Famous engine builder and Mopar drag racer Dick Landy died Jan. 11 of kidney failure. He was 69.
Landy started out racing Fords, but when Chrysler Corp. unleashed its high-performance wedge and Hemi engines in the early 1960s, he was hooked on Mopar.
In the 1960s and '70s, Landy successfully campaigned factory Mopar race cars wearing the Dodge name (Coronets and Chargers, specifically) in several classes, including pro stock. He was also a pioneer in the world of altered wheelbase funny cars.
Using his mechanical engineering knowledge gained from attending San Fernando Valley Junior College, Landy opened Automotive Research. This business served as the home base for his drag racing activities and performance tuning operation beginning in 1961. That business is still in operation today.
Most remember Landy for his silver-and-black Mopars that shouted his name from their doors, as well as his nose-in-the-air wheel stands and trademark cigar. And given Landy's successes, he will always be remembered.