ok, here's one:
In the spring of 1961, my father was stationed at the Naval Air Station, Oakland, California. He had only recently finished getting his 1955 Series II 500 Mondial roadworthy and had completed an SCCA driver's school in it as well as competing in the 26 March Georgetown Hillclimb and the 15-16 April 1961 Stockton SCCA Races. SecDef McNamara closed his base and Dad was sent on very short notice to Karamursel, Turkey, shortly before he was to run at Laguna Seca. He left the car in the garage of his secretary. After the two year tour in Turkey he was assigned to the Navy Supply Center in Bayonne, New Jersey, which of course was on the wrong side of the country from the car.
He didn't like the idea and could not afford to ship the car across country, so he decided to drive it. His former secretary had divorced and moved on. The car had been towed to an old warehouse in Oakland and a broken ceiling window pane had caused some minor body damage, but overall it was still in running condition. In order to make the rossa corsa car not quite as obvious to law enforcement as he made the 3000+ mile trip, he removed the last section of the straight exhaust pipes and bought a muffler for a 1960 Chrysler. Using a section of spiral-type steel flex tubing matching the diameter of the Mondial's exhaust pipe just inboard of the left rear wheel, he hose-clamped the Chrysler muffler to the flex-tubing and then the flex-tubing to the Mondial's exhaust. Then a little baling wire at the back end of the muffler to the chassis and he was set to go.
The first day was uneventful save for an funny incident leaving Bakersfield but that is another story. The morning of the second day found him leaving Needles, CA crossing the Colorado River and climbing into the western Arizona mountains. Needles averages only 5 inches of rain annually, however, this particular morning it was raining. Highway 66 was a winding two lane road and before long he found himself behind a 1940 black Ford creeping up the considerable grade at about 30 mph; its driver apparently a very short, elderly person. The rain would slipstream over his head if he were going at least 35 to 40 mph, so the Ford was slowing him down as well as causing him to get wet. The sporadic traffic coming down the mountain in the opposite direction was constant enough to frustrate his ability to pass the rolling chicane. Finally, a passing opportunity presented itself. He dropped into second gear and used the prodigious torque of the Mondial's motor to blow by the Ford.
Just as he pulled abreast of the car at full revs, he heard what seemed to be an explosion. Since one's brain seems to slow down the action in scenes like this, his first thought was "I've blown the motor." "Wait, I still have power, so that can't be right." “Instead of one explosion the noise is continuous.” Then he noticed odd movement in the rear view mirror. The Chrysler muffler was being dragged and bouncing along about 30 feet behind the car. The sudden additional back-pressure in the exhaust caused by the downshift and high revs had fractured the baling wire, and the flex tubing had instantaneously unraveled itself. The hefty muffler, still tethered to the car by the unwound flex tube, was bouncing merrily along behind the car, and the 'explosion' noise was simply the open pipe exhaust suddenly at full chat.
He quickly pulled over and sheepishly started reeling in the runaway muffler in the rain. The old lady in the Ford eventually putted on by, giving a good hard glare to the lad in that furrin' sports car. He jammed the muffler into the passenger side of the cockpit, put the normal straight-through tailpipe back in place and headed into the next town, announcing his presence at high decibel well before actually arriving . . . .
Being a Sunday morning, nothing was open which would have more flex tubing, so began a 500 mile drive involving games with small town policemen, and a continental divide crossing in a blizzard, but those too are other pieces of the saga.
Perhaps more later. . . .