Swamp Rat 17 2015-12-06T22:20:00+00:00

Project Description

Swamp Rat 17: When Robert “Jocko” Johnson saw that I was having success with the RE Car, SR 14, he called me and asked if I would like for him to build a streamliner body for one of my RE chassis. I said yes and the project was underway. Jocko built a very nice fiberglass body and Swingle built the frame and by the end of 1972 we were ready to test. I debuted the car at the AHRA Grand American at OCIR and Butch Mass drove the beast to 180 MPH, far off the highly touted 275 MPH! We brought the car home and tested the next time at Lakeland DS, outside of Tampa and Don “Mad Dog” Cook was at the controls. Still no real good runs. I then decided to drive the car myself and to my surprise at about 180 MPH the motor revved up and I lifted. We returned to the pits to find nothing was wrong! What had happened was; at about 180 MPH, the whole car became airborne and as the rear wheels cleared the pavement, the engine would reeve up. I pulled the plug on the project and sold the car to Russell Mendez, who was killed later at Gainesville in his rocket car. His partner, Ramon Alverez got the car and I bought it back when we got the Museum going in 1976. Willie Wild and I restored the car and it is on display in the Drag Racing Museum.