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Print This Issue! - Mopar Max Magazine
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Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Old racecars never die
"Found! Wagons of Steel's first race car!" When a friend of mine first uttered
those words I wanted to strangle him. I was shocked to realize that the Mighty
Josephine had come to this sorry state, pillaged and pushed behind the shop to
collect moss and spare parts. I'd seen scenes like this so many times in
magazines and real life over the years and thought to myself "who would let a
race car come to this?" Well now I know. It just happens. Didn't the Petty family
push last year's Superbird program into a gorge behind their shop in '71?
I wasn't hustling to get next year's Chrysler station wagon ready for another season but I wanted to race a
platform that was a little more "off-the-shelf" and switched my efforts to a '66 Plymouth Belvedere--a "B" body.
Looking at the carcass of the once "Mighty Josephine" brought back many memories. We ran this very unique car
a lot so it remains kind of legendary to North West grass roots drag racing fans. Sometimes it literally pains me
when people ask me about her...
Our first hit on the quarter mile
was a 16.25 at 84 mph. Over the
next five years or so we whittled it
down to a best time of 11.70 at
112 mph right before we
mothballed her. This big wagon
ran at least five different motors
that I can think of. A couple of
them even survived to live in
other cars. Josephine chewed
through a few engines and
transmissions, for sure, but she
really loved tearing apart 8 3/4"
rear ends and leaf springs. At
times it was quite an adventure to
get down the track and it was
always a chore to slow it down
with manual drums. Filling in the grill area with Plexiglas was worth over a tenth and almost five miles per hour! I
wish we could do that on our Stock Eliminator cars. We learned so much about the scientific method of developing
a drag car in those years. That's the original lightened hood leaning against the car. The Super Six Pack hood
scoop is long gone. Believe it or not there is still stuff worth salvaging on this old beast. Don't worry, I won't scrap
it outright no matter how much the price of steel rises.
Speaking of that '66 Belvedere
that led to the Mighty Josephine's
demise, "The Helvedere" isn't
really looking that great these
days either. This wagon rocked,
winning many rounds and a few
dollars in Pro and Super Street
classes. I once went 10.58 at 124
mph with a single quad Max
Wedge in this sled. We had to
park it to get serious with our '64
Savoy stock eliminator program.
We ended up pirating a few parts;
we had to because by the time we
built this wagon we'd figured out
how to spend stupid quantities of
money on worthless old wagons.
Leaving that kind of money
rusting in a field is just stupidity.
So we destroyed it properly with
our two-ton stocker. The Savoy
ate the complete rear end
assembly, the transmission and
the converter program like brush through a shredder. Still, this racer could be brought back relatively easily.
Maybe I'll start by washing it.
Mopar to Ya - Old Racecars Never Die - Page 1 of 3 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
This '63 Dodge four door parts car that I shoved into the brush with a
bulldozer always reminds me of the time I was walking through an old
salvage yard behind a friend's house in Florida and stumbled upon
what appeared to be an old '63 or '64 Dodge race car. It was missing
the nose but the old school four-point roll bar was visible through the
dense vegetation that was growing through the "floor boards". I got
closer and the car started whispering stories about racing in the sixties.
Even though there was literally less than 60% of that poor car left it still
seemed proud. I rubbed on it a little to get a look at the forty-year-old
contingency decals. Even though it was sunk almost a foot into the
swamp I could see the remnants of some kind of exotic rear
suspension. I figured that the old racing wheels had been removed
when the car was pushed into the corner of the yard all those years
ago but then I remembered that they all used to run steel wheels out
back during the sixties. Sure enough, these were painted half red/half
white and all rust. The dashboard was intact with bits and pieces of
what must have been state of the art instrumentation and switches from
forty years ago. It turns out the old relic was an ex Roger Lindamood
"Color Me Gone" Hemi car that had been stripped of it's dead elephant
and aluminum sheet metal and pushed into the swamp in the early seventies. It's long gone now. It was long gone when I looked at it!
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If you've been reading this column then you may remember this wagon. It's our
'70 Chrysler Town & Country that we raced in Sportsman class a couple of
years ago. People kept asking me if it was the Mighty Josephine, even though she is a '72.
I finally just started saying, "Yes, it is Josephine". She does look like Josephine did when I
first got her, before the Sublime Green paint job. I will never paint another car "Slime"
green again in my life on general principles. I'm going to leave this wagon in her original
"Light Amber Sherwood" green with wood grain for the short term. Maybe later I'll dress it
up.
I mounted this hood scoop (right) a few years ago and I still love it. Scoops on wagons look
great anyways but this '69 1/2 Six Pack unit is an especially handsome match for this Town
& Country.
Mopar to Ya - Old Racecars Never Die - Page 2 of 3 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Check out the ten-point roll cage that we've been working on. This
Bradymobile will be legal down to nine flats in the quarter mile. We almost
installed a "funny car" cage but then decided against it because we have a
nice bench seat that I really want to use in this car. All wagons should have
bench seats as far as I'm concerned.
Here's the engine room. The motor will be secured via engine plates. The
3-gallon fuel cell, filter and pump are all contained just behind the front
bumper. There is a ton of room there so we decided it would be a great
way to simplify the system. Our total fuel line length is less than eighteen
inches!
Here's another view of the cage work. The bars are a custom kit from Art
Morrison. My partner Mike Brenno does all the welding. We completely
gutted all the doors except the driver's. I like to have the driver's window
and door latch function as original for safety's sake. Part of getting a more
advanced competition license is being able to find all the controls
blindfolded. "Josephine II" is actually very close to completion. After we
prep and paint the interior pretty much all we have left is to drop in a motor
and transmission. The combination we have in mind should get her deep
into the tens! That should send the Camaro crowd running for their Summit
catalogs...
Meanwhile, the original Mighty Josephine will be moved across the yard
and cleaned up enough that my kids and their friends can play with it. Just
because she isn't thundering down the track anymore doesn't mean
someone can't have fun with her!
Mopar to Ya - Old Racecars Never Die - Page 3 of 3 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
How to find Port Costa
let a tow truck come and take my first Mopar away after the insurance company totaled it. It was a classic case of
naiveté on my part. The Dart was hit smartly on the left front passenger fender and after a little work with a
roadside 2x4 I was on my way. The car still drove true and we made it back to San Francisco from Reno that day.
The next morning I made my inspection. The fender was pretty crushed, the headlight bucket and bezel were ruined and
the grille needed some work. I called around about the fender and nobody had one. The insurance adjuster came and said
it would be nearly impossible to find a new fender for a 1969 Dart GT. Of course, I had no idea about interchangeability or
any of that useful nonsense so I believed the guy. He called the tow truck, I signed a paper, he, or his friend got a nice ’69
Dart GT convertible (273ci 2bbl, 904 car), and I got something like $3500…back in 1991.
