FAST FACTS: '67 Dodge Coronet Station Wagon
Mike Ricketts . Chesterfield, MI
It doesn't get much better than this-a Best Machine-built 528 Hemi. The Mopar Performance crate engine had been hurt by the previous owner and then sold. Mike knew what potential lay in the injured elephant, so he carted off his newest acquisition to the gearheads at Best Machine in Warren, Michigan. The crate was exhumed down to mere nuts and bolts, leaving the bare block to be bored and align-honed. The Kong engine received a Callies-crafted 411/44-inch stroker crank. Giant Wiseco 10.5:1 compression slugs filled up the eight freshly bored cylinders. A hydraulic .576-inch lift camshaft is the brain controlling the Mopar Performance aluminum cylinder heads, which were outfitted with Indy Cylinder Head rocker arms and taut Isky springs over Manley valves. The towering single-plane intake is a la Indy Cylinder Head as well. The Holley Pro Systems 3-Circuit Dominator is the open maw for this angry beast. An MSD distributor controls the spark and throws the flame at the right times. Large Hooker headers plumb the gas out the rear, and a modified Straightline Performance air cleaner filters enough of the intake air to keep the flow good and the air clean.
When it comes to automatic transmissions, there are many who would proclaim the Chrysler TorqueFlite 727 as the granddaddy of bulletproof slush boxes. Cope Racing Transmissions was called to build a gearbox that could handle all the Hemi had to dish out, so after a hearty rebuild using a Griner manual valvebody, a Turbo Action 9-inch 4,500-stall converter was slid on the input shaft. A Hurst Pistol Grip Quarter Stick shifter in the cabin dictates the shifts with the yank of the wrist.
If it's a Hemi, it needs a Dana. That's all there is to it. A Richmond spool is spun by Moser axles with a set of 4.10 gears that turn the big DOT street slicks into inky black goo.
Horsepower & Performance:
If a Hemi isn't making more than 500 horses, it doesn't deserve to wear the nameplate; trust us, Mike's is well over that number. On 93 octane, this grocery-getter-gone-berserk launches a 1.50 60-foot time and blows past the boards at 114 mph on an 11.34 quarter-mile.
Getting this wagon to get up and go is like trying to domesticate a grizzly bear, it can be done, but it takes some work. Big ol' Super Stock leafs in back plant that stout Dana 60 inplace. The front is a different story. The K-Frame needed some major modification to house the Hemi underneath the hood. It was dropped a couple of inches and modified to keep the powerplant planted. The transmission crossmember needed equal attention due to the change in positioning. The power options (brakes and steering) were also swapped out for manual since this wagon was reminiscent of the Super Stockers of yesteryear.
Modern Wilwood discs up front with factory drums out back.
Cragars all the way around. The S/Ss are 15x311/42 forward and 15x7s aft.
The pizza-cutters up front are wrapped in Moroso 7.10x29 discs, and big fat Goodyear cheater slicks measuring 30x9 are out back.
There's a lot of acreage here. Mike picked the wagon up from moparts.com. He knew the car was raced before, so when it came time to write checks for the B-Body (Big-Body) wagon, Mike didn't bother wasting too much on outside appearances. "It's a race car, not a show car," he says. The plain white paint was kept because it was there. The body was straight enough for Mike's needs, so it was left alone. Mike wanted to keep the wagon looking as stock as he could, so only the smallest of hints tell this sleeper is a killer.
Factory white. It doesn't get more sleeper than this.
When there's work to be done, you don't want a bunch of bells and whistles getting in the way. That is why Mike kept the interior accommodations at a bare minimum. The solid bench seats exemplify that. A Hurst Quarter Stick and Auto meter gauges (with the large amber shift light) are the only signs of any potential butt whooping that is about to take place. Everything is pretty much how a stripped-down Coronet wagon would come from the factory.