Beefing Up the Hot Stocks

DickLandys65DodgeCountryFunnyCar_4web

.

Here is an article that explains how one expert, Ray Nichels, prepares a 1963 Dodge stock car for the tortuous miles of a NASCAR road course, from Motorcade Magazine Spring 1964 edition, copyright 1964 by the Coronado Book Corporation.  Enjoy! There’s more to come…
– HKK

.

BeefingUpTheHotStocks1_4web

BeefingUpTheHotStocks2_4web

BeefingUpTheHotStocks3_4web

BeefingUpTheHotStocks4_4web

BeefingUpTheHotStocks5_4web

BeefingUpTheHotStocks6_4web

BeefingUpTheHotStocks7_4web

BeefingUpTheHotStocks8_4web

.

BoldMercOutboard_4web

.

Some of My Images of the 1964 Dodges to come, check back soon!

.
.
.
.

Images of Beefing up the Hot Stocks, how they prepare for all out competition
Article entitled “Beefing Up the Hot Stocks” How they Prepare for All Out Competition
Copyrighted 1964 by Coronado Book Corporation, Published by Motorcade Magazine Spring, 1964, Volume 2, Number 1.

.

Image of the Bold ’67 Fishing Merc, featuring a Mercury Outboard Engine
Copyright by the Kiekhaefer Mercury Corporation, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

.

.

Images of The 1964 Dodge Cars, to come
Copyrighted 2015 by HKK Productions Inc

.

Posted in Uncategorized

What Made Super Stock Drag Racing So Super? — Part 2

70SFXSoxAndMartinPlymouthSuperbird_4web

.

What made Super Stock Drag Racing So Super?

Part 2

 

Once again that need for speed stretched the Drag Racing rulebook completely out of shape. So there was nothing to do but start another class – Factory Experimental or FX. This one would change the entire sport of Drag Racing.

With General Motors on the sidelines, it was up to Mopar and Ford to provide the excitement to the Stock Classes. Not to worry, they were ready and more then up to it. So now the racers decided to push the envelope of these factory experimental class. Mopar race driver Jim Thornton “In our ’64 Dodge FX car we moved the front wheels forward 4 inches and rear wheels forward 4 inches. For ’65 we decided we go up just a little more radical, so we move the front wheels up 10 inches and the rear wheels forward 15 inches. There were certain teams around the country that we’re going to have altered wheelbase cars, Ford and Mercury were doing it too.” And, of course, the elephant in the room, the Hemi engine was back this year, making Mopar the dominant door slammers. Ford immediately countered with the real ringer and a humdinger of a single overhead cam engine, aka the Sox Motor, or just the “Cammer”. It was never going to be an assembly line power plant, but it worked pretty well on drag strips.

Ford and Mercury would build several “Cammer” Falcons, Comets, and Mustangs for the 1965 season, but not for Sox and Martin. Martin “When we read the contract we had agreed verbally that it was going to be two personal cars, one for Ronnie and one for myself. Well, the contract read one personal car. And of course I told him there might be times when Ronnie and I might want to go somewhere different. Ronnie and I talked about it and thought there needs to be two cars or we just can’t do this.” Ford responded they couldn’t sponsor two cars, they could only do one. When Mercury refused to pony up another $2,500 courtesy car for Sox, Ford said goodbye to the most popular team in drag racing. And without knowing it, created a legend. Martin “I picked the phone up and called Dale Reca, a Chrysler guy, and told him we would be interested in running Mopar and he said give me two hours and I’ll call you back and give you an answer. And he called back in two hours, and said get on a plane and come to Detroit! That’s how it started with Mopar.” When this deal went down those famous red white and blue colors switched to Plymouth racers and Sox and Martin became drag racings’ A-Team.

All throughout the radical ’65 and ’66 season, the FX cars continued to blow peoples’ minds from Englishtown, New Jersey to Pomona, California.

There’s more to come. Enjoy!

– HKK Productions

.

.
.
.
.

.

63Dodge330CANDYMATIC4web

.

.
.
.
.

.

Image of The Sox & Martin 1970 Superbird
Copyrighted 2015 by HKK Productions Inc

.

