Written by Michael Domke
My Buddy Don, said he used to run apple jack form Yakima to Seattle in his '56 Crown Victoria, 312, Paxton-McCulloch VR57 supercharger, T-85, homemade headers, one of the first sets of Michelin X radial tires, and a police speedometer. He said he had a tank made that was shaped like the rear seat, even had a little padding, that would hold 150 gallons. The back of the seat even had burlap and fake springs so that when he got pulled over, when they opened the trunk, it would look the part and they could poke at it and it would give. That was just one of the vehicles they used, it was his daily driver and it was about 1960.
He said he'd get filled up in Yakima and leave about 5 and get to Seattle about 8-8:30. Part of the reason he was able to get it through was that a sheriff of a small town in between was on the payroll, and got them a set of keys to the locks on the logging roads.
The police cars in 1960 had regular bias ply tires and, they would chase him, but he was able to go faster on wet roads with the radials and the blower than the cop cars. When he got far enough ahead, he would pull off onto a logging road, unlock the gate, drive through, and relock it, and be in thick trees before the cops could catch up to him. He's drop off the liquor in Seattle and they would wash the tank out. Apparently apple jack doesn't have a lot of smell to begin with (I wouldn't know, I've only had the stuff that smells like turpentine).
He and one of his cohorts also had a pair of dark green '56 Ford pickups, identical except one had a 8 inch thick false bottom in the bed were the tank was, they would drive the non-tanked to a halfway point a day or two before, then the tanked one a day or two later. When they got the the halfway point on a logging road, they would switch trucks and tags. If he was being chased, all the better, he would head back to Yakima in a clean truck, get himself pulled over and let them look over the truck and the search for apple jack was over. They would also switch tags and leave the clean truck around Yakima as the decoy. He never got caught for running the stuff. He got caught doing other things and was given a choice, jail or Army, but that's another story.