In 1965, Coronets came with...
In 1965, Coronets came with quad headlights. A-990 cars did not and required the melding of multiple grilles. The headlight grille is one of the signature visual items on a '65 A-990 Dodge.
Grille And Headlights
In 1965, Dodge did everything it could to save weight on its '64 and '65 Hemi race cars. Weight removal is one of those accumulative endeavors that adds up by removing many small components. One of the things Chrysler's engineering staff did that removed a few pounds of weight and made a significant visual statement to the '65 Dodge A-990s was to eliminate the inboard (high-beam) headlights. When they removed these lights, they cut the headlight bezels and spliced in another section of grille to fill the gap. This reconfigured headlight/grille became a signature element for the '65 Dodge A-990 race cars. Goldberg took the original grille, a spare grille, and two good original headlight bezels to the King of Trim in Hollywood, California. There, they cut and spliced the grilles exactly as Dodge engineers did decades ago and then bright dipped them to the original finish. At assembly, Goldberg pop riveted the headlight bezels to the grille, similar to the way it was assembled in 1965. The front of the radiator support on the production '65 Dodge cars was painted flat black to make the grille stand out. On the A-990 cars, the radiator supports were left body color. Goldberg made the decision to paint the radiator support black because he felt the silver body-color radiator support would not allow the grille to stand out. It's a small detail, but one that makes the unique grille work pop on Goldberg's Dodge.
Like the rest of the car,...
Like the rest of the car, the exhaust installation is simple but elegant. The relocated rear springs and large-diameter exhaust pipes prevent the installation of rear exiting pipes.
Jim Warner, at Warner Muffler, installed the MagnaFlow stainless steel mufflers. The ones selected feature 3-inch inlets and outlets. Warner also added MagnaFlow's Tru-X crossover pipe. This crossover pipe features smooth radiuses that enhance noise cancellation. Without adequate room for full tailpipes, Warner suggested small turndowns at the back of the mufflers, cut at a 45-degree angle. If the downturns were cut at a 90-degree angle, they would act like a pair of leaf blowers kicking up massive amounts of dust. This angle also reduces the resonance created between the ground and floorpan that a 90-degree pipe would create.
On The Road
The early shakedown drives were exceptionally trouble free. Goldberg found that the Demon 850 carb was sensitive to any kind of adjustment as compared to a Holley. This sensitivity became a plus in tuning the engine for street driving when it became apparent that the big Hemi engine could be driven slowly through city traffic without any problems. "This car feels and drives a lot like my Candymatic '63 Dodge, except it's much more civilized," says Goldberg. The only problem that cropped up was an overheating situation in heavy city traffic on a 90-degree day when the engine temperature reached 250 degrees. A simple 1-inch fan spacer solved the problem, and the stout Indy Cylinder Head Hemi shook off the high-temperature soak without any damage.
Using amazing restraint, Goldberg put about 200 easy miles on the car so all the moving parts would be well broken in before he started to hammer it. At that point, the oil and filter were changed; all of the other fluids checked; and while the car was on the rack, every fastener was checked for tightness.
With fresh oil and a full preflight, Goldberg was ready to see if this Goldberg Who's Next Hemi would stand up to the kind of punishment he could dish out. For the car-to-car photo shoot we went out on the freeway. Goldberg's enjoyment of the car was evident by the nonstop smile on his face. From my point of view in the next lane, this car looked fantastic at speed. The stance is perfect, and at 70 mph, the big Hemi was sounding great. As soon as I finished shooting the photos, I gave Goldberg the thumbs up so he would know I got my shots. he gave us a show by flooring it, and with a mighty Hemi roar, the front end kicked up another inch or two, and he left us in the dust.