Image of The Ramchargers 1963 Dodge 330 Candymatic
Copyrighted 2015 by HKK Productions Inc

.

Posted in Uncategorized

What Made Super Stock Drag Racing So Super? — Part 1

63Dodge330CANDYMATIC4web

My image of a 1963 Super Stock 330 Dodge “Candymatic” at National Trail Raceway, Columbus, Ohio.

 

 

 

What Made Super Stock Drag Racing So Super?

Part 1

 

If ever there was a racing class made for muscle cars it’s this one, Super Stock Drag Racing. Super Stock racing is exactly what the name implies – stock cars taken to the super level. Super Stock hit drag racing just as the sport was making the transition from a hobby for guys in greasy T-shirts to a major professional motor sport. The popularity of super stock and the drivers gave the entire sport of motor racing a huge shot of momentum.

Super Stock grew out of the slower, less flashy Stock class. For a couple of reasons; one, stock cars were getting hotter and two, let’s just call it a need for speed! Super driver and all-time great, Herb McCandless “Once you go to the drag strip and get that feel for speed, and then if you get a win one time, that’s it, you know from then on, your hooked.” And what wasn’t there to like about super stock racing? It gave the race fans their favorite cars in nearly show room condition, and it let them race them against each other. Super Stocks gave Detroit their hottest wheels the best showcase they could have ever dreamed up. Plus, it gave a generation of drivers a chance to do something they loved to, and get paid for it.

Super Stock racing beat the Muscle Car Era to the line by several years. Almost a decade before the Road Runners, GTOs, Chargers, and Camaros hit the show room floor, Detroit was building some barnburner streetcars that could cut a quick quarter-mile. When those Oldsmobile 88s, Dodge V501s, and Chevy Impalas started crowding onto the staging lanes, fans demanded that they get equal track time as the hot rods in the radical jobs. Soon there was almost as many so called “fenderfloppers” as there were dragsters. The frenzy generated by the stockers was a wake-up call for the Detroit decision-makers at Chrysler, Ford and GM. Stock Class drag racing was a fan favorite and one that sold cars, specifically Ford’s Hi-Po 352, Pontiac’s Super Duty 421, and Chevy’s legendary 409. And the soon-to-be heroes who drove them were packing friends into the tracks and towns.

Down south two “good ol’ boys” were making a very big reputation for themselves. Buddy Martin of Sox and Martin, “If you were involved with drag racing in North or South Carolina, you knew who Sox and Martin were.” By 1962 there were drag strips all over America, some were quite lavish by early 60’s standards, and some were quite a bit down scale. According to Herb McCandless, “To save money, some track owners didn’t focus too much what was beyond the finish line. Before the race started, they would go down to the finish line and take the fence down to the cow pasture, so if you couldn’t stop, you could keep going on to the cow pasture to turn around and come back onto the track, because there wasn’t enough stopping room on the track itself.” The big National meets that happened half a dozen times a year were held at the more upscale tracks, and got all the press coverage from the various media. It wasn’t long before the drivers who viewed the sport as a business and their personal livelihood, saw opportunities at all these local tracks, and so did the smarter track owners. This was the birth of Southern-style Match Racing. Match Racing was like gunslingers facing off in the street. Track owners would book two rivals to face-off against each other on the same night, usually in a best two out of three contest. For added fun, sometimes a local favorite driver got into the act too. On a good Saturday night or Sunday afternoon the grandstands would be overflowing with excited fans.

Buddy Martin traded his Corvette in for one of the new Chevrolet 409s. But he kept meeting up with a game guy named Ronnie Sox and getting beaten every time. “I ordered a 1962 409 Chevrolet, then I found out Ronnie Sox had ordered one too, that’s when I could see how unbelievably good he really was. At the end of 1962, I approached him and asked him if he’d be interested in driving a new car in 1963, the Chevy Z11, that is if we could even get one of those very limited production cars. And that’s how the two of us got together and started.” By the end of 1962 Chrysler, Ford and GM were ready with cars that were designed for quarter mile racing. Chevy’s “Bubble Back” Bel Air and Impala now included a juiced up 425 horse 409, Pontiac’s super duty 421 found a new home between the aluminum front fenders of the new Catalina. The Dodge Dart was already lighter than everyone else. And a Max Wedge 413 made it a super fast high 13 second track car. Ford was behind the curve in both horsepower and weight. But they did the usual Ford thing, they jumped in with both feet. Famous Ford driver and head of the Ford Drag Team, Dick Brannan, “Ford decided to make some light weight cars so they made only 11 of those ’62 Galaxys whose weight was about 3400 pounds, real light for Ford at that time”. This factory “go fast” equipment was about all the help the racers were going to get. Stock Class rulebook didn’t allow for much wiggle room when it came to modifying these Muscle Cars. Buddy Martin “Stock was stock back then, they didn’t let you make any deviations at all. They didn’t have those funny cam shafts and stuff like they have now for Stock Eliminator.”

