According to Lou, Tom Hoover found the car in 1977 while visiting his parents in Pennsylvania. The car was parked behind a fence at Shetran Auto Sales. Tom thought the Dart might be something that Lou would be interested in and told him of the find. Lou had originally planned to buy the car for a customer of his who'd been looking for a Hemi Dart.

When the customer backed out of the deal, Lou decided to keep it. At the time of his acquisition, the Dart was covered with a green metalflake lace-style paint job with some painted-on stencil lettering that said "Rising Sun." At a racing event in Indy, Lou's brother damaged the door on a Dart he was racing, so Lou loaned his brother the door from this Hemi Dart. Now this yellow Dart sports a different lightweight door. The green was a little bright for the older Mancini, so a fresh shade of Lemon Twist Yellow was applied. After Lou decided to keep the Dart, a Dana rear was added, replacing the 831/44 that had been factory supplied. During the Dart's tenure with the Mancini family, it was never raced, so this car has never had wheeltubs, a rollbar, or cage installed. Lou sold the car sometime in 1982 to a gentleman in Canada. The last time Lou saw the car was when Tim Hain (the man from whom the Nashes purchased it) owned it.

What do the Nashes have in store for the Dart? Since they recently expanded their own race operations to include a new facility-Indy Speed, Custom, and Restoration Shops, located in Brownsburg, near Indianapolis-rest assured it's in safe hands. Let's just say Larry likes to keep things around. As a matter of fact, he still owns his first race car, which happens to be a '74 Duster that he bought new and immediately turned into a Super Stock J (stick) race car. That Duster now only has 19.5 street miles. Apparently, at the time of purchase, he lived 19.5 miles from the dealership where he purchased it.

Do you own one of these competition-killing A-Bodies? Larry and Leanne are anxious to hear from other Hemi A-Body owners who appreciate the historical significance of these cars. They can be contacted at www.lpracing.com.