How's this for roomy?
The days of giant, two-ton, massive land yachts were less than thirty years ago. Back then, the roads and highways were peppered with New Yorkers, Lincolns, Cadillacs, Impalas, Crown Vics, and Imperials coasting up and down the lanes, drifting on spongy suspension and boasting more interior room than most apartments in San Francisco. Now these cars are usually driven by little blue-haired ladies hardly able to see over the six-foot-wide dashboard, or they are packed with sufficient bass-thumping sound equipment to make most night clubs green with envy. But back in their day, today's hoopdees were regal, proud, and classic. Furys, Continentals, and Fleetwoods were opulent limousines for the everyman; the car families poured out of on Sunday mornings in church parking lots; the car teenagers would borrow from their parents; and sometimes, the car where the baby-boomer generation was conceived; the car that spawned cruising. For Mopar fans, these are our C-Bodies.
Simon Menzies of Lomita, California, knows a bit about these cars having built a '66 Comet Cyclone convertible and a Thunderbird convertible, both sporting 400-plus-horsepower 427s, as well as other amazing vehicular creations, in his shop, Killer B Konversions. The shop only came into existence after Simon chose to retire, but for him, retirement meant starting a small automotive restoration company that dabbles with high-performance V-8 conversions for British cars and restoring '60s musclecars.
Simon is no novice to the world of speed. Moving to Torrance, California, in 1968 during the heyday of Southern California drag racing, he opened a service station/speed shop at the age of 21. He began working intimately with Dale Armstrong to convert a '71 Plymouth Barracuda alcohol-burning Funny Car into an AA/Altered wheelbase. That season Dale was the winner of the inaugural Professional Competition Category (PRO COMP). Later that year, Dale drove the car to win the AHRA Spring Nationals.
Simon moved to Denton, Texas, to continue racing with a blown, alcohol-burning Funny Car. By 1977, Simon joined Jim Jackson Racing as a driver and tuner of a new Donovan-powered Corvette. Together, they took home 23 wins in two seasons, including eleven PRO and AHRA national events. Simon also brought in the '77 PRO BB/FC Championship and the '78 AHRA BB/FC World Championship.
In early 1980, Simon walked away from professional racing for a more quiet profession in the private sector. Not wanting to totally depart from his love, Simon helped testdrive and tune two AA/FCs for Bergins and Leslie and another for Ron Capps, as well as a Top Fuel Dragster for Billy Williams in 1982.