Dodge Little Red Wagon

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The Dodge Little Red Wagon is an exhibition drag racing truck first introduced in 1965 and was world's fastest truck at the time and first wheelstanding truck.

Owned and driven by Bill "Maverick" Golden and based on the compact Dodge A100 pickup, the truck toured extensively throughout the United States and was frequently seen in television commercials for Dodge trucks.

Builders Jim Schaeffer and John Collier performed extensive modifications to the A100 in order to fit a 426 Hemi engine and TorqueFlite automatic transmission. Since the A100 was a cabover design, Schaeffer and Collier opted to install the drivetrain in a roughly amidships configuration between the rear of the cab and the front of the pickup bed within a welded steel subframe.

Parts deemed unnecessary were removed from the body, among them the heater, dashboard, front bumper and all body sealer. The passenger doors were replaced with fiberglass units. The Little Red Wagon's first dragstrip run netted a mid-11 second quarter mile at 120 mph (193 km/h).[1]

The vehicle was not originally intended to perform wheelstands; the slight rearward bias caused the nose to lift in the air for nearly the entire quarter-mile run.

Golden soon purchased the truck from Dodge for use as an exhibition racer. The Little Red Wagon debuted in the 1965 season opener at Lions Drag Strip in Long Beach, California in front of 10,000 fans and reporters from major newspapers and automotive publications.

The vehicle suffered three wrecks in 1969, 1971 and again in 1975. After the 1975 wreck, Golden converted a non-operable show truck and campaigned it for the next thirty years.

Golden entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 1977 with a 4230' (1289m) wheelstand, approximately the length of three quarter-mile dragstrips.

In 2009, the Little Red Wagon was sold at RM Auctions Icons of Speed and Style Auction. The vehicle was expected to fetch US$300,000; it was instead the auction's top seller at $550,000.[2]

It is also the subject of a 1/25 scale model kit from IMC and was later reissued by Lindberg Models.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.allpar.com/model/littleredwagon.html History and photos of the Little Red Wagon at Allpar.com
  2. ^ http://www.rmauctions.com/auction-results-overview.cfm?SaleCode=RW09 Icons of Speed page ar RMAuctions.com
  3. ^ http://www.lindberg-models.com/land_model72158.html Home page of the Lindberg 1/25 model kit