Like it or not, street racing is part of our culture. Long romanticized by song writers and authors, there is no denying that songs like “Dead Man’s Curve” are anything but a glorification of the danger surrounding street racing.
I was cruisin’ in my Stingray late one night
When an XKE pulled up on the right
And rolled down the window of his shiny new Jag
And challenged me then and there to a drag
I said, “you’re on, buddy, my mill’s runnin’ fine
Let’s come off the line, now, at Sunset and Vine
But I’ll go you one better if you’ve got the nerve
Let’s race all the way
To Dead Man’s Curve”
But isn’t that part of what it’s all about? The danger of getting caught. The risks. The humbling experience of losing. Somewhere along the way though, the reality of those same dangers sets in. Killing an innocent bystander is not an acceptable byproduct of some fun today, nor do I suspect it was a very welcome outcome in the Fifties.
Over at Left Lane, there was a bit of talk about Toronto’s own Jim Kenzie’s recent article about some possible upcoming legistlation to ban performance mods in the wake of the tragic death of a married couple. Joe at MyFordDreams2 and Jalopnik have posted about similar laws coming in the Bay area in sunny Cali. What nobody noticed though was the news from the day after Kenzie’s article was published.
A 31 year old Torontonian died when he wrapped his late model Porsche 911 around some immovable object while racing his cousin. It’s not just teens who do stupid things. You would think that this guy would have discovered the Driver Advancement days held by the local PCA region.
As true enthusiasts, it is all of our jobs to show the green, testosterone filled racer wannabes that there are safe places to drive their rods. Most car guys really have no training & the first time they have any advanced training they are blown away by how little they really do know about car control. A couple of weekends of autocrossing will change a driver’s skill level and awareness forever. All for about the cost of a decent lunch.
By all means folks, let’s keep enjoying the fun, impromptu stoplight battles. Just a little common sense and a little less cajones and maybe we can stop killing people in the name of fun.