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.

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 behind the rear of the cab, in 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 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. The truck was initially given to Dick Branstner Enterprises and Roger Lindamood to help sort out the ill handling and unpredictable truck. The team's Dodge Color Me Gone entry had just won the 1964 US Nationals. They enlisted Jay Howell to drive the truck and the first known photo of it doing a wheelie has Howell behind the wheel. Chrysler Director of Marketing, Frank Wylie, arranged for Super Stock Champion Bill "Maverick" Golden to purchase the truck.

Bill "Maverick" Golden turned the Dodge A100 pickup into the very first exhibition wheelstander. The truck toured extensively throughout the United States and was frequently seen in television commercials for Dodge trucks. The Little Red Wagon debuted in the 1965 season opener at Lions Drag Strip in Wilmington, 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 until he retired in 2003.

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, built in 1975 to replace the original, 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]

In 2015, the original Little Red Wagon was sold to stunt driver Mike Mantel who also is the current driver of the Hemi Under Glass. Mantel has converted a 1965 Dodge A100 into a Little Red Wagon wheelstander to perform and tour with the original crashed truck on display.[3]

It is also the subject of a 1/25 scale model kit from IMC and was later reissued by Lindberg Models.[4]

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.LittleRedWagonWheelstander.com
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2010-01-08.  Home page of the Lindberg 1/25 model kit