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 local gas station to fill up with the required pump gas since
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 to a minimum, that still didn't prevent Dave from posting imp
'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 isn't just another pretty face-it's driven and raced. The sho
Yes, it's a Hemi Challenger and it's 500 cubes.
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.
Jamie was excited to get out there and race. He also competed in another class during the
'68 Dodge Dart
Jamie Hogg's Hemi Super Stock clone was simply intimidating to look at. It was built by Joe Lutz at Hot Rod Dynamics and was sold on eBay to Tommy Watts in California. Tommy took it to the Hot August Nights show and sold it to Tom Skjonsberg of Red Deer Alberta, Canada. Jamie purchased the car from Tom in January 2008.
Jamie Hogg drove down from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, with his family. His Hurst Hemi Dart
The Slant Six has been tossed for the awesome Hemi powerplant. Along with the appropriate
The blue interior was actually the original color for this former slant six Dart. Bill Gro
The Super Stock suspension holds the spooled Dana 60 in place as the 426 Hemi crushes the Mickey Thompson drag radials. The Hemi sports a Mopar Purple Cam and gives the Dart a menacing idle through its Hooker Super Comp headers and Flowmaster mufflers. The twin 770-cfm Holley carburetors and an MSD ignition system boost power even further. A 727 TorqueFlite transmission with a reverse manual valvebody and a 4,500-stall converter handle the shifting.
Hot Rod Dynamics teamed up with Bill Grogan's Trim Shop to restore the interior to Super Stock specs. the car comes together nicely and would fool any discerning passerby. Jamie was thrilled to be involved in the True Street Challenge, and we appreciate his enthusiasm. Adding to the excitement, he posted a new personal best with a low 12-second pass. He also gets the Save of the Day award for keeping his Dart mere inches from the wall when he hit some slippery stuff at half track.
With the higher altitude of Las Vegas, Greg wasn't able to achieve the consistent 13-secon
'73 Dodge Challenger
Twenty-two-year-old Greg Bridges, our youngest competitor, brought a lot to the table with his ambitious '73 Challenger. Greg and his father, Bill, picked it up for $650. The Challenger was in poor, haggard condition, and it took five years to bring it to the level they wanted. They completed all the work themselves, aside from the paint, which was handled by Dell Auto Body in Campbell, California.
Greg Bridges' '73 Challenger has come a long way. He purchased the car when he was 13 year
Greg and his father built the 360 small-block. It has made great progress since its days a
Gauges galore! Greg's cockpit is very driver focused.
Motivating this 13-second capable E-Body is a 360 small-block. The heads were treated to a heavy porting and bowl work, and a Clay Smith .490-lift and 265-duration camshaft. An Edelbrock RPM Air Gap intake manifold and Demon 650-cfm carburetor provide the air/fuel mixture. The sweet small-block song is sung through a Flowmaster exhaust and tti headers. Its road manners are controlled by a highly modified suspension system that includes KYB gas shocks, 11/8-inch front sway bar, and Super Stock springs.
This Challenger may have been outgunned by the other competitors on the track, but the father/son team brought a lot to the table with their Challenger.
Dennis Hupka, a retired police officer, has owned several Road Runners throughout his life
'69 Plymouth Road Runner
Making his way from Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, Dennis Hupka had to strap tire chains on his car to negotiate the snow. He purchased his first Road Runner-a '68 four-speed-in 1968, while he was a young police officer. But time, marriage, and kids forced him to put the whole musclecar thing on the back burner. Eventually, he was able to return to the hobby and has owned three '69 Road Runners, including this one, his latest.
If you ever wanted to know what a '69 Road Runner looked like back when it was new, just t
We were surprised to see Dennis as the first car in the staging lanes. He said he had noth
The nearly bone-stock 440 makes this B-body a fun car to take anywhere. It's so comfortabl
He spotted it in 1996 on a trailer in someone's backyard, but the owner wouldn't budge on the sale price. Dennis left his card and heard back about a year later-and bought it on the spot. It was in need of a full restoration, but the body was intact and had only minor rust in the fenderwells. Garry Keay Restorations in Chilliwack took care of the paint and body. The 440 was sent to Fortin's Engine & supply for the buildup. New .030 over pistons, .484-lift cam, and balanced rotating assembly filled the RB block. It also uses a Holley 3310 carburetor and an M1 intake manifold.
Out on the road, the overwhelmingly tame B-Body delivered an extremely comfortable ride. The paint and body were all quality. Its performance on the track could have been a little better, but its comfort and appearance made up for that quite well.
Thierry Hosig's '69 Coronet isn't camera shy, but because of his participation in the car
'68 Dodge Coronet R/T
Thierry Hosig's B-5 blue Coronet R/T was blindingly bright. The paint looked as though it was sprayed yesterday, and all the parts were there, too. Fifteen years ago, his friend purchased the car and it sat at his house. When the friend decided to move, Thierry sprang at the opportunity to buy it from him. It was in rough shape, but 41/2 years of restoration work resulted in this rewarding show stopper.
