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.
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."
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.
“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.
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.
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.
“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?”
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.