After Mike was done with the paint and bodywork, the Y2 Sunfire Yellow body returned to Tony's shop in Delaware, where Tony and his wife Cindy had already put the engine back together. With the help of his brother-in-law, Jeff Spishock, all that shiny NOS gear went back on the car as it was reassembled-grille, taillights and bezels, engine parts, mirrors, shocks, and tires. A set of special dealership Road Runner wheel discs finish the car off.
"It's funny how things changed while I was working on this car," he says as he looks at the Plymouth, which doesn't show an inch of its actual 36,000 miles any longer. "It's like when you look at a girl who's a 5, and you've never seen a 10, so a 5 is great. Then, when you finally see a couple of 10s, wow, that's what you really want. That's what this car was like for me. When I started out, a 5 would have worked; as it turned out, because my knowledge of these cars increased, it's closer to a 10 now."
Tony knows he probably can't redo this car again; too much of the NOS A12 stuff is literally gone now, but he doesn't mind letting this one get warmed up a little. "I had a set of wheels that weren't date-coded to 1969, so I mounted some older tires on them. They look right, so when I want to drive the car, I won't chance tearing up the correct ones."
Moments later, after the swap to the "non-correct" wheels and tires, he showed us just how powerful the '69 A12 package was, laying down long swaths of Goodyear Crayola on a country road near his house. A one-year wonder (actually only about six months), the legend with the fiberglass hood and big scoop would die once the '70 models debuted; the Six Pack became an option across the board, as did the new trap-door Air Grabber hood package, but it wasn't as gnarly as this thing. Oh, and code A12? Yeah, they reused it again for 1970, on the big Chrysler 300-H Hurst model.
|The Tuff Stuff—’69 A12 Rarities|
|Tires: G70-15 Goodyear Polyglas Redstripes||"These tires only came on these cars and supposedly on one big GM Impala. A lot of guys swapped them out for when they put aftermarket wheels on. I never could find a set of NOS tires for sale; I got these by trading stuff to a friend who had paid $5,000 for the set-10 years ago. They may be the only group of four NOS ones existent." |
|Rims: 15x6 H-Series||"The rims were a normal code H, which stood for heavy-duty. You can find them on station wagons and any Hemi car built in 1969. However, there were no wheel covers on the A12 cars; it was like they were made to be swapped out for mags and thrown away. A lot of them ended up in the trash." |
|Hood/Air Cleaner Assembly||"There are reproductions out there, and the repro air cleaner is about $1,500, which is the only reason the real ones haven't gone to $4,000 or so. The real ones use a diamond-shaped hole for the carb-mounting studs; the repros are round. The old hoods are rougher underneath than the repro hoods are." |
|Six Pack Carbs/Accessories||"I luckily found a set of NOS ones for this car. Holley has never redone them with the old list numbers, so that's an easy thing to look for. The idle solenoid was a GM Delco Remy part; the repros don't have a DR marking on them, likely because of the trademark. Lots of guys didn't like the way it worked and threw them out." |
|Engine Wiring/Distributor||"Finding OE wiring for an A12 car is very tough, as this harness was only done for this car. That's because of two supplemental wiring harnesses; one went to the idle solenoid, a wire that a lot of people clipped off if they were not using the solenoid, and the other to the relocated coil, which was toward the rear instead in the normal front location due to the manifold; it was shorter than any other version. Both of these supplemental harnesses were added to the existing 383/440 wiring. The Prestolite dual-point distributor got tossed when people went with aftermarket or electronic versions, but it is not as hard to find as some of the single-point 440 versions from the same era." |
|Differential||"The A12 Dana is the only one that had both a 4.10 gear and 11-inch drum brakes in 1969. Hemi cars and 440s could get a 4.10 Dana rear, but it had 10-inch brakes because of the front disc brakes on the A32 automatic and A34 manual transmission option; it was sort of a rip-off by the company. By the way, the '69 A12 axle code was 999, the same one for Dana drag rears in the '67 RO/WO and '68 Hurst A-bodies (with 4.88 gearing) Super Stock cars." |
|Intake||"Not too many threw out aluminum intakes. The one used on the '69 cars is pretty close to the other examples Edelbrock made except the type font is different and the lettering is a little taller. Later ones also have more casting numbers on them." |