It was a relatively new concept for us-a chance to mingle with the readers of Mopar Muscle by getting them involved with their cars. We decided to pick 10 cars that were entered in the Mopars at the Strip show in Las Vegas, Nevada, in March of this year and see just how far some people would go with them. At the registration deadline, we had received 47 entries for the first (hopefully annual) Mopar Muscle True Street Challenge.
What we didn't want in this competition were gussied up, quote-unquote street cars that run mid-eight-second quarter-mile times. Let's face it, how many guys with blown, alcohol-ingesting 600ci engines actually use their cars to get groceries? We were looking for nice-looking, comfortable cars that could drive into town and run a respectable e.t.-an 11-second car would be fast. The drivers weren't competing against each other, but against the challenge we put before them. We were going to allow each car to stand on its own merits and let the points fall where they may.
A small miscommunication in directions made the driving portion about 45 miles long. We covered the gritty pavement and traffic of downtown Las Vegas, and our True Street crew was up to the task. They all handled it well, proving their rides to be true street cars, and we eventually got to the newly-paved open road. So, here they are-the 10 charter members of the Mopar Muscle True Street Challenge.
A resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Steve Alderete brought his '70 440-powered Six Pack 'Cuda to throw down with the rest. The factory-installed 440 in Steve's fish is filled with goodies like a .030 overbore, stock rods and replacement pistons, and a solid lifter MP camshaft. Edelbrock heads support the factory Six Pack induction, and the rebuilt 727 sends power to the Dana 60 with 4.10 gears.
When cornering, Steve was disappointed with the stiffness of his shocks in the rebuilt frontend. But the 'Cuda liked the high altitude, and in a straight line, the ride was smooth and quiet. The take-off from stop was quick but not extremely hard, which was good.
Steve had ET Street tires, so when it came time to test his 'Cuda, it was considered legal for the racing portion. With the drop of the green light, Steve's best time was a 12.82 e.t at 107.71 mph. Not bad at all!
In the looks department, Steve's 'Cuda was nicely-detailed, the fit and finish creating a good example of what a driver should look like. Mostly garage-kept before Steve got it, the 'Cuda had a lot of original pieces, including the headliner, dash gauges, glass, and door panels.
Truckin' With Style
Bob Gobble did the truckin' crowd proud with his '65 A-100 truck. The A-hauler sports a Mopar Performance 380-horse 360 crate engine with an 850 Holley carb on top. From there, a 727 with a reverse-shift valvebody and 10-inch torque converter sends the power to the 831/44 rear with 4.30 gears on a Sure Grip center.
The ride was enjoyable, but for a truck with a straight-axle frontend and front wheels almost behind the passengers, it was a little stiff. For a short jaunt to the store, it would be a cool ride. But anything over a 100-mile drive would surely be tough to handle.
Bob was one of our True Street challengers who opted to enter his truck in the Racing class instead of the Show class. Since he is not completely finished restoring the truck, there were a few small details that would cause some grief on a show field. However, all in all, it's a cool truck that Bob can finish and enjoy.
Like we said, Bob was hashing it out on the track all weekend. During the driving portion of our challenge, he ran his Hoosier Quick Time tires and made them legal for the racing portion. Bob's best time over the weekend was a 13.56 e.t. traveling at 95.86 mph.