The Little Red Truck

Equally popular to drag racing in the ‘60s and ‘70s were the exciting side shows that traveled around performing death-defying stunts and full-track wheelies. They grew so popular that rivalries between the cars started to form. One of these rivalries was between The Little Red Wagon (LWR) and HEMI Under Glass (HUG), both of which are now owned by Mike Mantel.

Mike purchased the truck in 2015 shortly after its driver Bill “Maverick” Golden passed away. It was believed that Maverick built three trucks, the third of which he told everyone was made out of parts from the first two and wrecked in Canada. “When I went to go get the truck, I figured it was truck number three,” said Mike. “When we were doing the paperwork, I looked at the title and it was titled in 1965.” Lo and behold, it was the very first LRW.

It’s not just the numbers that dictate this, either, because after some research, there were some key findings that gave it away. “He (Maverick) was in New Mexico and got caught by a gust of wind that laid the truck on its side. The truck has extensive Bondo work on that side.” There was also more evidence of crash repair from another wreck in New Mexico an upper corner of the cab. “The bottom line was that it can’t be truck number three that was crashed in Canada when it has the original serial number.”


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