If you've ever wondered whether or not the end was in sight in regards to finding new ways to modify cars, this might just be it—for this year. Restomodding a vehicle is usually done with classic American cars like this ’64 Plymouth, using modern components to improve or enhance their performance, safety, comfort, and beauty.
The end goal is to create a one-off ride that combines the best of both worlds—old-school looks and new, modern conveniences. In the end, the car’s builder has completed what he feels is something even better than the original.
In the case of Ray Evernham’s ’64 Plymouth, the melding of his two worlds—everyday life and NASCAR—have created what you see here. In March 2011, the Belvedere project was nothing but a shell that was found on eBay. Dan Baker is one of the guys in Ray’s race shop who started working on the project from the beginning. “We turned two cars into one,” Baker said. “We had the Plymouth—which Ray chose specifically because he wanted something that did well as a NASCAR competitor in the ’60s—and we had one of his Car of Tomorrow Dodge Racing chassis that ran the Daytona 500 a few years ago.”
Interior: How’s this for high-tech? The passenger even has his own cluster that doubles as
Engine: It’s NASCAR proven, and now it’s streetable.
Just about everything from the modern racing Dodge is hidden underneath the body, starting with the engine. It’s one of the engines from the shop, based on an R5 block with P7 heads and fuel injection. The engine displaces 358 inches, but makes upwards of 750 horsepower. With all that available power, it still runs on unleaded pump gas.
The exhaust consists of a pair of stainless steel headers into dual, side-exit exhausts straight from the parts shelf. Lest you think this is some loud, obnoxious, and unstreetable cruiser, hidden inside of the four-inch pipes are mufflers.
The transmission is a NASCAR-spec four-speed, and the rear has 3.60:1 gears.
Although the body looks stock, it did receive a few mild changes. The door handles were shaved off, and the wheelwells were raised 11⁄2 inches so the body could sit lower over the tires. Did you notice that the body line on the hood disappeared? A carbon fiber splitter was fitted to the bottom of the reshaped front bumper, and the trunk lid now sports an aluminum spoiler. Ray didn’t want a “traditional” shiny, flamboyant paint job. Instead, he chose a Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finish called Radiant Red with Graphite racing stripes and accents. The paint is “eggshell” textured.
“We set out to design the ultimate street machine and bring it into the modern age” —Ray Evernham
The Belvedere’s windows open and close with just the touch of a button, and the driver and passenger locate themselves in carbon fiber bucket seats. The custom door panels are powdercoated aluminum, and the headliner is fiberglass with carbon fiber touches. The transmission tunnel and door sill plates are also made of carbon fiber. We’re sure you noticed the gauges. The high-tech digital display is—as we’re sure you guessed—surrounded by carbon fiber, and the passenger even has his own cluster that doubles as an entertainment system with multi-channel input.