Life on a farm is a different way of living than most of us have. During farming season, all efforts are concentrated on working, but when winter rolls around, there is a break from the daily grind of farm life. Scott Schroeder, a 22-year-old, Westphalia, Indiana, native, uses this time-off to work on Mopars. If it's not his own '68 Charger, it's his father's '70 Challenger convertible.
Scott claims to have been a car guy since he was 15, and it was around this time that he got his first vehicle-a '94 Dodge Ram. The truck got him active with the Dodge brand, and then his father decided to relive his youth and purchased a '70 Challenger convertible in 2002.
Scott and his father began to restore the Challenger together over the winter. They eventually pulled the engine and the transmission, and painted the engine bay. The 318 was replaced with a more suiting 440, and they rebuilt the worn out transmission. They eventually ended up converting the car into a 440 R/T clone.
Scott had always been into '68-'70 Chargers, so he set out to find a project of his own. When a '68 Charger popped up for sale in Columbus, Ohio, Scott jumped on it. The body wasn't in too bad of shape. It was painted in B5 Blue and equipped with a 727 and a 400.
"The only problem I could find with the car was that it was lacking in power. I was only able to manage a 16.1 in the quarter," says Scott. He didn't waste too much time with the 400, though. He was able to pick up a steel crank '68 440 out of an Imperial for a cool $400.
Scott rebuilt the 440, as it was bored .030 over and received reconditioned connecting rods. The bottom end was fortified with a set of Speed Pro pistons, ARP rod bolts, and ARP main studs. The compression came out to 9.7:1 when he topped it off with high-flowing Edelbrock RPM heads. The valvetrain consists of a hydraulic Comp cam. The engine is fed the air and fuel through an 850 Demon carburetor and an Edelbrock RPM intake manifold. At the same time Scott was building the engine, he was also rebuilding the transmission in his auto shop class. He upgraded the transmission with a shift kit, as well as a 2,500 stall torque converter. The open differential was replaced with a Sure Grip unit. He painted the engine bay before installing everything back into the Charger to enhance the underhood appearance.
Once he tightened everything up, Scott fired it up for the first time with open headers. All that noise inspired him to drive the car to school with his Flowmaster exhaust sitting in the trunk. At school, he had access to a lift so he could install the exhaust properly and quiet things down a bit. Scott also took time to finely tune the car with help from a few of his classmates and the class instructor.
Scott's first trip out with the new setup rewarded him with a 12.8 e.t. -a far cry from his 16.1 with the old engine.
It's a work in progress that is a never-ending project for Scott. Aren't they all? Scott has proven he's a gearhead, and that his obsession with Mopar musclecars is enough to occupy him in the garage every year to improve his amazing ride. Keep up the great work, Scott.
For his efforts, Scott was chosen as this month's Young Gun and gets the gift certificate from The Paddock Parts.
The Paddock located at 7565 S. SR 109, Knightstown, Indiana, has been offering hard-to-to-find restoration parts for American musclecars for over 30 years. They strive to supply the best parts and accessories available to help with your restoration project. Their Dodge/Plymouth catalog covers '62-'76 A-, B-, and E-Bodies, and offers carpet, sheetmetal, weatherstrip, engine, and many more parts and accessories to finish off that restoration.
Call 800/428-4319 or visit their Web site, paddockparts.com, to place your parts and accessories order or to get a free catalog.
The Paddock is aware that the Mopar hobby will soon be in the hands of the Young Guns, and they encourage these young people to keep the hobby alive and well.
Do You Feel Lucky?
Do you want to see your Mopar here? Do you want to be immortalized as a Mopar Muscle Young Gun? Is your car the nastiest thing on four wheels at your high school or college? Then send in your entry to email@example.com, or to Mopar Muscle, Young Guns, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619. Here's all you need to do: Send us some photos of you and your car, a description of your car, what you have done to it, and future plans for it. Be sure to include contact information and current e-mail address. Good luck!