The minute I signed that paper and watched the GT go away I knew I had screwed up. I felt like I’d never own another one
and to this day that feeling has been correct. But, I did have some cash and I started daydreaming about what car would be
next. My friends were all pretty much in the GM camp but I had fallen in love with the Dart and I knew I had to go Mopar.
Armed with a copy of Anthony Young’s Mighty Mopars I fell into some serious dream shopping.
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I really loved the second generation Charger but so did everybody and prices were out of my reach.
R/T’s, Super Bees, Road Runners and Challengers all held equal sway over me and I imagined how
fun it would be to have one of these ridiculous gas-guzzling burnout mobiles. I’d get the paper every
day and check the classifieds, and every Wednesday I’d grab an “Advertiser” (this was pre-Craig’s
List). I made some calls and even looked at a batty black ’73 Charger…then the right ad came along;
it read, 1968 Super Bee, $3500. I called and I was on my way.
I drove out to Crockett, Calif., with my friend Steve to check out this Bee. We drove through the tiny
industrial town and immediately fell in love with its nostalgic feel and waterfront location. We climbed
into a respectable middle class neighborhood, turned a corner and there was the Bee, hulking under a
tree in faded original dark green paint.
Parked right behind it, looking tantalizingly fresh, was a 1968 Barracuda notchback with a For Sale
sign in the window. Of all the cars I was conjuring the, one I knew next to nothing about, and cared
even less about, was the second generation Barracuda.
Still focused on the Bee, I spent a good half hour looking it over and going around the block. The car
was fast and solid but it felt really big to me. I liked the hood and the stripe but the more I thought
about driving around on a daily basis with so much plumage the less I liked it. The bench seat and
column shift weren’t doing it either, and the interior and dash looked and felt cheap.
The gentleman selling the car could see my uncertainty and suggested I look at the little Barracuda.
Steve seemed into the car so I gave it a look. The bright green paint was shiny and contrasted nicely
against the white vinyl top and white interior. This car was super clean, cleaner than anything I had
ever dreamed of owning. The front buckets had been re-done with factory correct upholstery, the
headliner was perfect, the carpet was new, the console and dash were shiny and clean, the gauges
worked, the ashtrays had never even seen a cigarette….but most of all, the interior was cool, way
cooler than the Bee. Sure the ‘Cuda only had a 318 but I could hop that up, right?
Basement Garage - How to find Port Costa - Page 1 of 2 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
The price? An unbelievable $2000!!! When I heard that I took a test drive and was impressed by how sure and
light the car felt. Even the 318 seemed respectable in this car. Within five minutes behind the wheel I was
hooked––I was going to stay A-body.
I handed over the cash; he signed the title over to me and asked us, “Do you boys like beer?” We replied that we
did and he directed us to make a left out of his neighborhood, follow the twisting road for a few miles and to watch
for a little sign that said Port Costa. He told us to follow that sign, drive to the end of the road, and go have a beer
down there.
We followed his advice and took off on a beautiful drive that skirted the edge of the hill above the Sacramento
River. We found the sign and turned. The road led us into what seemed like an impossibly untouched relic of a tiny
town on the edge of the river bank. We found the bar in an old warehouse chock full of ephemera and dominated
by a stuffed polar bear in a glass case.
We really loved this place immediately and when
we found out they had a steak or lobster dinner
for two, including hotel room in the old Victorian
whorehouse across the street for only $49, we
knew we’d be back with our girlfriends.
Buying that Barracuda led us to Port Costa and
several years of good times hanging out down at
the Warehouse, getting drunk and spending the
night.
Eventually we even had whole caravans going
down and staging poker games late into the night
in one of the suites.
Like all good things, it came to an end as more
people discovered the place and it became
overrun by weekend warrior Harley types. The
business changed hands, the special went away,
the lousy beds in the hotel got worse and we
pretty much gave up on it entirely after one
drunken 4th of July when a yokel nearly lit the
whole town on fire with a bottle rocket gone
wrong.
I went back a few months ago with my friend and
her son on a lark. It was a Saturday afternoon
and the town was surprisingly quiet. The Warehouse was still going strong, complete with the polar bear looking
over the scene. We had a couple of draughts out back under the sun and strolled the tracks by the river––it
seemed like the idyll of long ago back in ’91.
Oh, and the ‘Cuda? I road tripped the hell out of it until it got nailed by a taxicab and wrapped around a telephone
pole. I gave the carcass to Bumbeck and he quartered it in his back yard in Emeryville, salvaged the seats and
used what he could for his own notchback ‘Cuda until it too got T-boned.
Damn notchbacks, I’d love to have another one some day and I have a good feeling I will.
Basement Garage - How to find Port Costa - Page 2 of 2 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Words by Darr Hawthorne
Photos by James Drew, Tim Marshall and Darr Hawthorne
Phil Painter's Mopars at the Strip has grown to be the premier Chrysler brand event on the west coast and to add to the excitement,
the first Hemi Shootout of the year. Over the past few years, the Hemi Shootout eliminator has grown from hoping for a full eight-car
show to this year, a nearly full sixteen-car show. After Friday qualifying Charlie Westcott Jr. from Parma, Michigan was the leader by
two tenths (8.512/156.43) over Stephen Herbert's '68 Cuda out of Louisiana (8.712/151.44).
In the early Saturday morning test session prior to eliminations, Westcott Jr. flexed his muscles again with a killer 8.486 and
Pennsylvania's Jim Daniels stepped up with what would have been the number two qualifying position running a stellar 8.545 ET at
154.71 MPH pass.
With fifteen Hemi cars in the first round, Westcott Jr. fortunately got a bye run, fortunately because transmission issues probably
would have cost him the round win with a way off pace 14-second run. He'd have it repaired for round two.
Mopars at the Strip / Hemi Shootout - Page 1 of 7 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
HEMI SHOOTOUT
In a close first round match, Dave Rabourn left ahead of
opponent Mike Booker and at the finish line it was Raybourn’s
8.808 to Bookers’s losing 8.873.
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Click to enlarge Elimination Chart and Round by Round Results.
Mopars at the Strip / Hemi Shootout - Page 2 of 7 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Stephen Hebert’s beautiful ‘Cuda goes onto the second round with his
John Rains in his “Heli-Hemi” ‘68 Dart got a single run of 8.732/150.45
8.748/150.05 run over Chuck Rayborn. Rayborn had the advantage off the when Jerry Jenkins failed to appear for his first round match with a broken
starting line, but could only run an 8.897 on the top end.
fuel pump.
Jon Percy’s 8.896 bested Skip Loeffler’s 9.247 elapsed time.
