Ken's younger brother, Jim, had seen all of this from the sidelines. While he had no emotional connection to any particular '66 Charger, he decided he wanted to have one as well. To that end, he and Ken began looking together for another one. They came across a 77,000-mile 383-powered machine at Carlisle in 1997. There was more to this one than met the eye, how-ever; here is Jim's story
"I've always had late-model Mopars to drive around, but I liked the cars Kenny had," said Jim, "so I began looking around for one of the '66 Chargers to own. I finally located one here in New Hampshire. It had been found in Texas and shipped up here in pieces, but it was a solid body; its owner had already gotten a lot of the work done on it, but it was missing a lot of the small stuff and some of the other parts. For one, it was a 383 A/C car, but all the air stuff under the hood and under the dash had been removed. Still, the price was right, so I bought it. That car was running and painted yellow.
"So Ken and I went to Chryslers at Carlisle in 1997 to look for pieces and parts to make the yellow car right when we saw this red one come through the gate. From a glance, it looked like an older restoration, but once we got a closer look at it, it became apparent it was actually unrestored, a real survivor. It'd been sold to a gentleman named James Henderson in Oklahoma City, and his son said it'd been garage-kept most of its life. From there, it went to a used car lot in St. Louis, where the seller at Carlisle had come upon it. I bought it and decided to sell the yellow car. The red car has the Certicard in Henderson's name, the buildsheet was under the seat, and I've got the receipt from the used car lot.
"The car is a real time capsule. When I got home, I went to tune it up and found out the original plug wires were still on it. The driveline was what I wanted from the factory: 383 four-barrel, automatic, air conditioning. The fact that it'd never been repainted and has existed all these years in its present condition makes it very special to me as well. My wife, Lynn, and I have no intention of doing anything to the car now but preserve it."
Because Ken, who is in industrial sales, now lives in North Carolina and Jim is an air traffic controller in New Hampshire, the two aren't able to get together often with their cars. Last spring when Ken told us they would meet with the cars at the North East Hemi Owners' Association in Newark, Delaware, later that year, we thought it would be a great opportunity to show how these two guys had pursued their Mopar dreams. The result of that brother-to-brother effort is shown here.
While Ken was showing us his car, he mentioned he had something in the trailer that might surprise us. He pulled out a Dodge item that may be one of the scarcest promotions Dodge made. While many of us know about, have seen, or own the two-car race sets manufactured by Eldon for the '67 Charger release, this is a single car set that depicts the Chrysler test facility in Chelsea, Michigan.
"A buddy of mine, Mike Gemza, had heard about this thing," says Ken with a grin. "He did some horse trading, got it, then gave it to me as a present. He's a great guy, because he's an even bigger Chrysler nut than I am; it would have been hard to let it go!"
The course is in excellent condition and duplicates hills, different road surfaces, corners, and other features of the test track. The car is a single '66 Charger, and the set is powered by electricity with a hand control. We've seen some cool stuff, but we think this particular set is one of the neatest toys to come out of the supercar era.