The Last Flight of the New Yorker Part Nine

by John Desranleau


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 an opponent.
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 me?

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 skin.

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 cannot hide?”

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 a Cat-Nip-Mouse.
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 scared.

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 – AMEN

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 seen it.

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 again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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 house.

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 long day.

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:



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