In the long history of professional drag racing, the machines that break top speed and low elapsed time marks achieve a special status. "Swamp Rat XII" is one of those machines as it broke the 240-mile per hour speed barrier defeating "T.V." Tommy Ivo in the spring of 1968 at Alton, Illinois. It's winning ways continued with top Eliminator victories at the Springnationals at Englishtown, NJ and the prestigious U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park in September of 1968.
Constructed by Don Garlits, Connie Swingle, and Bob Traffe early in 1968, this beauty was christened the "Wynnscharger" with sponsorship from Wynn's Friction Proofing. Originally an open chassis digger, this machine was fitted with a Tom Hanna body and was repainted gloss black with the distinctive red trim during the fall of 1968. After the new body, "Swamp Rat XII" scored victory in the Professional Dragster Association Series in California ending the year as one of the most successful top fuel dragsters ever built.
The history of "Swamp Rat XII" did not end with the dawn of 1969. Unlike many dragsters that drift into obscurity with new owners, this machine was purchased by Wynn's Friction Proofing and shipped to Belgium in August of 1969 where it was displayed for many years. During 1982, it was located in a warehouse in Belgium and returned to the Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, FL where it was completely restored prior to being displayed as one of the most historic drag racing machines ever run. This beauty was powered by a 426 cubic inch Dodge powerplant. Top speed for this machine was 240.00 mph, while it's low E.T. was 6.80 seconds.Home