Working off the rear of the crank is a 904 TorqueFlite with a standard OE converter (no kidding). the tranny has a Cheetah manual valvebody that reverses the shift pattern. This in turn funnels ponies to the spinning tires via a 3.91 Sure Grip-equipped 8.75 banjo rear.
Meanwhile, the interior was treated to fresh vinyl, courtesy of Legendary, a Grant steering wheel, and a large-face Auto Meter tach with shift light. Joe has had every bolt and piece of trim off this car, and his handiwork showed when we took it out to a public parking lot for our photo shoot. Street cars don't come much cleaner than this Duster.
Now, we know most of the cars of legendary yore only showed up when no one was around, but this is one that offers weekly proof that power is still found on the boulevard. When Joe isn't heading to Bristol for timeslips, the car sees duty in and around Kingsport, Tennessee, which still has a strong car/cruising culture (though Tennessee's recent "zero tolerance, no exceptions" laws on street racing makes that a rare activity now).
When we put it all together, it's a pretty cool deal-drives it every week, kicks out low 12s without the bottle (though it's there if he needs it), started out as a 318 beater and now looks the part of Superman with 416, and hot paint . . . and the guy did most of it himself. Hey, you can't make this kind of stuff up.
'70 Plymouth Duster
Church Hill, TN
Mopar Power Engine: Joe went "little big man" on his engine, selecting a 360 block from the mid-'70s and getting it bored out .070-inch. Relying a lot on the Mopar Performance catalog, the short-block has a cast crank/Eagle rod/Diamond piston combo, with valve work courtesy of a Mopar hydraulic Purple Shaft. Factory X-heads are over the bores, bridged by a single-plane MI intake and big Holley carb. A 100-shot of nitrous is available but the car already blows the tires off at full throttle, so the bottle normally stays full. With Hedman Hedders and a highflow exhaust, it's a pretty efficient package. Transmission: Rebuilt 727 TorqueFlite with console-mounted factory shifter. Differential: 8-3/4 with 3.91 gear and Sure Grip. Horsepower and Performance: Estimate is 450 ponies off the crank. A little more bite and this thing will be in the 11s, but Joe realizes that tires are cheaper to replace than hard parts and is satisfied with its current layout.
Sure Grip Suspension: Though completely rebuilt during the restoration, the suspension is fairly close to what was mandated on any 340 OEM application, with "he-man" manual steering. Brakes: Front discs and rear drums, manual assist. Wheels: 17-inch American Torq-Thrust IIs: 7-inches wide in front; 11 inches out back. Rubber: Nitto low-profile radials: 235 and 275, respectively.
High Impact Body: Standard repairs plus a set of minitubs for rear tire clearance. Paint: 2004 Jeep Liberty Red by Earl Peters; 416 callouts and stripes are from Signs by Roach. Interior: Credit Legendary for nice, new vinyl coverings, and the only additions inside are the tach and Grant steering wheel. Best Performance: 12.34 at 114 last fall at Bristol.