and that was a perfect place to be, almost. Just around the way was the Woodward Garage, and that was where they were building race cars for circle track, road racing, and drag racing... so, Tom worked on getting hired there, and just hanging around and getting face time so they recognized him, found him a nice to to be around, etc, all worked out for him.
He got hired as Race Group Engineer, to work with the product planners at Chrysler, like Dick Maxwell, Robert Cahill, Dave Koffel, and engineering staff guys like Tom Hoover, Dan Mancini, Warren Tiehart, Tom Coddington, and Allen Adams
Not long after, the factory race cars were made obsolete by newer better ones, and Chrysler would sell the engineering test cars, and Tom, young fresh out of college engineer, was at the pivotal moment in time, and was able to get his dad to buy this lightweight A990 factory mule. He got free race parts too!
After racing it in the '65 season, they had it modified to funny car specs, and did some trick stuff like replacing the dash and trunk with aluminum panels, and lost 400 pounds along the way to finishing this car to race in 66.
He sold it in 68, it was raced until 71, then was put in storage until 2014 when it was rolled out for a restoration.
For the full story, and large gallery of photos: https://www.hotrod.com/articles/ufo-sighting-1967-nhra-cxs-championship-winning-1965-plymouth-a990-belvedere-reborn/