Michael Ogburn got the jump off the line (far lane) cutting a .032 reaction
time, but slowed to a 12.365 to a winning Fred Henson’s 9.628 ET.
Fortunately for Charlie Westcott Jr. he drew a first round bye run as
transmission problems kept his “War Fish” ‘Cuda way off pace.
Mark Viera, in the near lane, had Gary Moore‘s ‘Cuda covered with an
8.812 to a 9.290, in the first round of the Mopars at the Strip Hemi
Shootout.
Mopars at the Strip / Hemi Shootout - Page 3 of 7 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
MOPARS AT THE STRIP
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Mopars at the Strip is known for period-perfect show cars, burnouts and drag racing – until now. Hotchkis Sport
Suspension and Keisler Engineering have teamed up to present an all-new experience for Mopar owners, an open
autocross event that will pit drivers against the clock as they fly around the cones at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Mopars at the Strip / Hemi Shootout - Page 4 of 7 - MoparMax.com
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Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Both Hotchkis and Keisler specialize in updating classic muscle cars with modern performance and
reliability, so it made sense to partner on this new driving competition for Chrysler owners. The Mopar
and Pony Car Autocross Challenge will give enthusiasts a chance to compete on a timed autocross
course without leaving the car show parking lot. Autocross, which allows individual drivers to complete
short timed laps on a short course, has experienced a huge boom in popularity with the growth of the
pro-touring movement. At the 2010 Mopars at the Strip participants and spectators will be able to
compete for trophies, bragging rights and glory.
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Exhibition cars will include the Hotchkis 1970 “E-Max” Challenger, the Keisler “Maximum Overdrive
Barracuda and the Redline Gauge Works 1969 Valiant. Skilled drivers Aaron Ogawa, John Hotchkis,
and 11-time national autocross champion Mary Pozzi will be on-hand to offer demo rides and
instruction. Action-packed on-car video of the participants will be produced and available through
KeislerTV.
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Now here’s something you don’t see every day… a ‘51 Plymouth Concorde Gasser with a 572 cubic
inch HEMI. Bob Munoa, from Temecula, California built the car.
Ahmed Alagiri from from Irvine, California
Mopars at the Strip / Hemi Shootout - Page 5 of 7 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
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Plenty of Dodge Vipers made it down the dragstrip.
PHOTO EXTRA
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Mopars at the Strip / Hemi Shootout - Page 6 of 7 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Mopars at the Strip / Hemi Shootout - Page 7 of 7 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Words by Jeff Burk - Photos by James Drew
Jeg Coughlin Jr. is arguably one the best doorslammer racers in drag racing today. He has multiple NHRA world
championships to his credit – unfortunately, driving a (shudder) Chevy. But he is also a killer Super Stock/Stock
Eliminator racer in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and when he competes in that arena he can be found driving
Mopars.
He was the first winner of the Mopar Hemi Shootout that is restricted to Hemi-powered SS/AA (now named SS/AH)
cars. He won that prestigious Mopar-only event in 2004 when it was contested at the prestigious U.S. Nationals
driving a Hemi-powered Plymouth Barracuda for West Coast Hemis legend Michael Ogburn.
Jeggie heats up the
nine-inch slick prior to a nine-second pass.
So, when Mopar announced the Challenger A/SA program last year it was natural for Couglin to have one of
Mopars Drag Pack Challengers for himself.
The car you see here comes from the factory basically race ready.
The first thing the gearhead engineers at Mopar’s Brampton, Ontario, Canada, plant did was realize that at 4,000plus pounds, the stock Challenger would need to shed some poundage if it was going to be the nine-second Stock
Eliminator car they wanted. By stripping out just about everything related to driver/passenger comfort they could
get the weight down.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. loves his Mopars when it comes to his Super Stock/Stock Eliminator racing habit - Page 1 of 4 MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
The front end of the Challenger looks like it might have to push a lot if air as the car goes
April 1, 2010
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down track. The paint job was done by Junior Hill’s Custom Motorpsorts Painting shop in
Mansfield, Ohio.
When a racer gets one of these “not legal or licensable for the street” cars, it
comes with no rear seat, airbags, heater/AC, windshield wipers or motor, radio
or body sealer and sound deadening coatings. Removing all of those
components reduces the curb weight of the Challenger by about a thousand
pounds. There can be no doubt that this car is meant for racing and nothing
else. Before it leaves the factory they also shorten the wheelbase by a halfinch to 116 inches and move the engine back and to the right.
Despite the fact that the car is basically gutted, there is some bonus equipment
that comes with the Drag Pack package that probably isn’t listed on the
dealer’s list of options for a Challenger SRT-8.
When Jeggie took delivery of his Challenger it came with the added options of
a composite hood with a functional scoop, manual rack and pinion steering,
poly carbonate windows instead of glass, and cable system for the throttle
body, a lightweight brake package and solid motor mounts. All good stuff for a
serious drag car.
The car came direct from the factory to Jeg who then took it to John Holt Race
Cars near Columbus to check it over. Once that was done the finish work was
done at the Jegs racecar shop in Ohio by Rick Rossiter, Gerg Cody, and Cly
Philson.
The engine in this car is a 6.1-liter Hemi that Coughlin had massaged by the
legendary Stock Eliminator engine builder and racer Jeff Taylor. Taylor told
Mopar Max that the engine that comes from the factory was pretty good but he
did put some of his “speed secrets” into the engine when he rebuilt it. That would include coating the pistons inside and out as well as the engine
bearings. He installed his own camshaft and valvetrain and on the dyno the Hemi made 635 hp and 510 lbs of torque. The stock Hemi claims 425 hp at
its best.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. loves his Mopars when it comes to his Super Stock/Stock Eliminator racing habit - Page 2 of 4 MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Puttin’ the power to the
pavement here Jeg gets the
front wheels up in the air.
Notice the rear tires. The
wrinkle-walls are really getting
a grip.
Michelin pondering Formula One
return
Piquet Jr. sues Briatore
Prodrive eyes Formula One, again
Click for more AutoWeek stories
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Jeg had just started driving the car when we took these photos at a Las Vegas test session. Currently
the best speed and ET on the car is 9.94 seconds and 134 mph, so it would be competitive in the
Stock Eliminator class or, if Jeggie wanted, he could try Super Gas.
Either way, Jeg Coughlin Jr. seems to love NHRA doorslammer racing especially if it entails driving
fast Mopars.
