Several years back, I went to work for Greg and Kathy Mosley, who are, like me, really, really into cars. Really. Into. Cars. While I lean more towards the classy Cadillacs, Lincoln Continentals and Imperials of the 1960s and 1970s, the Mosleys are truly the most devoted Mopar fans I have ever met. Their collection proves it.
Over the years they have amassed an incredible collection of Chrysler Corporation muscle cars, Super Stock cars and funny cars. Included in the collection are the “Hawaiian,” the “Chi-Town Hustler,” a couple of A/FX funny cars, and a handful of rare Hemi-engined production cars, including a one-of-13-built 1971 Hemi Super Bee, two 1970 Plymouth Superbirds, and a gorgeous burgundy 1968 Hemi Road Runner. Oh, and Bill Maverick’s Little Red Wagon. Yes indeedy!
Today, however, I’m here to fill you in on Dick Landy’s Dodge, our featured car, a 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T super stock drag car, piloted by “Dandy Dick” himself during the classic age of drag racing.
If you’ve followed Chrysler muscle cars and drag racing, you’ve heard of “Dandy Dick” Landy. The ’60s were where the Mopar muscle cars came from, and Dick was right there at the beginning. He was a racer at heart from the get-go. He started with a Ford, then caught the attention of and was backed by Ford Motor Company. A couple of years later he switched to Chrysler Corporation, piloting the altered-wheelbase Coronets.
As a paid spokesman for Chrysler, he went around the country for performance clinics at Dodge dealers-when he wasn’t racing, of course. By the late ’60s, one of Dodge Division’s taglines was “the men in the white hats,” referring to the popular Westerns of the time, where the good guys had white hats and the villains had black hats. There were several “White Hat Specials” sold through the dealerships, frequently featuring a white vinyl roof.
Landy’s ’67 Coronet R/T had it too. Greg and Kathy provided me with a lot of VERY interesting documentation that came with the car when they bought it. It makes for fascinating reading.
This particular car was built on Halloween of 1966, chassis no. #71A3106936. It was originally metallic silver, with a black top and black interior, with the 440-cubic-inch V-8 and Torqueflite automatic transmission.
Not too much later, it was redone in metallic blue with a white top, to help promote Dodge’s new (and previously mentioned) White Hat Special package on various new ’67 models. This car was one of two built for Landy to use as factory-backed drag cars and were also used at the various performance clinics. The two Coronets, with Dandy Dick himself, traveled all over the U.S., racing and talking about racing and giving pointers at the clinic workshops. The 440 mill remained through the spring of 1967; at that point it was replaced with a 426 Hemi V-8.
At the same time, the automatic transmission was replaced with a four-speed manual. Said work was done by Mike Landy and Dave Renkenberger. The interesting thing is the 440/automatic was swapped to the other Landy Coronet—and vice versa. Why? Apparently the 440-engined car had a lighter body, about 100 pounds less than that of the Hemi-framed car. So the biggest engine in the lightest car was the ultimate result.
The only way to tell the two cars apart was via the R/T emblems on the rear fenders of the car originally equipped with the 440, which is Greg and Kathy’s car. It was drag raced and used in the Dodge performance clinics in 1967-1968. Then, in 1969, Dick sold the car to Jerry Perkel’s White Bear Dodge dealership in St. Paul, MN. White Bear Dodge was known as the “Mr. Norm” of the St.Paul/Minneapolis area, and he listed the ex-drag car for sale for $3500. For comparison, a new 1969 Super Bee two-door hardtop went for $3138. A local guy, Rick Nelson, managed to get financing for the drag machine and no doubt had all manner of fun with it. For a while, anyway.
He missed several payments on the car, and it wound up back at Jerry’s dealership. It was sold in short order to, you guessed it, another drag racer. He had it until the late 1980s, at which point it was seized during a federal investigation. Yes, really.
It was auctioned off, and someone got it for $700. Such a deal! It was stored, and nothing was done to it, for seventeen years or so. Erik Lindberg bought the car at that time and was going to completely restore it back to its late ‘60s fighting shape. He contacted Richard Landy, Jr., Dick’s son, for details about the car, to make sure everything was done right. Dick Landy, Sr. had passed away in 2007, so he was not there to see the car when it was completed in spring of 2010. However, Richard Jr. and Dick’s wife, Geanie, were there at its debut at the Midwest Mopars show in June of that year.
The Mosleys acquired it a couple of years later. I actually saw the car before I went to work for them, at a Labor Day car show in Davenport back in 2012. I knew exactly what it was, and was pretty impressed, seeing a piece of history like that car, here locally. Wow!
The car is still quite original in its present state, despite the renovation. According to Erik Lindberg, he had lunch with Richard Jr. and Mike Landy and was told that the car has all of its original sheetmetal, grille, taillights, bumpers and chrome.
Though the car is a 1967 model, the ’68 Super Bee bucket seats have been there since 1968. The rest of the interior is also original, except for the carpeting. Radiator, radiator cap, and all glass is original too.
The Hemi is a 1966 casting with Landy-modified intake manifold, Isky 590 camshaft, Doug’s Headers, and cheater carbs. Considering the hard lives drag cars had, the car is largely, albeit not completely, original.
I’ve been meaning to write up this car for some time, but wanted to get a few more detail shots of the car first. I finally accomplished that at a recent open house at the museum, and am very happy to share this famous car’s story here on Hagerty. The car definitely has the right owners now! It’s safe, well loved, and gets to hang out with other famous Mopar race cars. A pretty good deal!