Nick Suckow has always dreamed of building and owning an awesome car. Turning wrenches since he was a kid, he's owned upwards of 400 vehicles. As you can imagine, there weren't too many cars that he didn't have at one time or another, but he always favored the Mopars-especially B-Bodies. Most cars he bought to fix and resell for extra spending cash, but he was always on the lookout for his dream car-a '70 Charger.
Over the years, the dream never really changed. Nick wanted to go to the extreme with a blown and injected Hemi in a Charger with the classic funny car look. He eventually found his '70, but decided not to start the project until after his time in the Army was done. He served in Germany and then later at Fort Bliss, where he got married during the summer of 1989. Then, 18 days into his marriage, his life changed forever when he hit a pothole going only 30 mph and broke a tie rod in his Bronco. The Bronco flipped on its side, and even though Nick was wearing his seatbelt, his head hit the roof and he suffered a break between his first and second vertebrae, and was instantly paralyzed from the chin down and became ventilator-dependant. The only reason he beat the 1-in-500 chance of surviving this level of injury was because an off-duty EMT witnessed the accident.
Nick's life may have changed, but his dream didn't. After rehab, he went looking for someone to help him build his Charger. He couldn't build it himself, but he could still design and direct the project. In 1991, he met with John Balow of Muscle Car Restorations. John enthusiastically embraced the project and soon went to pick up Nick's '70 Charger. Back at the shop, John quickly determined that the Charger was too far gone to use, so he helped Nick find the '68 you see here, and they used the '70 for parts.
Why did Nick bother to build a car he knows he can never drive? Because it was his dream, and he refused to let it go. Having this project has helped Nick keep motivated. If your memories ever become bigger than your dreams, your life is in danger of being over. That's not likely with Nick. In addition to this car project, Nick designed his own home and its landscaping. he also designs web sites and is a powerful motivational speaker, especially for teenagers. It only takes a few minutes of exposure to Nick's enthusiasm, and you realize your problems aren't really as big as you think they are.
While Nick couldn't drive his Charger, one thing he was not going to be denied was a ride in it. So against doctors' orders (after this many years, they don't really argue with him anymore), he had himself strapped in for a "quick" ride. Was it worth the 15-year wait? The look on his face during the ride said it all.
What's next? Nick wants to compete in as many car shows as he can, and so far his Charger is proving to be a tough competitor and popular with the crowds. His ultimate dream was to see his Charger featured in a top magazine. That's a dream we are honored to help bring about. Nice job, Nick. Don't ever quit dreaming.
The comfortable gray leather-covered seating not only makes long-distance cruising possibl
There is nothing quite like the look of a blown and injected Hemi under the hood. It's not
'68 Dodge Charger
Engine: Vintage iron-block Hemi fed by a BDS blower and BDS electronic fuel injection. It's under-driven to tame it down for everyday driving. The 8.0:1 compression ratio allows it to run on 92 octane pump gas. Dual Paxton fuel pumps guarantee it will never lean out on the top end.
Transmission: Hemi four-speed. What else?
Rearend: A 4.56-geared Dana 60 held in place by an Art Morrison four-link with a panard bar.
Horsepower & performance: About 600 hp in its present under-driven tune. Just a quick pulley swap would add significant power, but the big MTs out back are already completely overwhelmed. Nick has no plans at this time to race his Charger.
Suspension: Stock up front. Art Morrison coilover four-link in the rear.
Brakes: Four-wheel power discs.
Wheels and tires: Center Lines with Mickey Thompson 33x19.5x 15 Sportsmans in the rear.
Body: Exterior has been restored to original. Except for the wheeltubs, it has been left alone.
Interior: Full cage with swing-out side bars; gray leather seats; traditional tubbing upholstery; Simpson Platinum five-point harness.