Hot Rod Heaven

   My hot rod lady pal Missie White told a friend of hers on Face Book, I’ll see you in Hot Rod Heaven. So I started thinking what that would be like.

   Here’s my take on that. We get up to the pearly gates and St. Peter says, “Yeah hath done well in the eyes of the Lord with thy hot rod. Ye hath done thy best to maketh your hot rod as fast as it could be.”  “Go forth unto the kingdom of heaven for I have prepared a place for thee in thine shop, and at thy track so that ye may dwell at the drag strip of the Lord forever. Ye shall become legendary even unto heaven!” 

   Boy with a greeting like that I can’t wait to get into heaven! So the first day I get there, here’s my Cutlass! Yep it never got sold it went right up here with me! Cool!  I walk into my shop and it’s neat and clean for a change. There’s a note on my argon bottle on my welder that says “forever full, no charge.”  There are 240 vdc outlets anywhere I want them in the shop. There are a double row of engines sitting on engine stands, waiting to be put back together. Of course all the machine work is done to them and it’s all perfect to be sure.  This line up of engines includes 455 Olds, 454 & up Big Block Chevs, there’s a few Chrysler hemis there, and one of the “shop angles” says that the last to in line are 392’s!!!   There’s a double decker shelf full of 6-71 thru 14-71 blowers sitting there and next to them are racks of Enderle and Hillborne hats. I even notice a couple of old square two hole Enderle injectors sitting there “just because.”  There’s a whole box full of Sid Waterman and Hillborne fuel pumps. I see a box of old Vertex Scintilla Magnetos and there’s half a dozen Schiefer magnetos there too, all brand new of course. In the back of the shop there’s a lineup of every possible Goodyear Drag slick ever made, and a complete line of Goodyear front runners too. Right next to that are rows upon rows of American Racing Mags, Weld Wheels Cragars, you name it.  I asked the shop angle why there were not “manure spreader” 21-24 inch wheels in here and he said “well we even have limits in Heaven Dave.” Good enough for me.

   There were three paint booths on the front side of the shop and they all were stocked with a full supply of House of Kolor paints and notes on all the cans that said “never empty ever!”  There were at least a hundred different spray guns hanging up most were DeVillbis or Satas. These were all new as well. There was several apprentice shop angles working around the shop making sure it was clean enough to eat off of.  The main shop angles Name was Pete. I asked him about that and he said” I suppose you were thinking something like Gabriel then?” “We’re pretty down home here.”  So Pete said to me, “Hey I gotta show you something!” So we went around to the back side of the shop and here was another building that I never even knew existed. He opened the door and here was a 60’s era front engine top fuel dragster! It had a blown 392 Chrysler hemi in it Enderle bug catcher on top and ran on 98%!  He said “The Lord wants to see you run this car tomorrow!”  “Don’t worry you can’t die doing it you already did that! “ Then he laughed.  He also said “even though you never drove one while you were alive you can drive this like your name is Don Prudehomme up here!”  Well this put a smile on my face.

    So by now I was a little tired. Yeah you get tired in heaven too but it’s not the same you still feel like a million bucks and your feet don’t hurt.  It’s just a nice way of going from day to day in heaven.  Pete told me it’s an easy way to live for eternity up here.

  So I woke up and here’s Ziggy standing over me licking my face!

I can understand him too! He’s asking me what’s on the agenda for today. So I told him that the Lord want us to run a top fuel car all day!  Ziggs thought that would be fun but was concerned the noisy thing would hurt his dog ears.  Pete said “Hey I heard that, nope it won’t hurt your ears and there’s a back seat for Zeph in the car too!”  Wow!  Next thing I know Zeph and I are sitting at a table at the Zigg Zag Inn!  They serve dogs in heaven right alongside humans. Ziggy’s having left overs and Iams Minnie Chunks. I have hotcakes and whip cream and some perfect bandannas on top. I’m sipping a cup of Kona Coffee that is 100% fresh and it’s perfect, whip cream on top of it too. No cholesterol or fat worried up here.  I get done and we’re at the track. I see Pete pull in with my dually with the digger on a trailer. There are lots of new top fuel cars here and tons of expensive corporate trailers and trucks. Seems like the high dollar guys got into heaven after all. Pete sees me looking at this and says, “Don’t worry about this, Dave this is part of the fun here. God does have a sense of humor.”  I still didn’t know what he was talking about.  I help Pete roll the digger off the trailer.  There’s a drum of nitro on the trailer that also has a sign on it that says “never empty.” We fuel up the digger and I get into the car. A couple of crew angles come over and fiddle with the hat and barrel valve. They stick a starter motor on the blower drive and Pete says “flip the mag switch on Dave, and don’t touch the throttle.” So I do. The starter motor rolls the big Chrysler over with no trouble pumping its low compression pistons up and down like there’s no spark plug in it.  One of the other crew angles is spraying something into the hat out of a funky looking plastic bottle that looks for all the world like a ketchup bottle. All of the sudden the car rocks back and forth the the motor is running!  Wow this is great!  Pete yells at me, it’s just on gasoline right now I’m gonna switch it over to Nitro.  The car is vibrating and shaking pretty good and it’s idling at about 1850 rpm.  Pete does something up on the barrel valve and the motor starts sounding like a series of explosions!  It’s really shaking now. Pete says “wing it a couple of times Dave.” I give the throttle a quick stab with my right foot and it explodes in front of me then returns to a semi-reasonable idle. The rpm climb in these motors is fantastic!  Pete changes something again that the motor goes back to being Dr. Jekyll instead of Mr. Hyde. Pete gives me the “slit your throat “gesture which means shut the engine down.  I kill the magneto and the motor quits.

