Dan Williams parked the lowered 1970 Chevelle SS in the third bay of the ten car garage that was the most prominent feature of his automobile shop. He had just finished restoring the car for a client and was about to receive a fairly large check for completing the eight week project. The car had proved to be a tough job to complete. When the company he owned received the Chevelle, the car was a mess. The motor had been completely torn out, as the owner wanted to do a conversion. The car’s front grille was hanging on by a thread, rusted beyond repair. The wheels were all but gone. The tailgate was a hole of rust and dirt. The job that the customer wanted done cost him a total of $105,000. The result: a hunk of almost nothing was now a pro street, show-stealing hot rod. Dan marveled at his beautiful restoration, as he often did. The car was painted a pearl white and was complemented by a thin red stripe across the middle of each side, a badge that said LSX just behind both front wheels (which were Weld S70 rims, one of the best in the business), and a spectacular two-tone interior, painted red and white. Powered by Chevrolet’s LSX 376-B8 accompanied by a Whipple Supercharger, the Chevelle pushed out a healthy 761 horsepower. Dan put a black cover over the car, a complimentary gift he gave to all of his customers, and started to walk towards his office. Just then, Tommy, one of the stooges that worked for him, approaches.
“Hey, Tommy.”, Dan says, “how are things?” Tommy continues to walk towards Dan, carrying his careless and pessimistic attitude across the room.
“Things were fine until I had to get off my ass and make my way to this waste bucket.”
“Tommy,” Dan says, “I hardly make you work, you get paid way more than you should, and… hey we do fun stuff every now and then.”
“Yeah,” Tommy says, “but why every now and then? Why can’t we have fun all the time?”
“Because,” Dan says, drawing out his speech “it’s a job not a trip to an amusement park.”
“Oh buzz off, gramps.”, Tommy says with a laugh.
Dan makes his way over to the desk, ignoring Tommys’ comment. There was a lot that needed done today and Dan was not about to let Tommy stand in the way of the production of his company (he had done so before on Tommy’s self-proclaimed “seize the means of production day”). On that day, Tommy had somehow managed to convince everyone in the company that he was the boss for the day, that Dan was leaving and had given him control of the company while he was gone. In that one 20-hour period, Tommy had put everyone to work on a self-proclaimed project: dismantling the interior of Dylan’s procharged Firebird WS6. Dylan remembers coming back to find the seats torn out of the car and the custom sequential gearbox replaced by a stock gearbox. It was a despicable prank and Dylan had not been pleased to find out that Tommy had cost him over $7,000 in repairs and replacements. Tommy was lucky Dylan didn’t fire him. There were some people at the company who felt that the only reason Tommy still worked there was because Dylan was “sentimental about him”, that if anyone else had dared to do what Tommy had done so many times, Dylan would have fired them.
“I have an idea.”, Tommy said as he walked into the shop one day and stood by the stack of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. “Let’s take one of these things and, instead of putting them underneath a hunk of environmentally-destructive metal (Tommy said this because he had never been fond of cars fueled by gasoline, preferring Elon Musk’s over-priced, overrated Tesla automobiles to the radical pro street cars with four-figure horsepower ratings that burned E85 at a faster rate than their record-breaking quarter mile times), put us inside one, you know, as if we were wheels or whatever.” Tommy had to smile as he finished his sentence, for the look on Dylan’s face told him everything he needed to know. Dylan’s eyes were bulging and wide, as if they were going to fall out of his head. His mouth was wide open, as if he had broken his jaw. For a long period of time, Dylan stood there, staring at Tommy like this and Tommy just chuckled, knowing what was about to happen. Suddenly, Dylan broke the silence. “That might be the single most absurd and downright moronic idea you’ve ever had while working at this company, Tommy!”, he exclaimed. “By the way, that’s saying something because you have said and done some pretty stupid things. Do you realize how much one of those tires costs?” Tommy begins to say something, but Dylan interrupts him. “Five hundred and ninety dollars! They cost five hundred and ninety dollars, Thomas! Per tire!” “What if I pay you back if we ruin the tire?”, Thomas asks, “and we only push it once.” Dylan stands there for a moment, trying not to look at Thomas as a grin spreads across Thomas’ face. “Okay,” Dylan says, resoundingly. “one time. And you owe me five hundred dollars. There. That’s fair. I’m even giving you a $90 discount.” “Okay, thanks gramps.”, Thomas says as they roll the tire out of the garage and onto the street.
“So,” Dylan says, “who is going to do this? Me or you?” “You, no question,” Thomas says, almost too quickly. Dylan gives him a look, but resignedly gets into tire after Thomas says “Do you want to have to pay me workman’s comp?” Thomas asks, his arms outstretched and a half smile across his face. “This was your idea.”, Dylan mumbles as he gets into the tire. “What was that, gramps?”, Thomas asks. “Nothing, Thomas.”, Dylan yells, feeling like a caged animal, “Let’s get this over with already, my legs are falling asleep.” “Whatever you say gramps.”, Thomas says, getting behind the tire and into position to push Dylan. “Oh shut the hell uuuuuup!”, Dylan yells, drawing out the last word of his sentence as the tire begins to move down the hill. Dylan’s eyes widen as the tire gains speed and begins to barrel towards the bottom of the hill. Below him is an intersection full of cars, and he is racing towards it at a speed of at least 45 miles an hour. Hitting one of those cars would put him in the hospital, but so would jumping out of the tire. He braces for impact as the tire is within inches of a Subaru WRX STI. Though, before Dylan can hit the car, the tire disappears into thin air. Dylan is gone as well.
When he opens his eyes, Dylan thinks he’s dead. Lights are flashing all around him. Loud noises fill the air. Dylan tries to get up, and just as he does, he realizes that he is about to be hit by a car. Though, it’s a car that he has never seen before in his life and the shock nearly causes him to stay where he stands. It is a 1904 Rolls Royce 15 HP, and unrestored, it is worth $35 million.
Dylan dives out of the way just before the driver slams on the brakes, skidding to a stop. He then gets to the sidewalk and stands, staring at the car that nearly just injured him (it wouldn’t have killed him because the car was only capable of reaching a top speed of 39 miles per hour and, from the looks of it, couldn’t go much faster than 15 miles per hour). Dylan could just see the money he could make off of a car like this, one that almost no one owned, and, most likely, no one owned in the perfect condition that this example was clearly in. It was as if the machine had been taken straight off of the showroom floor and onto the streets of… wherever the heck Dylan happened to be at the moment. If Dylan could bring this car back to the shop, he would make a fortune, more than he had ever made from any single project he had ever done. All he had to do was figure out how to get back home with the car in tow.
It was an issue Dylan had no idea how to take care of. How could he? He wasn’t sure why the tire transported him here or how it did, so how was he supposed to know how to get back and what to use. Then, he realized: he would probably have to get back the same way he came here. It was time to find a tire.
As he walked to the auto shop (which he had found by asking people around him where one would be) Dylan marveled at the sights and sounds around him. Cars ages old, ones that were impossible gems to find in the present day, were roaming around the streets as if what they were doing was normal. How incredible! Dylan constantly turned his head, looking at the various rare machines as they went across the small town with ease and beauty. As he got to the front door of the auto shop, Dylan stopped, turned around, and took in the full beauty of the sight that was taking shape before his very eyes. Then, instead of walking into the tire shop and making an effort to get back to his very own automobile shop located in a time he knew all too well, he walked back out into the open space of the wonderful small town, with its neon signs and small diners and proceeded to ask some of the residents where he could buy a suit.