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American road warrior

Ford Mustang supercar against a sunset sky

Accounts inspired by actual events

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 supercar

This page last updated on or about 3-20-11

a - p r e s e n t a t i o n - of - j m o o n e y h a m . c o m

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There's two kinds of road warriors: fictional characters played by actors and stunt men (some of the best of those from Australia)-- and the real thing (likely mostly composed of Americans).

There's good reason the best real life road warriors around are likely Americans. For they've had more opportunity for such than just about anyone else. How so?

Thumbnail image of a 1961 Chrysler 300 G
Thumbnail image of a 1969 American Motors Javelin AMX
Thumbnail image of a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Thumbnail image of a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS
Thumbnail image of a 1971 Ford Torino GT

One, for at least 50 years millions of Americans enjoyed easier and cheaper access to fast cars than anyone else on the planet.

Two, few other countries of the past 50 years could boast nearly the quantity or quality of highways America did, by which to support road war play. Three, North America has for decades offered one of the least restricted continents on Earth in terms of unfettered automobile travel. Few if any border checkpoints, or anything like that, to slow the flow. And four-- well, many Americans love their independence and freedom. And will often express and explore them further than reason might allow.

[To get a better idea of just how 'road-dense' the USA is, check out All Streets by Ben Fry.

To see 'where the action is' within America's highway system, refer to these interactive maps of both the safest and most dangerous roads in America.

For more information on the system, refer to 40 Years of the US Interstate Highway System: An Analysis The Best Investment A Nation Ever Made.]

Government map of major US continental highway network

Amendment II excerpt from the US Bill of Rights
Finally, five: few places on Earth allow the degree of civilian personal firearm wielding options as America.

But don't take my word for it. Check out this chart of gun ownership by country.

Anybody want to argue with the above points? I didn't think so.

Everybody knows the fake Australian road warriors of feature films (i.e., Mel Gibson). But the closest thing to real American road warriors anyone knows are famous race car drivers off TV.

Famous Australian cinematic road warrior moment

Mad Max Falcon The last of the V-8 Interceptors is alive and well in Illinois. (12-3-08)

Image of a race track with the word SLOW painted on the pavement

Technically however, those guys aren't real road warriors either; they just play them on closed tracks in front of TV cameras. Places where there are robust limits on the mayhem they might encounter. I.e., no guns, no police pursuit, no purposeful road blocks or ambushes, no cliffs to fly off, etc., etc. Heck, if debris is noticed on the track, everyone slows down until special clean up crews can remove it(!)

Of course, real road warriors have good reasons to stay unknown. Just like their American moonshine running predecessors of decades past. For they frequently fought the law, and won. And government and big business bureaucrats definitely don't like uppity citizens like that!

But let sufficient time pass (like decades), and maybe such stories can finally be told, with minimal risk to the road warriors themselves.

Below are my own accounts (with details like names, dates, and more changed of course). I know I wasn't the only American road warrior of those days. But I could be one of the last survivors of that generation. And maybe have a few more (and better!) tales to relate than most. But I'll leave that for you to decide.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 with optional front chin spoiler
My very first car was a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1. Which looked much like the pic above soon after purchase.

I grew up in a somewhat wild rural Tennessee county, amongst both outlaws and race car drivers. Despite this, sometimes my friends and I were still practically desperate for exciting things to do.

Remnant of an original Ford Mustang emblem from behind the small quarter windows of a 1969 Mustang
Above is what's left of one of my car's original Mustang emblems from behind the small quarter windows. Such ornamentation was stripped off during his transformation to outlaw supercar to reduce weight, aerodynamic drag, and reflective surfaces (less reflections meant for better night-time stealth).
Front head on view of customized 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 supercar
Above is an artistic rendering of the car's final front end appearance, including the removable lower rubber air dam, and dual headlight 1970 Mustang corner posts replacing his quad 1969 versions.

Unlike the original factory forms, every opening here was functional: engine ram air, brake cooling scoops, and hood louvers to help create a vacuum underneath the car at speed to boost his handling performance.

My friends and I competed in things like hot rodding our cars and testing the results via racing. Throw in some random altercations with strangers and the police here and there, and things begin getting serious. At least for the survivors.

My car and I were definitely survivors. Outlasted (or outran) virtually all our peers of the time. Though I knew guys who died in awful crashes or gunfights, like Wyatt Earp I personally never got wounded by gunfire, or Shadow himself rendered undrivable by a crash. I was also never imprisoned or Shadow impounded. I guess all that made us either the best of the lot-- or the luckiest-- back then.

Me and my car's earliest adventures happened when he was still largely factory stock, and me mainly green in many matters. But we learned and adapted fast. As you'll see below.

(the rare photo at right shows my car in near final form)

If you'd like to see all the technical details of Shadowfast's construction in the form of a single ebook, Dark Horse: The Official Shadowfast Supercar Technical Reference is now available for any Amazon Kindle or Kindle app.

View of the author's heavily modified 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 in near final form

Please select your vicarious thrill below

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