Because this car would be a street-strip beast rather than a quarter pounder, suspension tech came next. First, everything was upgraded with high-quality replacements from Performance Suspension Technology, then other modern pieces replaced most of the outdated factory components. These included the ARB Air Locker fitted in the Dana 60, custom built by Drive Train Specialities' custom shop. At each end, disc brakes from Baer Inc. are visible behind the SWS-TQ five-spoke wheels from Stockton Wheel. A pair of Eaton Detroit rear springs support the rear end. Up front, Baer also supplied the disc brakes that are just as trick as the tubular upper control arms and proprietary coilovers from Magnum Force. BFGoodrich Radial T/As are found at all four corners.
The outside of the car can certainly be appreciated by onlookers, but the people tooling around in it need a comfortable ride. To that end, Year One supplied the interior-and nearly every other new restoration component-to revamp the original so the car maintained the basic feel and appearance of 1969. We put in a brace of Auto Meter gauges to monitor the vital signs, a Grant steering wheel, a high-tech Vintage Air air-conditioning system that produces minimum drag off of the engine, and a headliner installed by the Auto Top Shop in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The crowning touch was Crutchfield's super-custom Kenwood stereo, complete with a monster sub-woofer in the rear that can out-scream the engine.
As with any customized vehicle, a plethora of small but important parts came from various suppliers. Things like throttle and emergency brake cables, because both applications required linkages far from stock replacements; Lokar Industries had just the ticket for each. Concours Creations came up with a beautiful wiper motor that helped make the firewall look brand new. Companies like Year One and N.O.S parts dealer Stephens Performance had the little things that boost the quality of the work to the stratosphere. Things that weren't seen included POR-15 coatings to keep the car rust-free; Action Auto Movers and Steve Durham, responsible for movements and delivery; and Cytech, whose garage-style lift made the work at Muscle Car Restorations go as smoothly as possible.
And how did the final recipients like the finished project?
"The first time I took it out, second gear was really fun," says Holley President Jeff King with a big grin. "You've got to remember, the car has 700 foot-pounds of torque. It easily breaks the tires loose the entire second gear, and, if you don't watch it, that back end will swing around on you. So it's a burnout king. I'll be honest with you, it's an awsome car, a handful, too, because once it does hook up, it goes really fast. We're going to enjoy this Mopar, it's a fun car."
As for the future of the Holley Road Runner, it will be a mainstay for years to come as part of the Holley Performance Products Road Show and will also be loaned to Year One for their displays at Mopar-specific events. While we would love to take it from Detroit to San Bernardino on the Hot Rod Power Tour coming this May, that's a commitment Holley has yet to make. But if it does, look for tons of rippled asphalt, courtesy a 700 lb/ft Wedge-powered Road Runner on Route 66!
Comments At The Finish LineJohn Balow: owner, Muscle Car Restorations-We picked a car most people wouldn't have tried to work with on this scale; it was nothing spectacular to begin with. However, it offered a real opportunity to show what goes into doing a complete vehicle from the ground up. From the new quarters, to the front stub, to the wide number of upgrades, my company was able to demonstrate what could be done with this vehicle. We invested a tremendous amount of time into it, but the result was that I think the readers got an equally tremendous amount of information on state-of-the-art car building through the articles in the magazine.