Motivation would be wedge power, 451 inches of iron Mopar B-engine set up in the 500-horse range. After Dennis at Woody's Machine did the prep work and punched it out .030, the short-block received a 440 crank, KB pistons, 440 rods, and ARP bolts. A Comp Cams .509/292-duration stick went into the center, actuating 2.14 intake and 1.74 exhaust valves in the factory -452 heads. It's finished off by an Edelbrock Performer intake and an AED-type Holley 850 carb; a set of tti headers take care of the exhaust duties.
Behind this is a Dave Klutz-built 727 'flite with a Turbo Action manual valve body; an SCS shifter by the same company is in the cockpit. Under the rear, Bryan did make a swap over to a Detroit Locker, which now houses 3.91 gears; Randy's Ring and Pinion supplied those peripherals.
The project took eight months and Bryan made a grand debut at the Mopar Nationals; we were impressed enough with his first-time handiwork that we put the car in our booth on the midway. The guys down the way were selling a lot of sunglasses that afternoon!
Bryan Crenshaw Says
On Building And Using A Rotisserie:
The rotisserie enables you to prep and paint areas of the car that are almost impossible to work on without it. I was able to paint the underside of the car with the same finish as the top. It also allowed me to paint the interior of the cockpit and trunk, wheel wells, and other hard-to-get-at areas with relative ease.
The rotisserie was fairly easy to build. With about $300 in steel and $150 in jacks, I was able to build mine in about a day. Jacks are an option on many rotisseries, but in my opinion they are a must-have as they facilitate the raising and lowering of the car. I used two hydraulic long ram bottle jacks, one at each end which requires you to raise each end a little at a time. If I would have used air-actuated jacks, I could have tied them together into one valve and raised and lowered the car with one hand while standing in one place (but that costs a little more). I built my rotisserie so that it can be disassembled and stored standing flat against the wall and only take up about two feet of floor space.
Hardest lessons learned in the project:
1. Start with a complete car, not one partially disassembled. That way you know how it goes together and if anything is missing.
2. In the painting process, I neglected to apply a guide coat in the primer and block-sanding process; therefore, I didn't find all of the little dings in the car. Lucky for me the car was pretty straight.
3. I forgot to check emblem placement on a replacement front fender until after the fender was completely painted and cleared. Turns out the fender for a Coronet 440 and a 500 have different emblem locations. I had to pay to have it stripped again, weld up the 440 holes, drill the appropriate 500 holes, and start over with the whole paint process on this part.
Most satisfaction In The Project:
Accomplishing exactly what I set out to do, start to finish (and then some).
The things I would change if I did this again:
1. Build a makeshift paint booth inside the shop to better control dust and overspray.
2. Not allow my wife to have a baby in the middle of my project (Dane Weaver Crenshaw, March 26, 2001...just kidding, honey!).