For those growing up around drag racing and the big performers of the 1960’s and 70’s, the Hurst HEMI Under Glass is as much a celebrity as say Linda Vaughn, the Don Garlits and his Swamp Rat, Ronnie Sox or good ol’ Grumpy Jenkins. In fact, those grandstanding exhibition machines are like the halftime entertainment at the track and everybody took to their feet whenever these awesome machines took to the track.
Originally the brainchild of Ray Brock and George Hurst, the HEMI Under Glass was first designed to be yet another entry into the popular altered class, by relocating a blown Gen II HEMI beneath the giant rear window of a ’65 Plymouth Barracuda fastback. Unfortunately, they found that the extreme placement of the engine with the aggressive suspension and short wheelbase of the Barracuda caused for nothing but bumper-dragging wheelies.
Rather than scrapping the failed experiment though, Hurst contracted Bob Riggle to man the gold-and-black Mopar as an exhibition machine. While the HEMI Under Glass didn’t knock out impressive quarter mile times, it did wow audiences with its wheels-up passes. This video is a great celebration of a celebrity of the classic muscle car era as well as the man who piloted it for 39 years.