Growing up in a Chevy household is tough. You're surrounded by silly Bow Tie emblems and mediocrity. All kidding aside, 17-year-old D.J. Hatchell grew up in a similar situation. His father was a die-hard Chevy nut, but managed to raise a son who was obsessive over the Dodge Charger. As it grew closer to the time that D.J. would be receiving his license, he began to look for a solid Charger that he could call his own. After roughly two years of wild-goose chasing, he finally found a 318 small-block powered '74 Dodge Charger SE.
Not too often is the expression...
Not too often is the expression "apple that fell far from the tree" used in a positive manner. With D.J. Hatchell, that's the case. He managed to grow up in a Chevy household but came out loving Mopars.
D.J. is a high school student living in Oklahoma City. His father was hesitant to buy the car because of his Bow Tie roots, but he eventually gave in and the car was taken home. At the time, D.J. was only 14, so he would have to wait before he could pilot the B-Body on his own. That didn't discourage him at all. He began to modify the car almost immediately.
While the 318 certainly isn't a 440, it's still an incredible platform to build a healthy powerplant from. He installed a Holley 500-cfm carburetor along with a mild cam and glasspack dual exhaust. This woke up the small-block a bit. He plans to install long-tube headers in the near future to enhance breathing abilities. A B&M Starshifter helps him select gears in his automatic transmission, and a Sunpro tachometer informs him where he's spinning the engine to. Next on the list is to upgrade the prehistoric ignition system to a modern MSD system. D.J. would also like to install some wider BFGoodrich tires with raised white letters.
The menacing paint job and...
The menacing paint job and '74 B-Body good looks provide D.J. with one cool daily driver. It's great to see a 17-year-old into Mopars and driving one every day.
Clearly, D.J. is on his way to building a nice little street machine. He says he couldn't be happier with his Charger and wouldn't trade it for anything. We wonder what Dad thinks about that. Maybe D.J. can convince his father he's wasting his time and should step into a real car. We suggest he upgrade the intake manifold and install a high-stall torque converter. That will really wake the Charger up and help him get through his tires quicker. Just look at it as an excuse to buy your new tires, D.J.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email address. Good luck!