The first thing you notice when you ride in either car is the exhaust note, or should we say bass drum! Both cars feature side-exit exhausts, and on John's car, a flick of a switch opens the headers via electric cutouts. If you have something to say (like "Cop!"), be sure to say it before he hits the switch. Jen hides her contemporary audio in the glovebox to keep the dash stock appearing. Overall, both cars rode nicely, and we'll give Jen until next year to get her gauges working correctly.
On Saturday, John came back to the event with Third gear broken in his tranny from a Friday-night time shot. That didn't stop him from racing, though. It just so happened he lined up against Jen, and when the dust settled, John ran a 13.61 e.t. at 101.5 mph, and Jen was a blink quicker at 13.60, traveling at 102.46 mph. Sorry John, but a win is a win-the lady has the lead.
A Challenging T/A
Camper repairman Jeff Delzer brought his '70 T/A Challenger out and spent the weekend showin' and racin'. Jeff's T/A was also restored to stock specs, with the 340 receiving everything needed-including correct date-coded plug wires, battery cables, and so on. Trust us, this thing is bone stock. Power goes through the factory four-speed, back to the 831/44 rear with a Sure Grip and 3.91 gears.
These cars were built to handle, and because of that, the ride can be a little stiff. You can feel the bumps in the road-not enough to be annoying, but enough to notice the feel of a sport suspension. Again, this car has side-exit exhaust, but they're tolerable due to its stock nature.
Although these cars were never meant to be quarter-pounders, Jeff gently took his down the track to the tune of 15.25 at 89.98 mph. He says he's looking to move on to something else, but we don't know if he received any offers during the show.
One of None
We know, they never made a Six Pack-inducted small-block with A/C. Firefighter Dennis Lowder of Albuquerque, New Mexico, also knows that, but he made it work. The short-block started life as a 360, but with the help of the aftermarket, it now displaces 408 ci. Even with added cubic inches and the help of Keith Black pistons, a .484 Mopar cam, and Edelbrock aluminum heads, the stock exhaust manifolds were definitely holding it back. The 727 is filled with a B&M shift kit and a Hughes torque converter. It all ends at the Sure Grip-filled 831/44 with 4.30 gears.
During our ride, we noticed a few small things Dennis plans to get fixed. First of all, the A/C needs charging. When he takes care of that and some detailing on the inside, this will be one nice A-Body. The noise level was barely noticeable, probably because of the stock manifolds, and the ride was comfortable. However, with the gearing, engine rpm was a little high, but hey, some guys like that.
Dennis was not afraid to put the wood to her on the track. He made several passes and even did some tuning between rounds. Still, with the constrictions of the manifolds, his best time was a 13.60 at 99.88 mph.
Bill and Mary Sue Pharr drove their Limelight '70 'Cuda from Rocklin, California, to our patch of asphalt in the Nevada desert called the Las Vegas Strip to be involved in our challenge. Not one of our original finalists chosen to compete, Bill stepped up and filled the void left by a no-show. The Pharr 'Cuda is powered by a .060-over 440 filled with mostly stock components. A TCI tranny with a Gear Vendors unit lets the 'Cuda stretch its legs on the open roads, especially when coupled with a 3.23-filled 831/44 rear (wonder what top speed would be in this thing).
The extensive modifications in and on the 'Cuda make it a pleasure to ride in, with minimal engine noise and one kickin' sound system. We have to admire a guy willing to put this kind of time and money in a car and then subject it to the road and track.