MoPar Monday - Dick Landy's Dodge Challenger

Dick Landy, the cigar-chomping Mopar racer, was a master showman and a major pioneer in Super Stock, Funny Car, and Pro Stock; who was known for his innovative race cars, wild wheelstands. His nickname “Dandy” came from his neat appearance in pressed white pants and jacket and long unlit cigar clenched between his teeth.

Before piloting this Pro-Stock Challenger, Dick Landy had already made his name in the drag-racing scene. His milestones and achievements are (and not limited:

  • Raced one of the first funny cars in 1964
  • Earned full factory sponsorship from Chrysler in 1965
  • Consistently turned 9.40-second passes at 164 mph. while match racing in 1965
  • Led Performance Clinics for Chrysler
  • Set up a sponsorship program with Buddy Martin that allowed Super Stock drag racers to earn real money
  • Won national events in the newly created NHRA Pro Stock class in 1970
  • Was World Points Champion in AHRA in 1973
  • Has been inducted into the Car Craft All-Star Racing Team, Hot Rod Hall of Fame and International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
  • Has done engine development for a number of major manufacturers, including B&M Automotive, Chrysler, Mopar Performance and Crane.

The NHRA Pro Stock class debuted in 1970, and, fortuitously, so did Dodge’s new Challenger. Pro Stock meant pushing the edge of technology – a minimum weight with a maximum displacement on gas settled it, maintaining as close to an original exterior appearance other than hood scoop and wheel changes.


Mr. Landy was leaving his Super Stock and Modified efforts behind to show Mopar prowess in Pro Stock, became the Challenger’s most visible supporter in the quarter-mile ranks.


The Challenger he raced is represented here, from the Hot Wheels Vintage Racing. One time Kinja was having massive meltdown, depriving us of LaLD for quite a few hours; thus, I freed up this piece in an attempt to please the Kinja gods.


Although sacrificing a carded car didn’t work, I finally got to see this beauty without a plastic blister in the way. The classic livery and sponsor emblems are neatly applied onto the body, if only Mattel had let the clear coat dry completely before packing them; we’ll be taking about that in a minute.


I absolutely love the stance of Pro-Stock race cars, the big rear slicks give them an imposing rake; looks as if they will pounce on their prey at any time. The patriotic color scheme just pushes it to the top, there’s no denying the effect it had on the audience.


And now, you’ll see why I’ve been only showing the passenger side...


Because the driver’s paint is botched up, especially on the door and rear quarter. This seems to a problem some Vintage races batches face; apparently the clear coat didn’t have enough time to dry before these cars are carded. This meant that while having a fresh minty car from the blister, it’s not going to be 10/10 condition. A real bummer, at least not as bad as the recent RLC debacle.

Racegrooves shows the same issue with the same piece he owns.

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