Nick Reiter’s Rare 1971 Charger Flies In Stock Eliminator
Words/Photos Rod Short
What’s one of the best reasons to attend a NHRA event? One fan recently explained that it’s like attending a car show – only it’s in motion. Classic cars, muscle cars, late models, altereds, and roadsters are all there, going faster than the law allows! One of the neatest seen at the NHRA Division 1 events I is Nick Reiter’s D/SA 1971 Dodge Charger R/T.
“I ordered this car new when I was just 23-years old,” said the 71-year old Reiter. “The salesman let me take all the ordering information home, so I could pour through it and pick out what I wanted. I chose the R/T package with the 440 Six-Pack, Torque-Flite transmission and the Super Trak Pak that gave me the Dana rear end with 4.10 gears, heavy-duty suspension and G60 rear tires. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a perfect fit for Stock Eliminator, especially since it’s not a highly optioned car.”
Of the 6,803 Chargers produced in 1971, just 39-percent were V8-powered R/T models. Sitting at the top of the food chain was the 426 Hemi, but just behind that in terms of power was the 440 Six Pack with just a mere 178 produced. Rated at 385 net horsepower, 98 came with the TorqueFlite 727 automatic, while the remainder were four-speeds.
Reiter started racing his car just a few years later in the mid-‘70s and found success. He has won a few division points meets, was the NHRA Division 1 champ in 1989 and also once captured class honors at the U.S. Nationals. Being the country’s quickest and fastest car in his class was a high water mark he’s never forgotten. Reiter is still a regular in NHRA making 18 to 22 events a year.
Burtonsville Performance Machine in Laurel, MD built the 440 big block in this Charger while Pro Trans Racing in Lancaster, CA did the TorqueFlite transmission and an ATI converter. Weighing in at just under 4,000 lbs., the car has gone as quick as a 10.32 at 126.62 mph with a 1.30 sixty-foot time on Hoosier tires. Running off the 11.55 D/SA index, Reiter can usually qualify well wherever he goes.
“Running successfully in Stock Eliminator is tough because you’re always working on the car,” Reiter said. “It takes a lot of dyno time and you have to be thinking ahead all the time, but we have to keep the sport going.
“The car is unique, the color pops and it draws attention,” he continued, “but the big thing is that Mopar has treated me well over the years.”
It’s easy to understand why!