Last week, the Street Car Takeover tour rolled through Heartland Park Raceway in Kansas City. The event was about what you'd expect. Grudge racing, a car show, dyno sessions, sleeveless shirts in ubiquity, copious amounts of canned Busch Light. Judging from photos, the attendees, too, were familiar. Dude bros in 12-second Mustangs; a flock of SRT-4 Neons, almost certainly with aftermarket blow-off valves; that guy who “totally daily drives” his slicks-and-skinnies, nitrous-fed C5 Corvette.
And then there was this Mercury Grand Marquis.
For the record: I do not know the owner, but wish that I did, because he is a great American. First, he enters a body-on-frame, V8 luxo-taxi beater into a burnout contest, a cavalier move in and of itself. Then, midway through said burnout contest, his car catches on fire. Here, most people would let up—you know, on account of all the fire. Not this guy. He keeps on keepin’ on, full throttle. Dispute the wisdom of that decision; you can’t argue with the results.
What really cinches it, though, are the video’s closing moments. Rolling away, gnarled tire on bent rim, hauling his family in a charbroiled Mercury, the driver is all grins and shrugs. And, wait, did you see that shifter wiggle? Yeah, the car’s definitely got a manual transmission conversion.