Fast Facts: '70 Dodge Dart Swinger
Paul Theriault * Chicopee, MA
Engine: Built by Accurate Automotive in Bloomfield, Connecticut, a RB 440 was cleaned, deburred, and bored to receive new TRW pistons, shot-peened factory rods, and a balanced and blueprinted cast crankshaft. A hydraulic Crane cam with .528-inch lift moves the new stainless valves mounted on three angle-cut factory 904 heads with factory rockers and shafts. An Edelbrock TM7 intake is topped with an 850 Holley double-pumper carburetor. A Mopar Performance distributor with a MP electronic ignition throws the fire. Ceramic-coated tti headers flow into Walker Turbo mufflers and out the back via 3-inch, aluminized, mandrel-bent pipes.
Transmission: Originally equipped with a factory four-speed, when Paul's son bought the Dart it had a 727 automatic. He returned the four-speed, added a scatter shield, a stout clutch, and a Hurst Pistol Grip shifter.
Rearend: A Chrysler 831/44 narrowed to fit the mini-tubs. Loaded with 4.10 gears and a Sure Grip, spinning the custom-size Moser axles is an easy effort.
Horsepower & Performance
Paul chose to keep some things secret.
Suspension: New larger diameter .990-inch torsion bars, new bushings, KYB shocks at each corner, new Super Stock leaf springs with a spring relocation kit accommodate the mini-tubs. Paul runs a manual steering box to help lighten up the wispy A-Body.
Brakes: Scavenged from a '73 A-Body, stock single-piston calipers clamp on the front discs, and large 11-inch drums were pulled from an E-Body for the rear.
Wheels: Weld Pro Stars make the Swinger look tough while saving weight, 15x6 up front and 15x8 out back.
Rubber: BFGoodrich T/As at each corner, 215/70R15 fore and 275/60R15 aft.
Body: After waiting two years for replacement quarter-panel skins, the car was sent on two different occasions to Ray's Auto Specialty in South Hadley, Massachusetts. The first time around, the patch panels were installed and rough bodywork conducted. The second time, the finishing body work was conducted, along with the mini-tubbing and painting.
Paint: Ray's Auto Specialty coated the Dart in DuPont acrylic enamel in factory FC7 Plum Crazy Purple and pearl white instead of installing a white vinyl top. A factory-style replacement white tail stripe was applied later.
Interior: New carpet from Legendary was installed by the father and son team before they sent the A-Body to Seang's Auto Upholstery in South Hadley, Massachusetts, where the seats were recovered in factory-appearing black vinyl. Much of the remaining interior components are original, including the thumb-wheel-style radio still in the dash. a new Alpine head unit is tucked underneath the bench seat. A '71 Pistol Grip shifter adorns the long four-speed shifter stick. A pair of Auto Meter gauges read off the water and oil stats.