Shows, yes, but on-strip runs, no. "I really don't have any interest in doing that," Gary says. "I'm 62 years old, and I've seen too many videos of guys losing it, and the car has no rollcage. while I might be tempted, I know the car will run in the high 10s the way it is now, and with some gears and tires maybe a little quicker than that, but I don't have any interest in that."

When asked if he had any advice for someone considering a similar "tribute" car, either pro-built or DIY, Gary replied, "Make sure you know what you're buying, and whose expertise you're buying."

Fast Facts
'68 Dodge Dart Hardtop
(Reproduction of/tribute to the LO23 '68 Hurst Hemi Dart)
Gary Perkins
Lake Forest, Ca
Built by Greg Fernald at SS & AFX
New River, AZ

Mopar Power

  • Engine: You've got three guesses. Anything other than a Greg Fernald-built 472-inch Hemi is wrong. Good stuff: MP siamesed 4.125-inch bore block, ported and polished MP aluminum Hemi heads, 4.15-inch Keith Black forged crank, Eagle 6.68 H-beam billet rods, custom Ross 10.5 pistons, special Crane mechanical roller cam (.628 lift, 316 duration) with MP rockers on KB billet rocker stands, ARP stainless hardware, Comp Cams valvesprings, Smith Brothers custom pushrods, Milodon oiling system (eight-quart pan, pump, remote pickup, and drive gear), Griffin aluminum cross-flow radiator, stock MP aluminum water pump, N.O.S. fan and fan clutch mounted on deep-groove Kramer SS pulleys, '68-vintage magnesium cross-ram intake with dual 780-cfm Holleys and SS velocity stacks, stock chrome Hemi valve covers and breathers, factory original '68 race Hemi tach drive distributor with electronic internals, MSD 6-AL box and MSD Blaster coil, custom SS headers (by Rob McCabe of McCabe Racing) with quick-removal cap, and two-chamber Flowmaster mufflers.
  • By the numbers: 656 hp at 7,200 rpm; 680 lb-ft of torque at 5,600 rpm.
  • Transmission: As on the original LO23 Hemi Dart, it's Mopar or no(t on the) car. An 18-spline Mopar A-833 four-speed built by Passon Performance. Other vitals: Hurst shifter, Centerforce dual friction clutch and flywheel, Lakewood scattershield, and custom driveshaft by Dick's Driveshaft.
  • Rearend: Anything other than a Dana 60 is scrap metal waiting to happen. Powdercoated stock-width housing holds 35-spline Strange axles and 4.10-geared clutch-type limited-slip differential.

Sure Grip

  • Suspension: It's a repop of a car built for Super Stock racing, so no altered wheelbase or equipment that's too far from '68 production. Up front, lightweight torsion bars and adjustable Super Stock shocks. In back, Mopar Super Stock springs, relocated 3-inches inboard.
  • Brakes: Wilwood four-piston discs in front, 11-inch drum-and-shoe brakes in back.
  • Wheels: Cragar S/S, 15x4 inches up front and 15x10 inches out back.
  • Tires: 6.70-15 BFGoodrich in front, 13.5x0-15 Mickey Thompson in back.

High Impact

  • Body: This rust-free original '68 Dart 270 hardtop body was liberated of its original trimmings, tank-stripped, and acid-dipped. The rear wheel openings were radiused, just as the original Hemi Darts were. Subframe connectors were added. Fiberglass hood and front fenders are by Glasstek. Stock front and rear bumpers were used, as were stock headlights, taillights, and grille. The outside mirror was replaced with a Satchel Paige-inspired delete plate. The windows are N.O.S. front and rear glass with Plexiglass side windows. Quarter windows fixed, while door windows operate with a strap attached to the window bottom that snaps onto the bottom of the door when the window is up (per original Hemi Dart).
  • Paint: PPG single-stage Viper Red, sprayed on by Greg Fernald. (Original Hemi Dart color choices in 1968 were gray primer with unpainted fiberglass or grey primer with unpainted fiberglass.)
  • Interior: You want luxury? Buy a Monaco. Just as in 1968: 100-percent correct Hurst-spec Super Stock, including A-100 bucket seats on fixed aluminum "Swiss cheese" brackets, radio/heater-defroster delete plates, original in-dash gauges, plus Stewart-Warner tach and oil pressure gauges. Seats and side panels are covered in black vinyl. Deletions include: sun visors, coat hooks, sound deadening, rear seat and armrests, interior dome, and footwell lights.