Bravo! A lot of credit must go to Keith Gambaro. Not only does he have a potent street/strip machine in his 68 Dart, but he also had the huevos to paint it an eye-seering hue and install a cowl-induction hood that features an ominous four-inch scoop. That makes the yellow Dart a conspicuous target, and thats just fine with Keith.
While it can be a lot of fun to humiliate the naive with a sleeper of the Mopar variety, to go the opposite route, as Keith has done, also has its advantages. Keith notes, I built this car to show, race, and have fun with.
Certainly the fun factor came with consistent 11.70 e.t.s, but that was prior to the combination in its current configuration which includes an upgrade with a solid lifter cam and a healthy set of drag gears.
The Oldsmar, Florida, engineer/machine operator has owned the Dart for the past eight years and, with help from his brothers, came up with the Darts current 366ci small block. The stock block features 4.03x3.58-inch bore and stroke dimensions with a set of 69-vintage 340 X-heads fitted with 2.02/1.60 Milodon valves. To produce a healthy 11:1 compression ratio, Keith used a set of KB hypereutectic pistons. To limit bleeding off cylinder pressure, Keith and his bros chose a solid lifter Crane grind which features healthy .560/.580 lift specifications. On top, a Holley 750 cfm double pumper feeds the MP M-1 single-plane manifold. To release spent gases from the 340 heads, Keith employed a set of Hooker Super Competition headers featuring 1-¾-inch primaries and 3-inch collectors. The Hookers exit into a full 3-inch exhaust system which includes 3-inch inlet/outlet two-chamber Flowmasters. Igniting the system is a full MSD ignition system including an MSD 6AL, multi-step retard, a two-step and RPM- activated switch, and MSDs billet distributor.
Keith estimates the combination to be worth approximately 425hp at the flywheel. To get the power found in the 3,250-pound A-Body to the rear wheels, Keith modified the 727 TorqueFlite with a reverse, manual valvebody shifted by a B&M QuickSilver shifter. To keep the revs up, a Dayco 10-inch 3,800 rpm stall speed converter multiplies torque to the big-bolt 8¾ rearend fitted with 4.88:1 gears and 10-inch drum brakes. A set of Cragar Draglites front and rear are mated to BFGoodrich rubber. In fact, a set of 245/60R15s challenge the wheelwell space in the rear quarters.
Inside, Keith has kept the car basically street-oriented, but lightweight seats are planned. To monitor the vitals underhood, Keith chose a full complement of AutoMeter Sport Comp gauges including a 3½-inch tach and shift light. To complete the Darts quarter-mile character, Keith employs the use of Competition Engineering three-way front shocks and MP extended length drag shocks out back.
So how fast does it run? Keith continues to work out some of the new combination bugs, but he does recognize that the Dart will need mini-tubs and a full rollcage to meet its track potential as well as keep it legal at NHRA-sanctioned tracks. But thats just fine with Keith, because no matter how good something is, it always needs upgrades to stay ahead of the competition.