This tale was sent to me by Doug Harler in January
of this year. Doug was a regular competitor at Santa Pod in the late sixties
and early seventies.
360 degree Dodge
My first trip to Santa Pod was in 1968. I drove into the pits in a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T. It had the 440 cubic inch motor, automatic transmission and had two thousand miles on the odometer.
The fellow who was the announcer was so impressed he ran out of the timing tower to look at the car. I had just been assigned to RAF South Ruislip and had no competition license so couldn't drive it, but he said he would be more than happy to take it for a test run. I was a bit hesitant but stood by the guard rail as he pulled it to the line.
A cloud of smoke as the Dodge clawed the track for traction. First gear had the front end high in the air as he shifted to second. Unfortunately he was not too familiar with the automatic transmission and slammed his foot on the brake and threw it in reverse. The big Dodge did a 360 degree spin in the middle of the track, stopped then headed for the finish line. The time wasn't good but the crowd were pleased. After cleaning out my underwear I got my own license and drove it for the next four years.