23 April 2007

KingCast whips of the day: 1955 Rocket 88 and 1988 Ferrari Testarossa.

I have never driven a vintage Rocket 88, but I saw a 1955 the other day on Route 3 and honked as I passed in Lucky Number 7 with a big thumbs-up. See, Ike Turner (despite his faults) penned what is arguably the first Rock'n'Roll song entitled, of course, "Rocket 88." Best lyric:

"You've heard of jalopies/you heard the noise they make/come and take a ride in my Rocket 88."


Speaking of '88s, I have driven a 1988 Ferrari Testarossa. See, back in the day, say 1999/2000 my roomie Lajos Silberstein was the off-site mechanic for the Columbus Toy Barn. As you can see, they don't play and neither did Lajos' Ducati, like this one. So yeah there was always something crazy to drive around Northern Columbus and we didn't abuse the privilege but we sure had some fun.

Lajos is an amazing mechanic. He was David Sadowski's Superbike wrench when he won Daytona in 1990 and I got to talk a couple times with David in the late 90's; he's is a great guy. Lajos showed me how to rebuild the engine in my BMW 2002tii -- all the way down to the block and bearings, everything, and I painted my own engine block. His father, as noted herein, was a holocaust survivor. My favorite one-time story was when I'm yanking parts out of the engine bay of a damn Lotus Esprit Turbo, a great car to drive but a nightmare to work on. I'm tagging and labelling everything. He walks over and the following colloquy ensues; he's looking at me incredulously:

"Just put it in the box, man."
"But how do you know exactly what bolts go to what?"
"It only goes together right one way."

Two days later we drove it back to the Toy Barn, good as new. Which meant that it was probably going to break again soon, but hey we didn't design it.

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