|1954 Buick Special 4-door Sedan|
In 1954, Mrs. Luebke, Nora, got a new car, a 1954 Buick Special with the new 264-cu.in. V-8, rated at 150 hp with the automatic transmission. It would go from 0 to 60 mph in about 11 seconds. In 1954, that was amazing. In 1956, when that car still smelled new, Dennis got his driver's license. The whole gang knew that there were two really fast cars in our group -- Luebke's '54 Buick and a '56 Pontiac owned by Cliff Johnson's Dad. I was relegated to a '53 Mercury that my family was driving, powered by the last of the flatheads. I wouldn't even dare to compete with that nail head-powered Buick!
|Fonda Dragway in its Heyday|
The next morning, I rode my bike up to the Luebke's to scrounge a little breakfast. As we were sitting around the table, with Emmett reading his morning paper, Nora stepped out into the garage to get something. Almost immediately, she rushed back, saying with her inimitable lilt, "Good Lord, Emmett, he's got hav da motor in da back seat!" Dennis had forgotten to put the air cleaner back on the engine!
There was some intense explaining -- something about increased fuel efficiency if you ran the car without the air cleaner. I have always suspected that Emmett knew exactly what had happened. Mrs. Luebke -- maybe not so much.