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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nostalgia Nationals 2011

I'm a charlatan.
Drive my '24T Modified around pretty much as I built it, bar a stock 24 stud flathead replacing the tired 21 stud and a 3.54 axle change. Twenty years of glacial progress.

I'm at the Nostalgia Nationals surrounded by people tinkering. Checking. Adjusting. Changing something. Looking for a way to gain some precious tenths. With time to kill, the charlatan takes off the screen, silencers and mechanical fan belt. Three tenths difference that may have been the late afternoon air, a better dogleg first to second change, or just luck. Not even an oil light to keep the ammeter company - the dashboard tells me nothing.

We're here to remember Tony Cardy. Fellow member of the East Coast Sidewinders. Twenty five entries in the Flathead Meltdown to celebrate the passing of man who whittled and filed his way down through those precious seconds until he ultimately put his '27T modified way down into the 12's. Pump fuel through two carbs, fragile three speed banjo axle, wire wheels and crossplies. And driven there and back.

Tony sweated the details. Who knows exactly what tricks he performed inside the engine, but weight was his obvious enemy. Every component skimmed, shaved, drilled and subjected to the hole saw in a bid to cheat gravity. Every superfluous part that wasn't required for that quarter mile trip, removed. Screen, headlights, radiator on a pile in the pits. Belt and zippo lighter too...

Quiet and cantankerous. Wicked humour and nervously serious. Our straightline featherweight. We celebrate your dedication and brilliance in making anchors fly.
Think it's time procrastination ceased and this charlatan started stressing the iron.