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When you were in high school what was the fastest car in the parking lot?


Lebowski
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Each high school year seemed to produce the 'car to beat'.  Late in 1965, a reddish-bronze 1966 Chevelle SS-396 turned up in the school parking lot.  4 spd., deep gears.  It was owned by a fellow class mate who paid cash for the car by working hard & long in the produce aisle of a grocery store.  Wasn't too long before this cars reputation spoke for itself.  If it wasn't parked at the grocery store, it was out showing its tail lights to all comers.  No ordinary SS-396, this was the mighty L-78 with 375 advertised HP.  Same engine in that years Corvette was rated at 425 HP - both under-rated.  A set of headers, rear street-track tires and a street-strip tune brought this car to another level.  I don't recall that anyone ever beat this car.

 

A year or so later, the Vietnam war called, and the car disappeared.

 

The sound of that solid-lifter pavement ripper, even at idle still gives me goose-bumps to think about ...  

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In my high school there were these brothers, One a year older and the other a year younger than me.

Their grand parents owned a saw mill and had plenty of dough.

The older brother got a new (about 63 or 64) Corvette for his sixteenth birthday, Then each year he got the car of his choice, He always had the nicest cars. A sweet 40 Ford, About a 29 Ford hot rod pick up. On and on. I remember he had the first 426 Hemi car I ever rode in. A very discreet Plymouth.

The younger brother got the nicest hopped up 57 Chevy he could find when he turned 16, Then a Vette and so on. The younger brother was a drunk and crashed most of his stuff, But grandma would buy him something else. He drank himself to an early death. The older brother still runs the mill.

I should mention that these guys got all the babes too.

 

I always had the uncanny luck to find barely running cars that had manual transmissions, A 47 Buick Convertible, A 50 Pontiac straight eight, a 54 Ford two door wagon. These were all cars in the fifty dollar range and I always had a car for sale in the one to two hundred dollar range. Sold literally tons of cars.

My tactics are different now. Buy hi and sell low.

We didn't have to have insurance back then.

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4 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

I grew up in snow country, where a 10-year-old car was a rarity.

And the performance era was long past.  So my answer to the

question would have to be "none"!

 

Hmmm...this thread is bringing out some good insights.

 

All the car fans here, describing growing up in the 1960's

or before, indicate that people in high school paid a lot of attention to cars.

 

In my high school days later on, I don't think there was much attention given to cars.

I certainly never heard performance or cars discussed.  Every new model that came out was

smaller, lighter, and flimsier than the one before it.  So older cars were curiosities,

and I grew up admiring the earlier models.  I shared my developing interest with just one friend.  

 

Maybe this is related to the other thread, why the recent generations lost interest in cars---

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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I graduated in '69. I had one buddy with a '66 Mercury Comet factory 427, 2-4's, & 4 speed. Went racing with him once. 4 guys in the car, I was behind him in the back seat watching his tach & speedo. When he hit 3rd gear, we were doing 110, but the car wasn't moving, just burning the tires off. Another buddy have one of the factory 427 Fairlanes with the 427, 2-4's, & 4 speed. What I find ironic about todays mega horsepower cars is it's taken millions in R&D, the cars cost enormous $$$, & I don't think any of them from the factory can match what this kid did with his car. He was making 1200 horse & driving it on the street. I know I'm comparing apples & oranges, but........DAMN!

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I graduated in '71. I was driving a '63 Mercury Montclair with the breezeway window. Definitely not the fastest off the line but did pretty good once we were rolling. Two cars come to mind though. One was a 62 Valiant that one of the guys had sandwiched in a small Hemi engine and a 4 speed. The other was a 64 Malibu with a big block 4 speed in it. More than once they lined up out on the hill in back of the school to see who could leave the longest stretch of rubber.

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1 hour ago, fordrodsteven said:

I graduated in '71. I was driving a '63 Mercury Montclair with the breezeway window. Definitely not the fastest off the line but did pretty good once we were rolling. Two cars come to mind though. One was a 62 Valiant that one of the guys had sandwiched in a small Hemi engine and a 4 speed. The other was a 64 Malibu with a big block 4 speed in it. More than once they lined up out on the hill in back of the school to see who could leave the longest stretch of rubber.

