Test-Car Tribute


Who: Lynn Zigler
Where: Chattanooga, Tennessee
What: ’66 Dodge Coronet 440 convertible

Lynn converted a 273/904-equipped Coronet 440 drop-top that he bought back in 2007 into this 540-inch Hemi-powered tribute to the first 426 Street Hemi test car.

But instead of a 426 Street Hemi, Lynn’s ’66 has a much stouter Hemi under its scooped hood. Built by Ken Hensley from a “mega block,” it boasts a Callies 4.5-inch-stroke crankshaft, Diamond pistons on Manley rods, Mopar aluminum heads and Stage V intake with two Holley 750s, and a solid roller camshaft -- which add up to 635.5 horsepower and 640 ft-lb of torque on the dyno.

After a friend painted the Coronet, Lynn assembled the car with Hemi-grade hardware like a Caltrac monoleaf springs/traction bars setup flanking a 3.54-geared Dana 60, a 727 TorqueFlite with a Turbo Action manual/auto valvebody and 9½-inch/3,500-stall converter, and a red bucket seat interior (thanks to Legendary and upholsterer Kyle Wilson).

Since completing it, Lynn has scored more than a few Best Engine, Best Paint, and Best in Show trophies when he’s shown it, and twice it’s been named to the Top 25 at the Grand Run at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.


Highway 61 Visited

Who: Jimmie Marchio
Where: Northern California
What: ’70 Dodge Swinger 340

No. we’re not talking the U.S. Highway that parallels the Mississippi River for most of its route. Instead, we’re referring to the 1⁄18 scale die-cast model-maker Highway 61, who picked Jimmie’s A-Body to be the basis for a die-cast ’70 Swinger 340.

Jimmie says their graphic designer, Raffi Minaison, spent a full day photographing and measuring the car. Once the 1⁄18 scale version came out, Jimmie got two of them -- both wearing vinyl tops and fender-mount turn signal indicators that his car doesn’t have.

What his 1:1 car does have is its original 340 and Hurst-shifted four-speed, its original Go Mango acrylic enamel paint on all of its original sheetmetal, and a restored interior and engine bay.


Wally’s Warlock

Who: Wally Brown
Where: Charlotte, Maine
What: ’76 Dodge D100 Utiline Warlock pickup

Wally’s pride and joy is his Warlock. After many years of searching, hoping, and online bidding, he finally found his dream truck at Carlisle. Not a project-ready truck, but a mint-condition ’76 that still wears its original black acrylic enamel paint, OEM wood bed trim, gold stripes, and original bucket-seat interior.

After a 1,200-mile drive home to Maine with his girlfriend after the Carlisle weekend, Wally turned around and drove back the next day to buy the Warlock and bring it back with him.

Along with its factory wood and black/gold colors, it also had its factory broadcast sheet, which spelled out just what was on it when Ma Mopar built this specially-trimmed D100 Utiline pickup, including the LA small-block/727 TorqueFlite powertrain combo.

Mopar historians know that the Warlock started out as a one-off show truck for the new-car shows of 1976, whose enthusiastic reception led Dodge to put it into production during the ’76 model run, the first of the Adult Toys truck lineup that later included the Street Van, Macho Power Wagon, and E58-powered Li'l Red Express.


Lady In Red

Who: Gary Wiegand
Where: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
What: ’70 Dodge Challenger T/A

Sold new by Dick Glenn Motors in Butler, Pennsylvania, Gary bought this Challenger back in 1985. It wasn’t until 1999 that he began the two-year complete rotisserie restoration. He re-did the original 340 Six Pack engine, 727 TorqueFlite, and its factory console-mounted Slap Stick shifter, Rallye dash, and 3.91-geared 8¾ rear end.

This T/A makes a great complement to Gary’s red ’70 ’Cuda AAR that we featured here in Penta Stars a few months back!