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1320, Inc 1:24 Dragster Ramchargers

Reviewed by:   Tom Pine
     
  1320, Inc 1:24  Dragster Ramchargers diecast car
 
 
 

The Ramchargers started in 1958 as a car club, with Jim Thornton as its first president. According to an article in Hot Rod Magazine, he presided over a coterie of innovative, creative pioneers in the sport of drag racing and got to drive some of their early creations. Some of the team’s innovations included biased rear suspensions, tunnel ram manifolds, and deep sump oil pumps, among others. They took a 1949 Plymouth, their first car, dubbed it High & Mighty, and proceeded to win every class in which it was entered, including the U.S. Nationals in 1959. A 1961 Dodge Dart was their follow-up car, which led to Super Stock cars, and finally to the altered wheelbase cars that included Funny Cars. Among them were some Top Fuel dragsters featuring the teams’ distinctive white-with-red-stripes paint job.

Among the drivers who drove Ramchargers cars were Don Westerdale, who ran a stunning, national record-breaking 7.47 at York, PA in 1965, following that up with a 7.50 run (210 mph) at Indy. They earned him a number one qualifying spot and top speed respectively. Two years later, in 1967, Chuck Kurzawa racked up a 6.76 run. Leroy Goldstein and Merek Chertkow also took turns at the helm of some of the most powerful cars in drag racing. The significance of the team’s success can’t be understated. From the time club member, Wayne Erickson coined the name Ramchargers, they had THE car to beat, regardless of which class they were in—or who was driving. That name was enough to strike fear into the hearts of its contenders.

1320 Inc. has produced another fine image of the Ramchargers dragster. It’s the 25th in “The Fuelers” series, a limited edition of 1,500. There’s an impressive amount of detail and realism that’s amazing in a 1:24 image in the $59.95 price range. With the cowl removed, you can see all the tiny parts that crowd the driver’s space in the cockpit—the tubular frame, pedals, lever, steering handles, driver’s bucket seat, harness, and differential. Just behind the cockpit you’ll find the drag chute pack with release cable. You can even trace that cable to where it attaches to the frame in the cockpit. To either side of the cockpit, are the slicks that, because of the way they are molded, actually distort from the weight of the image! Between the slicks and the body, you can spot the inboard brake discs with their calipers. Moving forward, you’ll see a marvelously detailed, blown, V-8 Hemi (and transmission), with all the hoses and wires in evidence. The fuel lines and blower belt are done in soft rubber. Flip the image over and you’ll see more engine, frame, and fuel tank details. You can also easily see the progression of the steering rods from the cockpit to the bicycle-style front wheels. They don’t actually steer but that isn’t much of a disappointment, considering the sheer amount of fine detail you otherwise find on this image. The paint job is beautifully done, with all the graphics found on the 1:1 fueler—no surprise if you’re familiar with 1320 Inc.’s images. It’s in 1:24 scale, so it’s proportional with your other precision die cast images. 1320 Inc. also provides an information card on the dragster’s history. The image comes packed in a Styrofoam cradle, and enclosed in a typical precision die cast box, covered in drag racing graphics. [NOTE: I caught one small detail on the left front wheel while I was examining my image; there’s a flange that partially covers the spokes. Here’s an explanation of its purpose by Marlowe Johnson. “The flange in the front wheel you spoke of in your review was designed to enable the driver to roll in deeper (or further in) in the staging zone. Theoretically, this action gave him perhaps a 1" to 2" head start on the other car that didn't have the flange. This was originally designed and deployed by Big Daddy Don Garlits. So instead of traveling 1320 feet, the driver with the flange traveled 1320 minus 2 inches.” I questioned Marlowe about how exactly that worked, suggesting the possibility that the flange prevented a light beam, which shined though the wheel’s spokes, from activating the timer at the beginning of the run—especially since it was on only one wheel. He replied: “As I understand it, that would be correct, as it allowed for deep staging. That Don Garlits was, and is, a clever, clever guy! Those are the kinds of little things that made him so successful.”]

(08/22/2005)
 
 
  1320, Inc 1:24  Dragster Ramchargers diecast car

1320, Inc 1:24  Dragster Ramchargers diecast car

1320, Inc 1:24  Dragster Ramchargers diecast car

 
 
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1320, Inc | 1:24
1320, Inc 1:24  Dragster Ramchargers

1320, Inc 1:24 Dragster Ramchargers

 
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