While it may not be the red Demon that Shanna dreamed of, we're sure it's every bit the dream car she had in mind. "She was with me every step of the way, up to here elbows in grease and rust as we restored the car," says Tom. Aside from the engine machine work and head work, the complete rebuild took place in Tom's garage.
Now that the car is finished, Shanna drives it every chance she gets to local cruise ins and car shows while they try to make it to most of the major Mopar events every year. You may be asking "what about the Duster?" Have no fear, Tom is currently working on restoring it too. The Demon was a little more important for them, but who knows, maybe the Duster will be ready for Carlisle next year!
1971 Dodge Demon 340
Owned by Tom Natoli and Shanna Simicsak
Ewing, New Jersey
- Engine: Tom got lucky when it turned out that the engine was numbers matching. He sent the block to a local machine shop to clear the bores by .030-inch. From there, a set of TRW pistons, stock rods, and crankshaft were installed. A Mopar reproduction .429/.444 cam was pushed in with factory lifters, pushrods, and rocker arms command the stock valves inside the original heads with hardened seats. Resting on the top of the engine is an original equipment Thermoquad 750-cfm carburetor. Tom resisted the temptation to install long tube headers and went with original manifolds and a Flowmaster exhaust. The oiling system is stock and the ignition was converted to an electronic system from Mopar.
- Transmission: Original column shift automatic with a shift kit. Tom rebuilt it before installation.
- Rearend: The original 8 3/4 rear was freshened up and sports a 3.23 gear and Sure Grip unit.
A rough start if it would...
A rough start if it would start.
- Suspension: Using only factory parts, Tom rebuilt the entire front suspension to good-as-new performance with the help of Monroe front and rear shocks.
- Brakes: Manual 10-inch front and rear drums keep Shanna and Tom on their toes when they're driving the Demon around town.
- Wheels and Tires: As the buildsheet stated, original 14-inch Rallye wheels wearing BFG Radial T/A tires were put on the car. The tire sizes are staggered with 215/70R14 up front and 245/60R14 out back.
- Body: Tom is an automotive technician and what you would call a Jack of All Trades. He just so happens to be an excellent metal worker and tested his skills by installing NOS quarters, reproduction fenders, and smoothing the body and original doors.
- Paint: Once again, Tom extended his talents with the paint. DuPont Plum Crazy Purple Chromabase and clear were sprayed onto the body. He then carefully applied the decals, side stripes, and trim.
- Interior: Inside Legendary Auto Interiors came to the rescue with new seat covers using NOS plaid material. The rubber floor wasn't something Tom and Shanna were about to go with so it was converted to carpeting. Everything inside was either restored or found along the way.