2 Matt Morrison
'69 Plymouth Roadrunner
The Saddle Bronze paint on Matt’s Road Runner was looking clean, and it featured a tan top that we don’t commonly see. Matt tells us that the paint job was a little over 10 years old, and for its age, it was extremely impressive. This helped it receive high marks for its paint and trim. Matt also did a terrific job of restoring the interior to original by using a headliner from YearOne, a restored dash from Just Dashes, and Legendary Auto Interiors for the seats and carpeting.
The key to Matt’s success with the car is its combination. Starting with the suspension, he used Competition Engineering adjustable front shocks, and rear Mopar 50/50 shocks with Super Stock springs and an adjustable pinion snubber. This allows Matt to dial in the weight transfer onto the massive 325/50R15 BFG Drag Radials. The unassuming car also wears a set of custom Magnum 500 wheels that measure 15x7 inches up front and 15x10 out back. They deliver an authentic look with all the grip the B-Body needs to sling it down the track. The Runner also features the factory 8-3/4 rear that houses a set of 3.91 gears and front disc brakes.
For his powerplant, Matt chose a low-buck 400 block that he pushed to over 500 cubic inches, thanks to a 4.240-inch steel Mopar stroker crank. Forged CP pistons and H-beam rods, while a 302/310-duration Crane roller cam spins inside. On the top of the motor is a Holley 850 bolted to a Mopar M1 intake manifold ported to match the Edelbrock aluminum heads. The engine was converted to a Pertronix electronic ignition system and uses a Mopar Performance oiling system. Ollie Hellert in Van Nuys, California, used the 2-inch primary tti headers to make a custom exhaust. Starting at the 3-1/2-inch collector, the pipes were brought down to 3-inches before flowing through a set of Dynomax mufflers. Leon’s Transmission in Reseda, California, rebuilt the automatic and installed a 3,400-stall TCI StreetFighter converter. Matt’s Road Runner was on point and running just shy of his personal best of 12.13 at 112.2. Proving it doesn’t require an expensive engine to run a solid number in a street car.
Matt Morrison braved the passing of his mother just a week before the event to make it out to the show. We hope the weekend lifted his spirits and we’re happy he made it out. He would like to dedicate his car to his mother, Dorothy Krutz.
3 Randy Ives
'70 Plymouth 'Cuda
When Randy and his friend Reno rolled up to the TSC parking area, they definitely announced themselves. Randy got together with Reno to figure out how to bring the car to the level of impact it has now and Reno knew just the guy: a California native by the name of Dave Lovely. "He turned almost every nut and bolt on this restoration, and he's damn good," says Reno. Shawn Kenny out of Redding, California, restored the interior to like new condition by using parts from Legendary Auto Interiors. On the outside, the 'Cuda's shape was accentuated by a flawless application of B5 blue paint that was so fresh it was almost dripping wet. A man by the name of "Long Hair" Bill Brown out of Mt. Shasta, California, was the suspect involved in spraying the car.
Underneath, the E-Body was freshened up with new bushings, a Firm Feel steering box, and A-arms. A set of factory-style steel wheels were widened in the rear to a 16x10 inches with 16x7 wheels up front.
The original 440 was great but not what Randy had in mind. "We decided to put the motor aside in favor of an all aluminum 528 with an EFI-injected billet Six-Pack throttle body from F&B. The engine was built at Ray Barton's shop, and inside are eight forged Diamond pistons with H-beam rods and a steel Mopar crankshaft. Ray spec'd a custom cam for the engine with a top-secret cam card. The most impressive part of the combination is perhaps the experimental raised port heads developed by Ray. The engine is lubricated with an external system and the exhaust is a custom combination from tti with 2-inch primary tube headers spilling into 3-1/2-inch collectors then into 3-inch pipes and Magnaflow mufflers. The engine combo was put on the engine dyno and achieved an impressive 674 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque.
This car was fresh and Randy and Reno still insisted on entering the Challenge with it, knowing it would be put through its paces. This didn't deter Reno, who Randy chose as his driver. It did quite well on the street and when it came time for the track, Reno used a simple technique of launching off idle to be as easy on the car as possible. Still, the bulbs lit up showing a mid 13-second pass at just over 100 mph on a pure street tire.