By Patrick Rall
While our Truckin’ Fast Wednesdays feature usually looks at a modern Ram or Dakota tearing down the quarter mile, this week we look at one of the most famous drag racing trucks of all time – the one that essentially started it all. Bill “Maverick” Golden was the first truckin’ fast Dodge driver, back in the mid 1960s, with his wheelstanding Dodge A100 pickup. While this pickup served as more of an exhibition vehicle, it was still incredibly fast and undeniably awesome.
For those of you unfamiliar with ‘Maverick’ Golden’s Little Red Wagon, it is a heavily modified 1965 Dodge A100 pickup. These snub-nosed trucks had the engine located almost between the front seats but Maverick’s A100 had the engine moved into the bed to help add weight over the drive wheels, thus improving traction. Powering this unusual pickup was a 426 race Hemi, topped by a supercharger and run on a mixture of gasoline and nitro-methane. Unfortunately, it was discovered during testing that it was nearly impossible to keep the front end on the ground with this configuration, but that didn’t slow Bill down. The video below shows a few clips of the legendary drag racer and his trusty Dodge pickup roaring down the quarter mile and the scoreboard doesn’t lie – that truck is running in the mid 10 second range with the front wheels 5 feet off of the ground.
In the world of Mopar drag racing, there is no Dodge pickup that is more widely recognized than Golden’s Little Red Wagon. Not only is this unique Dodge truck cool to look at, it is easily capable of running in the mid 10s over and over again without the front wheels touching the ground once the truck leaves the line.
Maverick has retired now but I can assure you that any Mopar lover who has seen this truck in person will attest to just how incredible it is to see a display of performance like the Little Red Wagon. I had the pleasure of seeing dozens of his runs at various Mopar events before he retired and from the first time I saw the truck run in the 10s on the rear wheels only – seeing the Little Red Wagon take on the quarter mile has put a smile on my face. While there are lots of fast Dodge trucks in the world…just ‘Maverick’ and his ’65 A100 did it on the rear wheels only.
When you watch the video below, showing Bill ‘Maverick’ Golden and his Little Red Wagon Dodge A100, make sure that you have your speakers turned up so that you can hear the sound of his blown nitro Hemi as it takes off from the line.