By Joe Gresh
North of Payson, Arizona and just a few miles past the town of Pine, there’s a steep grade that climbs into the mountain range below the city of Flagstaff. Ahead, an older Chevy truck moves slowly through the trees. The Chevy is one of those faded metallic burgundy ones, the ones where General Motors’ ablative-burgundy topcoat survives only in the shady areas. Lower fenders and door sills, any body shape that falls downward and inward towards the centerline still had a glossy wine red finish. Whatever topside paintwork survived the sunlight consisted of chalky peeled silver. The hood and roof were littered with rust and the cargo bed rode at a 20-degree angle to the rest of the vehicle. Taken in its entirety, the auto-scene reminded me of prehistoric valley rubble deposited by a receding glacier.
The Chevy was struggling mightily on the grade. It sounded like the throttle body fuel-injectors had dropped their tips into the plenum, and raw fuel was pouring into the intake manifold. Rich black smoke flowed out of the Chevy’s tail pipe. From 150 feet back, I could hear the engine stuttering. It was like following an AMF-era Harley Davidson.
Brumby, my 2.5 liter, 4-cylinder Jeep smelled blood. This was my first and best opportunity to pass a car on the entire 500-mile trip to Endurofest. A series of tight corners opened into a short straight. I dropped Brumby into 3rd gear and gunned the 2.5 neatly slotting Brumby alongside the old Chevy. I could see the driver of the Chevy now. He was long-haired and thin. He wore no shirt. He resembled a back-woods reality TV star, and when Brumby’s hood hove into his sightline, his facial expression changed from complacent anger to hate.
Deliverance Man gunned his Chevy and noxious clouds of almost pure dinosaur squeezings …read more