I was born in Illinois in 1938, and I’ve always loved automobiles. One of my tricks, to impress girls as a teenager, was to close my eyes and accurately identify any car just by hearing the engine. Automobiles are movement and sound as well as many other things to me. During the 50’s the roar of a flathead Ford or the rat-a-tat of a stovebolt Chevy 6 were music to my ears.

 When I came to California, courtesy of the U. S. Marine Corps in 1957, I started attending road racing events. At these events the 283 c.i. Corvette bellowed around the courses at a speed that was in the “Oh My God” category. I was also introduced to the baleful whine of a Porsche twin cam, the rip of the A.C. Bristol and the scream of a Ferrari V12. There were many others too, but I think you get the point.
A few months ago, courtesy of Kyle Mohan and Matt Hill of KMR Racing, I attended the Formula Drift Competition at Irwindale. Although I’ve been around as a fan and occasional participant in road racing, I must say the spectacle of drift racing hit me like being dropped into a cage of roaring lions. The sight and sound of these races is a visual and audible feast!

The fabrication work on all of the cars was absolutely top rate. These cars are high tech in every way and, unlike us older guys who thought “Make it bigger, it will go faster,” these builders use sophisticated computerized engine management systems that will make a 3.5 liter Toyota 2JZ put out a cloud of tire smoke large enough to hide a tank battalion on the attack. With that thought in mind, I began to wonder “What do we call these techno-geniuses squeezing all of this power and sound out of these relatively small motors?” It was then that it hit me! When my computer at home won’t work, who do I call? The Geek Squad! That used to be an offensive name, but today it’s used to describe someone who is intelligent, specifically regarding the use of computers and technology. So it came to me: “Thunder Geeks!” When these “Thunder Geeks” apply their expertise to these high-performance machines the result is ground-pounding, tire burning music to these 77 year old ears. You like sound, drama, power and technology?  Don’t miss the next drift event!