It’s that time once again to check out another American legend which significantly shaped motorsport in the good ol’ US of A. Last time we checked out a star from one of the oldest motorsport and then checked out a star from the most most popular motorsport in America.
Now we will check out another very popular motorsport, this time instead of a long track with embankment, it’s short and a simple straightaway. Drag Racing.
From late 50's to late 60's is when drag racing started attracting more audience. It’s also the time when gassers also becoming more popular and one such gasser, based on the body of 1941 Willy’s coupe with a heavily modified Olds V8 that was bored out and supercharged known as the Swindler II was one of the main players in increasing the popularity of the sport.
How was it done? The team that ran Swindler II along with a few other racing teams create drama by calling each other out through performance catalogs every week up until race day and the score gets settled when the Christmas Tree light drops. It’s kind of like WWE but for cars. This type of tension grabbed the attention of audiences from all over and even some performance part companies who are sponsors of the teams played along. It also got people to start their own racing teams and join in the ring.
The Swindler II was a successful racer with many victories against the rivals some were close really race and also set a record 11.22 sec E.T at 126.93mph in 1965. Later on the Swindler II was replaced with a new car painted black instead of blue and was faster with a bigger, more powerful engine and lighter weight.
The rivalry wind down around 1967 where the gassers went out of popularity for lighter and sleeker funny cars. In reality, the rivalry was all an act to attract crowds, in the end the teams were good buddies and even help wrench on each other’s cars once in awhile.
The Swindler II was immortalized through posters, T-shirts, model kits, and diecast such as this HW 100% example. The details are nothing short of exquisite on these HW 100% series from the detailed engine with the large headers slightly poking out underneath the curvy fenders which can be seen more clearly with the feature of opening hood to the chrome roll bar inside the car a signature feature for the Swindler II and crisp tampos of the famous name, its racing team members and license plate at the back. It’s a great memorial to the car and the team that popularized this sport we know today.