It all started about 1998. That's when Todd Grobbel began his career at Chrysler. Todd tells us, "One day I overheard a fellow co-worker state that he wanted to sell his '70 Dart. In all honesty an A-Body was not my first choice for a Mopar. I was a B- and E-Body guy. My first car was a '73 Challenger, and my second car was a '69 Charger". Todd told him that he would like to at least look at the car. So he and a buddy, Lee Knight, went to see what all the fuss was about. Todd was pleasantly surprised that the Dart was in pretty solid shape, and it even had a 340 in it. It was a factory Plum Crazy Purple car with a white vinyl top and white stripe, and it even had the dual-scooped hood. Todd still wasn't sure whether an A-Body was for him, but his buddy Lee said "you either buy it or I will." Sounds convincing to us.

The car needed some work before he could even try to start it, as it was sitting in a garage for years. The fuel in it smelt like kerosene, and the rear leaf springs were completely flattened and straight, so the rear of the car was almost resting on the ground. Todd was told that it was a southern car, so the Michigan winters hadn't had an effect on the car's metal.

The first thing that Todd and some friends did when he got the car home was to hook up a gas can—bypassing the fuel tank, change the oil, squirt some oil down the cylinders and attempt to start the car. It didn't take much and low and behold the car started. Todd told us that it smoked like crazy, but at least he had a running engine. Just to make sure the transmission worked, he went thru the gears and everything seemed fine. After all was said and done, Todd and his friend Lee researched the numbers, and realized that Todd had bought a real numbers matching '70 Swinger 340.

Even though the car was fairly solid in the sheet metal department, the interior was in rough shape and the paint on the car looked like someone painted it in a dust storm. So he decided to tear the car apart and restore it. Luckily, Todd has a friend who has a father-in-law that can paint. While the minor body work and paint was getting done, he then decided to rebuild the engine and transmission. He owned the car for about two years, when Todd's friend Gary Davis convinced him to bring his Dart to the track. He did, and the car ran in the high 13-second range. According to Todd, "It was my first time racing the car, and I was hooked. It was time to make the car quicker."

That's where Chuck Millen of Best Machine Racing Engines comes into play. Todd got a set of Edelbrock aluminum heads, put a better cam in the car, and took it back to the track. This time the car was now a mid-12 second car. "I added a few small things every year to get the car to go faster." Todd continues, "Once I ran out of those small pieces to get the car faster, it was time to really get down to business." So, he pulled the engine out, gave it to Chuck and had the guys build him a 418-inch 340 stroker. According to Todd, "I was hoping to go quicker than 11.50 seconds." The guys got it right, as the car ran 11.34 seconds on pump gas. Like every car guy though, Todd realized that the only problem with making your car go faster and faster, is that the need never ends.

This is when he set a goal of getting his car in the 10-second range. The latest change on the car has been the rear suspension. Jack Irons of Unlawful Racing and Russ Aderholdt installed an Unlawful Racing Triangulated four-link suspension. The car now sits a little lower and really hugs the road.

I can still remember my first 10-second pass. I was hoping to go quicker than 11.50 seconds

Fast Facts
1970 Dart Swinger
Todd Grobbel
St. Clair Shores, Michigan

Mopar Power
Engine: What started out as a little 340 is now 418-inches of stroker madness. Best Machine added a Callies Dragon Slayer crankshaft and 6.125-inch Eagle connecting rods, and connected them to a set of Diamond pistons. This combination under Todd's Edelbrock heads makes a 12.2:1 compression ratio. The custom Roller cam raises the lifters .639 inches, and holds them up for 258-degrees of rotation (as measured at .050 inch). The Victor Jr. intake supports a Quick Fuel 1050 Dominator, and an MSD ignition lights the squeeze.
Transmission: The 727 is pounded into gear with a B&M Pro Shifter, and the 5,500 stall ATI converter helps the launch.
Rear: To give the A-Body 83⁄4 some help, a back brace was welded into place, and a Power Lock differential is wrapped with a set of Richmond 4.30 gears.
Sure Grip
Suspension: The stock front suspension is rebuilt, and a set of 90/10 drag shocks help transfer the weight to the Unlawful Racing Triangulated four-link supported rear.
Brakes: Wilwood binders halt the front while factory rear drums slow down the rear rubber.
Wheels/Tires: Weld Pro Stars are on all for corners, and the front 15x31⁄2 inchers are wrapped in 61⁄2-inch wide Mickey Thompson street radials, and the 15x9-inch rear wheels have 51⁄2-inch back spacing, and support the Mickey Thompson drag radials that are 275/60-15.
High Impact
Paint/Body: The 10-year-old Plum Crazy Purple was applied by John Cariveau while the recent addition of the AAR hood and some touch up was done by Dan Picklo of Expert Car Care in Fraser, Michigan.
Interior: Todd took the time to rebuild the interior himself. The door panels and such were fine, but Todd added a set of JAZ racing seats, and an 8-point roll bar.
Best et: 10.64 at 124 mph
Special thank you's: Lee Knight, Dan Picklo and many more