By Trey Rusk
Years ago police cars were really fast. For instance, I drove a 1976 Plymouth Fury with a 440 cubic in engine and a four barreled carburetor. When you floored it the sound of the air intake on the carburetor was deafening.
It was fast, but it was heavy and cornered like a tank. If you were chasing someone and needed more power there was a toggle switch below the dash that would turn off the A/C compressor while running hot.
Naturally cops want to see who had the fastest car. This was done between agencies on night watch when the highways were empty. There was no side by side racing. Just a quarter mile time run. Bragging rights lasted until a new winner was announced. Also the fastest car would always take the lead in a pursuit.
These time runs were usually planned in advance of a PD receiving a new car. They were also carried out between 12am and 2am. Clubs closed at 2am and you had to be on the lookout for DUI drivers. Thieves and burglars usually plied their trade from 3am to dawn.
This arrangement was working well until it didn't. A mid-week run was announced by a neighboring PD. The stretch of highway was in both cities. Units were placed at both ends to warn of traffic.
The time trial commenced with much radio chatter and the noise of the engine could be heard for miles. As it approached the end of the run, I could tell is was going too fast to make the curve which was also on a bridge.
I don't know how but the officer emerged without a scratch. The vehicle wasn't a police car. In fact, it was a Bentley borrowed from a nightclub owner who wanted to see how fast it could go. The officer driving believed he was going 140 when he started to brake and lost control.
The bridge railing had been hit and wreckage was laying in the roadway for 200 yards in the other city.
Now for the cover up. Cops fuck up every once in a while and this was a colossal fuck up! A friendly wrecker (that means no charge for cops) was called and another cop shows up in a city dump truck. The wrecker towed away what it could and the scattered parts were thrown in the back of the dump truck.
I don't know what happened after the clean up in regards to the car or wreck but I never heard another word about it until about a month later. Someone called in a possible car in the creek. A diver was called and he emerged with a rear bumper of a Bentley. Nothing else was found.
I think the time trials stopped. I was moved to CID and the cop that was driving the Bentley moved on to become a Criminal Justice Professor.
I wonder if he told his students, What happens on night watch, stays on night watch?