The secret of
effective street racing lies in owning a car that does not look too fast. ''You
don't want to psych somebody out where there's easy money to be made,"
advises Jack. "You just want to pull in, park it, line up the race, run it
off, and get the hell out of there."
hustle a customer is a lesson in the art of con. The customer and his buddies
shuffle around Malcolm's old car, eyeing the set of the rear bumper, regarding
its regular sized tires, noting that the dashboard tachometer appears factory
installed. Finally the customer asks: "What you got in there, man?"
headers," Malcolm admits cagily. He appears naively eager, as though
possession of headers on his exhaust system were some ultimate secret
got a cam, too." Malcolm scratches his head, wrinkles his forehead.
what kind of gears," continues Malcolm. "Bought it off some lot. But,
man"—Malcolm's eyes suddenly widen—"it really runs!"
background, the customer's buddies are elbowing each other and snickering.
The savvy street
racer knows that in addition to not looking fast, his car should not sound
fast. Thus, more often than not, he will select a Dodge rather than a Chevy,
despite the fact that high-performance parts for the latter are more readily
and cheaply available. But a Dodge engine of equal horsepower idles much more
smoothly than a Chevy. "You can't get any runs with a Chevy," says
Malcolm. "As soon as you fire it up, it's all over. They know you got
something under the hood.
"Now my Dodge
don't sound too radical. It's a GTX. Originally it was a 383 and I've still got
the 383 emblems on it. My brother bought it new and turned some fourteens with
it [14 seconds over a quarter mile]. You get somebody with a 12-second machine
and ask them to race and they jump right on you. Well, I've got a 440 engine in