Gone in 60 Seconds…

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Of the many fucked up things I can say that I have done to ruin the quality of life for New Yorkers, the most costly indiscretions were borrowing people’s cars. The only good that ultimately came from the this was that S.W. coined the term ‘whip’. He was making fun of my parking and how I turned the wheel to get into a spot. The term is now part of the hip-hop lexicon as are many of the jig words that we use on this site. The name for a borrowed vehicle was an ‘S’. We called it that because we were cornballs and it gave us the chance to say, “Look at this ‘S’ car go.”

Living in the shadow of Shea Stadium made it easy for T.C., S.W. and me to have access to all kinds of vehicles during the summer. Actually, T.C. taught S.W. and I how to drive and he was younger than we were. I don’t even remember how we learned how to steal cars. That is another one of the fucked up things about the ghetto, bullshit knowledge gets filtered down as if by osmosis. Nobody in the ghetto can spell osmosis, but everyone knows how to steal a car. First off, you needed a couple of flathead screw drivers. One thin and small(approx. 3/16″ wide) and one that was longer and a little bit wider. Next, you had to have a dent puller, or pulley, as we used to call it.

pulley

The pulley is a sliding cast iron weight on a steel rod with a gripper handle on one end and a steel screw on the other. We would buy our tools at the Korean owned car parts store. They had to know that a sixteen year old doesn’t repair cars, but what do they care since they are prah’lee illegal aliens anyhoo. We kept our tools in a backpack. Everybody had a set and we always traveled with at least two sets. In case someone broke a screw inside an ignition, we wouldn’t be shit out of luck. Your screwdrivers got bent up too because some people would have the reinforced guards around their keyholes.

I remember the tension as you approached a possible ‘S’. You had to be precise and hell’a fast. You had to have this motion of going into the door lock and then lifting upwards. Once the door popped you would open the door and jump in the passenger seat. Out comes the pulley that you slam into the ignition cylinder. Slide the weight down to get the screw to puncture the cylinder. One, two, three, four turns of the handle should have that screw into the cylinder at least an inch deep. Slide the weight back to the handle and out pops the cylinder. Stick the large screwdriver into the ignition and turn clockwise as if you had the key.

If the car didn’t have a hidden kill switch you would be in business. You had to make all of this happen in under a minute. That is usually the time it takes for a car alarm to be activated. Car alarms weren’t as ubiquitous in 1986 as they are today. When one of them went off back then people would actually come to see what was going on. Being sharp and fast was a prerequisite and my crew, the Whypticons, had some other rules that we played by. The number one rule was not to take any whip that you thought belonged to a brother. There was all kinds of senseless shit that Black folks and Mexicans liked to do to their cars, but these pantomimes helped us recognize whose car was whose. If anyone had the personalized silver strip running along the bottom of their doors it was a Black. The gates on the back window of a Maxima were also telltale signs. As an aside, Asian folks hardly ever washed their cars back then. Props to the Filipino kids that go to the car wash. They started this whole Asian dude washing their car trend. Rule number two was not to take any car with a baby seat. We seriously had respect like that for people with munchkins. Robbin’ hoods for real. The next rules came in terms of vehicle operation. Always wear your seat belts and always use your signals. We actually convinced ourselves that our conscientious driving habits are what kept us from being caught.

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We treated the cars like they were our own, cleaning the insides and getting them washed regularly. Our depraved joke was that we had ‘All City’ insurance. When we smashed up a whip we would just get another. How fly do you think it was to go to the club in the city with a car? Trust me that we were among the small number of teenagers that drove themselves up to Union Square a/k/a the Underground. We would drive up to the Red Parrot and just hang out in the front of the club on West 57th Street. We couldn’t get in the club because we were too young, but S.W. had smashed a couple of chicks that he picked up on the blowout one night so that brought us back from time to time. We could get into Paradise Garage and 10-18 and those spots were hot to death with freaks and crackfiends.

The joyriding was fun as shit, but the truth is that if it doesn’t make you any dollars then it doesn’t make any sense. The junkyards that adjoin Shea Stadium are part of an area called the Iron Triangle. They sell stolen cars and parts in the Triangle during the day. Drugs and prostitution rule the area at night. We brought several cars into the Triangle and as our luck would have it we didn’t go there for a few weeks and then the Feds came through and raided the Triangle. T.C. brought the newspaper to my crib with the article. His dad gave it to him. T.C.’s dad was cool as all hell and just like all of our fathers he had a sensibility that comes from knowing what exists on the streets and how to avoid it. That ended our not so lucrative ‘auto-trading’ business model, but it didn’t stop us from whipping it.

Why did some poor fuck leave the pasenger window rolled down on a brand new golden bronze Ac’ Legend?!? T.C. caught it by the pedestrian bridge that leads to the stadium. What a dumb fuck this owner was. He parked his car in Corona and decided to walk the 5 minutes to the stadium to avoid the parking fees on his brand new sedan. We didn’t have to damage the door lock or anything. Up to this point this was the best car that we had ever had. It was completely leathered out. There were all kinds of ridiculous electronic motorized features in this car. I can’t begin to tell you how pimp we were in this car. We drove this car all around the tri-state area for almost a month. S.W. had some chicks up in Mount Vernon and I had a little shorty on Long Island near Jones Beach. You want to talk about out of control swagger?!? I am still surprised that I don’t have any children from that summer.

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Everything wasn’t all gravy forever inside those ‘S’ cars and in 1989, T.C., S.W. and I were arrested in the Bronx. If you are lucky you will get to see my mugshot hairstyle modeling photo from back then.

After that arrest I wouldn’t ride dirty any longer, but I have got a ton of adventures to kick to you from 1986 to 1989. Holler…


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11 Responses to “Gone in 60 Seconds…”

  1. mrkamoji says:

    Dallas I was beginning to think you were going soft on us. We want more stories before the book drops, and don’t mind the long posts they (people) keep reading. Did you ever get Jettas with the gold bbs’, I remember that the Jetta was mad hot back in the day, they had just come over. Next to nobody had them in the hood.

  2. the_dallas says:

    Jettas and Accords(flip up lights) was 1 and 2. T.C. had this f’n red Jetta so long he was just gonna keep it and put the buggy lights on the front. I was like, “Nucca! That ain’t your ride!”. T.C. hopped in the car and started it up and was like, “Nah motherfucker, this IS my ride.”

    R.I.P. T.C.

  3. lazr says:

    good ass stories, defintely gotta respect the power that AC with the gold in the back.

  4. Combat Jack says:

    Damn dukes, Paradise Garage? That was my shit on Friday nites (nullus). Used to cop the mesc tabs from homie who parked across the street in the flap jack cap who resembled Louis Guzman. Even had the membership. You was really doing it son.

  5. P-Matik says:

    So y’all coined “whip” huh? Hahaha. These stories are illaphone.

  6. The Phoenix says:

    Ummm…loved that hair (and you know which pic I’m talkin about) HAHAHAHA…preserve that sexy man!!! HAHAHAHAHA

  7. Ced G says:

    Reading this story reminded me how straight “crazy” you were then and now. The Dallas Penn cuts flicks brings back memeories of seeing them live. I don’t want to out your criminal shinangans but I consider you the real “intellligent hoodlum”. Only trun old school heads remember that artist. Get doing what it do!

  8. Tiffany says:

    This is why I come to this site. The realness. Dude, I feel like I’d know how to steal a car…well if we were back in the day….

  9. Dallas says:

    no money in cars man jus crotch rockets you have no idea.

  10. Julie Bee says:

    Damn, DP! I love it! Taking us back once again! I’ve been in a few too many of those rides, my BK boys in the boonies kept the chop shops in Canarsie busy! My first time I was 16 & the driver was 14! He picked us up in a shiny red Trans Am or maybe it was a Camaro, with a screwdriver in the ignition. In an instant-doing 100 MPH-we were in Manhattan, chillin in The Vill… that kid became a cop! Luckily we made it back intact & my parents never knew…

  11. Fosterakahunter says:

    Vivid tales of NY in the 80s

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