They are learning physics at a young age

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 11:31:49 03/05/16

In Reply to: My boys are transitioning into dirt bikes and motorized rides posted by Buck


Very good video!

I like how "bulletproof" the underside of that vehicle appears. It's obviously built for rugged use.

Seeing them roll that thing brought back memories of a group of my friends doing something patently stupid, a long time ago. These were young guys ranging in age between 14 and 16. They found a 1950 Kaiser Manhattan for sale. Most folks reading this probably will not have seen one of those conveyances. It was an incredibly solid-built car. None of these turkeys had a driver's license. One or two might have had a learner's permit. They couldn't afford to register it and purchase insurance, so their plan was to keep it off the road. We lived in a rural area in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York. There was a network of dirt roads that were extensions of a little aggregation of homes that all belonged to a single clan. My friends engaged in a few relatively insane behaviors, including the night they snuck the car out onto the pavement at 2 or 3:00 a.m. There was one long straightaway on a country road nearby, and they would get that Kaiser up to around 95 or 100 mph, and drop it into Low, literally TRYING to destroy the transmission. They never managed to pull it off, in spite of their best efforts. (In that era, there were none of the protections that modern trannies have to prevent an extreme downshift from happening until it is in some sort of safe range.)

The coup de gras came after they started trying to roll the Kaiser on the dirt road. They would get that thing moving relatively fast for a two track dirt road, then crank the steering wheel to the left as quickly as possible, deliberately trying to make it roll. I happened to be on hand when they finally achieved their goal. I was smart enough to not be in the vehicle when they were doing their "strength testing". That fateful day, there were at least 5 or 6 guys in the Kaiser, plus an adult male Great Dane. What I remember is seeing them gun the Kaiser, drop it into gear, accelerate down this dirt road, and disappear behind some thick foliage on a slight curve. Soon thereafter, I heard a strange noise, and could see a column of yellowish dust rising from behind the bushes and small trees. (There was an area back there where all their previous attempts had scoured the land of all vegetation, and it was like a big dust bowl.) I started running to see what had happened. I figured they finally achieved their goal. When I finally got around the foliage blocking my view, I saw the Kaiser, wheels toward the sky, in the distance. There were all sorts of cries and screams coming from the overturned vehicle. I feared the worst! I had mental images of broken bones and severe bleeding. Thankfully, when I got close to the car, several of my friends emerged, crawling through open or broken windows. Eventually, once everyone made it out, a quick assessment of human damage revealed no apparent broken bones or impact trauma. The majority of the abrasions and lacerations were attributed to the actions of the panicked Great Dane, who did not share my friends' enthusiasm for accomplishing a long-pursued goal. When that car rolled, that dog wanted out, so it was a flurry of fur and claws in motion, until it escaped!

Looking at all that acreage the boys have to roam around in, I am envisioning them putting something akin to the General Lee through its paces out there years down the road.


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