All it took to get Christopher Smith of Easley, South Carolina, interested in high-performance Mopars was a film on drag racing shown in his high school's auto technology class, and all it took to turn young Smith from interested observer to full-blown Mopar fanatic was a primer-coated, drag-slicks-wearing Duster at a local garage that the mechanic/owner fired up at just the right time.
When he heard from a friend of his dad's about a Duster that was in a nearby field and for sale, he checked it out and bought it. It was a '76-one of the last A-Body Dusters built, complete with its original 318, and three-on-the-tree shifted transmission. It did have some surface rust from sitting outside for several years. After sanding off the rust and primering the body, rebuilding the carb, swapping in an A-833 four-speed, and making sure the brakes worked, he had it running-and had people telling him how cool it looked and sounded with the '70s-vintage glasspacks that were on it when he bought it.
Unfortunately, engine trouble forced him to park it. Shortly thereafter, a major stroke of luck happened. A new neighbor, who was a Mopar nut, had a '73 340 engine that he sold to Christopher to replace the 318.
Christopher has since added a .455 lift Comp Cam, MSD 6AL box, Edelbrock Performer RPM Air-Gap intake, Harland and Sharp roller rockers, Power Forge pistons, Hooker Super Comp headers, a double-roller timing chain, Centerforce clutch, and a Holley 675-cfm four-barrel carburetor. Plus, he rebuilt the A-833 and added a 3.91-geared Sure Grip out back.
Christopher's plans for his pride and joy-originally his high school car-include fiberglass weight-reduction parts, Edelbrock aluminum heads, wider tires, a spring relocation kit, and mini-tubs to fit Mopar 15x10 Rallyes for the rear, which will make it a sleeper.
Do You Feel Lucky?
Do you want to see your Mopar here? Do you want to be immortalized as a Mopar Muscle Young Gun? Is your car the nastiest thing on four wheels at your high school or college? Then send in your entry to email@example.com, or to Mopar Muscle Young Guns, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619. Here's all you need to do: Send us some photos of you and your car, a description of your car, what you have done to it, and future plans for it. Be sure to include contact information and current e-mail address. Good luck!