Diamond In The Rough
Car: '69 Plymouth Road Runner
Owner: Clay Bates
Clay Bates' 383 is a classic example of a mild, albeit well-tuned, low-deck. Though Clay's 'Runner is a work-in-progress and a bit on the rough side, we felt it representative of many cars owned by our readership (and ourselves, for that matter). Sporting a 10:1 compression ratio, a mild hydraulic stick, a torque-enhancing Edelbrock Performer intake, and a 750-cfm carburetor, plus 171/48-inch Hooker headers, and an MP electronic ignition, Clay consulted his crystal ball for a scientific guestimate of between 260 and 270 hp. Well, the crystal ball was right on the money when the dyno rollers came to a stop, and the printout read 265 hp. With a crystal ball like that, we wouldn't even need a dyno anymore! With a few well-chosen parts that work well with the overall combination, Clay's Road Runner was able to produce very respectable numbers.

Engine: 383 big-block
Approx Compression Ratio: 10:1
Cylinder Heads: Stock cast iron, Comp ductile iron adjustable rocker arms
Camshaft: Mopar Performance hydraulic flat-tappet, 280-degrees advertised duration, .474-inch valve lift
Induction: Edelbrock Performer intake, 750-cfm Edelbrock carb
Ignition: Mopar Performance electronic
Exhaust: Hooker 1 7⁄8-inch headers, 2.5-inch dual exhaust
Transmission: 727 automatic, Mopar Performance 166K converter
Performance
Best e.t.: 14.74 @ 89 mph
Owner's Guess: Between 260 and 270 hp
Dyno Results: 266 hp, 281 lb-ft of torque

Wrong-Wheel Drive
Car: '86 Shelby GLHS
Owner: Rob Walsh
Before some readers cry foul because we included a front-wheel-drive, four-cylinder buzz bomb in this article, keep in mind these cars were American made and showcased a grave attempt on Shelby's part to produce a front-drive econobox that did more than get good mileage. Also keep in mind, these were hands down the fastest cars available at Dodge dealerships (authorized Dodge dealerships) in 1986 and able to run deep in the 14-second bracket. Many a 5.0L Mustang got spanked by these specially produced Omnis. If we had one, we would have removed every decal and added simulated wood siding, an AARP bumper sticker, perhaps some curb feelers . . . OK, we're getting carried away, but you get the picture. These souped-up turbo and intercooled four-doors were sleepers of the highest order. Rob Walsh of Spokane, Washington, went a couple steps further with the addition of a fully ported cylinder head, a hotter cam, and the now defunct Super 60 kit containing a larger turbo, a different MAP sensor, and larger injectors that were available from Mopar Performance. While originally rated at 175 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque, Rob has considerably upped the ante to the tune of 203 horses and 240 lb-ft of torque at the rear, er front wheels. Can't argue with that.

Engine:2.2 (135 ci) four-cylinder
Approx Compression Ratio:8.5:1
Cylinder Heads: Factory castings, fully ported, stock stamped rocker arms
Camshaft:Unknown hydraulic flat-tappet, 240/248- degrees advertised duration, .460/.460-inch valve lift
Induction:Stock EFI, Super 60 turbocharger
Ignition:Stock electronic, Stage II computer
Exhaust:3-inch single exhaust
Transmission: Stock manual trans
Performance
Best e.t.:12.90 @ 108 mph
Owner's Guess:210 hp
Dyno Results:203 hp, 240 lb-ft of torque