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A look inside the Challenger show its mostly stock interior with the shifter and full set of gauges. It retains the heater/air conditioning controls but we’ll bet they are not hooked
to anything.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. loves his Mopars when it comes to his Super Stock/Stock Eliminator racing habit - Page 3 of 4 MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
A Simpson helmet sits in the mandatory racing passenger seat for Stock Eliminator
Jegs painted the Challenger up
in the traditional Jegs black and
yellow paint scheme.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. loves his Mopars when it comes to his Super Stock/Stock Eliminator racing habit - Page 4 of 4 MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Dave Crawford's 1970 Hemi 'cuda is a former drag monster returned to its legacy
Words and photos by Geoff Stunkard
Hemi E-bodies are something that have garnered a sort of mentality among
Mopar enthusiasts. Some have gone so far as deride the short-lived model
design as ‘Chrysler’s Camaro,’ while others would have nothing but ‘cudas and
Challengers sitting in their garages. The truth is, these cars have indeed
become iconic to the breed, coupled with financial notoriety at auction and
privately, Nash Bridges’ droptop ‘71 Plymouth on prime time, and new
Challengers in the dealer lot in 2010.
But E-body models are not easy to come by nor cheap to restore these days.
That same level of exposure has made the pieces that make up the sum total
quite expensive, Hemi or not. For instance, things like NOS grilles have been
priced ‘legendarily,’ and good Shaker pieces warm the heart and fatten the
wallet of anyone lucky enough to have them available for purchase. It’s not a
game for the faint of heart.
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The appearance of the Shaker on that big Hemi (or any other Mopar engine)
was one of the most impressive things to come out of the musclecar era’s
styling departments.
Dave Crawford's 1970 Hemi'cuda is a former drag monster returned to its legacy - Page 1 of 3 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Dave Crawford of Piqua, Ohio, had been through
the Shelbys and Corvettes; he had decided that
finding a real Hemi’cuda would be a challenge
worth undertaking. So he began a search some
years back to locate one that would meet his
desires as owner and be worth the cost and effort
to restore. The car he came up with was pretty
special.
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Back in the Seventies, two brothers in Illinois had
wanted to go drag racing, so they had bought a
The Hemi Shaker on the ‘cuda got its own chrome
fairly loaded used 1970 Hemi’cuda. This car had
callouts; once the Chevelle guys saw this tag, they
been purchased by a Springfield, Ill., businessman
sulked away into the darkness quietly.
for his wife, who hated it. The color was loud – FY1
Lemon Twist Yellow (a HIP –High Impact Paint –
option), with a black hockey stripe and Shaker hood. Inside, the car had black skin, power windows,
six-way adjustable seat, center and overhead consoles, deluxe leatherette interior, and AM/8-track
radio.
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The hockey-stripe decal, so named for its shape, was available on 1970 ‘cudas only. The Hemi callout here was what
anybody in the other lane saw (but only for a moment as it rocketed past) as soon as the car shifted into third gear.
15” Rallye wheels were part of the Hemi’cudas option
package, shod with E60-15 rubber.
There is no record of how well they did with it, but
they did blow the engine up. They sold the car,
showing 2400 miles, and the rest of the original
driveline in the late 1970s. Once it entered the
hobby, and was restored to 1990 standards by
another owner, it ended up with noted collector Bill
Wiemann. With the original motor gone, the car had
a legitimate 1970 warranty block in it and solid
provenance – partial broadcast sheet, fender tags,
the original window sticker, etc.
Dave Crawford's 1970 Hemi'cuda is a former drag monster returned to its legacy - Page 2 of 3 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
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The interior in the car was deluxe; the car was reportedly ordered by a trucking company owner for his wife, who did
not like it.
That when Galen Govier entered the picture. Galen maintains his registry of cars, and he was looking
at a 1970 GTX that had the wrong Hemi engine in it. As he went through the process, he discovered
that the engine in that X was from the ‘cuda; the only serious damaged had been to one head and
cylinder and the brothers had sold it. The GTX owner had dollar signs in his eyes, and he wanted a
LOT of money for it. Wiemann reported tried several times to get a more reasonable price for it to no
avail, and finally decided to sell the 9,000-mile car rather than restore it for his collection.
So Dave went ahead and bought it, planning on redoing the car back
to premier condition. He got the name of the engine’s owner, and
somehow managed to get the motor bought for more realistic money.
The body, in the meantime, end up at the now-closed Aloha
Automotive shop in Wisconsin, where Andrew White had been
working.
“That car was in -2 condition,” he recalls. “We did have to panel-repair
the quarters where the wheelwells had been cut out for tire clearance,
but other than that, it was pretty straight forward. The previous
restoration had been poorly done, but a lot of original equipment was
still on that car.”
Andrew, who now operates Apex Autosports in Grafton, Wisconsin,
did a second car for David, another ’70 Hemi’cuda in FC7 ‘In Violet
Metallic’ (Plum Crazy in Dodge nomenclature). The warranty block
ended up in that car and the Lemon Twist deluxe machine is now
back in its entirety, right down to NOS Goodyear tires. Thanks to Tim
Lopata and his crew at the Forge Invitation Musclecar Show, we got a
first-hand look at it; in the last couple of years, the FY1 car has won
several 1st place awards; the FC7 example will be featured in the
June issue of Mopar Enthusiast magazine
(www.moparenthusiast.com)
Hemi cars may not be as unique as they one were; aftermarket
engines and engineering have made them more commonplace than
they ever were back in the day. Nonetheless, to have a ’70 ‘cuda that
is the real deal is special, to have one this nice puts you at the top of
the charts, and, sorry to you naysayers, they will never be as easy to
find as a Camaro!
From behind, the stylish lines of the design are still evident.
Dave Crawford with his ‘cuda.
Dave Crawford's 1970 Hemi'cuda is a former drag monster returned to its legacy - Page 3 of 3 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Story and Photos by Steve Magnante
It’s Thursday night, January 21, 2010 and I’m standing on stage at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. Outside the massive
West World tent compound that covers the auction, 80-mph winds are howling and rain is pouring down… sideways. We’re live on Speed TV and
millions of home viewers are tuned in as the cameras catch the parade of collector cars crossing the auction block. I do my usual on-air commentary as
the cars roll past. My ears are popping.
Unless you’re climbing in an airplane or ascending a steep elevation on ground, your ears don’t ordinarily do much popping. But when there’s a tornado
warning in the immediate vicinity, the barometric pressure (atmosphere stack) goes crazy – and your ears do pop. And so it was on that wild Thursday
night. Though the crowd, cars, and auction staff remained safe and dry, the same cannot be said for the Russo and Steele auction event that was held
just a few miles away. The storm attacked two 800-foot tents and literally blew them away. Hundreds of collector cars were pummeled and soaked
mercilessly but fortunately only a few minor personal injuries were reported. The carnage has been well reported so I won’t dwell on it. Suffice to say I
share the heartache of knowing that more than 300 special cars were damaged.
