When KJ Jones scooped up a 1991 Ford Mustang for just $1,000 earlier this year, he figured he was merely getting a daily commuter car to take him from the San Fernando Valley to El Segundo, where he works as a technical editor at a magazine for enthusiasts, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords. But he got far more than that from his cheap ride.
Jones, an avid drag racer, planned to run his supercharged 1986 Mustang – that does 145 miles an hour – in the National Muscle Car Association racing series this summer. But just a week before the first race, he wrecked the coupe.
So he entered the commuter car instead. And even though it is far slower than other cars he was up against, the results have been good. He even scored a first place in an August race in Pomona.
That’s because Jones entered the car in so-called index races, where it’s important to match but not beat a predetermined index time while also being the first to cross the finish line on the one-eighth or one-quarter mile of track.
“It doesn’t really make a difference that the car is really slow. A lot of success is contingent on how well the driver drives the car,” Jones explained.
Still, he’ll be adding some speed by doing an engine and transmission overhaul on the car for the last race in the series later this month. After that? He’ll continue to use it for his daily drive.
Lost and Found
Of all the people disappointed with the “Land of the Lost” movie in 2009, the most heartbroken may have been Bill Boyd … but for a different reason than most.
The senior managing director of Charles Dunn Co.’s Glendale office jokes that he was disappointed not by the poor quality of the movie but because he didn’t get to perform in it. He started his first career as an actor in the role of a Sleestak, a race of lizard men in the 1970s Saturday morning original television show upon which the movie was based.
“Some of us alumni were miffed we didn’t get called to reprise our famous roles,” he jested.
In truth, he got the part because he stands about 6 foot, 7 inches. He was a basketball player at USC when a producer called the school looking for tall guys to play the lizard men. Boyd, now 59, along with a few teammates, were all cast, which required them to wear a full body costume and face mask. They shared the part on different episodes during the 1976 season; the series was canceled in 1977.
“Of course, by looks of the character, anyone could play the Sleestak role,” he said. “And, it’s probably why my acting career never took off, either.”
Staff reporters Jonathan Polakoff and Jacquelyn Ryan contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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