By Geoff Stunkard
Clearwater, Florida, is perhaps not known as a racing town. The 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack ate up the miles from Gainesville to there quickly; I could not have been happier with the satellite radio and multiple plug-ins built into the car. Todd Werner has taken some of his money from a successful inventing career and created a substantial collection of vintage race cars. When I told him about my cross-country jaunt, he was happy to make time for me to come and see the Dick Landy cars he presently owns.
The limited-edition 1968 Dodge HEMI® V8 Dart was built with the legendary 426 HEMI engine in it for drag racing; Dodge contracted to have approximately 80 of them made. Never street-legal, these Darts were notorious on the nation’s racetracks, and Dick drove to a number of victories with his, often in more radical Modified Production form.
The 1971 HEMI V8 Challenger had been raced in Pro Stock; Dick had scored one of the Dodge brand’s biggest wins with this car’s predecessor. Meanwhile, Todd’s collection closed with a 1970 Challenger that Dick had once raced in Super Stock, and perhaps more importantly, had driven most recently on an invitational trip to Goodwood, England, in the years before he passed away.
Todd also let me go through his memorabilia collection – race helmets, jackets and pictures from the glory days of Dandy Dick Landy. After Dick had passed away and Dick Landy Industries was closing up, Todd had agreed to come and purchase all the contents from Dick’s shop office in Northridge, California. Each framed photo off those walls now has a notation hand-written by Gean Landy on the reverse side.
Todd had more than a passing interest in my Challenger R/T Scat Pack as well; he had a new Challenger on order and was now really looking forward to getting it after hearing how much I had enjoyed my example. So with 16 days past since I left Detroit, it was time to end the experience for now. Regardless, lifelong memories of running with the Scat Pack still remain. Check back next week for my final reflections on this great car.