    An NHRA dude is walking over to me. He says I get to be the first one down the track this morning. This doesn’t sit too well with the guy standing there with a big Al Anabi logo on his shirt and Energy drink baseball hat on. He says to the NHRA dude, “no he’s not we’re first we have to do a test run to see if our tune up is right.”  The NHRA guy smiles at him and says, “go back to your car and sit down. When all the rest of these guys are done maybe I’ll let you corporate guys run, maybe.”” If you give me any trouble about it I’ll send you downstairs and you can polish the red cars that get real hot and smell like sulphur.”  The corporate driver goes back over and pops the top on one of his energy drinks.   Gee this is fun! 

    We fire the digger back up and Ziggy is led over to the car. He’s got a special doggy fire suit on and a helmet with ear holes cut in the top. He looks cute in his get up. He’s panting and telling everyone how much fun he’s having.  Pete lifts him up and puts him in the seat behind me. The car is running good and making lots of racket. The crew rolls it up to the starting line. Pete says they got some sort of throttle stop on it for the burn out. He says all I gotta do is line it up, let the clutch all way out and hammer it for a second or two. Then push the clutch back in and hit the hand brake. Simple enough. The car looks like it’s a mile long. The motor is so huge it’s hard to see over. Actually all I can see is the magneto, rear of the blower case and the back end of the hat. I can see two tiny motorcycle wheels on the front axle of the car and in between them is a small aluminum wing.  The front wheels roll thru some Holy Water.  I wait till the slicks get wet and I let the clutch out. The car lurches forward a bit. I hammer the throttle and the whole back end of the car goes into white tire smoke instantly. It literally throws me into the seat so hard I feel like I’m gonna puke, but then you can’t puke in heaven it’s impossible.  I let up on throttle the same time I shove the clutch in and grab the hand brake. The motor goes to idle and the car slows down nicely.  I shift the reverser in and wait till the smoke clears.  Pete is standing in front of the car and backs me up in my own tire tracks with hand signals. Wow! Never thought I’d be doing this ever! I guess it pays to be nice while you’re alive.  So I get back to the starting pad and now they are inching me up to the Christmas Tree.  Actually the Christmas Tree is highly revered up here in heaven due to its name. God is pleased that we named this piece of eq        uipment after his Son’s birth, so you see drag racing is a fairly Holy sport.  The stage lights come on. Pete tells me to hold the clutch in and when the light goes green dump it and floor the throttle. I’m a little apprehensive about doing that even if I am in heaven. Old habits die hard I guess.  The second stage light comes on. All the crew angels are gone and its just me, the Christmas tree 1320 feet of immaculate asphalt and God as the spectator and Ziggy as my back up. 

   Oops here comes the first yellow light. I pick the rpms up anyway despite what Pete said, like I said “Old habit die hard.”  At last the last yellow goes out and dump the clutch and nail the throttle.  The car leaps forward and the front wheels go up into this nice slow wheel stand.  The car is going forward at warp speed and is accelerating so hard I’ve lost my breath. The front wheels come down gently and the car is like a cruise missile by now. It’s easy to control the long wheel base makes it as stable as a yuppie’s BMW.  The blower is whining like crazy, the exhaust is a deep roar that’s vibrating all the air in my lungs. The nitro stings my eyes but that gets fixed instantly we are in heaven after all. This motor is singing to me and I love it. We go thru the last MPH clock and I pull the fuel valve shut, pull the parachute and cautiously hit the hand brake. I’m letting the motor run out under compression to flush the nitro out of it. Later on Pete will tell me I didn’t have to do that because motors don’t’ blow up in heaven unless you have a corporate sponsor then they blow up quite routinely, much to the chagrin of the crew chiefs.

   Ziggy is laughing and panting like a locomotive! He tells me he’s never has so much fun!  Digger doggie, I like that a lot.

   I see my friend Missie has pulled into the pits with a brand new Chev dually. She’s got her Olds on a nice trailer and it’s sporting a brand new paint job and some huge slicks that Pete and his crew put underneath her car one evening while she was asleep. They helped Missie do some major engine work to her car because I was busy.

    “Hi Dave!” Missie says in her cute Tennessean drawl. “Thet was a really cool pass you made, you ever driven one of them things before?”  “nope I never did!” I tell her and I then explain that you can drive whatever you want to up here. This makes her giggle and laugh. Boy I wonder what thoughts went thru that pretty head of hers?”  Makes me laugh too. Pete says that God wants us to give the corporate people a lecture on manners tomorrow.  Sounds like fun to me I can’t wait. God told me that he wants Ziggy to talk to them too. This should really be fun!




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