Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 79th Installment

weight ratio’ must be about 80% in the front and 20% on the back!” I snickered.

I was right. We shut down, and the two of us lifted the rear wheels out of their indentations in the ground. We figured the Whiz Gizzy weighed about 1000 pounds, and if we boys could lift the back, it was only about two hundred pounds. We also figured the 289 V–8 could crank out about 250 horsepower. Therefore, the math showed one horsepower per four pounds. We shoveled little trenches in front of the wheels, retook our places and barreled out from under the tree and into the yard.
Wow this is fun. When I goose the throttle the rear wheels spin out and throw dirt far and wide.” Russ said and was ecstatic. We screamed down to the end of the lane, spun around and roared back. At the house end of the lane we have a circle to turn around. When we powered in a beautiful drift around the loop, we slid into the embankment the inboard wheel spun even faster and threw a rooster tail of dirt in a huge arc. “See that? ‘did ya’, huh?” Russ was screaming with joy. “Why did it do that?” he asked as he skidded to a stop.

I reasoned, “You have to think with your rear end, you know, differential logic – if the left tire encounters resistance, the differential causes the right tire to speed up. Therefore, when the left tire stops completely; the right tire is turning a double the speed. Let me try one!”
Okay, I’ll get out and watch.” Russ was jittering with excitement and actually ran to where he was going to watch.

As I fired up and engine and roar away I noticed Edith and Vernon watching from the front step. I got the feel of the Whiz Gizzy as I drove to the end of the lane. I raced back and powered into my slide in second gear. When I hit the bank, I shifted into third gear and slammed the accelerator to what was left of the floor. I noticed the speedometer swing up to 100 mph, but I was only barely moving. Slowly, the Whiz Gizzy moved forward, and as I looked over my shoulder the dirt was flying over to the shop that was thirty feet away. As the Whiz Gizzy caught more traction with both wheels, the speedometer came down fast. I was still in high gear, so I stalled the engine, noting next time to shift down. I turned off the key, bounced out and ran over to where Russ was standing. His eyes were wide and his mouth was open.
I could see light between the tire and rim, the wheel was spinning so fast,” Russ exclaimed. We walked over to the track the wheel made in the dirt. “Look the skid mark shows the slide and then this narrow track that

500 more words tomorrow

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