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History The Big Bang

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by USMercUte, Feb 8, 2021.

  1. USMercUte
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 178


    I grew up in the early 1960's in a small farming town in Northern California. Hot Rods and modified cars were a huge part of our upbringing. Our small high school had a street ending in the parking lot. It was not unusual for someone to get their car up on the revs and turn the key off and with the gas pedal down turn the key back on and ignite the gas in the exhaust system all to the enjoyment of the kids in the parking lot prior to class starting. One of my hot rod friends had his car apart so was without transportation. Not to worry as his dad owned the local Pontiac-GMC dealership and so he grabbed the keys to a spanking new V6 GMC pickup and off to school he went. A rather large group of us were in the parking lot that morning when we hear him approaching the school at a high rate of speed when off goes the key. What happened next was a spectacular "bang" with sparks and dragging sounds as the entire exhaust system spilled into the street from the explosion. We were all very entertained but later, his father not so much. Modern cars with all the safety gear to protect us from ourselves has taken away some of life's simple pleasures. Anyone else do these kind of things, or was our small country town boys just easily entertained? Cheers, USMERCUTE
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 32,155


    I remember my step father doing that one time in our 52 Ford that had a 56 T bird 312 in it and loud glass packs while coming down the grade off Chinook pass. He didn't blow the muffler off though.
    An Ot car I had a few years back developed an issue where it would backfire going down the road and it blew the muffler apart without my trying. That gave my buddy who did my muffler work at the time a real good laugh.
  3. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 3,952


    A couple members of my club (including me) have had rods with dash mount ignitions and 4 speeds. When we would run down to Wheels Of Time show in Macungie Pa, we would have to pass through the Lehigh Valley Tunnel...need I say more?
    stillrunners and USMercUte like this.
  4. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 3,092

    oldiron 440

    As a smart-ass 17 year old with a new to me 289 Fairlane I promptly cut a perfectly good exhaust system of and installed two new Thrush glass packs. Within an hour of having the I job done I had blown the seams completely apart on those glass packs doing just what you described. I did this at night so the entire bottom of the car flamed up, I was a hit. Lol
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021

  5. USMercUte
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 178


    Glad to hear us country boys were not too far off the mark on what everyone else did, I did have a really good friend later in life with an o/t van who had extra wall tubing in his exhaust system to fire at will. "And he did!". it didn't take much to keep us entertained. Boys and their toys.
    WalkerMD and Deuces like this.
  6. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,808


    I used to pick my kids up from school with a 6 cylinder, 3 speed stick Bronco. As we would be driving down the road, they would see a classmate walking or riding a bike home from school and they would say, "Backfire 'em, Daddy." And I obliged. Sounded like a shotgun.
  7. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 10,442


    @USMercUte , is that lot with all the 49-60 looking cars still on the west side of 5 before getting to Williams? Been years since I was up that way. Always wondered if it was a collection or a yard.
  8. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 1,319


    Buddy in high school used to do that in a stock '50 Chevy 2 door. We thought it was great fun until we got searched by the police for illegal fireworks.
    Deuces and USMercUte like this.
  9. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,606


    As young GI's with gas 5 tons, endearing ourselves to the indigenous population.
  10. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 2,092


    Yeah, got you all beat, when I still had my T bucket, 350-350, I'd motor up to the George Massey tunnel, slow enough to give me some space, drop her into second, and wail REALLY hard through the tunnel with open headers. Got lots of angry looks, and got lots of thumbs ups as well. Good times. Never got caught.
    Deuces and USMercUte like this.
  11. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,321


    Our high school in San Diego had a swim team and one of our teachers , Mr. Kinney volunteered to coach the team. Since our school had no pool of our own, they used the a mission Bay Plunge, a public pool at Belmont Park in the Mission Beach section of San Diego. Our school sat at the top of a canyon that led to the beach. We had a small team and all would ride in Mr. Kinney's Richie Cunningham style DeSoto one afternoon they all got into the Desoto and headed down the hill through the canyon on the way to the Plunge. They had just begun to go down the hill when someone asked Mr. Kinney if he had the Plunge pass which allowed us to get in free for practice. Mr. Kinney said"I better check", and took the key out of the ignition but not the engine out of gear. He opened the glove box and began to rummage around for the pass. It took forever for him to find it. But when he did, he proudly waved it to the team. THEN, he put the key back in the ignition and turned it back on. Well, he had gone almost a mile with fuel being pumped through the engine but not ignited. The exhaust was LOADED with raw fuel and when the first hot exhaust hit, and sound similar to 100 ton nuclear blast rocked the car and team, blew the exhaust off, cars swerving everywhere, and I am sure, as the explosion echoed up and over the top and bottom of the canyon, had panic stricken neighbors calling the police to report the nuclear explosion!
    Well, after that, the team never let Mr. Kinney leave the parking lot without making sure the Plunge pass was on the seat beside him! Plus Mr. Kinney got an entire new exhaust system and never quite recovered form the experience. But, he sure was the talk of the school for the next few weeks! I remember when Happy Days came on years later, lots of people said "look! Mr. Cunningham is driving Mr. Kinney's old car, you remember, the explosion maker!". I am sure that if there are any old residents around that canyon from 1964, they still tell stories about "the" explosion.
  12. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    Member Emeritus

    Had a fairly new, OT car, with a 250 six and 3-speed column shift. I'd switch off the key, pump the accelerator a couple/few times, and switch the key back on. B-O-O-M!!! Usually, my girlfriend (now wife of 30 + years) would jump in her seat. After several "rounds" of firing off an explosion, over a few weeks every now and then, the muffler took on a very bulged out shape, so I stopped doing that. Fun while it lasted. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
    Deuces and USMercUte like this.
  13. USMercUte
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 178


    Yes, it is still there, "Big M Auto". (530-473-2225) and is for sure a wrecking yard and everything is for sale. John sells parts all over the world. He is a good guy. I can almost see the place from my house.
    Budget36 likes this.
  14. I found the 'bullet' shaped glasspacks worked best... No pesky seams to split, it would clean out the fiberglass quite neatly after a few times to get that 'tone', and you got a sharper cannon-like report... :eek::D
    USMercUte likes this.

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