Dale fabbed the dash himself, using Mopar Performance gauges.
From the beginning, the car was built to be a family cruiser. The back seat is for the Ren
Dale and his father soon after Dale bought the car. At the time, it was Sublime.
That's serious hardware...but the engine and transmission are just as serious, even though the powerplant is still an LA-series engine. A 340 replaced the 318, and the '70-vintage block was treated to 13.5 slugs, a set of heads were ported and polished by Dave Pennypacker (who has been into Mopar small-blocks for nearly 40 years) and filled with 2.08-inch intake and 2.02-inch exhaust valves, a Mopar Performance cam (.598 lift/312-degree duration), a Mopar M1 intake wearing a 850 Holley carburetor, an MSD 6AL box and billet distributor, and a 4-inch Spin Tech exhaust fabbed by Gary Naughton. That's a combination that Dale figures is good for about 580-600 hp.
Replacing the three-by-the-knee is a Wooflite 727 built by Jeff "Woo" Weinhold that features a Trans Specialties 5,500-stall converter and a Hurst shifter.
The Unitbody was returned to its original FM3 Moulin Rouge hue (what The Dodge Boys called Panther Pink) after it was cherried out, got its quarter openings stretched, and its fuel-filler and antenna holes smoothed by Rich Mitman's crew at Top Notch Body Worx. The stock hood gave way to a US Body Source 'glass one with a Six Pack scoop.
Inside, the Duster's factory seats were replaced by a pair of Kirkey Drag Buckets and a custom rear "side-kick" seat. Jim Hartman Upholstery stitched 'em up, as well as the custom door panels. The dash was done by Dale, who replaced the stock gauge cluster and glovebox with an ultra-clean aluminum insert holding Mopar Performance gauges, heat/defrost controls, and the coolest radio/glovebox door delete this side of an Advanced Styling studio.
Unlike many of the tribute cars around today that are clones of factory-built Hemis and other rare musclecars, Dale built this car as a tribute to his dad, a Mopar enthusiast who passed on his passion for Plymouths and Dodges to his son. "I wanted to do it the way we always talked about," Dale says about the plans that both Renners had for this car, before his father passed away. "We always talked about doing it `off the map,' and that's what I hope we accomplished. Everyone that knew my father was involved with it."
What's it like to drive? "All my buddies say that it takes off like a Pro Stocker, but it handles like a Cadillac," Dale says. "It's got a lot of compression in it, so it actually sounds like a Pro Stocker. When I'm at a show, no one believes that it's a small-block because it's really loud."
We hear you, Dale.