'68 CM360 Dodge Dart * Joe Luis * E.T. Best: 12.66
The premise is simple enough. Rent a track for a day, invite a handful of people to bring out their cars, and give them a chance to dial in their combinations. It's not a chance to win an eliminator or stage a race; rather, it's a rare opportunity to get as many runs down the track as you want, science out components, and get real-world performance numbers for your efforts. Cool, huh?
Actually, we can't take credit for thinking up this program; that goes to the folks at Primedia's New Jersey offices. Through the agreement they have with noted NHRA facility Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, on certain Thursdays, the company pays for the track personnel and the invited-only guests to go at it for eight hours. Some time ago, HPM editor Greg Rager selected a group of small-block racers to come to the track. This included drag cars, street cars, stroker projects, forced induction monsters, and Pro Street versions. Most, of course, were based around the venerated LA-series 318/340/360 of the '64-'90 era, with one exception: a 360/300hp crate motor Magnum, which is still a "close cousin" to the LA family.
We were blessed with good October weather, and with Primedia Shootout veterans Tom DeMauro, Jim Campisano, and Dan Foley making sure everything went smoothly, our team of seven assaulted the quarter-mile. The next several pages show their cars, their performances, and their reflections on the day. Due to noise restrictions, every car had mufflers.
'66 318 Barracuda * Anna Bryant * E.T. Best: 12.45
'69 360 Barracuda * Bill Burke * E.T. Best: 11.91
'70 340 Duster * Mark Abate * E.T. Best: 11.45
'73 340 (396) 'Cuda * Gene Rivers * E.T. Best: 11.18
'81 318 Dodge Mirada * Chuck Oliver * E.T. Best: 11.87
'71 340 Charger * Bruce Cook * E.T. Best: 12.73
"I enjoyed the chance to test and tune my car; this place was awesome with good bite and g
Gene Rivers, age: 43, Snellville, GA
Gene Rivers, who towed up all the way from Snellville, Georgia, with his E-Body, took home the best time slip of the day and garnered the "long distance" award. Gene's beast is a factory 'Cuda 340 that now uses some hefty internals to displace 396 inches of small-block thunder. Gene, who won several musclecar-type shootouts in the late '80s and early '90s, admits he's probably ruined this car as a collector's item, but he has those regular 11-second timeslips to prove it was all worth it.
Gene's plan was to simply get laps in and fine-tune the engine for better performances. The fairly radical car is normally street-driven 100 miles when going to Atlanta Dragway, but the crew towed to New Jersey. Previously, his best time had been an 11.55 at 117.9, a number he bettered on all but two runs this day.
'73 Plymouth 'Cuda
Weight w/driver: 3,490
Engine: '72 340 by Randy Wilson.
Bottom end: 3.79-inch MP crank and stock rods for 396 displacement, Ross forged 10.8 pistons 4.08 dia.Heads: -308 castings Hughes Engines "stage II" porting (265 intake/195 exh. @ .650).
Valvetrain: Hughes/Engle custom flat-tappet (.587/.602 lift, 257/266 @ .050, w/1.6 rocker .626/.642 final lift , 107-deg lob. sep./107-deg. centerline), 2.02/1.60 stainless valves, 1.6 roller rockers.
Induction: Single plane intake, Holley 800 double-pumper w/aerosol billet, 84/92 jets, 1-inch open carb spacer, electronic ignition w/MSD timing retard, 75 percent Amoco 93/25 percent 114 octane race fuel mix.
Exhaust: 1 3⁄4-inch pri to 3-inch coll. Headers, Flomaster mufflers, Full exhaust.
Trans/Driveline: 727, full manual valvebody, Coan 10-inch 3200 stall converter, B&M Mega Shifter, 8 3⁄4 rear w/ 4.30:1 Sure Grip
Brakes: Front disc/rear drum.
Wheels/Tires: Weld Drag Lites 15x3.5/165R15 front/Weld 15x8/TA Drag Radials rear.
Suspension: Sway bar removed, 90/10 front shocks, Subframe connectors, Lift bars.
Safety Mods: Driveshaft loop, 3-inch lap belts, Battery in trunk, Rear-mount kill switch.
Interior Mods: Cerrelo buckets, Auto Meter gauging.
