Project Description

Swamp Rat 8: was built in the fall of 1964 with the brand new Dodge 426 Hemi engine. This was the first car out of Garlits Automotive Inc. using the new Chrysler Hemi. Connie Swingle ran it at the 1965 US Fuel and Gas Championships, held at Bakersfield CA with a torsion bar rear suspension by Bruce Crower. When we returned to Tampa after the Winter Series, Dodge demanded I take over the car as my primary ride, as they didn’t build 392’s anymore. I removed the rear suspension and went on the 65 tour with SR 8, but I had a very bad year with the car as I was trying to tune it like the 392. This engine needed lots of spark lead and when I finally discovered this the engine came to life, but not before we cut the front half off of old SR 8 and renamed the car Swamp Rat 10. Then in 2005 I decided to recreate the #8 car from an old crashed rear section I had hanging around the garage for many years along with an original “Garlits” tail section. By 2006 the project was finished and we took the car to the NHRA Reunion in Bowling Green KY. The car is now on display in the Drag Racing Museum.