I know what you are talking about! Dave Granger had an Olds 442 and that car was a threat to everyone in L.A. but Dave didn't have enough money for tires (or gas really,) so he wasn't famous and often had to back down. (We'd carry a gas can and syphon gas back then!)
When he totalled the car he walked and he was sad for years! An old girlfriend named Christy told me once that she saw Dave at UCLA in 1980 and he was pleased to have found a trashed 442 that he was going to rebuild! He's an engineer now and is swimming in the green!