Landy Would Rather Go Without His Cigar than His Hooker Headers


This Hooker Headers ad is from the July 1971 Car Craft magazine. It depicts “Dandy” Dick Landy’s hard-leaving Pro Stock Challenger launching from the starting line while he left behind his trademark cigar. For those who never saw Landy race or had an opportunity to meet him in person, he always had an unlit cigar clinched between his teeth. Therefore, as the ad mentions, for him to give up his cigar instead of his Hooker Headers, he must have loved the performance provided by Hooker.

By 1971, the California-based Landy had already made a name for himself by competing (and winning) in multiple drag racing sanctioning bodies. Although his career started in a Ford, it was his series of successful Dodges that thrust him into the rarified air as one of the early idols of the Mopar devotees.

In the mid- to late-sixties, Mopar wanted their vehicles to dominate as many classes as possible, so Landy competed in several classes including the altered wheelbase A/FX eliminator, Super Stock, Stock, and Modified Production with his Coronets, Chargers, Darts, and Challengers.

In 1969, he was an influential member in the development of Pro Stock Eliminator, which was introduced in 1970. Landy was a multi-time Pro Stock AHRA world champion and continued to field a Pro Stocker until 1980.

Through the 1970s, Landy participated in the widely popular “Safety and Performance Clinics” held at Dodge dealerships throughout the country. During and after his retirement from racing, Landy ran Dick Landy Industries (DLI), which he formed in 1970. DLI researched, developed, and tailored engines for clients, which included Diamler-Chrysler and Mopar. Sadly, in 2007, Landy succumbed to kidney disease at the age of 69.

Gary Hooker started making headers in 1962 for his own Chevrolet. Because of the superior performance of his Chevy, a demand for his quality headers quickly developed in California. By the late-1960s and through the 1970s, seeing a Hooker Headers decal affixed on each flank of the best running drag vehicles was a common occurrence across the country. During the 1980s, 90s, and beyond, Hooker Headers continued to develop new products, which propelled the company to a position as a leader in exhaust technology.

Today, Hooker Headers has earned the title of the winningest header in drag racing history. Their famous Hooker heart is one of the most recognized logos in the performance aftermarket industry. Hooker Headers continues to flourish as a company under the Holley/MSD umbrella. If you have an exhaust need for your Mopar, check out Hooker’s latest options for both early Detroit iron and late-model rides.

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Chris Holley

Chris Holley

Technical Contributor Chris has been a college professor for 20 years; the last 15 spent at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA. During the day Chris instructs HVAC and electrical/electronic classes, and high-performance classes, which includes the usage of a chassis dyno, flow benches, and various machining equipment at night. Chris owns a '75 Dart, a '06 Charger, a '12 Cummins turbo diesel Ram, and he is a multi-time track champion (drag racing) with his '69 340 Dart, which he has owned almost 30 years.

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