As 1963 rolled around, Drag Racing was ready for an explosion in the hot Super Stock wars. In 1963 the quickest “fenderflopper” now had new letters on the windows: SS for Super Stock. This year the big three Detroit automakers didn’t even try to hide their secret tricks. Not that they could have anyway. The aluminum nose Chevy Z11 Impalas were now punched out to 427 cubic inches. Pontiac went so far as to bore several dozen holes in its frame to lighten them even more, that earned them the nickname the Swiss cheese car! Ford was still the fat kid on the block, they used a combination of aluminum and fiberglass body parts to reduce weight. By this time Sox and Martin had become crowd favorites all over the south. They now left their day jobs to race full-time. They were soon offered a contract. Buddy; “A guy by the name of Jim Sortwell made us our first offer for $500 for a Friday night and Sunday races, and they would take care of the reservations for the motel, food and everything. And man we thought we had really made it then!”

While all that factory muscle thundered down drag strips all over America, Detroit was moving ahead with even more radical rides for the next year. Like a little new invention from Ford Motor Company called the Thunderbolt. In February 1963 Chevy bailed out of racing, leaving racing teams stranded without factory support and no tricked out parts to play with. One of those teams was Sox and Martin. Buddy Martin, “I heard that Mercury was going to build some new Comets.” So now in ’64, it is Ronnie Sox who’s behind the wheel of a Mercury Comet. (See the Comet ad, shown below.) But instead of SS on the glass they had a brand new class designation: A/FX, aka Factory Experimental. (The A stands for engine size. There were also B/FX & C/FX.)

Of course, things would never be the same again – and there would be a lot less of these FX models to go around.

There’s more to come. Enjoy!

– HKK Productions

.

.
.
.
.

.

 
BillMavericksDodgeLittleRedWagon1_4web.jpgBillMavericksDodgeLittleRedWagon2_4web.jpg70SFXSoxAndMartinPlymouthSuperbird_4web.jpg59DodgeGrillFace_copy4web.jpg59DodgeGrillFaceQuarterPanel_copy4web.jpg57DodgeCoronetTailRockets1_copy4web.jpg57DodgeCoronetTailRockets_copy4web.jpg57DodgeCustomRoyalKnightsHead_copy4web.jpg62ImperialLeBaronSouthamptonWetTail_4web.jpg62ImperialLebaronSouthamptonRocketsOn_4web.jpgFuryBolt_4web.jpgShootingStarFury_4web.jpg
Here is an assortment of images I took which include Bill Maverick, a great super stock racer, driving his Little Red Wagon – a 1964 Dodge Original Wheel Stander wagon, a 1970 Sox and Martin Plymouth Superbird, the amazing grill face of a 1959 & the tail end of a 1957 Dodge Coronet, the tail lights of a 1962 Chrysler Imperial “Rockets On!” and the 1964 Plymouth Fury Hood Ornament with custom paint. Enjoy!

.

.
.
.
.

.

 
64RamchargerDodgeSS_4web.jpg64RamchargerDodgeSS2_4web.jpgBillMaverick64SSDodge_4web.jpg64Dodge330PettyBlue_4web.jpg
.
65AFXFordCometCyclone_4web

.

.
.
.
.

.

Images of The Dodge Models
Lindberg Models Copyright by Craft House Corporation, Toledo, Ohio

.

Image of Mercury Comet Print Ad
Copyrighted by the Lincoln-Mercury Division of the Ford Motor Company

.
.
.
.

