Remember when some drag racers still looked like real cars?
In the early 1970s the car bodies still closely resembled the real deal, so manufacturers lent their name and expertise, not to mention engines and other equipment, to rule the nation’s dragstrips. The Dodge-sponsored Rod Shop race team was one and its beast of choice was the Dodge Charger.
Auto World does the Rod Shop proud with its latest 1/18 scale dragster that looks almost street legal. This is Gil Kirk’s Rod Shop 1971 Dodge Charger Super Bee as driven by Dave Boertman.
Rod Shop came to Boertman late in its efforts to create a team that raced in Modified, Super Stock, and Stock Eliminator classes. Team owners Gil Kirk and Jim Thompson had to work hard to persuade Boertman to join their team, but once on board he began breaking records and winning major competitions. In all Boertman won eight national titles in nine finals competitions and in 1972 Boertman was Junior Stock champ.
This model depicts Boertman’s powerful 335-horsepower 383 cu.in V8-powered 1971 Dodge Charger as it competed in the J/SA class. He dominated competition that season and won the 1971 Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., in his sparkling blue racer.
Auto World’s sharp die-cast version is beautifully painted in a patriotic scheme of medium blue with a giant red hood stripe that continues over roof and trunk, featuring white stars on both hood and trunk. Rod Shop Dodge and Boertman’s name are on the doors with white stripes resembling a flag rippling in the breeze extending to the car’s tail.
Under a long hood is that souped-up, orange-block V8 with all the fixin’s, including a giant oval air filter and heavy duty hoses and wiring. This is one of Auto World’s finest under-hood efforts to date. Plus the car’s underside shows much of the engine along with two short, giant exhaust pipes that look ready to act like flame throwers on the strip.
There are realistic headlight and grille up front and quad taillights in the back that remind of old T-Birds, plus a California license plate.
Windows are chrome trimmed, except the rear window that features a fake black rubber molding. Door handles, key holes and twin side mirrors also are chromed, as are the snazzy 5-spoke custom wheels, which Auto World tells us are from a new tool. Tire sidewalls are labeled Firestone Drag 500, so you know they mean business.
The interior looks sharp too with black ribbed vinyl-look buckets and a realistic wood-trimmed dash and custom 3-spoke wood-look steering wheel. Instrumentation is good too and there’s a wood-look shift grip and seatbelts too.
As with other Auto World models, not only does the hood open, but both side doors and the trunk do too. Plus the front wheels are steerable, although if you’re posing it as a dragster, you’d better keep them straight! All this in 1/18 scale for less than $100 too.
Vital Stats: 1971 Rod Shop Dodge Charger Super Bee
Maker: Auto World
Stock No.: AW224