There's an itch that has no cure. That itch is also highly communicable, spreading from one person to another. What is it, you ask? It's Mopar Fever, and Darren Traver of Meshoppen, Pennsylvania, has it bad. Owning another '72 Rallye Coupe Charger, while having owned a '70 Charger R/T, a '68 GTX, two '72 Demons at different times, a '70 Challenger R/T SE, and a '65 Coronet nostalgia racer, Darren's case of Mopar Fever is extremely advanced and will probably plague him for the rest of his life and will most likely spread to all his friends and family. Advanced cases manifest themselves in the form of meticulously resto-modified street machines, such as Darren's glistening gold '72 Ralley Charger sporting a built 440 Magnum, a A-833 four-speed, and a Dana 60 rear.
This seven-year project started by accident. Darren was in search of a '71 'Cuda that he had heard about from a friend. While asking for directions at a local store, he picked up a local used car trader and stumbled across an ad reading, "'72 Charger Rallye Coupe, 440, 4spd, Pistol-Grip, Dana 60, 1 of 11 built, Good Condition." Curious, Darren found the car worthy of a complete restoration. Galen Govier verified the pedigree-only eleven '72 Chargers came from the plant's floor with a 440. Evidence found in the VIN that contained the rare "L" signifying the optional Rallye Coupe and the fixed rear-quarter windows sold it to Darren. The front fenders were wrong for the car, and the quarters were filled with cancer and beat up pretty bad, yet internally, the car was near perfect. Slight insignificant modifications had been made to the car over the years, but the previous owner had preserved all the original components just in case somebody wanted to return the car to its original state somewhere down the line.
As a family man, feeding money to a restoration project can be a troublesome problem. For a year, Darren lacked the proper working space and funding, but after some planning and fiscal rearranging, work commenced on the B-Body.
Removing the engine from the bay was a cinch. the engine rebuild was handed to Dave Straley of Straley Racing Engines where the intended mild rebuild evolved into a power gain of nearly a hundred horses, pushing out 470 ponies on the corner station's pump gas. The block was bored .030 over, while the cast heads were angle cut for larger valves, bronze guides, hardened seats, and an extensive port and polish. An Edelbrock Performer RPM intake with a Holley 750 double-pumper resides atop the mighty wedge.
The body needed most of the work. the fenders were replaced on the rolling chassis, while the engine compartment and undercarriage were stripped and painted. RJ Cars in Arkport, New York, handled all of the major bodywork and interior installation. The car retains its original GY8 Gold Metallic paint scheme, and received a new black vinyl top, front chin spoiler, and dual painted sport mirrors.
With all the cosmetics completed, Darren and pals collaborated to remove the rear suspension and detail the differential, returning a freshly painted and rebuilt Dana 60 with 3.54 gears back underneath the body. All new polyurethane bushings replaced the aged rubber, while new stainless steel brake lines replaced the corroded steel lines from the factory. Not content with simply replacing the suspension's bushings, Darren opted for a modern advancement, choosing to install a Firm Feel steering box from Steer & Gear. The four-speed received a Centerforce dual-friction clutch, and the car's electrical was replaced with a schematic-correct harness from Year One. Custom 3-inch pipes with a crossover X-pipe funnel the exhaust out the back with period-correct 3-inch tti tips.
The final result was this fully functional driver that Darren pulls out as much as the weather permits. He admits that car shows aren't really "his thing," choosing rather to drive the car, chirping the rubber at each light that he can and in-between gears on the neighborhood roads. Darren's case of Mopar Fever might not have a cure, but much like a common fever, it's best to feed it as much as you can.
Who: Darren Traver
Where: Meshoppen, Pennsylvania
What: '72 Charger Ralley Coupe
Color: GY8 Gold Metallic
Engine: 440 RB, bored .030, Eagle Rods, SRP 10.2:1 pistons, Lunati.507 hydraulic cam, cast 346 heads, Mancini valves, bronze guides, hardened seats, ported and polished, Edelbrock Performer PRM heads, Holley 750 DP, MSD ignition
Transmission: A-833 four-speed, Centerforce clutch, Pistol-Grip shifter
Rearend: Dana 60, Sure Grip 3.54 gear
Wheels/Tires: Front: American Racing Torq-Thrust II 16x7, Hankook 235/60/16;
Rear: American Racing Torq-Thrust II 16x8, Hankook 275/55/16