 

When I graduated in 1972. I was driving a 4 door 1964 Mercury Montclair with the breezeway window Never did try it off the line, but I probably had the fastest car in high school and didn't know it. The week before I went into the service the fuel pump went out and the second time I got one that wouldn't fit I brought the one off the car into the store with me. Had to special order the pump, under that hood was the 390 police interceptor package.

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Got out in 64. My 57 DeSoto was far from the fastest but very reliable. There were two guys that had 63 Dodge Coronets ( I think) the big muscle car of the day. They would burn rubber all along the front drive of the school until both got expelled. Nice guys but both were killed in drunk driving wrecks within a couple years of graduation. I think part of the whole thing with cars in the sixties was related to the music scene. The Beach Boys, Jan & Dean songs about cars like 409, GTO, little deuce coup and a lot more.  Girls, surfing and cars what could be better for a 17-18 year old guy.  

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Lots of interesting stories on this thread. I graduated in '83. There were Camaros and Z28's, Chevelles, Mustangs and some 60's cars but I don't recall any 50's or older. I have no idea which was fastest. 

 

Dad made me drive a newer GMC 4wd. While not fast, the guys did love to take it in to the hills at the sand pits where we had parties. I always worried they'd roll it. One time, I got up early to wash the truck and hide the dirty evidence that I wasn't at the movies. Later that day, dad spotted a flat tire and there was a ton of mud caked on behind the wheel. He asked me, but I just had no idea where it could have come from. I'm sure he had a good idea, but I didn't get grounded that time. 

 

Dad had a stable of Corvette Stingrays in the barn and my step mom had a Mustang 5.0 convertible (I think '80? It was the first year they came back out and special ordered with all the goodies). I'm pretty sure if I'd have ever driven the '63 SW it would have been a contender, if not the fastest. All of us girls boyfriends drooled over it. Don't remember the engine but it was matching numbers and the fastest one. I was more interested in the '58. I got to drive to shows and parades but never to school. 

Edited by victorialynn2 (see edit history)
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And don't forget the car movies of the 60s and early 70s, nearly every movie had a chase scene but then came skyrocketing insurance rates, emissions, 5 mph bumpers, net HP,  & gas crises that led to the 55 mph speed limits. A big V8 often had less than 200 hp and no manual transmission option. Suddenly import buzz bombs did not buzz so much. By the 80's interesting cars were  gas guzzlers & decidedly incorrect (anyone remember C&D's "Double the Double Nickle") and then iPads and GameBoys  became popular, wasn't until this century that gearheads could come out of the closet again.

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Not may students had a car in my HS... there was an orange hot rod of some sort - I never bothered to look at it – and the local rich kid had a Shelby Mustang his dad gave him for his 16th birthday. That was extremely unusual. My friend John had a 1852 Diesel Mercedes he'd paid $35 for. I didn't get my first car until I was out of HS. And... this was an upper-middle class bedroom community in the late 60s. I don't remember there being much interest in cars.

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I graduated HS in 1969 at the age of 17.

If there were ANY fast cars I have no recollection.

I was sitting here trying to think if any of my classmates came from families of means but can't think of a single one so most cars of the lot were ordinary and simply a means of transportation........and freedom........ :P

Not many of my classmates (69 of us in the class as Freshmen) had cars as I recall.

I DO know that whatever other cars were in the lot would probably have wiped the floor with my '59 Chevy.

 

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Graduated in 1970, graduating class of about a hundred students. Mostly a VERY snooty crowd, sons and daughters of doctors, lawyers, and IBM engineers. Most of the kids I went to high school with were either hippies, or suffered from a severe case of entitlement. I didn't much get along with either group. Probably part of the reason my first real car was an antique, a 1929 REO. I did drive it to school occasionally, but not a lot. A few people in that place I did not trust.

I didn't know the kid. Do not remember his name. But one of the "entitled" kids was given a '70 Plymouth Superbird. Even then, I liked the irony of it sharing the parking lot with my REO.

 

Interesting also, is that I was not the only kid in that school that liked antique cars. One of my best friends to this day, was one of my best friends in that last year of high school. At that time, he was  restoring a '31 model A Ford sport coupe. And another kid (a year ahead of me) drove a 1937 Packard 115 sedan to school.

