As the oil crisis of the ’70s was approaching, many gas guzzling muscle cars were being dumped by their owners for better economy cars. Regardless, ever since seeing the movie Bullitt in ’68, I had eyes for a more high performance vehicle; especially since I was getting beat too many times when dragging with the Camaro. Flooring it to go all out full blast just wasn’t enough to win.
So I attended the North East Pennsylvania Auto Auction in Scranton Pennsylvania—the fastest growing auto auction in the North East United States. To eliminate the confusion and auction anxiety, I attended with an auto salesman who made a bid on a 1970 Chevelle 396 Super Sport I had spotted. It looked exactly like the inset photo: blue with a white vinyl top, but without the racing stripes.
During a trip back to Philly to handle some family business, I took advantage of the time from the wife to do some messing around. With the cars low gear ratio and big block, I was able to burn rubber for a half city block before the tires would gain traction.
Plus, getting use to the sensitivity of the brakes took some time; since I was almost thrust through the windshield when making sudden stops.
While cruising the neighborhood around the 52nd Street strip, a couple of cops in a red police van spotted me as they passed by, and decided to turn around and pull me over. I don’t know if I looked high, or if I looked like a low-life with a stolen vehicle. Whatever the reason, I wasn’t gonna stick around to find out.
In any case, they lit me up and the chase was on. It just so happened that I was a good block ahead of them. They chased me for what seemed to be almost a minute through the rectangular grid of side streets before they lost sight of me. While I was out of their sight, I whipped around a corner, parked, killed the lights, and slouched down. While peering up through the mirrors, I could see several police vehicles passing back and forth on the cross streets.
Rather than start up motor mouth—a name given by my son Tone for the loud glass packs—I remained parked and eventually dosed off. A while later I woke up due to the noise and the beam of a helicopter spotlight scanning the neighborhood. Since I had lost track of time while napping, I wasn’t sure if they were still looking for me, or someone else.
While waiting for the coast to clear, I went into prayer mode. I reasoned that if I could get out of this predicament, I would be sure to limit the number of drinks I had while driving. Obviously, I didn’t want a DUI.
To sum up, this sort of mayhem would have never been televised on the Cops reality TV show, since I would be the one who got away. Moreover, this incident taught me a lesson: it doesn’t pay to drink and drive; because I wasted the last of my hooch when it spilt in my lap during the chase.