Downstream of the Edelbrock heads is a full-on tti exhaust system, which Roger said he wanted when Herb asked what type of exhaust system he wanted to run. "He then called Sam Davis at tti, and Sam asked, 'Do you want an H-pipe or an X-pipe?' I didn't even know they made X-pipes, so I got one of the first ones." There's also a pair of tti exhaust tips on it, which Roger used instead of a NOS Chrysler tips set.

As for the A-833 and Dana 60, they have interesting stories behind them. Says Roger of the Dana: "A friend of Herb's and mine, Robert May, owned this car in the late '70s, and it sat in his shop for three years with the Dana 60 out of it because they were using it in his Challenger to drag race. Robert had put 4.10 gears in it, but Herb put the original 3.54 gears back in it." And, according to Roger, the transmission was one key to determining that those 28,000 miles on the odometer was its original mileage. "We had just finished the rear end, and Herb asked, 'How many miles does this car have on it?' I said it was showing 28-and-change on the odometer, but I had no way to prove it. He said, 'I'm telling you, I've worked on these transmissions from the time they were first created, brand-new out of the box, and that's how many miles that car has on it.' I said 'Why?' and he said, 'This has the best-looking set of brass blocking rings I've ever seen.' He had a new set that he was going to put in, and he said you can't tell them apart."

Likewise, the body, glass, and interior were made up of barely-worn originals plus new items (including Legendary seat covers, seat foam, and headliner), which went back on when it was time to re-assemble it. Even so, it was a thrash to get it ready for the Mopar Nationals in 2005. "Herb, Donnie, Mike, and I finished it up about 11 o'clock on a Wednesday night," Roger realls. "Thursday morning we loaded it up [on a trailer]-because I hadn't driven it yet-drove up to Columbus, unloaded it at the Best Western on Brice Road, fired it up, and drove it around the parking lot. First thing Friday morning, we hit the ramp on I-77 heading toward National Trail Raceway, and we buzzed it up to 100 mph. There were three of us in the car, and that's how it started out."

And it finished good, too-much like Ma Mopar's sales in 1968. That was a big year for Ma Mopar overall, and for the Coronet lineup, sales were up across the board from 1967, with nearly 200,000 mid-size Dodges sold. That included nearly 11,000 R/Ts, of which nearly 2,000 were 440 Magnum/four-speed equipped like Roger's.

If you've got a similar mid-life (or sooner) urge to build a Mopar like one that you had years ago, Roger has this advice: "Don't get in a hurry. Take your time. When you get mad, walk away, then come back to it."

Fast Facts
'68 Dodge Coronet R/T hardtop

Owned by: Roger Moricle, Burlington, North Carolina

Mopar Power

  • Engine: A later-than-the-original '68 440 was built by Roger and Herb McCandless with a .030-inch overbore, Edelbrock heads, 8.27:1 compression, Holley 750 carburetor (prepared by AED Competition Carburetors, Richmond, VA), Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, a Comp Cams Extreme Energy camshaft, Mopar Performance distributor, McCandless Performance plug wires, Milodon's double-roller timing set and their oil pan and pickup, Powermaster alternator, March pulleys, and a full tti 2 1/2-inch exhaust system.
  • Transmission: The original A-833, rebuilt by Herb with a Hays clutch and Hurst "Competition Plus" shifter
  • Rearend: After seeing race duty in a Challenger, the OEM 3.54-geared Dana 60 was rebuilt and put back in service.

Sure Grip

  • Suspension: (Front) Original HD torsion bars with Monroe shocks (Rear) Original HD leaf springs, which were cleaned up, and put back together by Roge, who added new monroe shocks in abc, too.
  • Brakes: Rebuilt original 11-inch drum brakes, non-power-assisted
  • Wheels and Tires: Cragar S/S 5-spokes (15 x 6 inches in front, 15 x 8 inches in back wearing BFGoodrich Radial TAs,215/70R15 in front, 275/60R15 in back.

High Impact

  • Body: Original '68 Dodge Coronet two-door unibody cleaned up by Roger on a rotisserie. No sheetmetal needed replacing-and no stripes did either. (Car is an original stripe-delete R/T.)
  • Paint: PPG Deltron UU1 Bright Blue Metallic basecoat (with a PPG clear), sprayed on by Tom Young at Young's Auto Body in Elon, North Carolina
  • Interior: A combination of original and resto pieces. Just Dashes refinished the top dashpad, and the seats and headliner are re-skinned with Legendary materials. Door panels, arm rests, MusicMaster AM radio, and the bottom dash pad are all original, while J.C. Auto Restorations re-did the gauges and Auto Custom Carpets supplied the new carpets.