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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Drag Racing '70s Style!

I saw a post on the Street Legal TV blog by Josh Courter that put a huge smile on my face earlier this past week. Here's the link: http://www.streetlegaltv.com/news/video-1970s-street-racing-mercury-cougar-vs-camaro-ss/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=video-1970s-street-racing-mercury-cougar-vs-camaro-ss . It was about a virtually unbeatable 1970s drag racer from Southern Ontario named Dieter Scharschmidt, a diesel mechanic by day and racer in his spare time of what was likely the baddest musclecar in the province for many years.

Dieter's car was a 1970 Mercury Cougar that he bought for just $1,200 in 1971. It wasn't any Cougar, though. In fact, it was one of the former 1970 Canadian Ford  Drag Team cars that ran out of Sandy Elliott Ford in Chatham, Ontario, the home of the infamous "Border Bandits." 

While the post makes the obvious comments about hair styles, facial hair, disco, and other stereotypical references to the 1970s, and I usually just ignore that sort of thing, I have to comment. Yes, there were some fashion disasters, and maybe some cheesy songs on the radio, but the 1970s were wonderful years. And while street or open-road racing is illegal and always has been (please do not bring up the Paul Walker/Roger Rodas accident) I have to respect Dieter and the other older guys I knew then and now that experienced the decade fully. 

These were people who worked, played sports, and did things. They turned wrenches. They drove fast cars or at least cars that looked fast. No nitrous, no turbochargers. Just real highly-tuned musclecars. All motor. Their hair care product of choice, if any, would have been a lil' dab of Brylcreem. Not endless amounts of styling wax, gel, or other hair-care crap used today. No endless looking into the mirror or worrying about how to wear their cap or have their hair styled. Anyway, enough of my ranting - check out this awesome video. If you'd like to learn more about the Ford Drag Team, from which Dieter bought his Cougar back in '71 after Ford ended its "Total Performance" factory racing program, check out this cool book from Amazon. They'll give me a cut of each book sold.



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