Body Mods: Fiberglass "Six Pak" hood, front bumper, and bumper brackets.
|60-ft||1⁄8 et/mph||1⁄4 et/mph||MPH||Notes|
|1||2500||7000||N/A||N/A||11.65||118.9||38-deg 84/90 jet, 15 psi, spun|
|2||2200||7000||N/A||N/A||11.21||120.2||34-deg 84/90 jet, 15 psi, spun|
|3||2200||7100||N/A||N/A||11.18||119.9||34-deg 84/93 jet, 13 psi, hooked|
|4||2200||7000||N/A||N/A||11.32||N/A||34-deg 84/95 jet, 13 psi, spun|
|5||2200||7000||N/A||N/A||11.41||120.1||34-deg 84/89 jet, 13 psi, spun|
|6||2200||7000||N/A||N/A||11.22||120.0||34-deg 84/89 jet, 13 psi, hooked|
|7||2200||7000||N/A||N/A||11.27||119.5||32-deg 84/89 jet, 13 psi, minor spin change to 20-year-old set of M/H Racemaster slicks|
|8||2200||7000||N/A||N/A||11.33||119.0||32-deg 84/89 jet, 13 psi, broke|
"This was the first Mopar I was ever in, and I found it in Colorado in 1985. We even raced
Duster or Bust!
Mark Abate, age: 36, Deer Park, NY
For Mark Abate of Deer Park, New York, the day began bright and sunny until he rolled out of the bleach box and up to the line. The bite was good-so good, in fact, that the rest of his driveline voted his four-speed yoke as the "weakest link," with predictable and devastating results. A mechanic by trade, Mark didn't quit, and spent several hours chasing down pieces and getting the driveshaft fixed. He was able to make a few quick squirts before we finished for the day.
Mark's plan had been to dial-in a new Calvert Racing mono-leaf/CalTraks rear suspension he had just put under his car. Obviously, the breakage prevented him from getting the bugs worked out, and the one preload change he had time to make did more harm than good. Nonetheless, he gets the "Good Spirit In the Face of Adversity" award for the day. Does the car look familiar? Mopar Muscle readers will remember it as the 425-horse bomb seen in our Carlisle Dyno Challenge feature in December.
'70 Plymouth Duster
Weight w/driver: 3,160
Engine: 1971 340 built by Se.l
Bottom End: 318-3 forged crank, 4.08-inch Ross lw 12.5:1 pistons, polished stock rods, C-A Dura-Moly rings.
Heads: MP W2 '99-year castingsï stock factory porting.
Valvetrain: Hughes flat-tappet (.602/.615 lift, duration 265/270 @ .050, 107-deg. lob. sep.), 2.02/1.60 stainless valves, 1.5 W2 roller rockers, installed 3-deg. advanced.
Induction: Single plane intake, Holley CarbShop 920 double-pumper, 78/88 jets, 2-inch carb spacer, MP electronic ignition w/two-step limiter, VP C-12 race gas.
Exhaust: 1 7⁄8-inch pri. to 3 1⁄2-inch coll. Hedman Hustler, Borla Shootout mufflers, full 3 1⁄2 exhaust, X-pipe.
Trans/Driveline: A-833 four-speed/23-spline/slick-shift modified, Hurst shifter, RAM metallic clutch, 8 3⁄4 -489 case/4.57 Detroit Locker internals.
Brakes: front disc/rear drum.
Wheels/Tires: Monoque 15x3.5/M/T Sportsman 7.50x15 front/Monocoque 15x10/Hoosier Quick Time Pro 29x11.5 rear.
Suspension: Sway bar removed, 6-cyl. torsion bars, CE adjustable front shocks, 3000 lb monoleaf/CalTrac bar rear suspension, MP rear shocks.
Safety Mods: 8-point cage, driveshaft loop, RCI harness belts.
Interior Mods: Jaz lightweight buckets, rear seat removed, tinwork by Tony Giresi Race Cars.
