A Brief History of a Man Obsessed with Motors
The racing bug had bitten Mike as soon as he sat behind the wheel of his first car, a 1963 Buick Riviera. Although not the fastest car around, putting his foot to the floor and seeing how fast she will go spawned  the need for speed. After wrecking that car, it seemed logical to buy another Buick and have a back-up engine from the Riviera.
Along came a 1965 Buick Skylark GS that was in sad shape but ran fairly well. The very fist night of owning that car marked Mike’s first “official” victory in a street race. He knocked on the door of his best friend at the time, and called him and his '69 Cougar out. He beat up that poor Mercury all night, from a dead stop or from a roll, the cat was no match for the Buick.
“Those were some of the best days, cruising the turnpike with all your buddies”, Mike recalls. “In those days most of the guys had stock muscle cars and it was a battle against one another and light to light to see who was fastest”.
The Buick was not the fastest in the mix, but held its own. Mike liked being the underdog and winning street races with a Buick. This underdog feeling made him a die hard Buick racer although most of his friends were spending less money and running Chevy’s or Ford’s.
The ’65 was limited in performance so the next ride was a ’69 Buick California GS purchased for $100 in Rockaway Queens, N.Y. After removing the 350 engine and installing a 455, it was time to get a bit more serious. The '69 had been neglected, spending most of it’s life surrounded by salty beach air and salty NY streets; which made it the ultimate street sleeper especially with the dog dish Buick hubcaps on expanded steel wheels, column shift and stock appearing engine.  The California GS also became a formidable opponent in the NY street racing scene.

Eventually Mike lost interest in the dangerous street racing circuit and decided to change his whole racing direction. Mike put the car on a diet, and gave it some paint. It was time to make it look more like a racecar and less like a street car; so like many other cars it needed a name. A good friend of Mike’s had dubbed his car the “Scrap Iron Screamer” because of how poorly it looked but also how good it ran. It was perfect! Scrappy for short, became a crowd pleasing wheel stander at the race track. This car went through many changes over the years and well over 300 passes on the quarter mile track starting at ET’s in the twelve second range to a best ET of 10.02
When the engine began to over power the chassis once again it was time for a new ride. Another '69 Skylark was in order. This one was purchased as a roller with a full cage and a ladder bar suspension. What seemed like a “drop in a drive train and go weekend”, turned in to a major project. It seemed fitting to name this one “Scrap Iron Screamer 2”. But once it was all squared away, it became a reliable consistent drag car that Mike won many races with.

After five years with Scrappy 2 it was time to step it up once again. Mike had his eye on a beautiful 70 GS chassis car for a few years. Once it became available, he jumped at the chance to own it. One drawback of the car was that it had been in a recent fire. After a few months of grueling work , Mike had the car of his dreams.

Mike debuted the car at the 2007 GS Nationals in Bowling Green, KY; the place where he first saw his current car back in 1993. Not having made a single pass before the trek to KY, it was a mystery as to how the car would handle and just how fast it could go. He made four passes total; two were aborted runs and two made it down the racetrack. The two clean runs were 9.27 @145 and the last being 9.05 @148 leaving the starting line at less than optimum launch rpm. During the Nationals, the starter sheared off multiple teeth from the SFI flex plate leaving the car disabled for the remainder of the weekend.

Since The 2007 Buick Nationals in Bowling Green, the car has only made a few license passes, but is now ready for some full bore runs. Mike is confident that the car is capable of some 8.80- 8.90 second ET’s.
Keep checking back for more exciting news on Mike Modena Racing.
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