So we were extremely fortunate to be spared a similar crisis at the Barrett-Jackson event. I do remember watching the beefy aluminum girders running
along the ceiling of the massive auction tent cycle up and down. The on-site structural engineers claimed there could be as much as 7-feet of vertical
movement before their yield point was reached… by all accounts the observed measurement was only 5-feet.
But as they say, the show must go on. Despite a few unsure moments when the event organizers considered a lockdown until the storm passed, it was
quickly decided that the safest place to be was right where we were. So sellers (consignors), buyers (consignees) and all related personnel remained in
place under the massive, undulating tent structure. The show did indeed go on.
The wild weather passed by Friday morning and by Sunday, the final day of the six day Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale sale, 68 million dollars had changed
hands and in the process, hundreds of folks brought home new toys. Among them were numerous Mopars. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.
(Note: all published sale prices include 10-percent buyer’s commission)
Dodging the Bullet - Page 1 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
If you watch the Barrett-Jackson auction coverage on Speed TV, you’ll recognize this crew. At table from L to R,
it's color commentator Justin Bell, primary host Bob Varsha, on-stage vehicle analyst Mike Joy, on-stage vehicle
analyst Steve Magnante (and your MoparMax author), and color commentator Rick Debruhl. In this shot we’re
feverishly gang-signing a pile of Barrett-Jackson event posters that will be given away as prizes.
Here’s a look at the satellite truck that beams the broadcast up into space where it bounces off Mars and into your
living room. Stand too close to this thing and you get a nice suntan (Not to mention have kids with two heads).
Check out the dense cloud cover, part of the recipe that delivered high winds and a record breaking four inches of
rain during the week.
This shot was taken from the auction block early on Tuesday - before the big crowds arrived. The front row is
usually reserved for big shots and high rollers.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 2 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Here’s where the action goes down. Each car is granted several minutes of stage time so the auctioneers can
ensure every bid gets heard. There’s a massive bridge-like platform beneath the stage that’s strong enough to
support virtually any vehicle. The light strip in the center of the stage floor is gently illuminated to show off
undercarriage details.
Here’s a close up shot of the chassis-cam. Smaller than you’d think (about the size of a pack of gum), it has a trick
wide angle lens that captures the details as each car rolls overhead. This is the camera that grabs those neat
shots of spinning drive shafts and exquisitely detailed floor pans.
Lot 1270, this Lemon Twist V-code Six Barrel Superbird’s got the 727 Torqueflite and 3.55 Sure Grip 8 ¾ rear axle
and shows 21,257 miles. Fully documented by Galen Govier as being a matching numbers ride, it’s still got both
jacks, the original broadcast sheet and has been owned by the same guy for the past 25 years. It sold for
$159,500.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 3 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Lot 1289, of the original 77 Hemi Superbird automatics built, only 29 are accounted for today. This one’s got the numbers matching Street Hemi, 727
Torqueflite and 3.55 geared 8 ¾ rear end. The odometer shows a mere 31,019 miles with none added since the rotisserie restoration. The sale price
was $286,000.
The 426 Street Hemi is original to the car and has been restored to perfection. A similar appearing Alpine White Superbird is shown on the side panel
of the 1/25 scale JoHan Superbird plastic model kit box. Anybody remember it? 1970 Hemi Superbirds are the only members of the 1966 – 1971 Street
Hemi family built with no external engine identification emblems.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 4 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Lot 1255 answers the question: who on earth would modify a Govier-verified Hemi Superbird? Bearing VIN RM23ROA158581, the consignor admits the
car suffered a massive high speed wreck and may have been partially re-bodied. An original 4-speed/Dana car, it’s chock full of modern Pro Touring
upgrades. Note the original vinyl roof and front fender air scoops have been deleted on this rectified rarity. The hammer price was $137,500. No way
could you build it for that.
The original Hemi is long gone, but this 528 inch Hemi packs EFI and Indy heads. A Keisler overdrive 5-speed stick and 3.54 geared Moser Dana 60
back it all up. Four wheel discs and an Alter-K-Tion coil-over front suspension bring it into the modern age… for better or worse. You choose.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 5 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Lot 1238 is a numbers matching 440 Six Pack Challenger R/T that’s just
been through a full rotisserie restoration. With the base 3.23 axle and
console-shifted 727 Torqueflite, it’s a great highway cruiser. It sold for
$90,200.
At the other end of the scale, this rare 340 powered ’70 Challenger is not
an R/T. Instead, lot 940 is a base Challenger that was ordered with the A66
340 performance package. Loaded out with A/C, power windows, power
steering and a console shifted 727 Torqueflite, this extremely uncommon
E-body brought $62,700.
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Lot 971 is a sweet ’70 Challenger T/A
that’s one of only 48 T/As built with the
optional louvered rear window. A
Govier documented numbers matching
3.91 4-speed car, it’s still got its original
TA engine block, J heads and sold with
two matching build sheets. Thanks to
the fiberglass hood, all radio-equipped
Challenger T/As (and AAR ‘Cudas)
were assembled with the antenna mast
on the rear quarter panel. This was
required since the fiberglass hood
allowed ignition “noise” to escape the
engine compartment where it interfered
with radio reception. Steel hoodequipped Challengers have the antenna
mast positioned atop the passenger’s front fender. But you knew that. The selling price was $77,000.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 6 of 20 - MoparMax.com
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Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Lot 1330.1, this radical ’70 Challenger ragtop has been subtly customized
with monochrome bumpers, filled door handles and massive billet wheels.
The shaker hood may not be functional (it lifts with the hood) but the Vipersourced V10 hiding below is anything but bogus. The hammer dropped
when bidding peaked at $93,500.
This genuine FM3 Panther Pink Challenger T/A (lot 1572) has been restored but the original black vinyl bucket seat interior was well enough preserved
for re-use. The only major ding is the replacement engine block. At least it is correctly date-coded (7-1-70) to coincide with the car’s production date.
The buyer paid $45,100.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 7 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
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Lot 713.1 was born with the G-code 318, but now this ’70 Challenger has a 472-cube MP crate Hemi
backed by a Keisler/Tremec 5-speed stick. No harm done here!
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The single-quad crate Hemi probably runs as hard as a more correct dual-quad rig, but the single pot
forfeits some eye appeal. We’d make the dual-quad swap using one of MP’s new repop Street Hemi
intakes. The sale price was $68,200.
Another Hemi
recreation, this
’70 fish was born
with the H-code
340 small block.
An aluminumhead 426
elephant, 727
Slap Stick and
3.55 geared 8 ¾
replace the
original small
block drive train.