Image of The Ramchargers 1963 Dodge 330 Candymatic
Copyrighted 2015 by HKK Productions Inc

.

Posted in Uncategorized

Tom Hoover – Ramcharger & Father of the Hemi — Part 2

Tom Hoover – Ramcharger & Father of the Hemi – Part 2

 

At the very beginning the Ramchargers worked on their own personal cars, (if you would like more information on this, see my post from 2014/10/27 “The Story Of The Ramchargers”) they then moved on to project cars, the first being “High and Mighty” a 1949 Plymouth Business Coupe, that can be seen in my photographs at the Columbus Ohio, Mopar Nationals. To quote Tom Hoover: “The first engine for the car was put together by myself and Danny Mancini. It was 354 Dodge truck engine, which had dropped (broke) an exhaust valve, a sodium-cooled exhaust valve. The only money we spent on it, aside from gas and so forth, which we could liberate from Chrysler, was a set of eight pistons, and we had a camshaft custom made for it.”

In 1960, these Dodge Boys had a record holding season with Tom himself behind the wheel of a custom Dodge Polara. After seeing the results of this great season, the executives over at Chrysler headquarters decided it was time to fully commit to racing support in 1961. And so began the great racing performance years for Chrysler and their Ramchargers, those years that gave the public so many Detroit Super Stock collectable cars that would continue on from ’61 to the early ’70s. Then, due to many reasons, including raised insurance rates, and the Mid East Oil Crisis began what many others and I call “the Detroit Dark Ages”.

But way back at the starting line, Detroit’s Race credo was “Race on Sunday and Sell on Monday”. Their goal was to create a much more appealing line of cars for the fast growing younger market. This was a subject that was brought to the attention of newly appointed Chrysler president Mr. Lynn Townsend by his two teenage sons. I’d like to send out a great big thank you to those three, because this led directly to the Corporate supply of performance parts, including those big block engines from Chrysler that were bolted into the Dodge Polara. That car made it all the way to the 1961 US Nationals semi-finals, and then almost blowing it, when a synchronizer in the three-speed manual transmission broke. But being Ramchargers, they were able to fix the problem and won 1st Place on that Race on Monday and then Sold on Tuesday!

Soon after… Tom Hoover was appointed Chrysler Race Program Coordinator for the Engineering division. The Ramchargers first set out to build a drag racing performance package starting with the Max Wedge engine in October ’61. Hoover’s responsibility as Master Engineer was to test different options on the Dynometer for the big block “B engines”. They decided to put four-barrel carburetors, bigger valves, and a Ram intake manifold on their Race Machine. This new set-up was called the Cross-Ram Manifold Wedge, with those extra long runners (pipes). To gain length, a carburetor on the other side of the engine, fed each cylinder bank with the intakes crossing in the middle, to create a strong “Ram Air” or Supercharging effect. Naturally, it was called the famous “Cross Ram Manifold”. The mid-size model cars sold in the spring of ’62 were an immediate success, and a popular favorite.

The Wedge engines were successful but… the competition from Ford and GM was coming again, so Tom Hoover and Dan Moore decided in 1963 to build a better “mouse trap”. So they started with a bigger engine block and bolted on hemispherical heads, similar to those used on Chrysler’s first V-8’s. This was when Tom Hoover’s name as the “The Father of the Hemi” really began with the awesome 426 Hemi monster engine. The “Race Hemi” engine version won the first NASCAR race of the season in the very dramatic 1964 Daytona 500. The driver of that Plymouth was none other than “The King” Richard Petty at the wheel of that #43 Petty Blue racecar. And these new 426 Hemis dominated the National Hot Rod Association and the American Hot Rod Association race circuits as well. Tom Hoover: “When we got the green light to go ahead and adapt the Hemi heads to the “big block B engine”, we realize that one day it would be something revered, that it would be something everyone would look back on as something very special indeed…”

Wiser words were never spoken.

There’s more to come. Enjoy!

– HKK Productions

.

.

.

.

More of My Images of the Ramchargers to come, check back soon!

.
.
.
.

