Special Moments in Time
The vintage photo above is the '71 Plum Crazy Swinger 340 Special that got things started for Wayne Gabrielle, from Virden, Manitoba. Back in late 1973, Wayne got his hands on this Crosstown Alberta car - and would you believe - from Crestview Dodge in Regina SK!
He then brought it back east to the family farm in Southern Manitoba. Wayne loved this car and remembers it fondly, saying "That car seemed to have everything geared just right. The 340 4spd and 3.55 gears pulled hard. If it could get footing it would leave a lot of big blocks behind." And so he did, at every chance he could. But unfortunately the car was involved in a roll-over and was subsequently written-off and crushed. Ouch.
So, with great memories of that car, Wayne always thought it would be great to get one just like it. Which brings us to this, his 2nd Swinger 340 Special...
TELL US YOUR STORY:
We want to hear about your encounter with one of these cars - whether it was a friend who had one back in the day, a rumour of one, or you have more info on this or other Swinger 340 Specials, we'd love to hear about it.
As we move forward with more 'our stories', we will be posting past write-ups, but for now, enjoy this one.
It was the summer of 1998 when a good buddy of Waynes' from Regina said that another of those 340 cars was in Southey, Saskatchewan - at the Dodge dealership there. He had seen it a number of times at the local car show. He didn't know if it was for sale, but it was a dealership, so he told Wayne to give it a shot. Hmmm. So he did, and this is how Wayne remembers things coming together. "I made the call not expecting anything to really happen, Merv Ritter, the owner, told me they hadn't thought of selling it, but come have a look at it if I was interested. I went west to Southey and took my trailer just in case a deal could be made. I looked the car over and was surprised how original it was. I took that 340 4spd for a test drive and immediately fell for the car. They had another project on the go and were willing to deal on the Swinger. That was July 7, 1998,
and a long story short, I took the car home."
Wayne was told the car was briefly owned once
and traded back to Crestview Dodge and never
registered after because it was always a dealer owned
car, both Crestveiw Dodge and Southey Motors
were Mopar muscle fans and kept it essentially for
themselves. Interesting – that's why it's pretty much an
untouched survivour. Wayne shows it a couple times a year around
his area, but you can always find him thrashing the gears on his Challenger Drag Car in Southern Manitoba or North Dakota. Along with his '71 Swinger 340 Special and Challenger, Wayne also has a '70 Charger RT in his Mopar stable.
This is the white '71 340 Special that's featured in the sympatico.ca/f.bevil website with info by Dan Rasmussen and Don Uhl photo credit (see home page 'special thanks' call-out)