Nicely done, lot
945 brought $49,500.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 8 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
All Hemi ‘Cudas came standard with the exotic
Shaker hood but this clone still wears its doublehump ‘Cuda lid – albeit with add-on Hemi ‘Cuda
emblems. Fortunately, the new owner can
upgrade to a modern repop steel Shaker hood for
maximum effect. That’s what we’d do!
The Beach Boys may be forever tied to the Chevy 409, but group member Al Jardine recently had the good taste
to commission construction of this neat Hemi ‘Cuda recreation. Based on an H-code 340 car, lot 1246 got lots of
extra attention since Al agreed to be photographed with the new owner. It sold for $81,400. During the BarrettJackson pre-sale vetting process, the car turned up as having been stolen back in 1975! But the Scottsdale police
department cleared it for sale after confirming it had been returned to the victim (minus the front wheels and some
interior trim) a few weeks after the crime some 35 years ago. Help me Rhonda!
Lot 963.1 is a perfect solution to the age old ’71 Hemi ‘Cuda convertible supply/demand problem. With only seven
cars built by Plymouth, well done clones are the only way to fly unless you’re rolling in money. Based on a Slant
Six car, this pachyderm powered next-best-thing 4-speed brought a very respectable $112,200.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 9 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Not a clone, this real-deal Tor-Red R-code ’70 Hemi ‘Cuda came with the original broadcast sheet and showed
only 19,750 miles. Were they racked up a quarter-mile at a time? Who cares, the restorers of lot 1285 did a
beautiful job of erasing any and all battle scars. The buyer agreed and paid $231,000 to take her home.
Lot 1034 is a real-deal 383 4-speed ’71 ‘Cuda ragtop and is one of only 33 built. Complete with fender tag and
dressed in GY3 Curious Yellow, the sanitary lemon pledge drew $99,000.
It may have been born with the G-code 318,
but lot 987 has taken on the persona of
another ’71 Hemi ‘Cuda convertible. MP
crate Hemi, 4-speed, Shaker hood, rim blow
steering wheel, spoilers and billboards,
she’s got it all. But can there be more? Sure
thing! A hydraulic roller cam, TTi X-pipe
exhaust, and frame connectors are modern
upgrades for even better performance. The
buyer paid $84,7000 for all this goodness, a
fraction of a fraction of what real ones go for
when they change hands.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 10 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
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New!
More results | About this ad | Show on map
Belchertown
$14,100 Plymouth : Barracuda 1973
PLYMOUTH
$2,025 Plymouth 1973 Plymouth Scamp, Bridgeton
Dart 440 Big Block CHECK IT
Chippewa Falls
$4,050 Plymouth : Duster 340
duster 1973 plymouth
Shawnee Mission
$1,025 Plymouth : Satellite
1973 Plymouth Satellite
Aurora
$1,025 Plymouth : Road Runner 73
Plymouth Road Runner
Warrenton
$700.00 Plymouth : Barracuda 1974
PLYMOUTH CUDA PROJECT
1973 plymouth
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Only 34 1970 Road Runner convertibles were built with V-code 440 Six Barrel power and this
FY1 Lemon Twist beauty is one of them. Lot 1320.2 is loaded with power steering, power brakes
and (get this) power windows! The cool Air Grabber hood was standard but you paid a little extra
for the semi-flat black performance hood paint – absent on this example. It brought $83,600.
ADVERTISEMENT
Remember the classic Plymouth “professional versus journalist” magazine ad from 1969 pitting
Ronnie Sox against Ro McGonegal (staff writer for Super Stock & Drag Illustrated magazine)?
This is the very 4-speed Road Runner that Ronnie and Ro wheeled in the ad. Lot 1262, this A12
Six Barrel is also documented as being the first Six Barrel Road Runner ever produced. This
Six Barrel is also documented as being the first Six Barrel Road Runner ever produced. This
extremely historic piece of Mopar history brought $93,500.
Lot 1368, this ’70 Super Bee
started life as an N-code 383
car but now packs a 450horse Street Hemi and
column-shifted 727
Torqueflite. The seller
claimed the Hemi conversion
was done by the original
owner in 1971. We couldn’t
get a look at the engine to
verify the presence of correct vintage parts but the rest of the car was very nice – except for the
bolt-on traction bars. This respectable Hemi tribute car brought $50,600.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 11 of 20 - MoparMax.com
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Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
This writer was less than ten years old when Project Six Pack (lot 1262.1) appeared in the pages of the late, great
Super Stock & Drag Illustrated magazine. In particular, its appearance in the November 1974 issue (Pg. 24) was
among my first exposures to the 1969 ½ lift-off
hood A12 cars in print. I was blown away and
marveled how car owner/story author Ted Struse
ran it with a dented quarter panel. I remember
thinking; “Battle scars, how cool”. The dent was
repaired during restoration but once resided
beneath the Shaw’s Speed Shops logo on the
driver’s quarter panel.
Struse’s published efforts with Project Six Pack
helped further the Mopar cause in a Chevy-biased
world. In complete NHRA legal trim, the car ran
12.2s at 111 mph and briefly held the G/SA record.
The stunning gold leaf door art helped the car
make $110,000 in spirited bidding.
The vehicle description for this gorgeous black ’69 Hemi Super
Bee 4-speed (lot 1327) read “there is little documentation on this
vehicle, but currently have original Chrysler Corp. build sheet,
documentation of transfer of title back in 1977, Montana vehicle
registration from 2007. Excellent condition. It was far too rare and
too valuable to modify so it was restored to great condition”. The
WM23J9 VIN sequence seems to verify legitimate Hemi Super
Bee status but the seller’s description doesn’t build confidence.
Regardless,
everything
looked right and one lucky bidder scored it for $110,000.
The seller claimed it to be a “rare hub cap delete car” and so
the correct 15x 6 Hemi rims are bare. We’ve never heard of
such a thing (except for the ’69 ½ A-12 Six Pack cars and
certain fleet/taxi orders) so we’re betting the seller is likely a
dealer with only surface knowledge of Mopar muscle
machinery. Still, we’re digging how the Firestone red lines
contrast against the deep black finish on the body and wheels
alike.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 12 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Another vaguely-described offering from the same consignor as the ’69 Hemi ‘Bee shown above, the vehicle description card for this beautiful 1970
Hemi Super Bee (lot 1327.1) read; “It was far too rare and far too valuable to modify, so it was restored to great condition. We have a copy of certificate
of title and copy of restoration receipts from Aloha Automotive. We also have the original build sheet from Chrysler”. The WM23R0 VIN sequence leaves
no doubt but the seller’s vague description is a little unnerving. It sold for $90,200.
Lot 658, this ’68 WM21H Super Bee sedan rolls on incorrect 1969 wheels
(Magnum 500s for ’68 should have chrome plated wheel hoops, not the
stainless trim rings adopted in 1969). Besides that, this 383 automatic car
was stunning and well restored, selling for $22,550 when the hammer fell.
