The Duel on Bloomfield Avenue
The Song that best befitted JACK
((( Born to be Wild )))
Get your motor runnin' Head out on the highway
I like smoke and lightning Heavy metal thunder Racin' with the wind
And the feelin' that I'm under Yeah Darlin' go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace Fire all of my guns at once
And explode into space
Like a true nature's child
I was born, born to be wild I can climb so high I never wanna die
Born to be wild.
It’s about 7 o’ clock on Bloomfield Avenue the suns
long rays where just hitting the tops of the yellow stone facieses
of the buildings that were along side the avenue with the backdrop
of the blue evening sky causing them to appear like the top of the
Coliseum. The days radiant heat was being released from the structures
and black top giving up a distinctive aroma that mixed with the
fumes of the passing traffic. Pigeons are flying to their nesting
areas underneath the over pass of the Garden State Parkway.
This is where the two warriors were now analyzing one another for
the ultimate face down.
My senses got acutely heightened as the tension was mounting, one
thing I knew for sure was that Jacques would never back down from
a challenge; he was like a Pit Bull when it came to facing down
Jim sits motionless in the front seat waiting for the first move.
The tension is almost unbearable, sort of like waiting for a war
to start before the first salvos are fired.
The two cars are staged side by side.
I’m studying Jacques opponent, he appears very casual –
can he be that confident?
Here we go
Bubble Gum makes the first move,,,,
He makes a quick left turn ---- not what we expected –---What!
----- He’s making an exit!
He had come on like a big bruising boxer that comes into the ring
drabbed in all the fancy flashy treads with big lettering proclaiming
he’s a champ of some kind, then does an all out exhibition
of fancy jabs and shuffles really putting on a show and getting
the crowd all charged up for an all out battle. Then when the bell
is about to ring he instantly metamorphosis from mighty “Joe
Palooka” to “Pee Wee Herman” and leaves the ring!
Jacques lays a patch of burning rubber as he does a full power
turn after him, the New Yorkers big Fin rear end, for the first
time, fish tails and slides sideways following the front end into
the turn, the front tires are also protesting trying to hold on
to this turn. The screeching burning power sound echoes and scares
the roosting pigeons from their underpass nesting area and they
come flying out just as they would be at the opening of the Olympics.
Jacques quickly brings the New Yorker back in control and administers
his famous push button power shift from the master command panel
and catches up and moves the New Yorker right up the door skins
of the shiny slick looking Grand Prix.
The Bubble Gum Gangster looks over in horror like he did not realize
that he started a duel and has the look that said: Why are you following
Jacques is now “Personified” Jack, in full Newark mode.
The cars are both motoring side by side on Bloomfield Avenue.
Jack edges on the Hemi like an attack dog each throttle pump makes
it jump and he inches closer and closer to the Grand Prix shiny
Jack then puts his hand right on top of the passenger door of the
Grand Prix like he’s a Cowboy grabbing a calf by its half
grown horns and say’s “Hey PUNK Show Me What You Got!”
Jack let go and stumps down on the gas, the New Yorker obliges
his wish and kicks down into passing gear, in a blink of an eye
the New Yorker shoots two cars lengths ahead of the Grand Prix then
Jack cuts in sharply in front of him.
What! This guy turned out to be a nothing. Bubbles immediately
turns left again trying to get away from us???????
Jack makes a wild Screaming Tyrannosaurus Rex U turn and catches
up to him with full AFB Snorting sounds.
This about face move was perfectly executed, hands down it’s
the best move I’ve ever seen Jacques do –
(Could have been used in the movie Bullet)
Imagine a powered backend to front full reversal on Bloomfield Avenue
that was 4 lanes wide!!! - Absolutely stunning!
Borrowing a line from Top Gun “OK Jester You Can Run but you
The Guy is now in full panic mode and does not even want to make
eye contact with us. He’s hoping that we just go away.
Jacques is dogging him now and starts laughing "This Guys
a Pussy" and now decides to have fun with him like a Cat with
He makes the New Yorker lay back then punches its, burning rubber
and catching up with the Bubble Gum gangster and taunting him saying
here “Chicky” “Chicky”.
