We all hear stories about how powerful a car is, but until you see it as a fact, it's still just bench racing. Being able to prove your car's true real-world horsepower is like having a lottery ticket; the numbers are there in black and white. With the great weather at this year's Carlisle All-Chryslers Nationals, Steve Pilic and the crew from Dynotek had the rollers blazing most of the weekend. We had Dale Mathews' Road Runner up on the machine several times, but more than 60 people let Steve spin their engines to maximum performance levels to garner provable bragging rights. It takes a person with strong confidence in the car he's built to allow a stranger to back it up a steep ramp, strap it down, then wind it until it screams for mercy in front of a crowd. We didn't get to see them all, but here's a sampling of what these street cars could do.
Allen Oberchain '64 Polara...
'64 Polara (432 hp)
The Big Kahuna for 2001. Allen Oberchain from Manheim, Pennsylvania, was the big dog this year in his '64 Polara 500. Allen has owned this car for nine years and it uses a .060-over 440 with a dual four-barrel setup and automatic transmission. The numbers at the back tires were a spectacular 432 hp at 5,900 rpm and 504 lbs-ft at 4,000 rpm. This thing kicks butt!
Mark Abate '70 Duster (425...
'70 Duster (425 hp)
Leading the A-Bomb attack for 2001 was Mark Abate's yellow '70 Duster. Mark hails from Deer Park, New York, and has owned this ride for 10 years. The engine is a .040-over 340/four-speed combo built by Mark and produced 425 hp at 6,400 rpm with 377 lbs-ft at 5,300 rpm. We have to sum it up in one word: atomic!
Steve Menegon '89 Lebaron...
'89 Lebaron (317 hp)
Impressive? Who says half the cylinders aren't fun? Keystone State resident Steve Menegon stepped up to the plate with his '89 Chrysler Lebaron GTC and wowed the V8-partial crowd with a whopping 317 hp at 5,000 rpm and 358 lbs-ft at 4,500 rpm (for comparison, that's more than a factory-rated '71 440 Road Runner). Steve has owned his car since new and uses a 2.2 with a five-speed tranny. Banzai!!
Darin Buckles '71 'Cuda (420...
'71 'Cuda (420 hp)
Probably the wildest-looking ride to hit the Dynotek rollers was Darin Buckles' '71 blown 'Cuda. Darin hauled his 'Cuda from Desoto, Missouri, and the supercharged beast drew a large crowd. Darin's car uses a 6-71 BDS supercharger on a 440 with twin 1050 Holley carbs hooked to a 727 auto. When the last pull was over, the Plymouth had produced 420 hp at 6,700 rpm and 483 lbs-ft at 4,200 rpm. The Show Me State, indeed.
Don Graham '63 Plymouth (361...
'63 Plymouth (361 hp)
Don Graham, of Butler, Pennsylvania, strapped his retina-frying green '63 Plymouth to the dyno and cranked out a very respectable 361 hp at 6,000 and 440 lbs-ft at 3,700. Don has owned the car for four years and restored it himself. The big Fury uses a 440/727 TorqueFlite combination to produce those numbers; no question, the state troopers know when he drives by.
Greg Luhowiak '67 Coronet...
'67 Coronet (379 hp)
Pittsburgh's Greg Luhowiak brought his 46,000-original mile '67 Coronet Deluxe out to play-and play he did. The warmed-up .060-over 440 with MP aluminum heads, a Weiand single-plane intake, and an 850 Holley produced a very respectable 379 hp at 6,200 rpm and 392 lbs-ft at 6,100 rpm at the back wheels. Move over, Louis Armstrong....