The Bootlegger ’40 Ford

Meet the Little Car that Could! Intrigue . . . a thriller . . . and woven throughout, are illustrations by premier hot rod artist Darrel Mayabb.

Imagine a small, black car. A simple car of its time. A ‘40 Ford Coupe. But . . . not just any coupe, this one was destined to become the famous Bahnburner, making global headlines after protagonist Charlie witnessed a high-performance Mercedes perform a hit-and-run on the Autobahn—wrecking a BM and killing the occupants: a key engineer who worked at BMW, as well as his wife.

That very evening, the unrepentant Mercedes driver sat in a bar bragging about what he’d done. Who should happen to overhear but the hero of our story himself. Then and there, Charlie challenged the vehicular murderer to a revenge-race and a bet of $35,000—a race that was to turn his simple Ford coupe onto the awesome, don’t-mess-with-me Bahnburner. Automotive history was made by the team of expert BMW engineers who transformed the car, and the great race car driver Bobby Unser gave vital tips to the would-be racer, Charlie.

And that’s just ONE section of this thrilling tale! Long before the little Ford coupe became the famous Bahnburner, it had a colorful history . . . Before the story’s end, the car will have changed hands six times as the leading car amongst global businessmen and race car drivers . . . Are the stories true? Absolutely! Except for the parts the author made up!

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Here’s a sampling of earlier chapters. . . .

White Lightning Chapter

Meet the 1940 Ford Standard coupe that is the main character through all six adventures in the Bootlegger ’40 Ford. Meet Junior Roberts, a sixteen year old boy being raised by his hard scrabble farmer father and ill mother in the hills of North Carolina during the 1950s. Seduced by a tractor salesman to make bootleg whiskey, the family figures they can distribute on their own and buy a 40 Ford coupe for young Junior to drive. They call on Jerry Price to hop up the engine but before they do, young Junior makes a run in the underpowered car on dangerous hairpin turns of the Carolina mountains . . .

Moonlight on Lake Seneca Chapter . . .

Korean War vet Wally Davis buys the 40 Ford from the impound lot of the North Carolina Sherriff and drives it to Schenectady, New York. With cool precision he uses it for fun and profit in local street races. It’s all fun and games until, on the arsenal access road, he races the teenage Shirley in her 1949 Chevy. He gets more than he bargained for when he races a cute “girl”!

Union College graduate, Air Force second lieutenant Clark buys it next—a fast car that he can use to impress girls. One moonlight night he and Betty park in the meadow overlooking beautiful Lake Seneca. In the ensuing romantic encounter Betty loses an ear ring. She takes the remaining ear ring and fastens it under the dash where it stays hidden, only to surface thirty years later in the Bahnburner adventure.

Charles Clark has had a lifelong love affair with old cars . . .