The Grand Prix maintains the legal speed limit.
The New Yorker sticking right along side of this Showboat cruising
side by side hoping that we can "Ignite his manhood".
Jack then puts the transmission selector button in Neutral and
show his cards for the first time and lets
"King Kong" out of the box,, by flooring it, the HEMI
snorts and goes into its full power Rocket Roar!!!!!!!
This finally cracks the Bubble Gum Gangster - he can’t take
it any more and he makes a run for it, his Grand Prix had a pretty
good get up and go.
Jacques starts laughing, look at him run – the poor baby’s
The Grand Prix goes flying up an entrance ramp like a rabbit being
chased by a wolf. Jim and I tell Jack to let him go, he’s
got to go change his pants; he’s got a great car but is afraid
to race it.
He’s all show but no go. Jacques takes our advice and guns
the Hemi to get us out of there and said its time we go home –
We went several blocks now paralleling the Parkway and we’re
cruising at a good clip heading home, all of a sudden the Grand
Prix reappears as it is descending down an off ramp and bumps right
into our path.
This was totally unexpected by either one of us. You should have
The Bubble Gum Gangster had the look of death when he spots the
New Yorker pulling right next to him again!!!
Jacques shouts at him “Hey Punk are you still Alive”
and squeezes the Grand Prix almost into the wall then we Blast off
never to see the Bubble Gum Gangster again. This was the laugh of
the day and what a wonderful day it was – Never to be repeated
The Bubble Gum Gangster was just a Punk who was used to looking
down on people who he thought were beneath him with his snickering
stare, that is until he bumped into the wrong Guy – Jack popped
his big bubble all over his face
When it came to stepping up to the line to prove himself –
he folded – sort of like the politicians we have today!
Back on 20th street we dropped Jim off, the Sun looking like a
hazy red ball, was going down on the South Orange Mountains in the
distant west casting a soft amber pinkish hue on the grave stones
in the Cemetery that was across the street from the Connelly’s
Everything seemed so quiet now the lightening bugs were just coming
out beeping their yellow blips as Jacques and I departed.
When we got back on 11th St. the New Yorker was placed back in
its slip in the Corral. Jacques went straight to bed, having to
work later tonight at Tuscan – he had stayed up the whole
day to be with me.
Later on I walked over to the Corral where the New Yorker was parked
I looked at its silhouette shape which seem to be resting from a
It was eerily quiet now, so I decided to just sit in Jacques seat
pulling the knob turning on the dash light so I could see the greenish
blue glow from the dashboard gauges. All the gauge needles were
in their resting position not registering anything. I laugh to myself
thinking how they never stop moving and swinging when we were doing
all the stunts that we did during the day. I had the keys so I turned
on the radio and just sat there remembering this day, feeling glad
and yet kind of sad knowing that it was over. The Mamma’s
and Poppa’s Song: “Dedicated to the One I Love”
comes on. It was such a nice rendition of the old Shirelles song
and the way the M&P sang it with their perfect harmony made
it a perfect song for reminiscing and I did say a prayer of Thanks
to God for giving us this memorable day and keeping us safe and
also to keep watching over Jacques.
Thus ending this wonderful day – not knowing there would
never be a day like this again.. I turned off the radio and shut
the dash lights, closed the door and said thanks to the New Yorker
as I patted it’s hood and walked back to our house still feeling
in a melancholy mood.
Then I started laughing out loud thinking about the Bubble Gum
Gangster who was probably still washing out his BVD’ Shorts
Jacques New Yorker was like the Family Dog who was taken on an
outing and did everything so perfect, always willing and ready to
execute all of Jacques commands and giving us a marvelous time.
It was never beaten – it never ever let us down and carried
us like a "Big Giant" all day.
This was the last time the three of us were together in Jacques
magnificent car - soon everything would end........................
Next Chapter - Highway to the Danger Zone
- The END
John Desranlesu is a Car Show Photographer.
You can view his work at: