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The last time Don Garlits drove anything in competition
that didn’t use a supercharged Hemi for power was
1963 when he drove a White Challenger with a 426ci
Mopar wedge motor under the hood with a cross ram
intake, topped with a couple of carbs.
Garlits went on to be named the greatest
NHRA driver of all time mostly on the strength of his
record behind the wheel of a front- or rear-motored
Top Fuel dragster.
Forty years after competing in the ‘63 season with his Dodge “Max Wedge” doorslammer, Garlits retired from the business of driving a race car immediately after the 2003 U.S. Nationals when he parked his latest nitro-burning “Swamp Rat.”
Fast forward to the fall of 2009 and yet another Gartlits-driven “Swamp Rat” but this one is something different. This 35th race car to carry the Swamp Rat name is a factor- built 2009 “Drag Pak” Dodge Challenger powered by a fuel-injected, gasoline-burning engine built using Mopar’s 6.1 liter (370 ci) Mopar Hemi parts including a pair of the “new” Mopar Hemi heads.