GRAND THEFT AUTO – ’87 AC LEGEND

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I was wildly hyped the other day when I read an e-mail that was supposedly from the ad buyer for RocStar games. They were inquiring about my ad rates for different size banners that would be put up on the site. Now don’t get it twisted and think that I will let any peanut butter and jelly put an ad up on DP Dot Com. No sell out or we will get the hell out, but who could front on the company that created the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ videogame series. I don’t even play videogames like that, but why did I play ‘GTA/Vice City’ at my kid brother’s crib for over sixteen hours straight? That shit is wild fly bananas.

I was all set for these dudes to mail me a sample of one of their latest games along with a PS2 and a flat screen television since I don’t have one in my apartment. I guess it was just a hoax since they never replied to my e-mail but at least they inspired me to recount my own personal experiences with grand theft auto. Let me tell you about Thundercracker, Soundwave and myself and our brand new 1987 Acura Legend…

Summertime in Corona Queens is like summertime almost everywhere else, except in the shadow of Shea Stadium you sometimes hear the cheer of fifty thousand people during a Doctor K strikeout or a Strawberry round tripper. There’s also the rumbling of the old elevated 7 train on Roosevelt Avenue or the overhead roar of planes leaving LaGuardia Airport next door. To tell you the truth all of those noises composed the summer soundscape, but my favorite was the hum of rubber tires along the Grand Central Parkway. While all of the sounds I describe were precise events, the drone of motor vehicles on the Parkway was incessant.

The Grand Central Parkway was a strange animal to me. I used to ride with my father from our house to various locations throughout the city as he was a salesman. We always entered the Parkway off Northern Boulevard and then in what seemed like fifteen minutes we were transported to the distant lands of Canarsie or Rochdale Village or Williamsburg. The Parkway also brought us to bridges that we crossed to get to the Bronx or Harlem. When I was younger I had traveled through so much of the city with my dad that there wasn’t a neighborhood that I didn’t know how to navigate. This skill would be my saving grace later on.

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Later on is during the summer again. This time it’s 1987 and me and my dudes are on the creep. What is worse than a bunch of smart azz jig boys up to no good quickly? I would argue that it seemed like everyone in the neighborhood was on some bad boy ish, but that would be a damn lie. Only a few of us were knuckleheads, but that was enough to paint everybody over with the dark brush. I was especially stupid too since I had been arrested two years prior in a narco street raid on Northern Boulevard. I kept my nose far away from Northern after that night though, and I had a group of brothers from Brownsville that were keeping me busy anyhoo. This was just another lazy Saturday afternoon around the way. I called T.C. and S.W. and told them to meet me on the corner of 34th Avenue so we could walk the bridge to the stadium.

Walking the bridge to the stadium was the route that cheap bastards took when they didn’t want to pay the stadiums parking fees. Some people would argue that you can get home quicker by not parking in the stadium lot and leaving your car outside somewhere, but after you walk the fifteen minutes to your car, isn’t that the same time that you would have spent in traffic in the stadium lot? One thing is for sure. You won’t be getting home any quicker if we can get in your car. In the grass fields that surround the perimeter of the stadium is a veritable buffet table of whips. High end to low end all together and accessible. The only thing you don’t want to do is pick a whip with an alarm. That’s never a good look.

The luck of my Irish grandfather was all over T.C. and I this afternoon because we didn’t even have to cross the bridge to strike paydirt. Right on 34th Avenue was a pearlized white and beige two tone Acura Legend sedan WITH ITS PASSENGER WINDOW DOWN! T.C. and I looked at each other, and then we looked around just in case this wasn’t one of those candid camera police stings since our ‘hood was kind of hot for this stuff. T.C. hopped in and banged the ignition cylinder out with our dent puller. He shifted into the driver’s seat and started the car. I hopped into the passenger’s seat and we screeched out of the parking space and went directly onto the Parkway.

You need to understand the incredible anxiety and nervousness that envelopes you when you do this. Your hands have to be focused and steady. You have less than a minute when that door is pried open to start the car. This means removing the cylinder entirely so that your screwdriver can turn on the car as if it were a master key. More often than not we were successful in getting a car, although we did suffer a scrape here and there. The bloodrush was undeniable, as was driving around New York City in something new and oh so clean. It turned out that this Ac’ didn’t just look and smell brand new, it had only 180 miles on the odometer. If JIM JONES had been riding with us he would have said “Baaaaallllin!”

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There’s a reason that cars cost what they do. There is a level of engineering in a Mercedes that isn’t inside a Mazda. That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with a Mazda because there isn’t, it’s just to note that you get what you pay for. What this dude had paid for was Honda Automotives’ best engineering and design. Leather and wood grain paneling was on everything. It was like riding in a futuristic stagecoach. Keep in mind the types of cars that dominated in the 80’s. The Ac Legend was broad and long but it handled like a nimble Accord. It had a beast of an engine too and I actually opened it up one evening on the Grand Central. It almost opened me up too, in a bad way, but let me slow down and catch my breath.

The Ac was, up to that point, the best car that we had ever caught. Down the road, so to speak, we caught some more Acuras and an Audi 5000, but that night didn’t end on the right note. We were mostly into Jettas, Accords, Maximas and the smaller, lower models since they were the easiest to get as far as not having alarms or kill switches. For us, having these cars wasn’t about the appearance either, since we were trying to sell the best looking cars that we came across. Things were different however with the Acura. It had a way of showing us for what we really were — a bunch of lowlife punk thugs. We would argue about silly shit like who gets to drive the car to a certain party, or who could take the car out solo when they were picking up a date. It went on like this for the three weeks that we had the car in our possession. It was going to be the death of our friendships. Instead it was almost the death of me.

