The roadblock appears out of nowhere -- two Caprice Classics aligned nose to nose across three lanes of backcountry asphalt. I have two options: Ram through the cars (and risk wrecking my own in the process) or spin around and speed away. I decide on the latter, just in time to see a third Caprice pull up alongside me. Its driver grins wickedly from behind the barrel of a Glock 9mm. I slap the transmission into reverse, stand on the accelerator pedal, and turn the wheel hard to the right. Rubber burns and tires squeal as my car careens into a 180-degree spin. The terrorist opens fire, painting my car, and then me, with bullets. I'm dead before my car ever stops rotating.
That moment's hesitation, in which I evaluated my options like a rookie quarterback checking off receivers in the face of an oncoming pass rush, got me killed. But it's far better to make such a mistake at the hands of an instructor wielding a faux Glock than in an environment where attackers employ very real AK-47s. That's why almost every U.S. government agency and military branch -- including the FBI, CIA, U.S. Marshals, Department of Defense and Marines -- as well as foreign governments and private companies, send their drivers to Bill Scott Racing's anti-terrorist driving school in Summit Point, West
Virginia, before stationing them abroad. Here, the automobile becomes both a weapon and a lifeline, and for the next two days, my classmates from the U.S. Army and the Hong Kong Police Department and I will learn how to put it to use against terrorist attacks ranging from carjackings to all-out assassination attempts.
Scott, a former champion Formula Vee racer, began offering antiterrorist driving classes in 1976 after noticing a serious flaw in the way the U.S. government protected its people abroad. "They were doing a great job at protecting an ambassador in a cavalcade of cars and cops," he says. "But not with the attaché or the guy who was out there by himself." So Scott studied the history of auto-related terrorist attacks and designed a curriculum to arm the individual with the skills to survive one, skills like surveillance detection, fender-to-fender road combat, and executing 180-degree turns, as well as weapons training, shooting on the move (one of the most difficult skills to master), and how to use a car for protection.