e̶l̶ ̶j̶e̶f̶e̶

my woman had gotten home before me. I was busted.

she’d surely catch the scent of the nasty girl I had spent the day with. I was too exhausted for the salvo of questions she’d start asking in haste. 
how could I even begin to find the words? just an hour before, she’d released me from her tight grip. we spent the best hours of the afternoon together. this nasty girl, barely a few months into her 30’s, worked me over real good. between gasps of air, she’d sky rocketed me with furious thrusts to a places unknown. her hot muscle hidden under that electric blue dress had sucked me dry leaving me with enough drops of stamina to slither into the ‘44S and get home. the last time I felt this good was half my age ago, and that’s a hard admittance to make from someone of my caliber.
“hey Seven, what’s happenin’?”

he reeked of intensity. cradling a waif of pitbull puppy in his arms named Mocha, we bumped fists. a few words, a nod or two, and he led me behind the 4 foot chain link fence to the lair of beasts behind his house. and there it was…the motherfucker.

POW, POW, POW...POW. 

four shots to eyes; color, flares, wheels…exhaust pipe. Seven instinctively knew to keep quiet while I took it all in, this sleeping beast. too old to be Minerva and too young for Tahoe, the contrasts between the metallic blue, black flares, and deep-ass wheels hiding a shade of gold lattice were perfect. the kid had a good eye; I know this because I would’ve done it the same way.

"we were too cool for this outlaw label shit; we were an entirely new breed of badasses."

this thing oozed static electricity, I felt it in my hair. goddamn. small imperfections were trying to call out my attention; I’d been told it was a bit rough, but fuck all that…this thing had a personality far too intriguing to mind the flaws.

there’d be no small talk, no chat driven by discomfort, I was all in this 944. the questions were pinpointed at things like the turbo, horsepower, torque, rear rubber size. I fired them off never losing eye contact with the beast, until Mocha was nearby…she stole it.

I took to Seven right away. our personalities were syncing in a way two old friends separated by decades of contact would. our words mixed together like gin and tonic. we’ve roughly the same ideas, perspectives, sentiments, mannerisms…we related to each other. we were too cool for this outlaw label shit; we were an entirely new breed of badasses. he woke up the beast.
she began burning fuel that filled the space with this violet smoke blasting up my nostrils, coating the rags I wore, and painting my tongue. this scent would need a bath of tomato juice to make it disappear because it wasn’t leaving any other way. I snapped out of the trance the exhaust had put me in and remembered what it was that I wanted to get a good look at.

“I wanna check out that turbo charger…”

Seven got up from polishing the rear wheel’s dish and met me under the hood. there, under some sexy polished pipes collared in bright blue silicone hose, was the infernal metal snail quietly sucking the air we breathed. jesus christ…I couldn’t decide what to be impressed with first, Seven’s industrial artwork, the turbo charger, or how he figured it all out.

it wasn’t the size of the turbo that impressed so much as the fact of it once having fed a Cummins diesel engine in a truck. think about that for a second — a used truck turbo. see what I mean? THIS is the shit that I love about Seven, his intelligent resourcefulness. in this day, while everyone else is exchanging sick cash for more power, Seven used his head and figured out how to do it with limited reserves.
this approach is a breath of fresh air. I know what it’s all about. the best achievements of my life were under the grip of luxurious poverty; too rich to qualify for government cheese and too poor to buy a pair of Nike Air Jordans. being pegged between the low and middle-classes forced me to figure shit out. it’s a mentality that you take along for the ride to quiet stardom later in life.

when I first spoke to Seven, he told me he didn’t make much and explained how he built this car under such limits. in fact, it was precisely this sort of environment that guys like him do some amazing things and here I was staring at what he managed to do what others would’ve spent the equivalent of his yearly salary accomplishing.

watching this vibrating M44.51 lump rub its eyes and scratch its balls as it woke up had dug up these thoughts — but now it craved a beer and a smoke; it was time for a ride.
getting into the passenger seat was like putting on my 32 year old leather biker jacket, a worn-in fit that molded itself around me — tight. I began fumbling with this six point harness shit, trying to look like I knew what the fuck I was doing as I figured out how. I wasn’t used to this ritual of safety, I subscribed to the primitive Nuvolari seat-of-the-pants style.

he checks his mirror, sinks the clutch, shoves it in first; the bitch shoved me in the seat as we took off.

