With the numbers of restorable, cool classics dwindling down, we're all forced to make room for the up-and-comers in the hobby. Sometimes we just provide them with our cars we have passed over. It's the desire to build something from rags to riches with these Mopars that we find the spark of this hobby. Jerrod Darrow, this month's Young Gun, should be the poster child for Mopar revival. Not only was he raised to love Mopars, he's teaching his son to follow in his footsteps.
Currently, Jerrod's weapon of choice is this '72 Duster. He's owned it for about a year, and it has become a three-generation family project. "I wanted to get my 3-year-old son started early in the hobby so he can appreciate classic cars before there aren't many left." What an excellent one to start with, too. Early '70s A-Bodies are easy to find parts for, and pretty much everything you can think of is available.
Jerrod knew that the Duster was the car of choice for this task, and after some extensive searching he found this one. "Sure enough, it was less than a mile from my house, and parked behind a young kid's garage," he says. After the exchange of American currency went down, the happy family packed it up and brought it home.
This project is nothing short of impressive. The 318-powered Duster is now under the knife to undergo a transformation. The Honey Dew Gold exterior and gold interior were the first to be terminated. "We're working on converting the interior to black while we finish the bodywork before it's sprayed with Plum Crazy.
After new life was misted onto the A-Body, a '67 318 was bored .030-inch over and a new crankshaft was installed. On top, an Edelbrock intake manifold and carburetor were bolted on, accompanied by long tube headers. To finish things off, the engine was painted Hemi orange. "I consider myself a bargain hunter because I find treasure in what most would consider trash," he claims. "I would buy a lot of used parts and then clean them up and paint them to look like brand new again."
Jerrod poses with his son as they work on the Duster together.
Sitting behind the healthy LA is a 904 three-speed automatic and an 83/4 rear end with a 4.10 Sure Grip differential. To add to the aesthetic appeal even further, staggered 14-inch front and 15-inch rear Rally wheels were thrown on.
We're happy to see 23-year-old Jerrod making this a big family project. It's also great to see how far it has come in such a short, dedicated year. He plans to have the whole car done by fall of 2010. We wish you the best! Maybe in 10 or so years, we'll be writing about your son here in Young Guns!
YearOne was founded over 20 years ago on the desire to preserve classic automobiles and provide like-minded people with a single source for products and information. YearOne has grown from a company supplying parts for Pontiac GTOs to a multi-marque supplier with 18 distinct catalogs, including an A- and C-Body Mopar catalog and a B- and E-Body Mopar catalog. The philosophy and work ethic that led to the creation of YearOne in the basement of Len Athanasiades' home are still there and still work. YearOne treats every customer as a friend and always remembers that the people in the garages and driveways working on these special cars form the backbone of the automotive hobby. For more information about YearOne, or to request your catalog, contact: YearOne, Dept. MM, P.O. Box 521, Braselton, Georgia, 30517; 800/932-7663; www.yearone.com.