Sin City and a whole mess...
Sin City and a whole mess of Mopars-let the good times roll.
For the past five years, we've been testing out an assortment of Mopars to determine the ultimate street car-with a blend of performance, streetability, comfort, and overall appearance. It's easy to build a car that excels in one or two of these areas, but plenty of people forget about the other stuff. In our test, that won't fly.
Our drivers assemble at the...
Our drivers assemble at the local gas station to fill up with the required pump gas since street cars shouldn't have to run on race fuel.
This year was no different. Eight of our readers converged at the Mopars at the Strip show (MATS) in Las Vegas to prove their Mopars had what it takes to be crowned the winner. If you're not familiar with the rules for our True Street Challenge, they aren't complicated. The initial judging begins as soon as our competitors roll up and park in our allotted area. A close eye is put on the paint, trim, finish, and overall condition. We then take a peek under the hood and also inside. After that, each car is required to fill up with pump gas and cruise the highways of Las Vegas, including stop-and-go traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard. During this time, we hop into each car for a brief ride so we can get a feel for each one. Is it loud? Do all the gauges work? How does it ride? Once the cruise has been completed, the competitors take to the staging lanes and make two passes. All the points accrued from each part are then added together, and a winner is found.
This year, Dave Mitton, owner of a '70 Challenger convertible, was our winner. His E-Body delivered the greatest balance of the attributes we look for in the True Street challenge . . . and the competition was tough-this was the highest scoring year to date! Thank you to all who participated.
While the burnouts were kept...
While the burnouts were kept to a minimum, that still didn't prevent Dave from posting impressive times on his BFG street tires.
'70 Dodge Challenger
Our first impression of Dave's Challenger was that it might be "too pretty to compete." We knew it would fare well in the appearance and fit and finish factors, but maybe not so hot on the track. Well, Dave made us eat our words as he was more than eager to blast down the strip. Normally, he races on slicks, but our rules forbid the use of non-DOT-approved race rubber. But that didn't bother him too much since he was curious to see how well it would perform with street radials.
Dave Mitton's '70 Challenger...
Dave Mitton's '70 Challenger isn't just another pretty face-it's driven and raced. The show-quality finish and attention to detail drove up the points, but the great road manners and performance took the gold.
Yes, it's a Hemi Challenger...
Yes, it's a Hemi Challenger and it's 500 cubes.
Inside, the interior was fresh...
Inside, the interior was fresh looking and newly restored.
Under the hood we found another surprise: a 631-horse, cast-iron, 500-inch Hemi. The elephant benefits from a slew of aftermarket goodies, including Eagle rods, a stroker crankshaft, and custom CP pistons, which deliver 10.5:1 compression. A .570/.550-inch lift, 239-degree of duration camshaft sits inside the block. Topping things off are twin Edelbrock 650-cfm carburetors, a Stage V aluminum intake manifold, and aluminum Stage V cylinder heads with 2.25-inch intake and 1.90-inch Ferrea stainless valves. The blend of parts offers a great deal of streetablity, and Dave's car excelled in all our categories.
At last years MATS event, Dave was able to make some passes on slicks and knocked down an 11.79. This year, on street tires, he posted consistent mid-12-second passes-not too shabby. The combination of Hemi power and attention to detail paid off as Dave took this year's win. "It's one of those cars you just want to get in and drive," he says. We have to agree. congratulations, Dave.