The story of this '71 Demon is rooted in a love for all things Mopar. Tom Notoli was attending the 2007 Mopar Nationals when he met a woman by the name of Shanna Simicsak. They began dating and their shared interest for Mopars brought them together. "She told me that her favorite Mopar was the Demon," Tom tells us. Shanna vowed that one day she would have one and that she wanted it red.
As the relationship progressed, Tom felt encouraged to begin looking for one without her knowing it. This didn't go too well because he could only find overpriced restored cars or cut up race cars. Eventually, he found a Rallye Red Duster with the Gold Duster Package. The car ran and had working air conditioning. "I figured that this was about as close as I could get to a Demon," he concedes. She was elated, but secretly Tom was still on the hunt. About a year later Tom's friend, Dan Nenmarch who lived in Michigan, told him about a Demon he found locally.
The interior is just as it...
The interior is just as it was delivered, new and plaid.
It was Labor Day Weekend 2007, and there, in a former basket factory warehouse, sat a basket case Demon. It wasn't much to look at, but the seller gloated that it was originally a Plum Crazy 340 car. As appetizing as that may be to any Mopar nut, the car was in rough shape, Shanna saw the look on Tom's face and said "We don't have to take it home." Out of curiosity, Tom pondered whether or not the car still had its buildsheet intact. Tom starting digging around under the back seat and unearthed the original buildsheet. Much to his surprise, the deal got sweeter. According to the buildsheet, it left the factory drenched in Plum Crazy paint with a sport black out hood and scoops, white body side stripes, Rallye wheels, houndstooth interior, and a factory tachometer. There was, however, one problem: The car wasn't red!
Have a seat. Seriously, we...
Have a seat. Seriously, we dare you.
"Once we pictured the car done in our minds, we decided to tackle the project," he says. The two quickly settled that they wouldn't paint the car red because they would both feel guilty. "We decided that the buildsheet was the only way to go." The deal was struck and with a little assistance from a John Deere tractor, the Demon was rescued from its lowly resting place.
While they were loading it onto the back of the trailer, the now previous owner began to tell them that it was a numbers matching engine and transmission. "Because of the condition of the car and the location that it was sitting, I wasn't able to confirm this," Tom says. "We had a 16-hour trip back home, so all I could do was think about the car." Finally, on one of their food stops, Tom's curiosity got the best of him. He made his way back under the trailer and cleared out the cobwebs and reveled that it was in fact a numbers matching engine and transmission.
The couple finally got their car home and the first order of business was to strip it down to its shell. Tom tracked down a pair of NOS quarters from Greg at Great Lakes NOS and replaced the trunk floor and front fenders. He called Legendary Auto Interiors and had them make Black plaid seat covers out of NOS material. After all of the bodywork, Tom put on the gas mask and began to carefully mist Plum Crazy DuPont Chromabase and Chromaclear inside his garage. As the paint was hardening the NOS moldings for the hood were installed and the rest were buffed out.
The engine was sent out to a local machine shop so that it could be punched out .030-inch over while the heads were fitted with hardened seats. After the work was done, the block and heads were brought back home so Tom could assemble the engine. He went through the original transmission, refreshed it, and installed a shift kit before installing it back into the car. The front suspension was rebuilt, and Tom installed new fuel lines, brake lines, and hoses. Finally, after 10 months, the car fired up on July 10, 2008-one week before Chryslers at Carlisle.