Body Mods: U.S. Fiberglass "Six Pak" hood, front bumper and bumper brackets.
|60-ft||1⁄8 et/mph||1⁄4 et/mph||MPH||Notes|
|1||5600||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||broke trans yoke on line|
|2||5200||6200||1.76||7.51/94.38||11.63||120.04||10 psi tires, poor 60-foot|
|3||5600||6200||1.74||7.37/95.55||11.45||121.45||good run, adjusted rear preload before #4|
|4||5200||6200||1.86||9.18/65.98||16.79||51.31||missed Second gear|
Over the Limit
Chuck Oliver, age: 36, Bethpage, NY
Empire State resident Chuck Oliver is a die-hard Chrysler guy. We know, because he called as we were finishing this story to tell us he had lost his job for taking the day off to come to our event. Unfortunately, Chuck's problems really began when he decided to see just how much the 130,000-mile 318 bottom-end in his '81 Dodge Mirada would take. Luckily, though the experiment failed in a spectacular fashion, he owns a couple of other '80s era V8 Mopars to use until it gets fixed.
Chuck got Rager's attention at Carlisle last summer because under the hood of his clean machine was a B&M supercharged/ NOS-equipped small-block with worked heads. As Chuck readily admits, the '80s era cars normally don't get any respect. He proved his point at E-Town as he screamed down into the 11s with an engine package that normally never gets a second look. We've got to hand it to you, pal, it was an eye-opener.
"I wanted an 11-second time slip, so I got that. Hey, I got my car in a mag, I blew up the motor, and I learned about nitrous oxide. After my second run, the car stalled crossing the finish line and I had trouble getting it started like there was a compression problem. The motor spun over OK, so I figured the lifters had pumped up and I waited 10-15 minutes to let them bleed down. It started, but there was a fluctuation in the boost/vacuum gauge. Maybe that 6,500 rpm blast over the finish line was a little more than the 130,000-mile tappets could take, and the next 7,000 rpm lap finished 'em off!
"The damage was I broke the #6 rod and that also took out the valves on that side of the motor, so I'll have to get my good heads redone. I'm a single parent of two children, and I own four Miradas right now. My favorite moment in this car, other than the 11.8 pass, was when I got pulled over by the local police after doing a massive First and Second-gear powerbrake burnout on the street. He asked, "What are you doing?" and I told him I was sorry; I must have let the clutch out too quickly. He pointed his flashlight at my feet, then back up at me, and said, "Son, this car Don't Have a clutch!"
'81 Dodge Mirada CMX
Weight w/driver: 3,792 (w/full tank of gas)
Engine: 1991 318 w/130,000 miles, top-end built by Chuck, CJ, and Alexandra Oliver.
Bottom end: stock, estimated 8.1:1 compression 3.91 cast pistons.
Heads: 360 OEM from Mopar Performance cast iron, ported and polished by DLI.
Valvetrain: stock '81 factory cam! (.373/.399 lift), 2.02/1.60 stainless valves, 1.5 roller rockers.
Induction: B&M blower-style intake, B&M #174 blower with 7psi boost, Holley 750 double-pumper, 76/80 jets, MSD 6BTM electronic ignition w/retards, Cam 2 100 octane, NOS Cheater nitrous system.
Exhaust: 1 3⁄4-inch pri to 3-inch coll. Hooker Super Comps Flowmaster mufflers, full 2 1⁄2-inch exhaust w/crossover pipe.
Trans/Driveline: 727 w/Turbo-Action transbrake and reverse manual valvebody, TA 10-inch 3500 stall converter, Turbo Action shifter, 8 3⁄4 rear from E-Body w/-742 case and 3.55 spool.
Brakes: stock front disc/rear drum.
Wheels/Tires: factory 10-spoke rims polished 15x7/215-65R15 front/275-60-15 (or 26x10 slicks) rear.
Suspension: stock with polygraphite bushings, KYB shocks, subframe connectors, super stock springs, pinion snubber w/ 11/42-inch clearance from floor pan, solid steel K-frame mounts.
