What are your favorite automotive pranks or high-jinks? The exhaust whistle? Banana in the tail pipe? Changing all the radio presets to radio Lay ley?
Heres mine… it was dangerous, stupid, and we were lucky no one got killed. There I said it, so don’t do this at home.
It was summer '92, a warm night crickets were chirping and local bar just on the edge of a small town in my county was full. My good friends arch- rival had already been in there since 7 or 8 pm and it was now around 1030. We knew he almost always stayed til closing time and my friend wanted to pull a prank on him. He drove a late 60’s chevy pickup with an automatic transmission, and a 350 engine. It was a junker, it had been in countless fenderbenders and was a heap complete with wooden bumpers. We had recently watched the movie “moving violations” and decided to reenact a scene from the movie.
The truck was backed in against the building, which had a guard rail to keep the drunks from hitting it. Well we waited across the street while my friend climbed under the truck and unhooked the shift linkage and put the truck in reverse. He had chocked the wheels with bricks to make sure the truck did not roll away. This truck either never had a neutral safety switch or it didn’t work because it would start in gear. The truck would often stall while the owner was driving it when it was cold and we would see the guy starting it while never have taken the truck out of drive, so we realized our plan would work.
We left and came back just before closing time in one of my friends fathers 73 olds wagon(not the full size one, the smaller one). We parked across the street and watched as the guy got into the truck and started it up and got on the gas to rev the engine like people used to do with old cold Nature vehicles. He hit the guard rail hard, and I mean hard, and the truck stalled. I tell you we had to try really hard to keep our laughter down because we had the windows cracked on the car and we were trying to keep hidden. By this time he was frantically moving the shifter and cussing and restarted the truck we are assuming in what was supposed to be park. He was only about 6 inches from the guard rail at this point but he goosed it hard when he restarted the truck and slammed back into the guard rail. I was laughing so hard I wet my pants a bit.
Well by this time people had heard the commotion and come to help him out. There was lots of people laughing at him and hand waving and the bar tender came out yelling at him about his guard rail even though it didn’t receive much damage and it had been hit countless times before. Well they pop the hood and are looking under the hood with a flash light and they try it again. The truck again lurched backwards and just bumped the guard rail again to make a little noise. The bartender/owner was yelling at this point telling him to have that POS towed out of there, and telling the group not to restart the &^*&^^( truck. Well they closed the hood and he got a ride home from a buddy. It was after 2 am at this point and everyone was leaving and after about 15 minutes the parking lot was empty except for the truck. As the owner left for the night he inspected the guardrail and the truck and was cussing up a blue streak.
We went home and played Nintendo until about 4 am and decided to go back and hook the shifter back up.
Unfortunately we were not there when they came back to get the truck, but i can only imagine the confusion. The truck didn’t receive any measurable damage thanks to its wooden rear bumper, the guard rail was ok, and we got a great laugh. Oh the Summer of '92. What a time.
PS…Yes I had alot of extra time on my hands, and no, me and my two friends had nothing else better to do on a Saturday night, and I still don’t seeing as I am sitting here on a Saturday night reliving a memory that happened over 20 years ago.