By Raymond Dickenson
UPDATE MARCH 10, 2008
The engine in the car now is a 510 C.I. 440. It has a custom 1/2" stroker crank, Eagle rods, custom pistons and ARP studs. Milodon twin line oil system with swinging pickup in a Milodon Low Profile pan, aluminum heads, alcohol Dominator on a Weiand intake, an old purple shaft S/S cam wth 1.6 rockers, MSD Digital 6 with 10mm wires, NOS plate and Pro Fogger systems with dedicated fuel system, Hooker Super Comp Headders. I did all the porting, clearance grinding, assembly and built the nitrous system. Diamond Racing did the block machining and balanced the crank. A Be Cool radiator with electric fan takes care of cooling everything.
TJ at Mancini Racing rebuilt the trans for me with, kevlar bands, 4-gear planetaries, and triple discs. There's a custom convertor with anti-balooning plates, and a carbon fiber trans shield.
I assembled the 8 3/4 after DTS set up the new aluminum centersection with a 35 spline spool and 4:10 Richmond gear. I installed Moser axles. DTS built the seamless moly driveshaft with Spicer U-joints. With the Mopar Super Stock Spring Relocation kit, I have 12" slicks in the stock wheel wells with no tubs. And room to spare. I'm using a 15" x 10" wheel with 5" backspace. Jakes Automotive welded the roll cage, spring kit, frame connectors, housing brace and wheelie bar brackets.
I built the custom fibrglass hood. It started as an Unlimited Products flat hood, I added a Harwood scoop, then laid 4 layers of glass around it to get the power bulge shape. I used Evercoat to get the bottom side smoothe. I got 150 hours into the hood!
Future plans call for an RMS K-Frame with coil-overs and rack&pinion steering and rear disc brakes. Also twin chutes.
What I have found out about the car so far [mostly from the second owner] is, the original owner worked at the Lynch Road plant. He went down the line with the car and helped put it together. He added some options that are not on the fender tag but showed up on the build sheet. Car is a stripe delete car. Use to just have the big Bee on the hood and bee decals on fenders & trunk along with emblems. Car has casette recorder with microphone, 5 speaker stereo system, C5XV interior with buddy seat, astro vents, ralley gages, front spoiler, hood pins, louvered hood & taillights, slotted exhaust tips, front and rear bumperettes, trunk light. I added the Go-Wing, and will paint stripes on it.
Now the interesting stuff. As soon as the owner got the car home, the complete drivetrain was pulled. The chassis was sprayed bright white, fender lips were trimmed for slicks, Lakewood traction bars were added, the widow washer hoses were run to the traction bars and washer filled with bleach, pushbutton on dash was to spray tires before street racing. This setup was still on the car when I bought it! Oh yeah, then they dropped a complete Hemi drivetrain in it. I know Mancini did the trans, still has his epoxyed valvebody in the trans. Was told Silver bullet guy helped tune it, then they terrorized Gratiot & Woodward.
I saw this car on Gratiot when I was in junior high in the 70s. he lit-em -up right next to us. It had Cragar SS wheels with slicks, was jacked up with air shocks and still white underneath. After I bought the car in 1990, I was cleaning the junk off the bottom amd noticed white paint under the black chassis paint. When I pulled the engine, there was white paint under the motor mounts. Everywhere I scraped off the black there was white underneath. Then I realized this was the car I had seen when I was a kid!!!
After street racing a while the car was lowered back down, the bottom sprayed black and the front fenders trimmed as well. The car was then parking lot raced [solocross?] It had police wheels and wide tires all around. It was last registered in 1977 had 77 plates and the cop wheels when I bought it. Original drivetrain was long gone and it had a 68 383 with cracked block when I got it. 57,000 original miles, price $2000, the second owner was being evicted and I showed up at the right time! A friend followed me the 22 miles home. There was 6 or 7 inches of play in the steering wheel so I couldn't go more than 15-20mph. Every bump I hit made the car change lanes. We cut through subs most of the way home at 2:00 in the morning.
I put an add in a magazine trying to locate the original owner a couple years ago, but never got any response. Was hoping mabey someone had some old photos of it and some more history.
The car sat in storage for 13 years, while I collected parts, got married, had 2 kids and Bought a house with a garage 7 years ago, and finally started on it as time/finances allowed. At first, I planned a concours resto. When I realized how much original stuff was missing [complete number matching drivetrain etc. -expensive] I decided to do a mild street machine, which evolved into the race car you see now. Concours resto to full blown race car. Funny how that happens!!!
When putting the cage in, the left front had to be pulled a couple inches back down. Hemi + slicks + no frame connectors = twisted body & cracked windshield.
So you can see I've had my work cut out for me but will have a nice car when finished. If I hadn't spent half of last year on crutches [shattered heel] it would've been painted by now.