64DodgePolara500RoadTest_4web

RoadTest64Polara500_4web

RoadTest64Polara500_2_4web

RoadTest64Polara500_3_4web

RoadTest64Polara500_4_4web

DodgePolara500RockinAndRollin_4web

.

GoodYearForGoodYearAJFoyts64_4web

.
.
.
.

Images of The Dodge Polara 500
Article entitled “Dodge Polara 500” A large dose of quality, performance makes this car hard to beat – Motor Trend Road Test
Copyrighted 1964 by Motor Trend Magazine, Published by Petersen Publishing Company, Los Angeles, California, February, 1964.

.
.
.
.

Images of The Ramchargers
Copyrighted 2015 by HKK Productions Inc

.

Posted in Uncategorized

Tom Hoover – Ramcharger & Father of the Hemi — Part 1

Tom Hoover – Ramcharger & the Father of the Hemi — Part 1

 

If you are a Dodge fan from the old days, a proud brand new owner of a Hellcat, or if you read my posting “The Story of the Ramchargers”, you might be familiar with the name Tom Hoover, if not pull up your tablet or laptop. You’ll want to know his story because he is one interesting motor head that has led a very charmed life indeed. Mr. Hoover is regarded inside and outside Chrysler Corporation as the “Father of the Hemi.” How he earned that prestigious title was by kickstarting nothing less than Chryslers’ performance revolution.

Tom was born in humble Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, real Mopar country west of Harrisburg. His dad was an auto mechanic, so Hoover was a car guy from the very beginning. His first car was a 1952 Dodge DeSoto with an old-style Hemi under the hood. After high school, Tom went to Juniata College in Huntingdon and studied chemistry and physics before serving in the Korean for War for 19 months. When he returned back home to the USA he got a degree in physics from Penn State. He then joined Chrysler in 1955 and got a masters in automotive engineering at Chrysler Institute of Engineering.

Tom was a master of creation coming up with ideas for many different racing products used in racing to this day. He’s probably best known for his 426 Hemi engine work, a.k.a. the elephant, because of its size, strength, and power. Hoover was also one of the main men involved in developing the first Funny Cars, he also helped developing the great 446 six-pack engine, the AAR (All American Racers), Trans Am cars, and a long list of performance parts. “I had a lot of help” he very modestly said recently. And as I have written about in my post “The Story of the Ramchargers”, Tom was a founding member of the legendary Ramcharger Race Team, the Chrysler employees who spent their nights, weekends and free time building and racing, because of their passion for quarter-mile competition. Did you know the Ramchargers eventually helped launch the companies world-famous 1960s Racing programs? Tom was also involved in Dodges Little Red Express truck. That retro-vehicle before retro was even “in” yet, in the mid-1970s. One of his last Chrysler projects; was in raising the 360s V-8 horsepower with the new hot camshaft. And Tom wasn’t nearly done yet. After his 1979 retirement from Chrysler a group of Chrysler engineers consulted Tom in the late ’90s about the new 5.7 liter Hemis development.The engine that beget today’s Modern Hemi Hellcat Chargers and Hellcat Challengers!

Today Tom Hoover at age 85 is a model railroad enthusiast and as a veteran racing expert, is running a drag racer with his son, a Super Stock 1964 Plymouth, with a Max Wedge engine under the hood. This is the same model ’64 car that Richard Petty campaigned, and won his first Daytona 500 win in that SS rocket. That car was equipped with the ultra rare then, and even more so now, 426 Race Hemi. But Tom is very happy with his Max Wedge engine with available parts “This beauty runs 11.4 seconds in the quarter-mile, and we’re thrilled with it and I’m still having a good time!” …And not slowing down a bit. Just like back in the beginning of his racing days, way back over fifty years ago.

His list of accomplishments and projects is amazing by any modern or otherwise standards, he started out on the right foot with one of the most important parts of the modern combustion engine, this being the fuel injection system. The Bendix “Electrojector”, an early version of today’s electronic fuel injector system. He was also involved in the development of the Slant Six Hyper-Pak project. Other founding members of the Ramchargers were; Jim Thornton, Don Moore, Dick Maxwell, Wayne Erickson, Bill Kogen, and Herman Mozer. Tom; ”the Ramchargers name came from the then new RAM Manifold and the Charge! that came from charging those tubes and cylinders with air.” He designed the first multiple timed inlet manifold during the Ramchargers very first days, that you can see in my photographs from the Mopar Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Tom Hoover himself was the national record holder and class winner in C/Gas/Automatic, driving a ’57 Plymouth convertible with a 392 engine, a Hemi of course.

