Slanted ViewWho says street performance cars must be V-8 powered? Not David Fornero, that's for sure. His '63 Dodge Dart impressed us with its handling and ride quality, and even more impressive is the fact that he drives this car daily. This car is definitely a well-rounded package that combines good factory components with subtle aftermarket upgrades to net a nimble, fun driver that finished in fifth place. Many of the upgrades to this Dart are from newer Mopars, such as the late-model A-Body front discs and rear drums. The front bucket seats are from an '86 Shelby and fit the style of the interior well. David did much of the restoration himself using donor cars and scrap yards to find the things he needed to bring the Dart to its current state. Parts that he couldn't find in reasonable shape, such as the center sun visor bracket, he made himself. Knowing that a Slant Six can be an economical and powerful alternative to a V-8 conversion, David chose to build a 225 for his Dart. The block was decked, bored .040 inch oversize, and fitted with flat-top pistons. The stock cylinder head was milled .090 inch to increase compression, ported, and fitted with oversize valves and new springs. A Comp .435 lift solid cam was chosen to actuate the valves through stock rockers. A Clifford aluminum intake and Edelbrock 500-cfm four-barrel handle the fuel mixing duties, while a Clifford header helps the gasses exit the motor. The automatic transmission was rebuilt and fitted with a 2,500 rpm converter. Out back, a 7-1/4 rearend sports 3.23 gears for quiet highway driving.
When it was time to restore the interior in his Dart, David knew it needed to be comfortable and functional. This car is David's daily driver so it needed some upgrades, such as bucket seats from an '86 Shelby car and aftermarket air conditioning. An oil pressure gauge and Sun tachometer monitor the vital signs, and an aftermarket sound system was installed. The seats are all covered in dark grey vinyl and coordinate nicely with the car's black exterior. Unfortunately, a slipping transmission limited the performance of this car; quarter-mile times were in the 20-second range. Since the Vegas show, David has installed new clutches and a new converter vowing to impress us with better elapsed times next year.