Newark’s grid offers too many things to hit; craters, buses, car doors swinging open, crack heads wondering if they should run across the street the second before you pass ‘em. Seven’s aware of it and aims for one or two clearings before each light to let first gear out. between the din of the twin-cam Alfa-like rasp and the pounding suspension, I caught something like, “lets…out on the Parkway.” I knew what was about to go down.
I got a flash of being in the first car of a killer roller coaster clack-clacking its way up into the sky approaching the on ramp, …this is gonna be good. second gear — brrrrwaaaaaaaaa…pssssh…whhheeeeeeez…third gear, the thrust intensifies — brrrrrrwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…pssssh…whhheeeeeez. fourth goes in, then fifth; we’re doubling the speed of the fastest cars to the left of us and I’m thinking, where the fuck are the pigs? I get a premonition of the entire scene; four squad cars blocking us in, a helicopter with a sniper directly above — he, black; me, squatter-punk-homeless, they’ll show no mercy while they pummel us with fists, mace, tazers, rifle butts, and multiple booted feet shoved deep into our asses.

“awwww; that nail…that was sticking in my tire? just popped out.”

all I can pipe after the muscles around my anus relax is,

“you got a spare?”

“no.”

the gods were hateful bastards, they nipped the fun before we really got started — they might of done it to spare our asses from being little more than an obituary.
no spare tire puts my head to work for a quick solution, but as it turns out, I’m about to be awed by this young man.

we push the old girl with a busted heel deeper into the shoulder so that Seven can quickly begin looking for the hole before he becomes a red streak on the asphalt. I get under to help with my blind ass, and bam…dumb luck, I found it.

“I’m about to McGyver this shit; I gotta find a screw.” he says.

within seconds of not finding a single one weaved into the ‘fofo’s black carpet, he decides to simply remove one from the rear speaker. after fishing out a crimpled tube of RTV from behind the seat, he coats the screw, crawls back under the rear wheel, and shoves it in that goddamned hole. calmness in the face of being fucked…this kid’s future is jet-hot.
I don’t often compliment anyone unless I’m really impressed because my barometer of extraordinary character is pegged high. while inflating the tire, I tell Seven he’s destined for greatness in life. it’s safe to pay him some props because I’m assured of his humility. the response doesn’t shock me when he mentions how some see him as threat and try knocking him down in an attempt at outdoing him — a classic and predictable move by insecure motherfuckers misguided by feeble minds and small dicks.

with a pumped up tire, we resume party. off the Parkway and back into the Newark’s grid, we grab some crumbs, and meet a friend and Porsche enthusiast with a shitload of 928s who owns a metalworks business frozen in the 19th century. the company Seven keeps speaks volumes. it’s in between these pauses where laughs become the most shared sentiment over this 944’s personality. 

"curtains are drawn and closed in fear, gang-bangers reach down their huggies for the 9mm, the innocents duck and cover their heads scrambling for cover."

the stares come from kids, old women in hairnets pushing grocery carts, Latinos and gangstas on street corners. each one of their lives are momentarily interrupted by the roar of her hyper-blown 2,5, wastegate sneezes, and outrageous coachwork. but it’s the POP—POP—POP and flame thrusted comets of unburnt fuel cannonballed from the exhaust; the two step rev-limiter is this thing’s red-inked signature. curtains are drawn and closed in fear, gang-bangers reach down their huggies for the 9mm, the innocents duck and cover their heads scrambling for cover. it’s only when Seven warns the unsuspecting to close their ears while he brings up the rev limit’s fireworks that thumbs replace middle fingers.

