Mike Mantel, the owner and driver of the iconic Hemi Under Glass, announced today his intentions to construct an all-new, updated version of the iconic wheelstander targeted at a debut in 2020. The Hemi Under Glass, originally the idea of Hot Rod’s Ray Brock as a means to product test parts for the Hurst company, is recognized as one of the world’s most famed exhibition vehicles, having been displayed over the course of five decades at venues across the United States and in Europe. Originally piloted by ‘Wild Bill” Shrewsberry, the car was then driven by Bob Riggle 1966 to 1975 and again from 1992 before coming under the ownership of Mantel.
Mantel notes that through the 60’s the Hemi Under Glass was continually updated with each new model year of the Plymouth Barracuda, and while it has remained virtually unchanged in the last 50 years, now is as a good a time as ever to give it a fresh, modern remake.
“The ’68 car I am currently driving is the longest performing Hemi Under Glass with significant history. It has run at the U.S. Nationals, match raced and beat the Little Red Wagon at Englishtown NJ, performed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, was featured at the Playboy mansion when Hefner was alive, and continues to make history today. We will continue to tour with the ‘68 car and plan to have it where ever the new generation car goes so people can enjoy seeing more than 50 years of history and evolution of the brand. “
“I have been considering a new generation Hemi Under Glass for three years and I believe timing is right to do it. The new Gen 3 426 Hellephant engine with its 950 lb-ft of torque and 1,000 horsepower will have the power we need to wheelie the car down the full 1/4-mile and is a proper fit for the year and make of the car. Right now, our plan is to use the LX platform Challenger. There is rumor that Chrysler may be coming out with a Barracuda and we would love to use that if the chassis and look of the car would work. Otherwise, the current Challenger is a good fit for us.
“What really got me motivated to move forward with this project was having been invited to the Spring Festival LX in March at Pomona. It was packed with new generation 300s, Chargers, Challengers, and young enthusiasts. These are the cars that young people are growing up with today and driving them on a daily basis. Everyone who saw our concept drawing was extremely excited about it including the promoter. The thought of a new gen Mopar with the heritage of the Hemi Under Glass doing full quarter mile wheelstands was definitely a big hit.”