Detroit Autorama to host Golden Commandos and Ram Chargers drag-racing teamsFri, 07 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0800
Plenty of race-car drivers and automaker executives still remember the mantra, “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.”
The Golden Commandos and Ram Chargers, two drag-racing teams that embody that motto, will make an appearance at the Detroit Autorama at Cobo Center on March 8, from 1-2 p.m. According to Chrysler, this is the only time they have appeared together since competing on the strip in the late 1960s.
The Golden Commandos group was started in 1962 by Chrysler technicians, mechanics and engineers who worked in Highland Park, Mich. The 13 men who made up the group were each specialists in different areas. They started racing in the fall of '62 in the Super Stock category with Plymouth machines, becoming runners-up at the 1963 Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.
The momentum continued in '64 with the midseason addition of the 426-cubic-inch Hemi, which allowed the Commandos to be the first Super Stock team to break the 11-second barrier at an NHRA event. Later, the Commandos built some altered wheelbase cars known as those “funny-looking Mopars,” which influenced today's Funny Cars.
The Ram Chargers, also from the Chrysler Corporation, began working together in 1959, starting with a 1949 Plymouth coupe. Because they had “long-horn” intake experience, they were initially known as the long horns. That morphed into the Ram's horn and finally Ram Chargers.
In 1962, they made the potential of Chrysler's 413 engine famous after giving it “Ram induction.” The cars had nicknames like “Candymatic,” “Lawman” and “Color Me Gone,” which was a Hemi-powered Dodge.
If you're heading down to Autorama this Saturday, stop by and say hello. We're sure the boys would love to see some fans of classic American V8s.
By Jake Lingeman