When Beenie Man informed YardFlex of the plans he had for Mafia House Productions, Jigga Mattic and Warlington decided that we had to find a 'gangster car'. After a couple of phone calls, we located 48 year-old Merrick Reid, a building contractor who collects classic cars as a hobby.
Mr. Reid had a 1936 Ford V8 three-window couple that was similar in make to ones the gangsters used to call 'The Hardtop Roadster' which were often used to go on 'moonshine runs' (transporting bootleg whisky) during the Prohibition Era in the United States. During Prohibition Era ( 1917-1933) the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors was prohibited. Underground saloons popped up, and inevitably, most of the liquor traffic fell into the hands of gangsters.
Reid had bought the car from Clarkson Nunes in 1999 for an undisclosed sum after it had been "abandoned" in his garage for years.
"He wanted someone who would preserve the car in its original state, someone offered him US$100,000 for it but he turned them down, it's probably worth that to, it was one of the first cars in that model series to come off the production line...a very rare car in the United States," he said.
According to Mr. Reid, the engine, an 85 horsepower flathead V8, was the same one used in Sherman tanks during World War II.
"The whole vehicle is all original, and I've spent thousands of dollars renovating it, chrome frames for the windshield, new authentic shocks which I had to use a Ford manual to source the parts for, plus a brand new distributor," he gushed. "The car should be able to drive but I am sorting out the wiring of it right now. The only difference is that the car has been sprayed a metallic blue, the original colour was blue, but not metallic."
The car uses regular gas but a lead additive is needed or "else the gas might mash up the engine", Mr. Reid said..
Just getting the car to a new location proved an adventure, Jigga Mattic got a wrecker and we relocated the car from Monterrey Drive to Millsborough in upper St. Andrew. On the way, the spare tyre fell off the car, and bounced in the road, almost causing Jigga Mattic who was driving beh--, no, who was securing the perimeter, to have an accident. When we got the car safely inside, and had the spare tyre refitted, we pushed the car to exactly where ace photographer Warlington needed it. Then it was lights, camera, action! Angel came out in a black slithery dress that is the stuff of every young man's fantasies, and with her caramel skin glistening in the growing dark and a rose between her teeth, she was the essence of gangster chic. DAMN!
There was a small spat between Don Mafia and Beenie Man but that was soon resolved. Later, they came out in some awesome gangster suits that would have made Alphonse "Scarface Al" Capone himself green with envy. Angel was stunning and when she clambered up on top of the Ford roadster in a series of come-hither, sexy poses, it was sheer auto erotica! Rrrrhhh!