PORACH DODGE:Thanks to Wayne Schultz
My name is Wayne Schultz. A quick bio to explain the story I heard about one possibility for the existence of the "D" Dart.
I bought one of the first (in Cleveland OH) 1964 V8 Darts for my wife. She drove the "Manhunt" Dodge to a very impressive winning streak at the local tracks. Karenís name was always in the stripís newsletters and the local newspapers. We were a bit off the record ET and did not consider any attempt at a national meet. A fellow drag racer convinced us to try the NHRA Summer Nationals. To make this a short story, we won, but were disqualified for valve springs. After some investigating and some letter writing, we were re-instated. Chrysler had updated the springs but never notified NHRA.
I donít remember how I met Dick Maxwell from Domestic Product Planning (Chryslerís racing division). But we did talk a bit about what the Chrysler cars were doing. He told me that a new Dodge Dart with special treatment was due for 1966. If I wanted one, he would supply any tech assistance that was possible. I am sure that the 1965 NHRA Summer National win had something to do with the offer. Of course I agreed.
One snowy day the auto transport dropped off my "D" Dart. What a beauty!
We were ready by opening day for one of the local strips. There were many teething problems, but things quickly were sorted out. As the car and my driving skills got better, Dick started wanting weekly reports. I thought that was a bit strange. As a matter of fact, I thought the whole program was a little strange. In my opinion the car was not really suited for the class. And why would Chrysler devote so much time and parts to it? I asked Dick a few times about the "D" Dart program and was never given a satisfactory answer. If they wanted to promote the Dart and Cuda bodies, what better way than the Hemi Dart? Finally, after some badgering and maybe when it became clear to Dick, I got the answer. Dick claimed that a Chrysler VIP was at the Winter Nationals in Pomona CA and had some sort of altercation with the Musser brothers. They consistently set both ends of the D/S class and won many events in the West with an early Corvette. Check National Dragster around 1965 to 1967. As the story goes, the Mopar VIP told them that Chrysler could and would kick their ass.
So now you know the origins of the "D" Dart. Sorry to say, I think I was correct. The car really was not suited to go head to head with the Corvette.
I dropped out of the program about mid season and did not follow the "D" Dart progress. Does anyone know how they did? Any times?
I got down to very low 13ís with a NHRA legal motor.
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COPYRIGHT 2007 BY ALAN LEWIS