I took the car out one night without telling my dudes where I was going. I imagined that they knew I was going to get the car since I was on some superiffic playboy shit anyhoo. I drove out to Rosedale to pick up this tender young thing that I had met at Green Acres Mall a few weeks back. Bagging up a grey-green-eyed chick from Rosedale is something like hitting a three pointer and a grand slam all with the same golf club. There really isn’t any equivalent metaphor, I’m sorry. I didn’t go in her house, but there were two cars parked in the driveway and I’m sure her folks had a carpeted basement. All I could think about was airing her little pumpum out one afternoon while her folks were at work.

My little angel hopped in the ride and got all giggly with all the buttons that controlled her seat. I told her that she wasn’t allowed to touch any of the controls unless she asked me first. She was so young and tender that it took all my discipline not to pull the car over and smash her right in the passenger seat, but I had to stay strong. These good little girls are really freaks, but you have to tease it out of them. If you spaz hard from the gate then they know that you are gonna beast out after they let you come inside. I stayed cool party people. Ice cold and focused. I drove from the edge of Queens all the way into the city downtown. We went to a movie on 8th Street. I want to say it was an Indiana Jones flick, but I can not remember because we spent the whole entire movie lip wrestling in the back of the theatre.

So here’s where shit gets kind of blurry and you can blame all of that on a sixteen year old boy’s raging hormones. I drove tender young’n back to her house in Queens. It wasn’t too late so we stayed in the car and talked shit. I called shorty tender younglove, but she was actually older than I was by a couple. I was going to be a senior in high school and she was going to college. In our making out and petting she unzipped my pants and began playing with my manhood. She pulled my dude from my draws and then started to put her mouth on my stuff. Real talk… This was my first oral experience. To say the least, I was blown away. As always with me, puns are meant for giggles. What else could I say. This was now the greatest day in my life. I am in a stolen Acura Legend getting blown by the prettiest hazel-eyed mall rat evar. GOD, you can kill me now.

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I really don’t remember shorty getting out of the car but that’s prahlee because she left me in a worthless heap. When I started the car again I drove a few blocks and then I got out to fix my kibbles and bits. I’m moving like I’m drunk and I still don’t drink at this point in my life. I’m just not totally here or there or wherever in Rosedale I was. I find my way back to the Cross Island Parkway, which I know will take me back to the Grand Central. I drive along a route that I pretty much know like the back of my hand. The Grand Central is moving nicely too. There’s a police precinct that adjoins the Grand Central in the Fresh Meadows area, but I am totally in the groove that I own this car because I wear my seat belt and I signal and shit when I am changing lanes.

I increase my speed to about 80 miles per hour as I drive through the Jamaica Queens area of the Grand Central. In a couple of minutes I will be at the Union Turnpike interchange where the G.C. links up with the Van Wyck Expressway. I increase my speed to 90 mph. At the interchange is a small slope of a ramp that in reality is a blind hill if someone at the bottom of the hill isn’t merging into traffic properly. I approach the ramp at 100 mph. I know this because I have been watching my speedometer for the last half minute instead of the road. When I finally look up it’s far to late to avoid an accident.

With the sound of screeching tires, shattering glass, crashing carbon fiber, and shearing metal, I rear end a car that is just merging with traffic and then immediately after hit a retaining wall head on. The Acura rests on a grassy embankment alongside the highway. My first reaction is to push aside the air bags and open the driver side door, but I can’t seem to get it open. It’s probably jammed together with the back door and quarter panels due to the accident. My next instinct is to try for the front passenger door and I am able to wrest that open. I crawl out of the Acura. I feel a little tingly and numb but I can tell that I don’t have any broken bones so I try to gather my bearings. I am at the foot of a bridge that allows cars to overpass the Grand Central Parkway for Union Turnpike and Queens Boulevard. I quickly climb up the bridge and make my way to Queens Boulevard. There is a subway station at Union Turnpike and the trains stopping there will take me to the old rusty elevated number 7 train.

The following day among my friends I told them of the story and the outcome of our Acura Legend. It seemed to be just desserts to them that I should be in this cataclysmic accident after stealing the stolen car from them. Although they had figured I was off doing some kind of showboating since I always had to be ‘The Dallas’. Years later when N.O.R.E. would rhyme about getting head in a whip without crashing it, I had to laugh it off. I was just thinking about getting head and my azz nearly clocked out.

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2 Responses to “GRAND THEFT AUTO – ’87 AC LEGEND”

  1. Jaislayer says:

    Dallas,

    What’s good my brother? I hope you found a couple of barbecues with great sights to hit over the three day weekend. These “When I Reminisce” drops are so on point. The way these stories read, you put me right on the Grand Central with you. I remember the days when having the Acura Legend, Acura Vigor, Audi 5000, any Mercedes or BMW made you the man. The Jeep Wrangler was hot and so was the car that Nice and Smooth always talked about, I think it was the Sterling. Anyway, the Vigor was my shit, I always wanted one of those cars. I loved the way the back windows rolled down.

    Back then my girl had a dark green Acura Legend. I used to take that Legend up to Green Acres Mall and bag Thunder Domes all day. Damn, I wasn’t shit back in the day. Great drop, you got me reminiscing. Peace.

  2. Grand Master says:

    “It had a way of showing us for what we really were — a bunch of lowlife punk thugs.” this is the Real Talk that only dp dot comm brings to the table. damn.

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