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Hemmings' Article - Reminiscing


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Great story - thanks for sharing that article!

 

Something similar happened to me years ago while visiting Seattle.  I had pulled into a gas station in my '65 to fill up.  The station was on a slight incline (you guessed it, on a corner of two busy streets.  I went into the store to prepay for gas.  As I approached the counter the clerk called out "Is that your car???!!!" while pointing outside.  I glanced out the window to see my Riviera gently rolling away towards the street! 

 

I ran outside as fast as I've ever ran, and managed to intercept the car.  It was rolling faster now... I momentarily tried halting the car by the vent window post but quickly realized this was futile.  So I then grabbed open the door, managed to get inside and stop on the brake thus bringing the car to a stop about six feet from the street!   One second later and I wouldn't have managed to stop the car!

 

I believe the interlock feature which requires the automatic transmission lever to be in the PARK position before the key can be removed was introduced in 1969 on GM cars.  Not only did this reduce car theft, it helped prevent the sort of rollaway accidents that must have occurred with some regularity on older cars that did not have this feature.

 

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Back in about 1991, one of my good friends in my local Pontiac club drove over to my house to 

bring me a car part  I needed and showed up in his absolutely pristine Tyrol Blue 67 Pontiac GTO hardtop.

He parked it at the top of my steeply angled driveway. He got out of the car, part in hand, while leaving his

5 year old son sitting in the front passenger seat. While me and my friend were talking in my garage, his son decided

to play around with the Hurst "His and Hers" automatic transmission shifter in the console of the GTO and he managed to slip it into

neutral! Chaos ensued as my friend bolted out of the garage and chased his GTO down the driveway but he was unable to catch up to it. The car rolled into the street, missed a parked car by about 6 inches, jumped the opposite curb and into the front yard of the neighbor across the street, missing an oak tree by a few inches and coming to a stop about a foot from the pole holding up the front porch on my neighbors house. By an absolute miracle, no damage was done.

           About a year later, I was with the same friend when he removed the straps from the same GTO that were holding it down inside his enclosed car hauler. He removed the rear ones first, then proceeded to remove the front straps. Right after doing this, the car started rolling backwards and down the steep street the trailer was parallel parked on. He had forgotten that he had winched the car on the trailer and left it in neutral! He proceeded to chase it down the street and managed to catch up to it and dived through the front window to hit the brake right before it hit a parked car. Again no damage........Amazing.

 

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