Don Green’s “Rat Trap” AA/Fuel Altered by Acme

Jul 26, 2011 1 Comment by

The 60′s and into the ’70′s were the “Golden Years of Drag” racing and back then nobody, not the dragsters or funny cars, could deliver the raw excitement like seeing two of the AA/Fuel Altereds go at it toe to toe !  Drag racing is dangerous and the top level drivers are all considered heroes, but above and beyond were “Wild Willie” Borsch, Sush Matsubara, Dale “The Snail” Emery, Leon Fitzgerald and the two Dans (Geiger and Collins) that drove “Rat Trap”.

Take a short wheelbase chassis, drop in a 6-71 blown and injected Chrysler Hemi or “Rat Motor” on fuel, top it with a Bantam, T-Bucket, or Fiat Topolino body, put one of these driving legends behind the wheel and you have a recipe for disaster !  These cars wanted to go every which way but straight !  And you were considered a lesser man among Altered pilots if you had to lift to get it under control.  Often the drivers didn’t get them straight until they popped the ‘chute.  Kinda’ like drifting in a straight line but with a lot more power and speed.  And the fans went nuts !

As Fuel Altereds faced extinction because they were considered just too dangerous, one of the last really innovative cars was Don Green’s “Rat Trap”.  Resplendent in yellow, orange and navy blue paint, “Rat Trap” was unique because of its double-A-arm independent front suspension.  Competitors chided Green for his unusual front suspension, but the teasing stopped after ”Rat Trap” made their first few passes.

Acme has done a masterful job bringing us a 1:18 scale version of ”Rat Trap”.  Everything on the car is beautifully executed.  The blown Chrysler Hemi engine could be sold as a model itself !  With polished aluminum valve covers, zoomie headers, Vertex magneto, a sandblasted-case 6-71 blower and a polished Enderle “Bugcatcher” injector, this engine looks ready to fire.  The ARE spoked wheels on the front and polished Halibrands mounting scuffed M&H Racemasters on the rear have just the right patina.  The orange, yellow and blue paint job with “Rat Trap” livery is just gorgeous.  There just isn’t anything that needs more attention on this car….. it’s perfect.

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About the author

Diecast collecting is the closest thing to an addiction I have. I love the little cars and enjoy opening the eyes of non-participants to what's involved in the hobby. I started collecting Dinky Toys (still have all of them) when I was about 10 years old and eventually moved to 1:14 and 1:18 Bburagos in the 80's. The higher end 1:18 diecast began to make their way into my collection in 1995. Currently I have approximately 300 - 320 models in my collection. Mostly 1:18, but also have a collection of fourteen 1:6 engines and eleven 1:12 cars. My primary focus is race cars and sports cars. Specifically Formula 1, Indy, CanAm, TransAm, Endurance (LeMans, Sebring, Daytona, etc.), Drag racing cars, USRRC, Hot Rods & Bonneville/Dry Lakes. I also have a few NASCAR, Dirt Track and Movie cars.A big part of the fun of the hobby for me is comparing notes and relating to other collectors who have similar interests to my own. I particularly follow the boards on Scale18 (www.scale18.com) and Forum 18 on the Diecast Zone. I was one of the original in-house reviewers for the Diecast Zone (www.diecast.org) starting in 1995. I Wrote box histories for Precision Miniatures Altereds, Mazmanian 'Vette and '33 Willys Gasser series..... a big thrill was seeing my name is on the bottom of the boxes.

One Response to “Don Green’s “Rat Trap” AA/Fuel Altered by Acme”

  1. dennis prien says:

    fi too love these cars at one time i had 400 24th scale and over 1500 hot wheels and the colection became part of a divorce and they were a issue and lost them all, know i am starting over and the fuel alterds are now new and thrilling . thanks dennis.

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