There’s more to come. Enjoy!

– HKK Productions

.

.

.

64DodgeHemiWagonBlue4Web

64DodgeHemiWagonRed4Web

64DodgeWagonYellow4Web

.

More of My Images of the Ramchargers to come, check back soon!

.
.
.
.

Images of The Ramchargers
Copyrighted 2015 by HKK Productions Inc

.

Posted in Uncategorized

Nascar on Broadway

 

HelloNYJimmyJohnson_4web

.

Here are some images I shot on Broadway, Times Square, New York at the 2007 Nascar Parade of Champions. These feature the top 10 point leaders, with Jimmie Johnson winning his 2nd consecutive Nascar Championship, the last year for the Nextel series name changing to the current Sprint series, and the next to last year Nascar held this in NY before moving to Las Vegas. Want more Nascar history, please see my post entitled The 1964 Sixth Annual Daytona 500. Enjoy! There’s more to come…
– HKK

.

HelloNYJimmyJohnson_4web-c77.jpgJimmyJohnsonNascarImpalaSSPlastic_4web-c3.jpgJimmyJohnsonJeffGordonNascarChampsCloseShot_4web.jpgNascarDriversHardRockCafe_4web-c83.jpgJimmyJohnsonJeffGordonNascarOnBroadway_4web-c15.jpgJimmyJohnsonJeffGordonsNascarsOnBroadwaySolarized_4web.jpgNascarKyleBucshCollidesWithMattKenseth_4web-c51.jpgKurtBuschNascar2007DodgeChargerSS_4web-c0.jpgNascarClassicGolfBallGearNob_4web-c47.jpgJimmyJohnsonsLowesImpallaSSDashboard_4web-c86.jpg

.
.
.
.

Images of Nascar on Broadway
Copyrighted 2015 by HKK Productions Inc

.

Posted in Uncategorized

How the Big 3’s 1964 Cars Perform

Motorcade1964Models4web.

Here is an article comparing the top speed of the Big 3 (Chrysler, GM, and Ford) 1964 cars by model, from Motorcade Magazine Spring 1964 edition, copyright 1964 by the Coronado Book Corporation.  Enjoy! There’s more to come…
– HKK

.

HowThe64sPerform4web

HowThe64sPerform2_4web

HowThe64sPerform3_4web

HowThe64sPerform4_4web

ChryslerTheEvolutionOfAMuscleCar1956-2000_4web

.

Some of My Images of the 1964 Dodges to come, check back soon!

.
.
.
.

Images of Detroit’s 1964-1/2  Mid-Year Models
Article entitled “How They Perform” Motorcade’s Exclusive Estimate of Performance
Copyrighted 1964 by Coronado Book Corporation, Published by Motorcade Magazine Spring, 1964, Volume 2, Number 1.

.

Images of The 1964 Dodge Cars, to come
Copyrighted 2015 by HKK Productions Inc

.

Posted in Uncategorized

Detroit’s 1964-1/2 Mid-Year Model Cars

Motorcade1964Models4web

.

Here is an article from Motorcade Magazine Spring 1964 edition, copyright 1964 by the Coronado Book Corporation.  Enjoy! There’s more to come…
– HKK

.

1964Cars1_4web

1964Cars2_4web

1964Cars3_4web

1964Cars4_4web

1964Cars5_4web

1964Cars6_4web

.

Some of My Images of the 1964 Dodges to come, check back soon!

.
.
.
.

Images of Detroit’s 1964-1/2  Mid-Year Models
Article entitled “First Report: The 1964-1/2 Cars”
Copyrighted 1964 by Coronado Book Corporation, Published by Motorcade Magazine Spring, 1964, Volume 2, Number 1.

.

Images of The 1964 Dodge Cars, to come
Copyrighted 2015 by HKK Productions Inc

.

Posted in Uncategorized

Dick Landy’s 1965 Dodge Coronet Funny Car

DickLandys65DodgeCountryFunnyCar_4web

.

