October 8th, 2011, 11:00PM
A thin-framed woman in her mid 50s hustles her Turból Pluma j6 TTR along the canyon roads west of Horizon Bay. She has the windows down, and her long, wavy, graying black ponytail flutters in the wind. Chasing down a bright yellow sportbike, she knows she won’t keep up long, but she ups the pace and sticks close until a flat, straight section, where the literbike pulls away.
“No keeping up with one of those there” she says aloud to herself. She turns on the radio and backs off the pace. Heading back towards civilization, she stops at local diner. She lights a cigarette and checks her phone before walking in. Not two minutes later, the man on the yellow sportbike pulls in to the lot as well. He takes a detour on his way to the entrance to take a look at the car that shadowed him earlier.
“This yours?” he asks from a distance, pointing to the TTR.
She nods, then removing the cigarette from her mouth, responds simply, “yep.”
“Yep. Got tired of modding cars. Been down that road about my whole life. Nowadays I just want something fast with a warranty.”
The conversation carries into the diner, where they sit next to each other at counter. The woman surprises the motorcyclist with stories of her automotive past.
“In the late 70s and early 80s,” she starts, “I was one of the fastest street racers in the city. It was a great time to be into cars. Muscle cars were dirt cheap. Most people just saw them as unreliable, 10 year old gas guzzlers. Back then we might have been spending more on insurance than on the cars!” She pauses for a second, looking at the ceiling, trying to recall if what she just said was actually true or just hyperbole. She truly can’t remember. “With cars so cheap, racing wasn’t just about who could afford the nicest toys. Two identical cars could have wildly different performance if one owner knew what they were doing with a timing light. Distributors and carbs, man. You could make a fast car slow or slow car fast. Fast-er, anyways. But I did have a fast car, and kid, ain’t no one was faster than me. A 2-door Legion Super 8 with an aluminum big-block swapped in out of a Turból. Dual 4-barrel Holleys. Headers and glasspacks. Fiberglass hood and fenders. And with a Detroit Locker and the fattest cheater slicks I could fit under it, no one could touch me. The cops even tolerated us for a while, so long as we kept to rural areas, but eventually they got wise to the fact that if was bothering to swap on the slicks then there was big money on the race and started cracking down. Either way, work and life got in the way and I sold the car for something more practical, but what a shame that there isn’t a street racing scene in this city anymore.”
The motorcyclist can hardly contain himself. “What?? There’s more street racing in this city than there’s ever been!”
“I though the cops shut all of that down nowadays.”
“Oh, they try. But we don’t let them push us around anymore. Those Crown Vics are outclassed. Anyone with the balls to run just gets more respect. It ain’t just drag racing anymore either. Here, take my number. If you want to check out the scene, give me a ring.”
The invitation intrigued her. Retired, divorced, and with no children, she had plenty of time on her hands and no one close to worry about keeping a secret from.
She had a hell of a weapon in her garage as well. Under a dusty cover sat an LCm79/80, a kit-car replica of a an ultra-rare, tube-frame group 4 homologation special co-developed by Turból and Lucara-Ciambella. The car sat there since the early 90s, an abandoned project of her ex-husband’s, purchased with blown engine and never attended to. Ultra-light and simple to work on, she decided it would be her new canvas. She swapped in a 4.1 liter, direct-injection, turbo V6 and electronic limited-slip from a wrecked Turból Cutela GT3 and whipped up the boost. It got new tires, upgraded brakes, and a refresh of the tired suspension. 8 months of work later, it was ready to be the willing partner of a forgotten street racing lengend, eager to take back her crown.
Character name: Claire McIntyre
Origin: California born and raised.
Vehicle: `79 Turból-powered LCm79/80.