on our way to the spot he vowed me to keep secret, the talk gets technical. Seven chose to keep the M44.51’s internal integrity when he rebuilt the thing in his garage, Porsche’s engineering was good enough. these engines can take up to twice their intended horsepower; something Porsche’s 944 project father, Herr Paul Hensler, once quoted. the low-stress life of the used truck turbo meant it too could remain untouched internally; all Seven needed to do is modify the plumbing, pair it with an appropriate wastegate, custom fabricate the exhaust, and ensure the turbine proper feeding and cooling with oil. 
while everyone was tucked in bed drooling into pillows, Seven was figuring out fuel maps, timing curves, boost pressure configurations for street drivability and racing, things that befuddles the common enthusiast who’d gladly pay someone else’s brain folds to churn. well aware that he could've easily bought Turbo right from the start, he preferred the more difficult path by starting off with the USD$900 early '85 chassis he already had. the Turbo was then built from scratch in roughly the same manner Porsche's engineers did nearly thirty years ago. a used M44.51 Turbo engine, Turbo brakes, and other assorted bits and pieces that goes into the 951 were then weaved into the '85's chassis. by reverse engineered everything Porsche had done in the creation of the 944 Turbo, he learned, like they did, the fundamentals and complexities involved in such a project. he couldn't resist a challenge.

they named it Shorty’s. the secret spot Seven was taking me too was precisely where I thought of shooting the car. I’m a sucker for industrial wastelands and there’s no shortage of this shit in New Jersey. garbage, burnt cars, ship debris, bits and pieces of machinery that once fueled the state’s economy pepper the brownfields; what better place to shoot beauty…cliché, yes, but I originated it.

the once industrious warehouse is now a half-demolished scraper reincarnated as a DIY skate park, a canvas for the serious graffiti artist, and a chillatorium for fuckwits like us. this park for the dispossessed attracts us because it’s avoided by 98.7% of our state’s population…even the cops skirt it.
Seven had been here before me and saw a white 944 completely mutilated by rocks and stained with a vibrant palette of graffiti. this 944, now semi-permanently fused into a skater’s half pipe, would’ve made the ideal companion for Seven’s 944 to share the photos with…but it wasn’t happening; there was a party going on around it when we got there with no room for his 944 unless she’d be sacrificially offered. but we found something better opposite it; a massive wall with a posse of graffiti artists spraying their colorful piss all over it…perfect.

the energy of this place was AMAZING. despite the decay, I felt alive…no, rejuvenated. it was like stepping in a time machine zeroed in on 1985 when I was doing exactly what this new generation was. clumps of kids half my age looking like street urchins littered the grounds skating, drinking, smoking weed ‘round a bum’s furnace. a few couples broke off in scattered pieces and were swallowed up by the ruins. the twilight provoked cuddling, kissing, and lustful exchanges of forbidden ecstasies. unfiltered life was making new memories of a time forgot.

the spot’s imperfections and rawness along with its contents complimented Seven’s 944. while I dumped a wad of shots, he was bouncing between groups chatting with one and all…he has that kind of personality. a few people walked up to the 944, checking her out asking a few questions, nodding heads and smiling as they pointed to this bit and that. it was great to see how someone’s irrelevant creation provoked emotions. I doubt the reaction would’ve been the same with a more formal 944, their subtlety has more of an effect with those familiar. but this one, squat low to the ground wearing contrasting flares that hugged obese Toyo wrapped CCWs, obscure decals, electric blue paint, and white hot blue eyes piercing the filthy air didn’t need to beg for attention…it got it magnetically.
this 944 he calls bööberry, is his rolling laboratory. her image tells anyone with a bit of savvy this. Seven’s approach to his research and build is very Porsche circa 1980 when money was tight but the desire to produce something from nothing fueled their best work. they exorcised the beast from the 924 Turbo wringing out every ounce of potential and repackaged it as a raw prototype for Le Mans to prove that impossibilities were made to be overcome. there’s a Norbert Singer-esque mentality in Seven’s process of less hypothesizing preferring actual over virtual testing; there’s no denying the resemblance to the development of 944GTP. he, like Singer and Hensler, proved the skeptics wrong.

halfway back to Seven’s place, he pulled over and got out.

“hey man, what’re you doing?” I blurted.

“I forgot to let you drive.”

“na man, I ain’t ready yet…”

the day’s intensity, the darkness that began swallowing the light, and the crowded Newark streets upset the timing...getting high over a high is disastrous.

highball!
 


Comments

Matthew Mariani
12/06/2015 19:22

Love that car. Great read too Pablo !

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