This is a thread I put sometime ago on the Archive of Street Racing group. It's about a friend from my misspent youth: One of the more colourful characters from my street racing times was a guy named Bob, who I knew from junior high school days. His first car, if I recall correctly, was a ’65 Malibu SS with a nicely warmed over 327, a very typical ride for a high school student back in late-1960s California. Around 1970, Bob bought himself a ’67 Camaro SS 350, a four-speed model with a 3.55 Positraction rear end. Apparently he got it pretty cheap as it had a cracked cylinder head, and he replaced both with the trick Valley Head Service units he had originally put on the Chevelle. These were early 461 castings (small chambers, with 2.02 intakes, porting, CCing, etc. Along with the heads were added an Edelbrock Tarantula intake manifold, Holley 3310 (780 CFM) carb, and short, glasspack mufflers. In spite of being basically a stock engine with bolt-ons, it sounded pretty hairy, even with the original ram’s horns exhaust manifolds still attached – yup, this beast had no headers at this stage. Those of you of a certain age will remember how some guys used to do badge-engineered soup-ups, making 283s into 396s, standard models into SS, R/T or Boss versions, etc. Well, Bob went the other way, he stripped off the SS and 350 badging, added a fibreglass hood on which he’d hand-written ‘327 Baby Rat’ on the sides of the twin hood scoops. With a set of wide Ansen slot-mags on the back, shod with what we used to call ‘wet ‘n’ dry Indy take-offs’ – second-hand racing tyres that were about as sticky a treaded tyre one could buy that that time, totally illegal but they worked pretty well, and a set of skinny Ansens up front, the white Camaro had the typical look of a modified pony car of the era. How it went was another story. There were a bunch of us that would regularly go down to Lions Drag Strip for the weekly, Wednesday night ‘Grudge Night’ races. This ‘run-what’cha-brung’ event was a way to try to get boy-racers off the street and into a controlled motorsports environment. Unfortunately, there were six other days in each week at that time, and I doubt that Grudge Night had much of an effect on the amount of street racing that was happening in SoCal back then… but I digress… One night I watched The Baby Rat (as everyone was calling the car’s owner) and his friend, Shock (because of the way he looked when he rode is Ducati) take the Camaro through the traps at 13.05 – really – THIRTEEN-OHS, two-up through the mufflers with a streetable, daily driven, smallblock! That was flying back then. I remember the other guys we raced with (and against) thinking the Rat's ET claims were the usual street-racer BS, but I was a witness to the car turning those times. The Baby Rat and his Camaro were regular winners in the late-night drags around the San Fernando Valley and elsewhere. This combination would usually blow the doors off anything that would arrive under its own power, along with a few machines that were brought in on trailers. There was one night, fairly close to where we all lived in the Fairfax District, where The Baby Rat lost a race to another Camaro, a ’69 SS 350 with an automatic, driven by a former schoolmate, which is the subject of this tale. This particular guy was a bit of a loudmouth and was always challenging The Baby Rat to race him, and claiming his green Camaro would blow the Rat’s ride “into the weeds”. One night, when the two met up, the guy finally got his chance to prove he was right. The Baby Rat had been drinking rather heavily and I think the mix of alcohol and testosterone got the better of him. The race itself went something like this: When the traffic light turned green, The Baby Rat holeshot the green Camaro by a couple of car lengths. Then Bob missed second – anyone who has ever tried to power shift one of those dumn-ass-angled-from-first-to-second Saginaw shifters knows that they tended to lock-up if moved too quickly – and the green car passed as the drunken Rat tried to find the gear… …Into second and The Baby Rat flies past the loudmouth. Then he missed third and the ’69 SS inched past. Finding third gear, the white Camaro easily overtakes the green car… …well, until its driver missed fourth! Again, the later-model car inched past to barely beat The Baby Rat at the finish. You can imagine the taunts The Baby Rat received from the victor, not that any of us were convinced of the green car’s superiority. Unfortunately, I don’t recall the two ever having a rematch, which I know would have proven otherwise.