Safety Mods: driveshift loop, SFI flex plate, SFI trans shield, battery in trunk, fuel cell.
|60-ft||1⁄8 et/mph||1⁄4 et/mph||Notes|
|1||3000||5000||2.04||8.52/82.17||13.34/101.3||32-deg. timing, street tires, spun|
|2||3000||5500||1.99||8.08/87.99||12.55/109.2||30-deg, no air cleaner, 75-horse nitrous shot, feather gas pedal in First gear|
|3||3500||5500||1.88||7.68/90.32||12.11/109.4||30-deg., add slicks, add gas, 150-horse nitrous shot—worth 4/10s!|
|4||3500||5500||1.85||7.75/88.51||12.24/108.5||30-deg., 200-horse nitrous shot; blower belt slipping, so lost boost and blew oil into engine compartment due to blowby|
|5||4000||6000||1.79||7.56/90.93||11.87/112.9||Same, heated slicks more for traction, big number but major misfires in in Second and Third gears.|
|6||4000||7000||1.82||7.43/68.94||15.93/55.93||Connecting rod broke and engine explosion, blowby covers engine bay with oil. Car still starts to get it up on the trailer! Mopar or no car!|
"This was perfect; take a day off of work and play with the car all day long! We drove thi
Joe Luis, Age: 32, Roselle Park, NJ
Getting the most out of his street car is what Garden State native Joe Luis has in mind, and to that end, he decided to forgo finding and building a used engine and bought a 360/300 horse crate motor from Mopar Performance. His '68 Dart GT is really set up for street cruising; he and his wife drove with us to the Mopar Nats on the Keystone Caravan last year. The Dart, a deal he says he could not pass up, is a followup to a Pro Street Demon project that got out of hand.
Joe and his brother came to spend the day finding out small things about the car. The package is well balanced, and Joe uses a Holley carb instead of the OE-type fuel injection on the car. The numbers he ran, considering the fact that this A-Bomb is all throttle, no bottle, may help us understand why the Magnum engine has been so well-received.
'68 Dodge Dart GT
Weight w/driver: 3,480 (11/44 tank fuel, tools in trunk)
Engine: '99 360 Magnum crate/300 horse.
Bottom End: As built from the factory, 9.0:1 compression flat-top pistons.
Heads: As built Magnum, stock factory porting.
Valvetrain: Factory roller (.401 lift duration 250 @ .050), 1.925/1.625 stainless valves, 1.6 stamped rockers
Induction: Factory MP Magnum single-plane casting, 750 Holley vacuum-secondary, .73/.73 jets, 1-inch 4-hole Moroso carb spacer, MP electronic ignition, Sunoco 94 gas, Carter Street/Strip electronic fuel pump.
Exhaust: 1 5⁄8-inch pri. to 2 1⁄4-inch coll. Hedman , Flowmaster two-chamber mufflers, full 2 1⁄4 exhaust.
Trans/Driveline: 904 Torqueflite w/ B&M Shift Kit, 11-inch TCI breakaway, factory column shift, 8 3⁄4 3.55 Sure Grip rear.
Wheels/Tires: Factory steel 14x4.5/BFGoodrich 195-70R14 front/steel 14x5.5/BFGoodrich Drag Radial 215-60R14 rear.
Suspension: Stock, pinion snubber.
Safety Mods: Factory.
Interior Mods: Factory.
Body Mods: Factory
|60-ft||1⁄8 et/mph||1⁄4 et/mph||Notes|
|1||30||1500||5500||2.27||10.63||13.79||95.36||Installed K&N X-treme filter|
|2||30||1500||5500||1.94||8.36||13.03||104.24||Removed air cleaner|
|3||34||1500||5500||1.90||8.25||12.87 ||105.64||As #2, good run|
|5||34||1500||6000||1.80||8.0||12.66||106.41||Removed trunk stuff, used lighter spring in carb secondary|
"I bought this car after my daughter went to college to make up for the one I never had du
Bruce Cooke Age: 48, Pompton Lakes, NJ
While most of us would love to own a 500-inch classic B-Body drag car, that isn't always in the realm of financial availability. For Bruce Cooke of Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, the fun comes from getting the most out of a stock-displacement small-block. Bruce has only $5,000 tied up in the car, a former Stock Eliminator machine that toured the nation in the 1970s.
A high school math teacher by trade, Bruce has a '78 Aspen with a Slant Six for regular transportation, while he drives the Charger to the track and on weekends. His quote: "Trailers are for boats!" Bruce intended to use his day for tuning the car to the ambient air temp, so he spent much of the day swapping jets in his Holley. The results he got were interesting, and the big car turned some nice numbers even with small-block power under the bonnet.
'71 Dodge Charger
Weight w/driver: 3,395 (w/half tank of gas).
