I flashed on the near rescue of our daughter's stolen Mirage that the Hartford police had found back in September a year ago that, when I drove the car off the lot, went great but didn't do the stop stuff at all (someone had cut the line at the master cylinder). Jetmec's description of the feel when the brake pedal goes to the metal (and stays there) captured perfectly the sick to the pit of your stomach sensation I'd had. He, too, had used his vehicle's manual transmission to get himself through the worst of it and to get his truck to his mechanic for some intensive care.
I especially enjoyed the side-anecdote about the further adventures of one of 'those stubborn french boys' when the brakes on dad's '65 Wildcat bailed after enjoying an evening of sparkling refreshments (little harshes a glow faster than a mechanical failure in the family jalopy for which, rightly or wrongly you'll be held responsible) but it could have ended up like a well known tale in Appalachian country, up near Scranton.
"And he sideswiped nineteen neat parked cars, clipped off thirteen telephone poles, hit two houses, bruised eight trees, and Blue-Crossed seven people." Thankfully, this time, the times were ripe for a happy ending.