In many respects, 1964 was a catalytic year for America. The Beatles heralded the advent of the British music invasion, Lyndon Johnson, who would escalate the war in Vietnam, became the nations new president, and the baby boomers were reaching adulthood. For American cars buyers, the year heralded the advent of the Pontiac GTO, the Ford Mustang, and the new 426 Chrysler Hemi.
The Hemi was the big news that year, but the final Stage III versions of the 426 Max Wedge were no slouches. During the early months of the year, the new 64 Max Wedge cars won nationally-sanctioned drag races at Daytona, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Pomona, Bakersfield, and Lions, California; as well as local events around the nation. That included wins for a young driver from New Jersey named Bobby Harrop.
For longtime readers of this magazine, his name will be familiar (we published an in-depth interview with Harrop back in January 1992). By 1964, he had been nicknamed Harrop the Arab by sponsor Bob Pohle, and his car was called the Flying Carpet. Pohle owned Crescent Dodge in Collinswood, New Jersey, and, more importantly, was a director for the 50 or so dealerships that were part of the Philadelphia Region Dodge Dealers. With those kind of connections, Harrop got the best stuff the factory released, as well as a paycheck for his racing efforts.
Once track-ready, the new Flying Carpet II Max Wedge was a real runner in the northeasts growing stock ranks, and Harrop continued to campaign it the rest of the year, putting a different driver in it when he received a 64 Hemi car in June. As a result of his successes with these two vehicles, he was chosen as one of the lucky dozen who got full Detroit backing and radically altered 65 A/FX model funny cars the following season; the rest is history.
At the end of 1964, the car was sold through the dealership to a group of local amateur racers and then changed hands a half dozen times before becoming part of Rick DeMarcos collection. DeMarco had his own reasons for chasing this particular Dodge 330 race car down.
When Vineland Raceway (in Vineland, New Jersey) was still open, this car was the first Super Stocker I ever saw run. Ive never forgotten that experience, so it was important to me to locate it. We traced it through several owners and I was able to bring it back here to New Jersey in 1996.