Inside the 440 are Mopar rods, a factory crankshaft, and KB Silvolite hypereutectic pistons. The stock cam was replaced with a Comp Cams Energy 225 flat-tappet with .507/.510-inch lift with a 110 lobe separation and 240/246-degree duration. Comp lifters and springs handle the valve events with the cast-iron Mopar 906 cylinder heads.
TTI exhaust made a strong showing this year; this B-Body benefited from their 3-inch header system and spits it out through Flowmaster Delta-Flow three-chamber mufflers. Its domestic, relaxed road manors scored high with the judges and gave the winner a run for his money.
The altitude affected all the drivers. Doug was several tenths off his regular dial-in and
'69 Plymouth Barracuda
This is raw, unadulterated power. Doug Sloan's '69 'Cuda rumbled up to the True Street Challenge area, turning a lot of heads. We thought to ourselves, How could something this monstrous fare well in this friendly competition that is about more than just a timeslip? Well, during the cruise session, the A-Body proved docile and friendly in stop and go-something nobody expected. when it came time for the passes, Doug's Barracuda didn't let us down there either, posting consistent 10-second slips all weekend on motor.
Doug Sloan's Barracuda may have been more at home at the strip than on the street, but it
This 340 now delivers 394 ci and produces enough power to send Doug through the traps in 1
The interior is all business with an Auto Meter tach and Precision Performance Parts shift
Powering this animal down the track is not a big-block, but a numbers-matching 340. It's no longer that small, though. Doug's brother, Brian Sloan, built the engine, and it's now a more robust 394 cubes. The forged Callies Dragon Slayer crankshaft is attached to Eagle steel rods and CP pistons. The healthy 11:1 compression ratio runs nicely on pump gas and is delivered through an Edelbrock Super Victor intake via a custom-built Holley HP 750 carburetor.
With the car perfectly set up, Doug enjoys running brackets and competed against the other Mopars all weekend.
Elevens is fast no matter how you cut it. When it comes in a package as street friendly as
'73 Plymouth Duster
What we liked about Don Riley's '73 Duster wasn't just its performance or the fact that it was a father/son project. It was that Don loved to drive the car, do smoky burnouts, and race regularly. He bought the car in early 2002 for he and his sons, John and Andrew, to build and enjoy together.
The impressive grip and power of Don Riley's Duster threw your author back into the seat w
The Duster's engine bay is occupied by a 410ci small-block. The radical cam makes for one
You might notice the convenient eyeglass holder by the shifter-that's the former location
Now on its third engine, this Duster was hot lapping with mid-11-second passes. An LA 410-inch small-black sits underneath the hood. KB pistons rated for 11:1 compression, Forged H-beam rods, and a Mopar stroker crank make up the rotating assembly. A Comp Cams .635/.632-inch lift, 252/262-degree duration camshaft keeps the valves open.
The week before the True Street Challenge, Don busted his four-speed. He converted the car over to an automatic right before the event and wasn't able to optimize the setup, but he still ran some great passes!
Buster Baglierri piloted this Hemi B-Body down the track.
'70 Plymouth Sport Satellite
Bob Hewitt, a retired 71-year-old businessman, brought this '70 Sport Satellite out to Vegas with his crew. His crew consists of an assortment of highly intelligent automotive specialists: Buster Baglierri, Frank Wright, Earl Stewart, Bobby Lucareili, Dave Haringa, Dennis Peterson, David Purcell, and Bob Cannon. Together, they helped him on various parts of the restoration and at the track.
Bob Hewitt's Sublime Satellite really drew a crowd in our pits. He and his friends built t
This all-aluminum Indy Hemi shaves weight while still delivering monstrous Mopar power.
The custom interior on Bob's Plymouth is extremely tasteful. The carbon-fiber dash holds A
For the engine, Bob went with an all-aluminum Hemi from Indy. The 528ci engine features 10.5:1 compression Wiseco pistons, Eagle H-beam rods, and an Eagle stroker crankshaft. The aluminum cylinder heads were also sourced from Indy and received bowl porting and gasket matching. The camshaft comes from Comp Cams and is rated at .549/.532-inch lift and 305-degree duration. Fuel and air are provided by a pair of Holley 750 carburetors and a Stage V intake manifold.
The Sublime B-Body was fairly mellow on the streets, but the drag suspension wasn't the most welcoming. Bob put Buster Baglierri behind the wheel for the race portion of the challenge, where he performed consistently, knocking down mid-12s on street tires both passes.
Bob and his crew were very professional and even made team shirts to commemorate their experience at the '08 Mopars at the Strip event.