Sexy lady ain’t she?
This is Black Betty. A highly modified 2nd gen Mazda RX-7. Under the hood, behind the front axle is a GM 3800 V-6 from a Camaro. It is the incredibly well built creation of Matt Johnson. Matt is an incredibly talented metal worker with an eye for detail and hands made for art.
Betty is putting about 250hp to the wheels and is a beast. I got a chance to drive this girl this past weekend for the American Endurance Racing Season ender at Mid-Ohio. AER is a new entry level series that takes what Chump and LeMons started but moves it up a level. Much faster cars, (even though a few LeMons rides were present), supposedly better drivers and a higher level of competition.
That much I can vouch for. When I arrived on the wee hours of Friday morning, the Sahleen trailer was unloading and the Nonnamakers were unloading their IMSA Porsche Caymans.
The other cars were all quick, very quick. But the secret they didn’t know, is that in a straight line, no one walks from Betty.
Saturday found us 3 laps out of first in class even after a busted wheel put us in the paddock for 4 laps. But even with a second in class, we finished 4th overall and beat one of the IMSA Caymans. Sunday had us grinding down from a 6th place start to 2 seconds behind the leading car that beat us Saturday, and we were closing. Then disaster, a wheel bearing started to let go, luckily driver Mark Baruth caught the sound and saved the car. To add insult to injury, the 1st and 2nd place car ended up taking each other out. Had she held up, we would have won.
But that my friends is racing. And racing is awesome even when it isn’t. Plans have already begun for total AER domination next year, and I am hoping to be there.
In the meantime, I dream of Black Betty…