I was thinking about American brands that have participated in road racing – either by factory or private teams. While all American brands have participated in road racing in one form or another, there seems to be one brand that’s virtually a no show…
Out of all the American companies, Ford has probably the most known and celebrated history in road racing due to the GT-40. But, other cars from the companies stable, like the mustang, have been road raced competitively. Ford has also had a strong presents over seas in rally with the old Escorts and cars that were not really in the US market. There’s also Fords long term relationship with Cosworth and Carol Shelby.
Chevrolet has had the Corvette which has been raced almost since its inception. I say “almost” since the first generation Vette was more of a boulevard cruiser than a focused performance car. The F-body has seen its share of racing over the years and Chevy has also participated in major series like Indy and CAN-AM; although the latter was more or less secret. Chevy power plants have also powered many other cars from various manufactures all over the world.
Then there is Dodge. Can you think of any great historic race cars that Dodge or Plymouth have produced? According to this wikipedia entry on the Trans-am series in which the Plymouth Barracuda and Dodge Challenger competed, Dodge never won anything. That’s not to say that Dodge doesn’t have any race cars; they are widely known in NASCAR and drag. I’m just saying that I’m not aware of any road racing or professional series that Dodge participated in – either with cars or supplying engines. I think Dodges first real foray into road racing has been only recently with the Viper and the Neon. Both very late cars considering the ’60’s were the golden years of road racing in America.
If you are aware of any Dodge/Plymouth cars that were entered into a professional road race series, or a car that was Dodge powered – please feel free to correct me.