Engine: '71 340 by Jerry Stein.
Bottom end: Factory crank, .040-over 9.8:1 Mopar M6CW4499 pistons, balanced.
Heads: Mopar -574 2001 performance castings, ported, flow numbers by R&L Engines (proprietary).
Valvetrain: Lunati flat-tappet (.501 lift/280-deg. advertised duration/110-deg. lob. sep./110-deg installed centerline), 2.02/1.60 stainless valves, rockers n/a.
Induction: Offenhouser Port-O-Sonic, Holley 750, 75/81 jets to start, 1-inch carb spacer, Mopar/MSD electronic ignition, Sunoco 94/110 race fuel mix, Carter mechanical pump.
Exhaust: 1 5⁄8-inch pri to 3-inch coll. headers, Flowmaster 3-chamber mufflers, no crossover pipe.
Trans/Driveline: 727, reverse valvebody and shift kit by Steve Gilliam, Fairbanks 10-inch 3000-stall converter, B&M Pro Stick, 8 3⁄4 rear w/ 4.30:1 Sure Grip.
Brakes: '74 Dart front disc/rear 10-inch drum.
Wheels/Tires: Centerline Auto Drag 15x3.5/Firestone 165R15 front/Centerline Auto Drag 15x6/highway: 31x10.5 M/T, track: Hoosier Quick Time DOT 11-inch at 13 psi pressure rear.
Suspension: Pinion snubber.
Safety Mods: Driveshft loop, RCI lap belts, battery in trunk.
Interior Mods: Front fiberglass buckets, remove rear seat.
Body Mods: Fiberglass hood and front bumper.
Launch technique: 2,000 rpm after 3-second burnout in Third gear.
Suspension: Pinion snubber.
|60-ft||1⁄8 et/mph||1⁄4 et/mph||Notes|
|1||2000||6200||1.94||N/A||12.80/106.84||75/81 jet, 170-deg. water, baseline|
|2||2000||6200||1.89||N/A||12.75/106.75||75/81 jet, second baseline|
|3||2000||6200||1.89||N/A||12.88/100.82||73/79 jet, too little size|
|4||2000||6200||2.00||N/A||13.55/100.35||73/79 jet, 190-deg. water, car hot|
|5||2000||6200||1.91||N/A||13.47/99.5||77/83 jet, going other way, too much |
|6||2000||6200||1.92||N/A||13.57/98.3||77/83 jet, too much jet, back to basic |
|7||2000||6200||N/A||N/A||12.73N/A||74/82 jet, return to start point 72-deg. weather, took lucky guess|
Anna Bryant, age: 55, Suffolk, VA
Well, there are stories and then there are stories. For Anna Bryant, running this '66 Barracuda is just another stage of an eventful life. Anna was born in a Russian concentration camp (yes, seriously), escaping with her family when she was nine months old. She came to America at age 5, and says she was shy and introverted until her husband Collis dared her to go drag racing several years ago. He bought the car as a diamond in the rough, saying it had a lot of potential; Anna remembers she didn't even want it because it looked so bad. The couple also has a pair of '64 Valiants and a '64 Barracuda waiting in line to be fixed up.
Regardless, the plan from the start had been to put together an economical package. This car uses a store-bought '77 318 replacement engine and shifts in Drive, so Anna and Collis planned to use the day to dial the car up for the Chrysler Classic at Virginia Motorsports Park the following weekend. Anna finished Third in the points at VMP this past season, and has qualified for the bracket finals seven years running. The car works well; they got 13 laps in.
"We run the spread-bore carb because it gives better launch and 60-foot times with this combination compared to the square-bore carb, and we didn't change jets because the top gasket is hard to get and ours is well-worn. The car has run as good as 12.30s at VMP. In Drive, the car was shifting around 4400 or so for some reason today; normally, it runs those mid-12s all the time." -Collis Bryant
"My favorite moment in the car was beating the track champion at VMP with it. We have four children and seven grandchildren, and we enjoyed coming up here and meeting new people and seeing the cars. This was a good event." -Anna Bryant
Weight w/driver: 3,044 (1⁄4 tank of gas)
Engine: '77 318 by Jack Neild, OEM replacement.
Bottom end: Factory crank, factory 9.0:1 cast pistons with reliefs, unbalanced.
