1968 Dodge Dart HEMI Super Stock - Photo by fireprofcargo7
While the age of factory-produced drag cars is long past, the Dart HEMI Super Stock represents the peak of the short-lived factory drag race wars. In short, there was never a faster factory-built drag car ever made. There were only 50 of these built by Hurst and delivered to dealers for drag racing greats like “Dandy” Dick Landy. A giant 426 HEMI was shoehorned into the engine bay, with a little help – literally – from a few sledgehammer hits to the fender walls. The wheel arches and shock towers were modified similarly to provide clearance for the valve covers. Then, to lighten the body, a fiberglass nose, fenders, and hood were bolted on along with lightened bumpers and the removal of the mirrors, radio, heaters and, yes, the back seat. The unique L023 coded Dart’s HEMI itself was built by hand-picked technicians from Chrysler’s Marine and Industrial division. It was laughably rated at 425 horsepower; in actuality, it easily touted more than 500. While some were driven on the streets, the L023 came with a factory sticker stating, “This vehicle was not manufactured for use on Public Streets, Roads or Highways, and does not conform to Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.” Whether that was a warning or a sales pitch is still up for debate.