F1 Rumors - news ahead of the headlines

13th May, 1999

Spanish GP: Still in Barcelona

Ninth in the Adventures of the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew

by Inky Black

Before the Spanish Grand Prix, the Americans searched the junk shops and salvage yards of Barcelona. Usually the tobacco-chewing pit crew from "way down south" were looking for race car parts. This time they were looking for a drink.

After a month on the continent, the crew were low on everything. This included moonshine. The BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew would have to make their own, so they built a "still" in Barcelona.

They had found parts for a jet-car in San Marino; accessories for a Bugatti in Monte Carlo. And more parts arrived every time a Minardi was dropped from a crane. And there's not much difference between a race car and a "distillery."

A still uses "external combustion wood" and the plumbing is a little different. Just build it and fire it up before dawn so the smoke clears by daybreak. After a bit you get a sweet supply of a clear, high-quality alcohol called "moonshine." Best served at room temperature while sitting down.

At the Auto Salvage of Barcelona they found more than parts for the still. Parked behind the sales hut was the longest car the girls had ever seen. It looked like the world's oldest missile. Closer inspection revealed four 24-cylinder inline engines mounted one-after-another underneath the rusty bonnet. The nameplate read "Los Hermanos Torpedos, 1929."

"Wowie! We can race this thing!" screamed the pit crew as they ran inside the sales shack. Face to face with an old hombre, the girls breathlessly asked "Does that thing run? Can we drive it?"

The old senor looked quietly at the girls and said, "Yo hablo espanol, ustedes loco-ritas."

Oops! The girls shuffled their feet, again they were embarrassed here on the continent where everybody talks funny. But bad manners and moonshine are found the world over, and soon the old hombre had told his story.

"Los Hermanos Torpedos," were brothers who were fathers to the Spanish land speed record, back when the infant sport was a sister to motor racing, and a distant cousin of modern Grand Prix. The car even looked like a torpedo... long and slim with a porthole fitted at the nose. The porthole came from the cruise liner "Flamenco Queer," which due to an iceberg, and a typographical error, went down in ignominy.

And "Yes, it runs and they could drive it!"

The girls worked on the car and found it to have tremendous straight-line speed, but it cornered like a drag queen on nine-inch heels. No sense in racing it, it wouldn't corner; they would need reverse gear just to get around the hairpin. And, of course, the FIA would not approve. Not the FIA. Not and never. But there was a way to show off with the "Flamenco Queer."

Oops, it had happened again. During the paint job it was the same typographical error, and the forty-foot-long hot-rod received that same strange name.

The paint was surplus thermal coating from AnyTech. A dull gray when cool, as the car warmed the paint would change through all of the colors of the electric rainbow. And the paint would shimmer as the temperature changed even slightly from one part of the car to the next. Both sides of the car also carried the new name and the new slogan: "Nothing Drives Like a Hot-Rod from Senor Torpedo!"

"There is a stretch of A7 towards Tarragona that's pretty straight," explained driver Cha Cha Chitwood, after an hour with a Catalunyan road map. "We can get up to top speed there!" The crew agreed, and started to turn the car around, a process that might take 15 minutes on a good day.

Senor Torpedo expected about 265 miles-per-hour. The crew added enough moonshine to the fuel tank to break 300. And as the car went through the police speed trap on Roadway A7, the indicator in the squad car said 305.

The police looked at the car and read the slogan as Cha Cha wriggled out of the nose-cone. More police and the rest of the pit crew arrived as spotlights added an eerie light to an already oddball scene.

The cops realized the crazy mess was a photo-opportunity, and the whole police force turned out for the official photograph. Oh, and they jacked the top speed up to 405 miles-per-hour to make better publicity for the police. The local newspapers jacked it up to 505 to make Catalunya look more snappy.

The Official Spanish News Agency, with the honor of Spain at stake, declared that the official top speed of 705 miles-per-hour was, that day, faster than the speed of sound, due to an unusual crispness and density in the atmosphere around mileposts 167 and 168.

The local officials were proud of the home-grown racing car, and they inked-out their own press release to glorify the effort. The headline read, "There are many fine cars in the world... But in the end, this is just what the FIA needs!" Below those less-than-well-chosen words was a crisp photograph of the forty-foot missile, which prominently displayed the slogan, "Nothing Drives Like a Hot-Rod from Senor Torpedo!"

"Well, any publicity is good publicity," said Senor Torpedo, as he passed the moonshine to the other seven people who were absolutely, positively, not invited to the 1999 Spanish Grand Prix.

Article is written by and copyright (c) 1999 Jeff Rose, Binghamton, NY.
His other Travel and Humour Articles can be found at Aloha from the Nervous Nineties.

Interested in reading more by this author?

Humourous Articles by Inky Black
Austrian GP: Welcome to Vienna, Minnesota or; "It's a nice place to visit, but Mozart would have moved."
British GP: The Greatest Drivers In The World or; "Move along lady, there'll be no excitement here. This is a golf match!"
French GP: Viva La France or; Cha Cha Chitwood and the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew arrive in France with bad jokes, better apologies, and a mention of the war
Canadian GP: Surfing FIA or; Cowabunga in Canada
Spanish GP: Still in Barcelona or; Ninth in the Adventures of the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew
Monaco GP: Fast Laps and Fast Girls or; The Eighth Adventure of the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew
San Marino Jet-Set or; Further Adventures of the BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew
Brazil GP - The girls from Ipanema or; Fastest Pit Lane Changes in the World
Full Monty in Melbourne or; Fastest Pit Lane Changes in the World
Formula One Racing Meets Quantum Relativity or; Welcome to CERN - Fastest High-Speed Oval in the World
BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew meets the Queen of England and confused tea-time with wet T-shirt time, causing havoc in the Palace
BayWatch All-Girl Pit Crew at AutoSport99 the crew visit Autosport 99 to take part in the pitcrew contest
Hollywood Grand Prix; Sylvester Stallone Meets Formula One or; Jackie Stewart trained BayWatch Girls for an Indianapolis Pit Crew because Sylvester Stallone had WonderBra for a sponsor and some French guys made Richard Petty drink white wine instead of beer
[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]