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A classmate in auto shop was known as "Mr. Ford" because everything his family drove was a Ford product.  Most of us laughed at the guy because he was paying what we thought were insane amounts of money ($3k to $5k) for Mustangs.  This was in the mid- to late 1970s when muscle cars were just old cars.  Turns out he was buying nice original Boss Mustangs. wound up with 5 or 6 of them.  We stopped laughing several years later when his collection was worth well upwards of $200k.  He gave me a ride in his low-mileage, original 1969 Boss 429 back in the 1980s.  It was the fastest car I'd ever ridden in until very recently when another friend gave me a ride in his 1996 Porsche 993 Turbo.  The Boss 429 rode like a truck, but the acceleration and harsh shifts could knock the fillings out of your teeth.  A real race car.

 

There was a small group of Buick Skylark Stage I owners in my high school, again, just a bunch of old cars back then.

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Not to say my town didn't have cars just no one went to school when I did that had much.  There was an early teens Cadillac, My boss had a 68 Lotus Europa, a few Model A's, a 35 Ford Woody that was all restored, I bought a 63 Galaxie ragtop with no motor out of a back yard in pretty good shape with no floor rust for $100.   That was in 92.  Another guy had a 67 Dodge Polara that I wanted , a 56 Dodge Sedan also owned by the guy with the Polara.  I used to mow his lawn, I didn't know at the time but there was an XKE Jag tucked away in roadworthy condition on a side road.  Of course I was only into American iron.  I also saw a 64? Dodge appear one day out of a shed that I never knew existed with little flames painted on the side and a hood scoop.  There were others if I think hard enough,  but not alot of Muscle.   That's all from a town with a year round population of 1000 people.  I worked at the Local Marina where the Boss had a 1978 Mercury Bobcat he had put a full Merkur XR4ti Drivetrain and suspension in.  It was very close to being done.  He never did finish that one,  but did recently give it to his grandson.  It was baby blue with primer spots over what looked like a really nice rust free body.   That car would probably have been the ultimate sleeper. 

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The father of one of the guys one class ahead of me owned Roberts Corvette Service in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Occasionally, not often, he would show up in something his dad had that was absolutely mind bending. He won by default as nobody even considered challenging him. There was also a guy in my class who had a decidedly non-stock '66 Chevelle 2 dr. sedan powered by a 350 and a 4 speed. It blew smoke out the tailpipe almost as well as it turned the tires to liquid rubber. Great car and i wonder what ever happened to it.

 

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 My school only had a teacher's parking lot and the only thing that was out of the ordinary  is one day, My math teacher, who always wore the same old sport coat and baggy pants, had his old Hudson break down and had to drive his wife's car.

 

 It was a brand new 1957 Imperial and the tail fins stood way out above all other cars there.

 He took quite a bit of ribbing over that!

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3 hours ago, Roger Walling said:

 My school only had a teacher's parking lot and the only thing that was out of the ordinary  is one day, My math teacher, who always wore the same old sport coat and baggy pants, had his old Hudson break down and had to drive his wife's car.

 

 It was a brand new 1957 Imperial and the tail fins stood way out above all other cars there.

 He took quite a bit of ribbing over that!

I got one of those. Getting it ready to Derby it. LOL!!!

Body (5).jpg

Body (3).jpg

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15 minutes ago, Willie Wurke said:

Please explain "derby it". I know a derby can be a hat or a horse race in Kentucky or a town in England.

Do you intend to remove that beautiful body and replace it with a starting gate for a horse racing track?

It's a joke. That is why I put, LOL..  They would not allow the 57 Crown in for competition. The 1957 Crown is being prepped to sell. It's a 2 owner with 48K miles.

Derby-BYI-car.jpg

Edited by countrytravler (see edit history)
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16 minutes ago, Willie Wurke said:

Please explain "derby it". I know a derby can be a hat or a horse race in Kentucky or a town in England.

Do you intend to remove that beautiful body and replace it with a starting gate for a horse racing track?

And we're talking cars, not horses in a school parking lot. LOL

 

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