The Six Pack Dodge
Purchased in 1970 by my Grandfather, Carl Smith, from Lowe Motor Company in Roanoke, AL. The car never made it to the Dealer’s lot. Mr. Lowe contacted my Grandfather about a new car that just arrived and he might be interested. After seeing the car, he bought it straight out of the dealership’s warehouse (It was one of the 1st Challengers sold in that area). The car served as his daily driver with a “few” interesting stories until 1972, when he decided to get an “economy” car, a new Duster 340, so my Dad purchased the Challenger from him.
It was my Parents daily driver, with a “few” full-throttle passes made, until my Dad decided he wanted to go Stock Eliminator racing in 1973. From 1973-78 he campaigned the car in B-Stock at various tracks throughout the Southeast, setting several IHRA World Records along with a few Stock class victories! That “Orange Six Pack Dodge” was known by many.
In 1979, with the rising cost of campaigning a class car, he decided to bracket race the car until 1982. After that, the car sat until 1984 when my Dad began competing in a “new” style of heads-up street car racing. So he had my brother and I (young kids at the time) in the backyard wet sanding the car, then he had a fresh coat of orange paint shot over the lettering, put mufflers and street tires (dirt track DOT versions) on it so it would be a street car again. He had success with that style of racing until 1986. After that it was occasionally driven to high school by me (how many 16 year-olds should be trusted driving a 440 Six Pack car) and Dad would take it out from time-to-time to “clear the cobwebs”.
In 1993 a couple of local 1/8th mile tracks were built that did heads-up grudge style racing, so the car was pulled from the weeds, tuned up, and raced once again. We both raced the car until 1996 when it was decided to park the car again with plans of restoring it, but we all know how that goes.
So the Challenger sat from 1996-2008. Then in 2008 it was decided to get the car back running so we could drive and enjoy like it is--with some items cleaned, replaced, and tweaked. The resurgence of nostalgia-style races gives us some opportunities to run the car along with driving to occasional cruise-ins and shows.
So the story continues…maybe it will get restored someday, but until then we will keep having a good time with the Orange Bomb!
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