We all have a favorite something, be it a football team or brand of car. Over the years, most of us end up with a car or maybe two cars that we can play with and drive on the weekends. A few of us even cruise our rides on a daily basis. Kevin Hand, of Greensboro, North Carolina, turned his success in the new car business into a nice collection of truly premium muscle cars, so nice that they frankly don't get driven very often--except one.
The Demon was Dodge's sporty 1971 answer to the Duster, which had been a runaway success for Plymouth when it was introduced in 1970. The new Dodge fastback came in a variety of formats, but the guys in the know bought the Demon 340 model, cranked by the legendary A-motor, and available with some hop-up goodies. This included things like the Ramcharger-type hoodscoops (though there was no underhood airbox to force fresh air into the carbs), Rallye wheels, and the deck-mounted Go-Wing.
Dealer "Mr. Norm" Krause thought it was a pretty cool package, but was interested in selling his own custom version. Advertised in the national press, these Mr. Norm cars got the '70 340 Six Pack intake plus some other goodies he could come up with at the legendary Grand-Spaulding franchise in Chicago. He then pulled a publicity stunt by dressing up in a devil's outfit and spending a day out at the curb tempting customers. The Demon nameplate would not last long, but Norm made the best of it by following up the Six Pack version with a Paxton supercharged model the following year.
If you bought an A-Body in...
If you bought an A-Body in 1971, the hot ticket was the 340 Six Pack (Six Barrel for you Plymouth guys about to email us and tell us we're wrong), in the case of Kevin's engine, it's a few extra goodies like Edelbrock heads, a Hughes camshaft, and JE pistons.
Kevin values the provenance on his cars, and will be the first to admit that his Demon was not sold new by Norm. It was actually a street project that West Coast writer Jim Maxwell and Rob Scott initiated, using a rust-free California car as a base. The idea was to create a resto-modified street Demon (pun intended), looking almost like a stocker but with some subtle and not so subtle changes. After Maxwell sold the car to collector Jim Bodanis of Canada, the work really began. Over two years, Performance Car Restorations did the work to get the all-original sheetmetal ready, added an NOS late-'72-type hoodscoop, and then sprayed on F5 red paint. Jim stuck with OEM steel wheels and Goodyear Polyglas restoration tires, but added a set of Super Stock springs and a pinion snubber to give the car a decidedly '70s stance. Brakes are front discs and rear drums, and other than aftermarket tach and gauges, the interior is stock--bench seat and all.
The 340 was still pretty nasty in 1971, but this one got fortified by Competition Automotive in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. Mr. Bodanis wanted power; CA left the displacement stock and added 10.5 compression JE slugs and Eagle rods on the stock crankshaft. Hughes Engines supplied one of their HEH232BAL (.506/.524) cam kits, plus roller rockers, and atop of all it this was a set of high-flow ported and gasket matched Edelbrock Performer RPM heads and Six Pack intake with a trio of Holley carbs. Finally, billet pulleys dress it up. An electronic ignition from Mopar fires it, and the fumes cook through a set of Hooker headers and a T/A-style exhaust exiting in front of the rear wheels through chrome tips.
The rest of the driveline is also pretty hardcore. A four-speed stirred with a Hurst Competition Plus shifter and an 8¾ rear end with a 4.11 gear and Strange axles finish the motivational duties. The engine growls only at low rpm. Mr.Norm himself would have been hard pressed to do it better.
In the end, Kevin has some other cool stuff in his collection, but when it comes time to go out and take a sideways-spinning, gear-grabbing, rocket ship ride, this healthy Mopar small-block is ready to dish it out and keep asking for more.