Frankland, a mechanic by trade, would be responsible for its preservation during the next twenty-plus years. He did so caringly, restoring the "Lawman" moniker to the sides and displaying it at various car shows. Later, Al himself moved to Europe in the mid-1970s, and the "Lawman" driver would make occasional cruises in the "Lawman" car at British Chrysler and performance car events during the next two decades. However, by 1997, a couple of changes had developed. For personal reasons, Frankland wanted to sell the car, and Eckstrand was intending to return to America permanently. In late 1998, a deal was consummated between the two and Eckstrand began to make the necessary plans to bring the car back to the United States when he returned.

The Hemi was pulled out of the car and a set of new bearings put into it, and a coating of spray-on black asphalt (a popular rust preventative in England) was scrapped away from the engine compartment. At some expense, Eckstrand had new paint and the original-style gold-leaf lettering restored on the car (the replica letters had been done in vinyl). Due to some wear to the machine during its 30-year stay, some parts on the car have been replaced, so the purist may find fault if they look hard enough. Nonetheless, due to its early release date, racing background and remaining originality, it is a very significant piece of Mopar history.

The car was put into an overseas container and left England in late December by transport ship. Since the container would be directed toward Naples, Florida, where Al had taken up residence, once it arrived, a suitable truck was needed. By chance, Eckstrand met Alan Harris, the manager of Naples Dodge. Harris, a diehard Mopar fan who owns a '68 440 R/T Coronet, found exactly what type of support semi-tractor the container needed (one without ramps or needing a commercial unloading dock). So consequently, the Charger hit American soil again at a Dodge dealership (its first ever appearance at one) in February 1999!

Although Eckstrand could have been a major force as drag racing grew into the world-class sport it is today, his desire to pursue his other cause was to benefit and impact positively on the driving attitudes of tens of thousands of returning servicemen. This car is the original tribute to that effort.

It is not often that an individual who made it to the upper echelon of the corporate world becomes a race-day champion. Indeed, the opposite is sometimes true. However, in the early 1960s, a young lawyer for the Chrysler Corporation did just that. Elton 'Al' Eckstrand not only raced some of the best-known vehicles of his era, but he won with them, and used those achievements to create an even more important program by the end of the decade.

"To me, drag racing was like the knights of legend," says Eckstrand, now retired and living in Florida. "I was fascinated by those stories when I was younger. You came with valor and chivalry to a joust or sword fight, and at the end of that short encounter one of the two challengers would be victorious. There really are a lot of similarities between the two."