One night near
the end of the summer, Malcolm began to get itchy. Business had slowed. There
comes a point in each street racer's career when his reputation reaches such a
level that nobody wants to risk money on a confrontation. So he must either
race for fun, a highly unprofessional motivation, or begin to spot his
opponents car lengths to entice them to compete. But giving somebody a head
start in a street race can be risky, particularly if he takes more than his
share of the road. According to Malcolm, "Some guys think they can run
six-pound wrinkle-wall tires in all that dirt and sand. They start wiggling
around out in front of you. I'll back off. I'd rather lose the race than get
killed. If anybody's been drinking, I won't race them, because they're not
going to endanger my life. There's a little bit of risk, but you watch your
pavement. And your car has to be right. You don't race nobody with some junk
that's all butchered up to the point where it might not stay on the
One night Malcolm
loaded his Dodge onto a trailer and headed toward South Bend. He trailered the
car since driving it even 30 miles on regular roads might damage the 5-13 gear
as well as take the edge off engine performance. But using a trailer caused
other problems. "If you come pulling up with a trailer you'll usually scare
everybody away," Malcolm explained as he drove, "so you don't let them
know you towed into town. You just tow it and park it. Every town has a place
where they gather. In South Bend, it's Bonnie Dunn's. And they cruise up and
down the main street and sit in parking lots. You wait.
thing about going out of town is you don't know the area where you'll race. You
have to trust the other guys, but you don't know how much racing they do. You
might be running low twelves or high elevens, and be up to maybe 120 mph at the
end of the quarter and get in a bad part of the pavement. Then you're in
"You go out
of town and the guys will have a quarter that's all set up. The quarter may be
real short and they'll run a car with a big gear that can handle a short
quarter. Or maybe they have a quarter that's a couple hundred feet long, so
they'll equip their car with a higher gear, figuring they can come around you
on the high end."
Malcolm pulled up
in the parking lot of a factory and unloaded his Dodge from the trailer and
cruised into town. He stopped at Bonnie Dunn's. Two local racers wandered
"Got a fast
car there?" said one.
right," said Malcolm.
The second racer
eyed the car and its driver: "You're Malcolm from City, ain't you?"
around," said the two drivers, departing.