1968 was the final year for blue engine paint on the base 383 Super Bee
mill; the color was changed to orange for ’69. The 727 Torqueflite is about
the only convenience item on this manual steering, manual 11-inch drum
brake sedan. All 7,844 Super Bees built in 1968 were pillar-coupes. Like
the orange engine paint, the pillar-less WM23 hardtop body option didn’t
arrive until 1969.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 13 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
I’m nuts about this car; it was my favorite of the entire auction. An original BH29M
1969 ‘Cuda 440, lot 941.2 was originally sold by Fenner-Tubbs Chrysler-Plymouth in
Lubbock, Texas – a big player in the altered wheelbase match race days.
Thoroughly redone in California at Restorations By Julius, this numbers matching RB
monster fetched $48,400.
Julius’ engine bay restorations are among the best. This red rocket was formerly
owned by NHRA legend Joe Amato (a.k.a. Joe Tomato for his penchant for red race
cars). Nose heavy like a mofo, we love the manual brakes and manual steering. Too
bad Chrysler never offered these 440 A-bodies with 4-speeds.
Even with the console shifted 727 Torqueflite, these cars are simply brutal – in the
best sense of the word.
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Dodging the Bullet - Page 14 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Lot 1220 is another 1969 big block A-body, this one an H-code 383 Dart GTS. A 4-speed was optional with the low-deck 383 but this one’s packing a
Torqueflite and is one of 488 built. The hammer price was $53,900.
Restored by Doug Roth of Colorado, the entire car is matching numbers. We like that it’s still got the stock 10-inch manual drum brakes. Modern disc
brake upgrade kits are great, but these drums also get the job done unless you’re running ten-tenths all the time.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 15 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Nearly a decade before the arrival of the Dodge A990 Race Hemi Coronet, Dodge built around 100 1956 Coronets
with the D500-1 dual-quad Hemi option. Lot 1254.2, this sleek black ragtop is one of them. Originally delivered to
Volusia Motors in Daytona Beach, Florida, the consignor claimed it competed in NASCAR flying mile events before
slipping into decades of obscurity. We’re puzzled by the car's 2-speed automatic transmission (instead of a
less-parasitic 3-speed stick) but aren’t aware of any factory
prohibition on the D500-1/slushbox combo. The buyer paid
$104,500 to take it home.
The Super Red Ram Hemi grew from 270 to 315 cubes in 1956
thanks to nearly one full inch of added block deck height. As
cheaper to manufacture polyspherical V8s became popular in nonperformance Dodge cars, the Hemi-head mills were only offered to
performance minded customers as the single 4-barrel D500 (260
hp) and this, the dual carbureted D500-1. The extra carb and a
hotter cam boosted output to 295 hp. The round steel air cleaner is
correct and extremely rare. The D500 (and D500-1) package also
included heavy duty springs and massive 12-inch Imperial drum brakes with specific 15 inch wheels designed for
clearance. Remember, this was seven years before the arrival of the Max Wedge in 1962. Who says there were
no muscle cars in the Fifties?
Virgil Exner’s
designs are finally
attracting the respect
they deserve and
this 1957 DeSoto
Fireflite hardtop is a
perfect example of
why. Exciting
“Forward Look”
styling was a
complete reversal of
the sleepy designs
previously offered
and actually forced
traditionally dominant
GM designers to play
catch-up for several
seasons. The Fire
Dome Hemi grew to
325 cubes in 1957 and made 295 hp in Fireflite models (270 in Firedome models and 345 in Adventurer models).
Selling for $64,900, this stunning Fireflite (lot 947.1) was very well bought.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 16 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Early Mopars like this 1960 Fury convertible (lot 1043) lack the detailed VIN and
fender tag data found on post-1966 counterparts. In the case of this red ragtop,
the VIN begins with 330. That translates to: 3 = V8, 3 = Fury car line, and 0 =
1960 model year. A nice start, but it doesn’t shed light on which V8 it was born
with, the 318, 361 or 383? Regardless, this “Solid ‘60” was described as having a
413 long ram V8 – something that was only available in the Chrysler line
(Plymouth Son-O-Ramic long ram cars had 383s). Sooo, we must assume this
one has been fiddled with, but what a nice job.
You can have your swiveling front bucket seats and Hiway Hi-Fi system (both
present), but the show begins and ends under the hood. The long ram 413 may
have been swapped in from a Chrysler but the gold-tone presentation is
Plymouth-correct (albeit only on 383s). Chrysler applications would have red intake runners. Either way, we love this car. So did the new owner who
shelled out $62,700 for the keys.
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Dodging the Bullet - Page 17 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
A hand assembled foreign exotic with the heart of a Mopar, this 1958 Facel Vega FV4 (lot 946.1) is powered by a Chrysler 300C-spec 392 Hemi. That
means dual quads, solid lifters, adjustable rocker arms and 375 hp. Only 68 of these potent hybrids were built; this one sold for $71,500.
The VIN begins with the number 3 so we know for sure this ’63 Plymouth
Sport Fury convertible was born with a V8 (Slant Six VIN starts with a 2).
But has it always been a Max Wedge car? The answer comes in the
seller’s written description which states in part; “Now equipped with a 426
CID/425 HP Max Wedge V8…” Yep, lot 953 is a clone and the $38,500
sale price reflects that fact.
The transplanted Stage II Maxie features correct 4-bolt heads and valve
covers, fuel lines, exhaust manifolds and air cleaners. But remember, much
of these goodies are easily obtained as modern reproductions. The singlepot master cylinder is a nice touch, though the engine wiring harness
routing is wrong. Instead of running between the passenger side valve
cover and intake manifold, it should be routed along the inner fender wall.
That said, it’s a well done replica of a super rare drop top Max wedge
Plymouth.
Dodging the Bullet - Page 18 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Cute sells at Barrett-Jackson and this 1961 Nash Metropolitan convertible (lot 61.1) brought a winning bid of
$26,400. Mets were designed in America but built in England by Austin. Between 1954 and 1962, almost 92,000
were constructed and shipped to these shores. Nash (later to become AMC) could have built them here but saved
a bunch by taking advantage of post-WWII Britain’s ravaged economy and ample supply of skilled labor.
It’s a ’56 American Motors Rambler, right? Not so fast. Lot
618.1 is actually a Hudson, or more precisely a Hudson
Rambler. A product of Hudson’s 1953 merger with Nash, by
1955 all previous Hudson “step-down” and Jet models were
discontinued and replaced with re-badged Ramblers to keep
those remaining Hudson dealerships stocked with new cars.
