In my new quick read, Frances, you’ll meet Cecil, the proud owner of a 1920s Ford Truck riddled with bullet holes and some extra gadgets, installed by the bootleggers he bought it from about twenty years after they modified it.
While Cecil himself isn’t a bootlegger, when I was learning a little more about this real-life vehicle he was driving, I was pretty surprised at all of the upgrades moonshiners put in their vehicles.
From kill switches and toggles to make the car’s brake lights and headlights completely dark, to adjusting the brakes to sit high and allow for hairpin turns, to secret compartments in everything from the seats to the floor, moonshine creators were prepared for anything to get their precious cargo through to the buyer.
But what happened to those vehicles after there was no longer a need to be running liquor? People like Cecil bought these cars, kept some of the modifications (or didn’t) and took their girls riding on the weekends.
Cecil is, and as a car enthusiast, he’s about to make Frances a little nervous! Read this excerpt, and tell me if you’d feel the same as she does!
Frances waited nervously in front of the boarding house. It was four in the afternoon, but Cecil wasn’t there yet. Suddenly, a truck riddled with bullet holes pulled up along the curb and honked the horn. Cecil’s grinning face was leaned over to look at her through the rolled down passenger window.
“Hey!” he shouted.
“Is this yours?” Frances asked, torn between amazement he owned a vehicle, and shock that it was covered in bullet holes.
“Sure is,” he said, coming around and holding her door. “Got a great deal on it. Used to belong to a bootlegger.”
“I…see. Is that why there are bullet holes in it?”
“Yep! He got them trying to get away.” Cecil shut her door and climbed into the driver’s seat proudly.
“Well, that’s an interesting story,” she said. Thelma might never believe this. “Did he…make it away?”
“I’m not sure,” Cecil admitted. “Maybe that’s why I have it now.”
Frances gulped and nodded. How in the world did you answer something like that?
“It’s not too bad a drive,” he told her. “About an hour. Just relax. Aren’t the seats terrific?”
“Yes, they are. And that sounds fine,” Frances answered.
“This thing is specially modified,” Cecil went on. “Did you know bootleggers have all kinds of special things on their vehicles? There are secret compartments in here. Handy to stash things. I fixed the brakes though,” he said, turning onto a twisty road.
“Yep. They were modified too. You know, one higher than the other. Makes for hairpin turns. I set em back to the normal way. Left the kill switch on, though. Might come in handy. You never know.”
Frances blinked. “I see,” she said.
“Don’t worry, I won’t use it,” he assured her. “But if there was ever a reason to, one hit of this switch and all the lights go out.”
She could tell how proud he was of the car. “It runs real nice,” she offered.
Cecil grinned. “Sure does,” he agreed. “Check out this speed!” He pressed down on the accelerator and sped up.
They approached a tight turn. Frances grabbed onto the door, sure her face was a little green. As they took the curve, a large truck came the opposite way and honked at them. Her heart was hammering in terror as they whizzed past the blaring horn, only inches to spare.
If you’d like to learn a little more about Frances and Cecil, and see if they fall in love despite a meddling mother and the wartime draft, stop by my Amazon page!