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Dick Landy 1964 Automotive Research

In the fall of 1964 Landy decided to go "match racing" so he made several radical changes to his car. To reduce weight he removed all of the front suspension and replaced it with leaf springs and a solid front axle from a Dodge van. Because traction can be unproved by having the rear axle carry the majority of a car's weight, Landy relocated the rear axle forward about 8 inches. The front suspension was moved forward about 6 inches. These changes moved the majority of the car's weight over the rear tires. Landy used the car in this configuration for numerous match races in me last few months of 1964.

In the fall of 1964 Chrysler was building 1965 production cars and several special race cars, the "A/FX's" for the upcoming 1965 racing season. About a dozen of these cars were to be built with the rear axles moved forward 15 inches and the front wheels moved up 10 inches. These were at first called "altered wheelbase" cars and they were intended to compete in N.H.R.A.'s "A", factory experimental class ("A/FX"). However, given an early preview of me first altered wheelbase car, the N.H.R.A. nixed this idea.

Also in late 1964 some unknown individual observed that the radically altered wheelbase Mopar's appeared somewhat silly-looking from the side view. The front wheels were almost touching the front bumper while the rear wheels were very close to the doors. This person came up with the phrase "funny car." Chrysler went ahead and completed several of the A/FX cars. They first raced at the winter A.H.R.A. meet in Phoenix in early 1965. Dick Landy received one of the altered Dodges and he ran at this meet. In films of this event the announcer was calling the Mopars the "first funny cars".

Note that Landy's 1964 Dodge was converted to an altered wheelbase configuration and was at the strips at least three months before the factory's '65's raced at Phoenix. Although the factory '65's had more "alteration" (10" front/15" rear versus Landy's 6" front/8" rear) it is clear that Landy's 1964 Dodge is truly a "funny car". Since Landy's 1964 Dodge was on the tracks first, it could legitimately claim the title of "The First Funny Car".


Landy's Dodge has VIN 614225635, scheduled production date May 21, 1964 and a shipping date of May 27. It was built as a factory lightweight, Hemi car. There are about a dozen 1964 Dodge lightweights remaining; most of these have VIN's higher in number and production dates later than Landy's '64. The first 426 Hemi motor was put into Chrysler Corporation factory-built cars in 1964. Landy's '64 was among the first few cars built, in the first batch of factory-built Dodges. The 426 Hemi continued as a Mopar option into 1971; all tolled about 9,000 were built. Today there are approximately 2,500 Hemi cars still surviving; of these Landy's '64 is one of the oldest.


Landy's car was scheduled to be shipped May 27,1964. Landy took possession of the car and raced it as a "stocker" at least through Labor Day of 1964. He modified the car into an altered wheelbase "match racer" in the fall of 1964. In December Landy received one of the first factory-built 1965 Dodge "A/FX" cars. The 1964 car was presumably retired soon after and eventually sold.

An ad in Car Craft magazine, May, 1977, offered the '64 Dodge for sale. As a result of this ad the car was purchased by its current owners in February, 1978. Located in the Westchester, California area, the car appeared to have suffered few changes from when it was last owned by Dick Landy. The car was missing its Hemi engine and was painted white instead of silver. It appeared to have its original Hemi automatic trans and its original 8 3/4 inch rear end. The Dodge was easy to authenticate because of the numerous magazine photos and articles it had appeared in. The straight front axle and the six tail lights were most obvious.

This is a custom built 1/25 scale model of this famous race car. A great piece to add to your vintage race car collection.


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