Terry Stephenson not only remembers the ’70 Swinger 340 that he bought way back when...but he kept it, and he’s built it into the supercharged screamer seen here. “I bought it back in 1976,” remembers Terry. “I was 18 and a half...19 years old. It was my right-out-of-high-school car.” What prompted his choice of a Swinger 340 at a time when there were a lot of B-Body and E-Body Mopars around? “The reason I bought the car was because a friend had one,” he says. “I took it for a ride and said, ‘This car handles, and it goes!'”

“When I bought the car, it didn’t have a 340 in it -- it had been blown up, and somebody put a 383 in it,” recalls Terry. “I had a ’68 Barracuda that was 98-percent restored, (it was) a 318 car, that was at my brother Rick’s house when I was in the service at Fort Benning, Georgia. I said, put the 318 in the (Swinger), and you can have the big-block and put it in the Barracuda.”

Eventually, priorities took precedence in Terry’s life and the Swinger went into hibernation. “Actually, it sat around for years,” he says. “It was like, One of these days I’m going to get to it, because I had a wife and kids and all that stuff.”

Fast forward to when he was finally able to work on his A-Body again. Says Terry, “I took the last three years and put it on a rotisserie and did it all.”

After the Swinger was taken down to its bare unibody, the resto work began, with Terry using his previous body-repair work experience. “It was almost a rust-free car, but when I bought it, it had been hit in the quarter-panel,” he says. “So I contacted a salvage yard in Arizona, and they had a rust-free quarter-panel. I had them do a 3⁄4 clip, they ground-freighted it, and I put it on.” Other than a couple of small “ping dings” in it -- which Terry repaired after stripping the OEM acrylic enamel paint from it -- that factory quarter fit just right.

Next up: Mini-tubs for the rear wheelwells, subframe connectors, a rollcage, and an AAR Fiberglass hood, before Terry sprayed on the Utech B3 Blue polyurethane paint.

For power, Terry found another ’70-vintage 340, which he and his brother Rick built for more power than the original 275 hp. “It’s got an Eagle crankshaft and rods, JE custom pistons, a set of Edelbrock heads with Harland Sharp roller rockers on them, and a BDS 6-71 blower,” he says of the hardware that went on the .040-inch overbored block, which also included Clevite bearings. “I did everything I could to the engine,” says Terry. “If I do get crazy and put it on a dyno, I shouldn’t hurt it.

Backing that BDS-blown 340 is the Swinger’s original 727 TorqueFlite, rebuilt to handle the increased torque. But, unlike others who’d upgraded their automatics, Terry didn’t use parts like a reverse-manual valvebody. “I drive it to car shows,” he says. “I don’t plan on going drag racing.”

Now that it’s finished, what’s it like to drive? “It’s fine to drive on the street,” says Terry. “I run it on 93 octane and keep the boost down.” He adds, “I have hurt it before -- I sent the head gaskets south, and I figured this was getting expensive, so I take it easy now.”

I took the last three years and put it on a rotisserie and did it all.

Building a long-storied car into one like Terry’s ’70 doesn’t have to take forever to do. “It’s just a matter of making your mind up and doing it,” he says. “There are parts out there -- Summit and YearOne are very good at helping you. Call around and you can find the parts.”

Once you find the parts you need, and build it, there’s no doubt you’ll be proud of your Mopar project like Terry is of his. “When people walk by and they want to stand by it -- or have their wife or kids stand by it -- and get a picture, it’s cool,” he adds. “It was worth all the sweat, tears, and money!”

Fast Facts 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger 340 hardtop
Terry Stephenson - Casselberry, Florida
Mopar Power
Engine: Not the original 340, but this one has been fortified with a .040-inch overbore, Eagle forged crankshaft and rods, JE pistons, a Comp Cams hydraulic flat-tappet camshaft, Edelbrock aluminum heads, and a BDS supercharger running 4-5 pounds of boost. There’s also a pair of 600-cfm Holleys, a Melling oil pump, Mallory distributor and MSD Blaster coil, Hooker headers, and Flowmaster mufflers.
Transmission: The Swinger still uses its original 727 TorqueFlite, which Godly Transmission in Moultrie, Georgia, rebuilt. Shifting is via a floor-mounted B&M shifter that replaced the stock column shifter.
Rear: Narrowed original 83⁄4 rear is filled with Moser axles and 3.55 gears.
Sure Grip
Suspension: Rebuilt stock in front (with polyurethane bushings along with the torsion bars and Monroe shocks). In back, Mopar Super Stock rear leaf springs were moved inboard, and Monroe shocks also went on.
Brakes: Four-wheel disc, using the stock ’70 front discs and a Summit rear disc kit.
Wheels/Tires: Classic looks for a classic Mopar: Cragar’s five-spoke Super Sports (14x6 inches in front, 15x10 inches in rear) wear P245/60R14 tires in front and 385/50R15 Nitto Drag Radials in back.
High Impact
Paint/Body: Terry did all the work on the original ’70 A-Body hardtop unibody, including restoring the sheetmetal and mini-tubbing the rear wheelwells, adding subframe connectors and an AAR Fiberglass hood, then painting it in Utech B3 Blue polyurethane.
Interior: Summit Sport seats (with five-way harnesses) sit inside a full rollcage that Terry welded in. YearOne carpet, a Grant steering wheel, a JVC/Jensen sound system, and AutoMeter’s Sport Comp gauges finish the sitting room.