’t mean figuratively. It got bumpier and narrower the further we went. Our rate of speed got slower and slower as we tackled what was no longer a dirt road. We were now just driving on a hillside.
When it was clear we had no way of turning around or going further up the hill, we stopped. As we surveyed our situation, a light bulb went off in my head. I knew what we had to do; we needed to punch the windows out of the cars.
Because gloves and safety are for suckers, I walked over to the rear window of the Nova and gave it a punch. Smash. So satisfying. The glass broke into little pieces, landing in the back seat of the car.
Smashing windows is awesome. No window was safe.
Boom…smash…bam. It was like an old Batman episode. There was glass everywhere.
I walked over to the Oldsmobile. The windows were calling my name. I planted my feet, wound up, and swung. Boink! My fist bounced right off the window. Ouch. Obviously, I didn’t swing hard enough. Another swing, another failure. Those Oldsmobile 88 Royale windows were tough.
Challenge time. The bachelor came over to try his hand at the Oldsmobile window. No dice. His fist bounced off the window, too. Gloves, no gloves, it didn’t matter.
We learned a hard lesson that day. I’m not sure what that lesson was, but, it was something between none of us being as tough as Jean-Claude Van Damme, and all of us being as tough as Martin Kove in Karate Kid.
Death of a Transmission
With the excitement of smashing windows over, it was time to turn the cars around for some more fun. A twelve-point turn got us on our way. I was back in the Oldsmobile. Every bump, ditch, and uneven patch jolted the car with all of us in it.
Dukes of Hazard, eat your heart out. It was amazing we didn’t break an axle or wreck the car. After we cleared the obstacle course, we got back on the main road for some more mayhem. The car had all it could take, though, and the transmission gave out as we tried to build up speed.
The camping area we chose was about a quarter mile down the road. We coasted down and parked. A minute later, the Nova showed up. Our aspiring stunt driver friend was driving, and he decided to finish the Nova off. What better way than to ram the back of the parked Oldsmobile. They had enough speed to wedge the front of the Nova under the Oldsmobile bumper, lifting it up a bit.
You could hear the radiator fan blades screaming for mercy. Since the fan didn’t turn off with the engine, it continued after the car was shut off. We managed to reach in and find the light switch to turn the fan off.
Break time. As we pondered what to do to the cars next, I grabbed a beer and we started brainstorming. Guns, thermite, more pickaxe, some other form of car torture?
To be continued…