- Barry (the Carguy) Thomas
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Feb 10: Factory Muscle
There was a time in our country long ago, when you could walk into your local Dodge or Plymouth dealer and order a factory made, ready to race Hemi Dart drag car - sort of. Although this is true, only 80 were made and they were sold to know racers. But the interesting part is that they were sold at all and sold ready to race - no back seat, Plexiglas windows, fiberglass front end, no radio, no heater, no insulation, rear fenders cut out for tire clearance and a 426 cubic inch Hemi engine. The pic above shows exactly how they looked when they were sold to the end user.
This magazine article from back in 1968 shows a completed batch ready for shipment. Oh, there was one caveat - there was also a note in the glove box stating that this car was only to be used for "timed acceleration contests", was not to be street driven and carried absolutely no warranty. Good times, eh?
But did you know that today, much the same thing is available? Dodge sells a Challenger that is ready to race with a V10........
I don't know who this happy dude is, but he's just taken delivery of his Challenger with the Mopar Drag Pak and will be headed to the strip shortly.
Not to be outdone, Ford also has a similar Mustang.........
Ford actually did make a very few Cobra Jet specials for drag racing back in 1968, but they didn't get near the press or nor have they attained the Godzilla like reputation of the Hemi Darts.
But what about Chevrolet?
Back in the heyday of these Super/Stock (S/S) factory race cars, Chevrolet was quietly putting together special 427 Camaros, called COPO's (Central Office Production Order) and selling them to acknowledged performance dealerships. Recently Chev unveiled a drag race special Camaro ZL-1(above), which like its Mustang and Challenger counterparts will be sold "strip" ready.
Neat the way things have changed over the past 40 odd years and yet in some ways have stayed the same. I used to drag race my Plymouth, but insurance costs precluded my having the big engine. Maybe my time hasn't yet come? I'll talk to my wife (and I know where this is going to go).
Speaking of drag racing, I'm still struggling to finish my model of the Little Red Wagon wheelstander - not a bad kit, but it has lousy instructions. Even the Car Modeling Cat has been challenged. Hope to have it finally completed within a couple of weeks.
Until next time........