I live on a street with a playground zone and recently I saw a guy rocket through it doing about 75-80 miles per hour.

That was one of the most insane stunts I’ve ever seen but it left me wondering about how effective I would be as an eyewitness because the rocket man went past my living room window in a millisecond.

There was a police car a few minutes behind the stunt driver–but my witness observational skills would be a joke because I couldn’t identify what he was driving.

Jerry Sutherland

The best I could come up with would be “silver SUV”.

That’s because today’s cookie-cutter cars blend in like a zebra in a herd of 1200 other zebras.

Had he been driving something cool; I would have nailed it—even with only a split-second to ID the car. Here are five cars that would have had the clown behind the wheel in custody before lunch.

The first one is a ’63 Plymouth Fury four-door sedan.

If Speedy was driving a ’63 Plymouth, he would have had a real problem slowing down for the T-intersection at the end of the block. If he made the turn, he’d still be busted within blocks because a ’63 Plymouth is a very distinctive car.         

The next easy-to-ID classic would be a ’58 Buick convertible. This car would stand out on the surface of the moon if you had a decent telescope.

Had the scofflaw been driving a ’58 Buick convertible his chances of making the turn at the T-intersection would be slimmer than finding an honest politician. If he did make it, he’d be picked off in traffic and handcuffed in less than five minutes.

The third car would have to a Nash Metropolitan. You have to suspend belief here–because a Met couldn’t hit 80 miles per hour on a good day—even with a 50-mile-per-hour tailwind.

Let’s assume the nutbar behind the wheel resto-modded the Nash so it could hit 75-80 miles per hour and handle a high-speed turn. He’s still going to be in custody in less than an hour because a Nash Metropolitan stands out on the street like a naked fat guy on a bicycle.

The fourth car is another convertible–this time it’s a ’67 Chevy Impala. There’s little doubt a ’67 Impala could hit 75 in a playground zone, but he’s going to plow into that T-intersection turn like an elephant on roller blades.

If he skips the curb and rips out his front end he’s done—if he does make the turn, he’s driving a giant 60s convertible that stands out like a neon sign in traffic. He should just pull over and wait for the inevitable arrest.  

The fifth car to make it a slam-dunk to ID would be a ’57 Ford. The 1957 Ford could be a force with a dual four-barrel carb 312 under the hood, but it would have the same problem all the other cars would have with the T-intersection turn.

Forget Robert Mitchum in his ‘Thunder Road’ ’57 Ford—this real-life attempted turn would put the Ford about 300 feet into the green area—probably on its roof.

There should be a point to this so here it is. Make life easier for the police and drive a classic so guys like me can help identify felons who go through a playground zone at 75-80 miles per hour.

Jerry Sutherland

By: Jerry Sutherland

Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post,  Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.

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