Project Description

Swamp Rat 5A: Connie Swingle and I built SR V-A in late 1962 as a gas car, but I got a challenge from Vance Hunt in Texas for my Number 1 Spot on the 1320 list. I defended the spot with the little light weight 5 car and she was forever a fueler. It was very light and spun the tires on most strips so while visiting Bruce Crower before the 1963 NHRA Winternationals, now back on nitro, Bruce suggested we build a wing over the engine for more traction down course. The wing worked, I won my first NHRA National event and was very pleased. However the light weight, short wheelbase, (120″) still continued to give traction problems on loose strips. When I returned to Tampa after the winter circuit, Swingle and I built a longer wheelbase Swamp Rat, (140″), Swamp Rat V-B and I took this car on the 1963 tour. Swamp Rat V-A was fitted with a 1963 Dodge blown 413 Cubic Inch Max-Wedge engine and loaned to Dodge for a dealership tour of the United States. I never saw the car again; I guess it’s hiding in some dealership’s garage. The Museum is in the process of recreating this fantastic little car with the first wing in drag racing.