Strange Days with Dave’s Dog

This Friday column often has place for the outcasts of the avenues and the stray dogs of the ’strip. It’s a risk-free haven for the wild and the strange, the homely and the homebuilt. “No unexciting autos,” a well-known magazine after touted. Stirring the pot, shaking the martini—that’s what hot rodding is all about.

It’s difficult to beat the tale of the odd. Today’s function, I’d have to say, is a person of the strangest of them all. The tale begun final summer time with a publish by Polished Slots on Instagram. Based out of Australia, he posts all varieties of candied and chromed goodness from sizzling rodding’s ideal yrs. Among the sea of Metalflake and magnesium, I was drawn to a quarter-mile machine as opposed to everything I’d ever seen.

1957 Ford. Homemade trailer. Storage setting up. Outdated photo? New image. Old develop? Most surely. The nearer I appeared, the weirder it bought. The Ford was sectioned beyond belief. Possibly a foot, possibly much more. The roof was gone, and a massive black tonneau was snapped in its put. Other things of curiosity included a chrome scoop mounted midship and a pair of pipes angled to the sky.

“What is this point?” I requested. Almost everything about it seemed like a plastic model kit developed from leftovers. The caption browse, “Dave Heeter’s ‘Dave’s Dog’ drag automobile designed in 1966 when he was 16.” I examined the image for a while and stashed it absent in my archives.

For whatever reason, I got to thinking about the Doggy this week. There has to be additional of a tale there. With the aid of a incredibly hot rodder named Rick Hicks and a Facebook group identified as Eel River Rod and Tailor made, I now have a number of additional parts of the puzzle.

The tale starts with Mr. Heeter. Born in the summertime of 1949, David Joe Heeter grew up in North Manchester, Indiana. Throughout his formative yrs, he was drawn to warm rods and personalized autos. Functioning out of his dad’s garage, he tackled anything from chassis fabrication to bodywork.

By the time he was in superior college, he dreamed up the Doggy. “It is a mixture of a few vehicles,” wrote the North Manchester New Journal in 1967 feature, “It has a 1954 Ford chassis, a 1957 Ford entire body, and a 1956 Mercury engine.”

Many thanks to Mr. Hicks, we’re ready to pull again the curtain on this one particular-of-a-variety development. Fuzzy snapshots demonstrate the Ford’s internal workings, from the impartial front suspension to the strategically put system mounts. Each and every piece has been painted, polished or detailed.

There’s no denying that Mr. Heeter was influenced by what he noticed in publications and on the drag strip. His vehicle highlighted a lot of of these elements—the biggest remaining the detachable physique that was just coming into vogue in 1966. Absolutely sure, it’s not up to safety benchmarks, but it’s very damn impressive that a 16-calendar year-aged dreamt this up and completed the venture. He confirmed it. He raced it. And, finest of all, it is even now all over.

The extra I find out about this auto, the extra I like it. Prospects are you will never see another a single like it ever once again.

Joey Ukrop

 Pics by Rick Hicks, historic pictures from the Heeter family members selection


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