Canadian GP: Surfing FIA
or; Cowabunga in Canada
Article is written by and copyright (c) 1999 Jeff Rose,
humour by Inky Black
Breaking into Formula One is tough. Just ask the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew. They failed with the '67 BRM, and the '58 Maserati. Then they tried with the world's first Saab at San Marino, and with Senor Torpedo and the Barcelona Bus. They set a lap record at Monaco! But soon the FIA will catch on; two identical 1934 Bugatti's were used to accomplish that magic trick. In Montreal it would be same, but different... a 1968 Chrysler Newport Convertible.
Racers have been making a name for themselves at Daytona Beach for decades. And the pit crew were taking a page from that book. Malcolm Campbell set a record with the Bluebird at 238 mph back in 1935. More noteworthy... he out-ran the camera plane. But there was no way for Cha Cha Chitwood and the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew to out-run the competition at the Canadian Grand Prix... so they fired up the old Chrysler, and went Surfing FIA.
A '68 Newport convertible is boxy. It's big and square, with a bonnet the size of a snooker table. On top the boot you can fit some lawn chairs and the neighbors. And the kids. And the dog.
They can "hang-ten" easy on the sharp and square edges of the twenty-foot "board." And the dog can "hang twenty." The neighbors can walk around the car and surf right up front. The kids can surf on the sides, and grandma off the back. And that's "off the back" as in "Ouch!"
Yes, the surf is always up with a Newport, your basic two-ton, internal-combustion wave. You'll learn to practice in the back of a pick-up truck; and to wear helmets and pads when things get serious.
In Montreal it was Hawaiian shirts, sunglasses, and keeping it pretty slow. In no time, the girls were surfing down pit lane and around the Montreal GP. Extra folks turned the small group into a cocktail party. Size being one of the virtues of a '68 Chrysler, it was a pretty big party. Everybody back, nothing to see, just a bunch of folks standing around on top of a big convertible.
Yep, no worries there, the Chrysler had plenty of room and a pretty good bar. And a permit. The police didn't appreciate surfing cocktail parties at first. So the pit crew applied for a Tavern Liquor Permit, with the address 1968 Chrysler, Montreal, Canada.
By this time, the Chrysler was sporting an anchor, boat ladder, and ski ropes for when the Samba sisters were sippin'. Local guys, Curt and Rod, were cruising along in their own convertible, complete with a Blues Band. Drum kit jammed in the backseat, guitar and bass players on the boot. All plugged into the CD amp. They swore they knew Celine Dion, "personally," and broke into Surfer Punk everytime someone yelled "Cowabunga!"
It all went something like this... with "Surfin' USA" blaring on the radio.
Cha Cha Chitwood: Isn't this rad? This is how we surf over here.
Bernie Ecclestone: Yes, turn down the radio, I can barely hear.
Cha Cha Chitwood: I said, this is how we surf over here.
Bernie Ecclestone: The car has too much over-steer?
Cha Cha Chitwood: Yes, it is lovely surfing weather.
Bernie Ecclestone: You have lovely underwear?
Eddie Irvine: Man, am I glad I wore my Hawaiian underwear!
Frentzen: You wear underwear? You're pulling my leg.
Heidi: No, that's just me, honey.
Princess Stefanie: I'm getting seasick...
Murray Walker: Wowie! Technicolor hurl... pretty rad, you ho-dad!
Cha Cha Chitwood: That's pretty good surfer talk Murray.
Murray Walker: "Aloha Cha Cha, 'Ono Nalu Wa-hi-nee"
Cha Cha Chitwood: What's that mean?
Murray Walker: That's Hawaiian for "I love you, my sweet, curvy babe!"
Cha Cha Chitwood: Ohhhhhhhh Murray!
Well, things couldn't have been better. Then someone suggested that "Chrysler Convertible Surfing" should be an Olympic Sport. Being proud, and slightly tipsy, Americans, the girls quickly gassed-up, re-stocked the bar (read gassed-up,) and left for the U.S. Olympic Facility at Colorado Springs. In twenty-four hours the girls were face-to-face with the Olympic Gods.
Now you'd think those guys would show some appreciation for a home-grown American Sport. Especially one in which the Americans could probably medal. The Pit Crew insisted on a demonstration. The Olympic Gods insisted on calling the police.
The cops showed up on the third lap of the 5,000-Meter Hang-Ten; and the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew were way ahead of the guys with batons. It took some talking, but the police accepted the apologies. Though they did side with the Olympians on whether "surfers" could train at the facility, without first taking part in pre-Olympic trials.
The time in Colorado was over, they had to fly to the French GP. Next stop was the airport in New York City. Reluctantly, the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew sold the Chrysler...
... and bought a box truck. They painted "Surf that UFO at
http://members.aol.com/AppleAlien" on the side of the truck; then blasted some "Iggy Pop." Yes, it was "Interstate Punk-Rock Slam-Dance Surfing" all the way to the Big Apple. But that's another story. Especially the part about getting a permit.
His other Travel and Humour Articles
can be found at Aloha from the Nervous Nineties.