I am about to tell you a story that makes me tear up a bit. I am not exactly sure why, since I don't particularly care for car design or racing, but this moved me. I am taking this story from a Times Picayune articles that can be read here
Two guys in New Orleans decide to renovate a used car into a speed machine capable of breaking the land speed record of 256 miles an hour. Nesbitt, a former motorcycle designer, who now works as a bartender and Overslaugh, the bar owner
chose not just any old car, but a mold ridden 1998 Lincoln Mark VIII that had sat in a Gentilly driveway for a month after Katrina. It smelled so bad when they began working on it
that they called it Stinkin' Linkin'
. This unlikely racing team took their car and themselves all the way to the Bonneville salt flats of Utah, for Speed Week
. The trip however took its toll on the team and the car itself
. the Stinkin' Linkin' travelled from one Wal-mart auto shop to the next, borrowing tools to keep the car driving for the next several hundred miles. Apparently, shop managers started calling the next Wal-mart on the way to Bonneville to warn them that in a few hours a racing car would be coming in. The employees were described as"universally hospitable, and perplexed" (racing cars are usually brought to races on trailer hitches so they will not be damaged). Once the New Orleanians arrived at Bonneville, they managed to pass the technical inspection and were allowed to race. In the end, car 504 (numbered after the New Orleans area code) drove at a top speed of 162 miles an hour, nowhere near 256 mile record. To the team, the top speed was less important than the fact that the car survived the trip, and that the team was able to represent New Orleans at a national racing event. And, after all, the Stikin' Linkin' outraced something far more meaningful to the group than a world record, that flooded car drove faster than hurricane Katrina ever blew. (162 mph vs 150mph)
"you see that car over there? that car sat in flood waters that loved ones died in, and we transformed it into something beautiful, something to make the folks back home proud, even those that are no longer with us."- J.T. Nesbitt on the Stinkin' Linkin'
Oh, and if all of this isn't cool enough, they also built a tall bike.