An old man starts up an old gas guzzler car that he had secreted away after cars were banned. He steals(?) some gas and takes it out on the highway at night. Lots of imagery about headlights on the road and the thrill of going cruising. Thanks!

  • I think that story was in a paperback full of short stories that was possibly called "car stories". In the same story the person is hunted by exhaust sniffers and police that know someone is driving a car with an external combustion engine which is totally illegal. I also cannot find that book but loved it I think it was a late 70's early 80's publication.
    – 71Bacon
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 22:51
  • @71Bacon Car Sinister?
    – Ayshe
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 2:34

2 Answers 2


It is just possible that you are recalling the Rush song Red Barchetta from the album Moving Pictures.

Failing that, the song is based at some level on a story "A Nice Morning Drive" by Richard Foster from 1973 (also available on-line from a source that looks like it may respect copyright).

Lyrics of the song:

My uncle has a country place
That no one knows about
He says it used to be a farm
Before the Motor Law
And on Sundays I elude the eyes
And hop the Turbine Freight
To far outside the Wire
Where my white-haired uncle waits

Jump to the ground
As the Turbo slows to cross the borderline
Run like the wind
As excitement shivers up and down my spine
Down in his barn
My uncle preserved for me an old machine
For fifty odd years
To keep it as new has been his dearest dream

I strip away the old debris
That hides a shining car
A brilliant red Barchetta
From a better vanished time
I fire up the willing engine
Responding with a roar
Tires spitting gravel
I commit my weekly crime

In my hair
Shifting and drifting
Mechanical music
Adrenaline surge...

Well-weathered leather
Hot metal and oil
The scented country air
Sunlight on chrome
The blur of the landscape
Every nerve aware

Suddenly ahead of me
Across the mountainside
A gleaming alloy air car
Shoots towards me, two lanes wide
I spin around with shrieking tires
To run the deadly race
Go screaming through the valley
As another joins the chase

Drive like the wind
Straining the limits of machine and man
Laughing out loud with fear and hope
I've got a desperate plan
At the one-lane bridge
I leave the giants stranded at the riverside
Race back to the farm
To dream with my uncle at the fireside

Lyrics found here

  • This really sounds like "A Nice Morning Drive" or "Red Barchetta". But one detail is off... the gas guzzlers were the "gleaming alloy air cars" that were "two lanes wide" in the Rush song, or just plain huge gas guzzlers with CB radios in the story. The protagonist was driving a sports car, which is hardly an economy car but not really a gas guzzler, but the original story made a point about safety regulations having made cars so heavy that they were unwieldy gas guzzlers.
    – steveha
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 6:46

I looked for answer to same question myself; look here: classic short story in anthology.Driving illegal petrol car at night only.Car warehouse, cop gunfight in dark

  • 4
    You appear to have copied and pasted another user's answer without attribution. I assume this was accidental, but you should fix that
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 23:58
  • I'm not sure this question is about the same story. (1) In Robinson's story, the man with the illegal car is "middle-aged", not an "old man". (2) It sounds like the story described here is told from the point of view of the man with the car; in Robinson's story the cop is the first-person narrator. (3) Robinson's story does not have all that much "imagery about headlights on the road and the thrill of going cruising."
    – user14111
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 3:00

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