Since he was a kid, Jay Leno has appreciated the Hurst Hemi Under Glass Plymouth Barracuda. With a Hemi engine moved to the back under the rear glass, the car had a considerable rear weight bias that turned it into a prominent wheelstander. The car wowed the crowds at dragstrips more than it actually raced, but it’s two-wheeled ballet helped turn a generation of kids into car guys.
The driver way back when was a man named Bob Riggle, and he still drives the car today. At 80 years old, Riggle is a stuntman, and Leno recently welcomed him onto an episode of his “Jay Leno’s Garage” TV show. Leno called it a bucket list moment when he got to ride in the car with Riggle at the wheel and experience several of the car’s prolonged wheelies.
Leno didn’t expect Riggle to role the car, especially with him in it.
Watch this clip and you can see Riggle railing on the 468-cubic-inch Hemi V-8, tapping into the 2,500-plus horsepower to do wheelie after wheelie. The trouble happens when he tries to turn the car around for the next run but goes too fast in doing so. This is a car that was meant to drive in a straight line a quarter mile at a time, after all. It doesn’t turn corners well, and Riggle, with all of his experience driving the car and as a stuntman, should have know better.
Those who don’t want to watch the whole clip can fast forward to 3:00 to catch the action.
Luckily, nobody was hurt. Jay will live to play with other cars and the Hemi Under Glass will survive to wow the crowds again, though it will need a new body.