Steve Strope, proprietor of Pure Vision Designs in Simi Valley, California, has produced his portion of masterpieces-each custom-built Mopar exceeding the previous in workmanship, ingenuity, and originality. Many will remember the graphite gray '70 Plymouth Road Runner, aptly named Hammer, or the eye-frying red '71 Plymouth GTX-R-two vehicles that altered the contemporary image of modern musclecars. Steve's Pure Vision Designs was recently commissioned by George Poteet to fabricate a purely original, NASCAR-inspired '68 Charger.
George Poteet is a legend in the hot rod world. His name has been linked to some of the most influential cars in the market, most notably "The Sniper" custom rod, and a soon-coming '68 Barracuda, built for nothing less than a land speed record. Though intimately tied to some of the most advanced hand-built hot rods, George has a sweet spot for vintage, bare-bones race cars. When George told Steve he would like to have a '68 Charger, Steve volleyed back with a NASCAR-based plan-the embodiment of a street legal stock car, enabling him to cruise down the boulevard or boil a dry-lake bed's sand into glass. (Yes, you read it right. The plan is for this Charger to streak across Bonneville's dry-lake bed before this issue reaches the newsstands.)
A rolling Charger was found at the Restorations by Julius paddock in California. The body required both quarter-panels, a trunk, and rear window channel to be replaced as cancerous oxidation had consumed too much factory steel to salvage. Before any cosmetic work could be procured, Red Zone Fabrications was enlisted to design and create a chromoly cage, which was installed and anchored to the sub-frame and floor pans, as well as tie the subframes together for added rigidity. With the tubular connectors in place, the underside channeling was relieved to house the Red Zone-fabricated, NASCAR-style, side-exit exhaust system featuring Spin Tech dual 311/42-inch flat oval mufflers and tubing that would all link to the Hemi via tti headers. Additional body modifications were made at that time to accommodate the colossus 345/30ZR/19 rear rubber by widening the rear wheelhousings and fabricating vertical outer walls. Budnik applied gorgeous Muroc II billet 18- and 19-inch rims for the Charger with Cup and NASCAR-type racing in mind.