By the end of 1957, AMC buried the Hudson brand and
moved on. Fewer than 4,108 Hudson Ramblers were built
between 1955 and 1957. This ’56 is reported to be one of
less than 300 built and brought $16,500 when the hammer
fell.
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Belchertown
$14,100 Plymouth : Barracuda 1973
PLYMOUTH
$2,025 Plymouth 1973 Plymouth Scamp, Bridgeton
Dart 440 Big Block CHECK IT
Chippewa Falls
$4,050 Plymouth : Duster 340
duster 1973 plymouth
Shawnee Mission
$1,025 Plymouth : Satellite
1973 Plymouth Satellite
Aurora
$1,025 Plymouth : Road Runner 73
Plymouth Road Runner
Warrenton
$700.00 Plymouth : Barracuda 1974
PLYMOUTH CUDA PROJECT
1973 plymouth
Dodging the Bullet - Page 19 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
Jeep DJ-3A Gala
Surreys were built
between 1958 and
1964 with a gap in
1961. Also offered
in jade/white and
blue/white
treatments, most
were two-tone pink
like this example.
Formerly owned by
comedian Red
Skelton, lot 748
was a fully restored
’63 model and sold
with several items
of Skelton
memorabilia for
$77,000. All Gala Surreys had two wheel drive and wide white wall tires as standard equipment.
It isn’t a Mopar, but this ’23 Ford track roadster packs a
Hemi surprise that might make your head spin. Sold for
$38,500, lot 699.2 has a fiberglass Speedway body and
fabricated Hindman chassis. But the real news is the
engine….
With its wide rocker covers and prominent plug wires, it
looks like a traditional Hemi. Then you notice the frontmounted distributor, aluminum block and oil fill
instructions written in Japanese. Surprise, it’s a Toyota
Hemi V8! Never imported here, these alloy Hemis made
190 hp and were used in Toyota Crown limousines and
light trucks. Displacement is 241 cubic inches and overall
dimensions are akin to a Fifties vintage Dodge “baby”
Hemi. Weird, huh?
Dodging the Bullet - Page 20 of 20 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
Words and
April 1, 2010
photos by Darr Hawthorne
It is still going to take a lot of work, but in some form or another we are going to get Mopar Max Project Fighting
Fish to the very popular Southern California Spring Fling XXIV held April 17-18 at Woodley Park in Van Nuys,
Calif. Chrysler Performance West puts on the event; they are an event oriented Southern California Mopar car
club based in San Fernando Valley. Long before owning a Mopar I made it a point to attend this yearly gathering
of Chrysler iron.
Who knows what condition our ’65 Cuda will be in at the Spring Fling, but painted or not, here’s what we’ve been
working on.
Holley Performance has
introduced a new 4150
Carburetor, called the Ultra HP
Series featuring mechanical
secondaries, billet metering blocks
and base plate. The new carb
has built-in, oversized Easy View
Sight Windows for easy and safe
float adjustment.
This 750 CFM out-of-the-box carb
is a beauty and it sits on top of
our new 410 cubic inch Mopar
small block. In an earlier article
we dyno tested the Carco-built
engine at Westech Performance
and found that the 750 CFM was
the biggest carb the engine could
handle.
To get ample fuel from the 22
gallon Fuel Safe fuel cell we
frenched into the Barracuda’s
former trunk space, Mancini
Racing supplied us with 25 feet
of half-inch aluminum fuel line.
To get the fuel pumping
Aeromotive Fuel Systems sent
us one of their SS Fuel Pumps,
a Street/Strip fuel pump
engineered for 200-750 HP
carbureted engines.
Aeromotive also supplied a
high-flow, 100-micron stainless
steel, cleanable-element fuel
filter and one of their adjustable
fuel regulators as well as all the
braided fuel line and the fittings we’ll need in the plumbing department. It will be perfect for road racing at
Buttonwillow, driving on the street, or if we want to bracket race at Irwindale Dragstrip on Thursday night.
Project Fighting Fish: In the Home Stretch - Page 1 of 3 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
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To gain more valve cover clearance in the engine compartment, Mancini Racing supplied us with their
A-body offset adapter (part #MREAR6717) for late model master cylinders.
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This offset billet block will also hold the Wilwood aluminum master cylinder and still leave enough
room for the hydraulic clutch master cylinder to the right.
Getting to the back of the engine, we finally found a company
making an SFI 6.1 spec bellhousing for the Mopar small block,
and since we will be racing the ‘Cuda, we have been looking
hard. QuickTime Performance Products offers a full line of
bellhousings (for Chevys and Fords too), using a unique
manufacturing process.
The QuickTime cone is spun not rolled or stamped, and
according to the manufacturer, allows the bellhousing to be the
most dimensionally stable bellhousing available and only
weighs 22 pounds. We test-fit the bellhousing assembly and
motor pull plate around the McLeod clutch assembly and mated
the A-833 4-speed…and everything fits.
click to enlarge
Project Fighting Fish: In the Home Stretch - Page 2 of 3 - MoparMax.com
Volume V, Issue 4
April 1, 2010
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This project is getting a hydraulic throwout bearing and
McLeod makes one of the best units on the market. They use a Wilwood slave cylinder assembly and the McLeod
kit #14005-10 is complete with everything we’ll need.
We have been sanding, smoothing, cleaning, fabricating, painting, re-hanging the doors, and have basically
worked on every inch of this A-body during the build. We’ve still got some parts on the way, like QA1 adjustable
shock absorbers, the steering parts from Borgeson to meet the Firm Feel manual steering box, a RacePak Digital
Dash and some Weld Wheels at the corners. We can’t finish fabrication and assembly until all the parts are in.
However, we are getting close to the finish with Project Fighting Fish and Zak Hawthorne can’t wait to put it
through its paces. Mainly he can’t wait to get his hands on that nearly 490 horsepower, 410 cubic-inch small
block. As Zak said in frustration last week while working in the shop, “I gotta go racing!”
Source Box
Aeromotive Serious Fuel Systems http://aeromotiveinc.com
Borgeson Steering Components http://www.borgeson.com
Chris Alston Chassisworks http://www.cachassisworks.com
Holley Ultra HP Series http://www.holley.com/types/4150_Ultra_HP_Series.asp
Lucas Oil Company http://www.lucasoil.com
Mancini Racing http://www.manciniracing.com
McLeod Racing http://mcleodracing.com
QA1 Precision Products http://qa1.net
QA1 Precision Products http://qa1.net
QuickTime Performance Bellhousings http://www.quicktimeinc.com
S&W Racecars http://swracecars.com
Todd Farrand Fabrication http://mercenaryoffroad.com
Wilwood Engineering http://wilwood.com/index.aspx
Project Fighting Fish: In the Home Stretch - Page 3 of 3 - MoparMax.com
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