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Dead Man’s Curve

Posted by LOTGK on October 8, 2007


The Jag Started To Swerve, Won’t Come Back From Dead Mans Curve

Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, Ohio. A beautiful metro park bordering Youngstown, Boardman, and Canfield. A park where as children, we would play. Sometimes to the extreme. Daredevil extreme.There was one particular bend in the road called horseshoe curve. It was right off Old Furnace Road and was a very tight turn for a car. We called it “Dead Mans Curve.” I don’t know if anyone really died at the curve, but it sounded cool. And we all liked the Jan and Dean song with the same name.

Anyway, we would ride our bikes as fast as we could down the slight hill that led to the curve. We would then all bunch together and take the turn all at once. Yes, sometimes we fell off our bikes and sometimes we really had to swerve from impending car traffic coming the other way. This was very cool and passed the time away but we wanted more. We would have to wait until we got our drivers license.

As a card carrying member of the Daredevils club, one rite of passage was to drive your car around Dead Mans Curve at least 50 MPH. The faster you went, the higher up in rank in the Daredevils club you went. The street leading to the curve was short, thank goodness, so our cars couldn’t get going much faster than 50. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be typing this right now. I would be more than likely dead. As much as some other members.

My car of choice at the time was a 1971 Buick Lasabre, a big four door boat. I bought the car from my mother. The Buick was a tank, was fast enough, and ran well. Perfect for the curve. With a witness in the back seat watching the speedometer to verify my speed, I stepped on the gas and approached the curve. I was going 55 when I hit the turn. Cranking the steering wheel hard the tires were squealing but holding steady to the road. Half way around the curve, the back end of the Buick started to fish tail. Not wanting to let off the gas or step on the brakes, I powered onward hoping the car would flatten out. It would not.

A split second later I was around the bend but something wasn’t right. I was now looking in the other direction. My car had did a complete 180 in the curve. Pretending to have done this on purpose, I stepped on the gas and went around the curve again and stopped where I started. I had done it, i beat Dead Mans Curve, and I jumped up another rung on the daredevils club.

The video above is the actual horseshoe curve. Thats my Jeep coming around at a very pedestrian 35 MPH. And thats my son driving, blowing his Dukes Of Hazzard Dixie horn.

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One Response to “Dead Man’s Curve”

  1. Jan & Dean said

    Great tune, Dead mans curve. Always thought it was the Beach Boys.
    And you don’t look like you were going that fast around the curve. Cool horn.

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