DickLandys65DodgeCoronetFunnyCarHood_4web

.

Here are a few shots of Dick Landy’s Funny Car 1965 Dodge Coronet, from Hot Rod Magazine June 1965, copyright 1965 by Hot Rod Magazine published by the Enthusiast Network.  Enjoy! There’s more to come…
– HKK

.

DickLandys65Dodge4web

DickLandys65Dodge2_4web

DickLandysDodge3_4web

DickLandys65Dodge4_4web

DickLandys65Dodge5_4web

DickLandys65Dodge6_4web

DickLandys65Dodge7_4web

DickLandys65Dodge8_4web

.

And one of my images of Dick Landy’s 1965 Dodge Coronet, shot at The Carlisle All Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. More of my images to come, check back soon!

DickLandys65DodgeCoronetFunnyCarHood_4web

.
.
.
.

Images of Dick Landy’s 1965 Dodges
Article entitled “Dodge Country”
Copyrighted 1965 by Hot Rod Magazine, Published by The Enthusiast Network

.

Images of The 1964 Dodge Cars, to come
Copyrighted 2015 by HKK Productions Inc

.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Forgotten ‘64 Dodge Charger Story – Revisited

Revisiting a post I made on April 2, 2013. A good story worth reading. Now with a few more images. Enjoy!
– HKK

.

Charger1Reduced

In early 1964 Dodge went public with the Charger name for its Dream Show concept car. It quickly turned into a complete series of vehicles. Dodge had hit a home run when it presented the Charger to its first enthusiastic audiences.

The Dodge Boys had seen the popularity that the General Motors Pontiac GTOs were having and had the same plan to produce affordable, completely packaged, high-performance cars. Dodge saw this as a clear message that just having the fastest cars on the road was no guarantee of sales results. Dodge product planners knew that if they couldn’t be first in sales they had to be best quality. So began the program of a new breed of muscle car for the U.S. and import youth market. This ‘64 Charger was the first of a long line of famous ‘60s,‘70s and today’s version of a muscle car for Chrysler. But first they would need to improve their image. They had all the right hardware, the 727 Automatic Transmission were known as bulletproof. The quickest way for Dodge to start winning in the muscle car war would be the ‘64 Charger, one of the most aggressive and muscular looking of show cars. You’d almost expect sweat to ooze from its sheet metal, and saliva to drip from its extra wide mouth. Its hand operated open headers… trumpeting like a Hemi elephant. It definitely had a grab-you-by-the-throat persona. All this to show race fans that the Dodge Boys were planning on taking over.

According to the original press release, the Charger was “inspired by the outstanding competition records set by Dodge production cars in recent years”. The Charger started out as a 119-inch wheelbase B-body ‘64 Polara. This was no fantasy car, instead it had a real connection to the cars in the dealership showrooms. This would show the commitment to serious muscle car competition, in the tradition of Dodge’s proud successes on all types of race circuits.

The first Charger had several design features that were very original for the time, all aimed at attracting the baby boom generation. Both the front and rear bumpers were replaced not by the available aluminum race parts from Chrysler, but by smooth metal and small vertical bump strips. Two of the four headlights normally on a factory-issue Polara were also eliminated. The extra wide hood scoop had the extra cool “426” badge on the front edge to suggest what might be underneath that hood. The actual engines under the hoods were the respectable 305 bhp, 383-cid engine from its Polara sister ship. So the hood of the car remained closed for the show circuit and it didn’t effect the great interest of the show goers. The ’64 never failed to attract large crowds and impress performance enthusiasts. Forty years later the mighty ’64 Race Hemi engine would finally be installed in the last known surviving ’64 Charger. Mr. Joeseph Bortz, the new owner, wanted a Hemispherical engine in the renovation project Charger, but he didn’t want just any Hemi. He could have had a brand new crate motor from Mopar Performance installed, instead he wanted one of just 15 original Race Hemis made under the hood. Just as the excutive brass at Chrsyler Corp. had origanally planned on.