Heads: '75 Chrysler -586 castings, ported.
Valvetrain: Mopar Performance flat-tappet (.450/.455 lift), 1.88/1.60 stock valves, OEM 273 adjustable rockers.
Induction: Edelbrock Performer, Holley 650 spread-bore, 69/71 jets, carb spacer, Mopar electronic ignition, Amoco 93 fuel, Holley pump.
Exhaust: 1 5⁄8-inch pri. to 3-inch coll. headers, Flowmaster 3-chamber mufflers, no crossover pipe.
Trans/Driveline: 904 w/Hemi governer (5400 shift) and cylinder planetaries, 2500-Stall Converter Specialties (Balto, MD) converter, column shift, 8 3⁄4 rear w/ 4.10:1 Sure Grip.
Brakes: Ford 5-on-4.5 bolt pattern front drum/factory rear drum.
Wheels/Tires: Weld 15x4.5/Pep Boys @ 55 psi front/Weld 15x8/Hoosier 28x9 slicks @ 12 psi. rear.
Suspension: Drag race alignment at 90/10 shocks, MP super stock springs, aluminum front bushings/poly bushings in rear, no pinion snubber.
Safety Mods: Driveshft loop, RCI lap belts, S&W cage with subframe connectors.
Interior Mods: Only one front fiberglass bucket seat.
Body Mods: Six Pak-type scoop.
|4||1500||5400||12.93||32-deg. timing |
|5||Idle||5400||12.84||34-deg. timing |
|7||Idle||5400||12.87||36-deg. timing |
|11||1700||6000||12.45||38-deg. timing, Collis driving, manual shift|
|12||1700||6400||12.49||38-deg. timing, Collis driving, manual shift, hot engine|
"I put this car together at the auto shop in one of my schools with the help of Steve Turc
Calm and Collected 'Cuda
Bill Burke, age: 43, East Norwich, NY
Bill Burke has been racing his '69 Barracuda for many years, and he came out to bracket test it with a variety of rear tire pressures. Unlike many of the others, the East Norwich, New York-based school system administrator has already done most of the work to make his car consistent for racing, so he was well aware of what the car liked. The five runs he recorded varied by less than 11/410 of second despite the different times of day. He has posted final round showings at Englishtown for the Mopar Atlantic Nationals. Bill's 360 is a crate motor, which was a basic install into the A-Body for bracket racing purposes. He also has mufflers on the car due to the noise restrictions at the track.
'69 Plymouth Barracuda
Weight w/driver: 3,070 (w/half tank of gas).
Engine: 19- 360 crate motor by Chrysler.
Bottom end: Factory crank and rods, 9.0:1 Mopar pistons, unbalanced.
Heads: Mopar swirl-port castings, unported.
Valvetrain: Mopar roller (.501/.513 lift/288/292-deg. @.050 advertised duration), 1.925/1.625 valves, 1.65 rockers.
Induction: M-1 Mopar single-plane, BG-modified Holley 750 vac., 1⁄2-inch carb spacer, Mopar electronic ignition, Hess 93 unleaded.
Exhaust: 1 3⁄4-inch pri. to 3-inch coll. Stahl headers, mufflers, no crossover pipe.
Trans/Driveline: 904 Turbo-Action, reverse valvebody, Turbo Action 10-inch 3600-stall converter, Turbo-Action Cheetah shifter, 8 3⁄4 rear w/4.56:1 Richmond gears, Moser axles.
Brakes: Stock drum/drum.
Wheels/Tires: Centerline Convo Pro 15-inch wheels/Moroso 2-ply front/Hoosier 28x10 rear, 12-14 psi.
Suspension: Stock front, subframe connectors, Mopar S/S springs, Mopar shocks, pinions snubber.
Safety Mods: S&W 8-point cage, fuel cell, loop seat belts, ARCA stainless steel fire shield rear seat.
Interior mods: Gutted, race seat.
Body Mods: Fiberglass fenders and Six Pak hood.
Launch technique: Prestage to 2,000 rpm, bring to 3,400, launch on last yellow.
|60-ft||1⁄8 et/mph||1⁄4 et/mph||Notes|
|2||3400||5500||1.69||N/A||12.00/110.00||12.5-psi, bad burnout|