In 1964 other changes made to the first Charger were done in a number of ways; the seating was unlike any production Dodge, using a special bucket design that was both luxurious and sporty. Custom “superfoam padding” was covered by pleated charcoal grey leather. Black carpeting covered the floorboards . The advertised engine was the very rare and imposing 426 cid Hemispherical. This was a completely different design from the corporation’s 1950s vintage Hemi-head racers, and it continued on in its winning tradition. But there were some early problems with the new cylinder walls being too thin. This delayed their delivery to the race Nascar teams, when they did start arriving; they were in very great demand. Overall Chrysler Corps latest developments in the high-performance engine designs helped them dominate in the horsepower race of the big three U.S. auto makers

Dodge top management had planned from the beginning to put a 426 Hemi in the ‘64 Charger concept show car, but the availability was becoming a major problem. Back at Chrysler headquarters, as far as the race hemi was concerned, job one for the engineers was equipping the drivers for its debut at the Daytona 500 stock car race in February ’64. As it turned out every time one of these hand-built engines were set to be installed in the ’64 Charger it ended up being shipped to the corporate sponsored race teams in need of an engine for that weeks competition. The 1964 concept show car circuit was starting soon so the use of the mighty Hemi would have to be skipped… for the time being. Eventually one of these super rare cars was identified, pursued, purchased and restored to original specifications in this the new millennium.

After the show tour season was over, one of the eight experimentals was sold to a prominent and influential Chrysler dealer from Hershey Pennsylvania. For some strange legal liability reason, it was normal procedure for Chrysler to crush experimental and one-off machines like this. But luckily this dealer interceded and rescued this historic car and mostly forgotten origin of modern Dodge Chargers. This car was eventually inherited the dealers son . He was the first to perform a series of bad alterations to this experimental car that was by that time mostly forgotten by automotive world.

In 1999 a Chicago restauranteur and collector of prototype dream cars Joe Bortz bought the long lost ’64 Dodge Charger after 12 years of trying to negotiate a deal with its owner. Luckily this grandfather of all the Chargers was stored indoors and did not have many rust issues, but it would need a major overhaul and restoration. It had been repainted a long faded white with Ram Charger red stripes. The great looking charcoal grey leather was replaced with white squares and red piping. In place of the black carpeting was a 1970’s bright red shag rug. If that wasn’t tasteless enough, there was even red carpeting around the gauges on the instrument panel. A restoration expert began the project in Chicago. He was able to replicate interior and exterior pieces that were researched using original photographs from the brochure, and built with much custom machine work. The Chargers new for 64 headlights and wide mouth grill had been tampered with, and rectangular headlights had been jammed in. The reproduction of parts was the most difficult part of this restoration. The finishes to the chrome and Alcoa Aluminum were brought back to their original finishes. The interior received new leather including the unique combination roll bar/headrest pads. Many of the rare parts needed were located through a great list of automotive contacts. There would not be enough ’64 426-cu-in. parts in existence to rebuild this kind of engine again. So now, at long last, the original plan for the Hemi elephant race engine being in the ’64 Charger was completed with its connection to the bullet proof 727 Torqueflite automatic with the center console shifter, not the cool push button shifter in its final year in Chrysler cars. The correct paint color also needed a bit of detective work. Samples from an area where the original paint was still visible, a color spectrometer was able to digitally reproduce the deep-burgundy red hue. A set of new original stock Halibrand magnesium wheels was an amazing lucky find. They were mounted with the Goodyear Wingfoot bias-ply whitewall tire of the time.

Some day this forgotten and last ’64 Dodge Charger might make a run or two down the drag strip again to see the 11-second elapsed time. The big concern with a rarity like this is that racing stress could possibility hurt the engine or even twist the body enough to crack the paint. Maybe after a few more years of temptation it will race at an automotive event near you, before the grand dad of the General Lee and todays awesome Chargers takes a trip for at tune up in the mechanics shop!

Charger2CopyA96dpi

Charger2CopyB96dpi

64DodgeChargerSpecs_4web

.

DodgeGoldenAnniversary_4web

64DodgeTheFinest_4web

.
.
.
.
.

Images of the 1964 Dodge Charger & 1964 Dodge Golden Anniversary
Published and Copyrighted 1964 by the Dodge Division of the Chrysler Motors Corporation

.

Posted in Uncategorized