Ringgold, Georgia, resident Rodney Brock's homebrewed '65 Plymouth B-Body is not what you would call stock, or highly modified for that reason. When he built this car, it's clear that he was using his resources wisely. Rodney acquired the car from an older Mopar-oriented friend, Bill Bigham, who had owned it for 20 years. When Bill owned it, however, it was as a factory Slant Six equipped street driver. In the past, Rodney had owned a few other "homebuilt" cars, but he had an understandable weakness for good-looking '65 Dodges and Plymouths. This weakness prompted him to talk Bill into selling the cherry iron to him. Since the car is so reminiscent of the Super Stock era, Rodney knew it was time to step up, so the Six was pulled in favor of a little more power.
The replacement was nothing exotic, just a 400-inch short-block stuffed with streetable goodies like 9.0:1 compression Keith Black pistons and a solid-lift cam from Mopar Performance that was screwed together by friend Duane Sartin after the machine work was completed by Fugate Machine in Ringgold, Georgia. This base was topped by a set of 452 iron heads treated to some mild porting, and a cleanup. A Holley Street Dominator intake topped by a 650-cfm double-pumper and a chrome air cleaner finish the top half. Lighting the cylinder sparks are a combination of Chrysler, Moroso, and Autolite parts, while Dynomax headers send the rumble to tailpipes. Other engine essentials include a Milodon oil pan, a Manley timing setup, and a big, deep-cycle marine battery located in the trunk, just like the old Super Stockers.
Melvin Croft of Chattanooga, Tennessee, rebuilt the 727 TorqueFlite for the car, and Rodney chose to forego the factory location for a more accurate floor-shift layout courtesy of B&M. Inside the "slushbox" is a Cheetah valvebody and a Turbo Action torque converter. One more area left to be upgraded was the differential. This car got a bulletproof Dana 60 with a 4.10:1 SureGrip, and a homemade pinion snubber.
The body was clean and straight to start with, and little was needed other than paint. Chris Watts at Watts Paint & Body laid down a conservative but eye-catching scheme of Nason-brand Aqua-Marine Blue and white. Rodney's choice of paint, together with the retro-style American Racing Torq-Thrust rims (shod in rubber from Kumho) really make it stand out.
The 400 looks right at home where the Slant Six used to be.
Rodney's local Mopar buddies helped out as the project reached its three-year conclusion (though, like most of us, there are still a lot of little things Rodney would like to do to the car). Mark Kaiser is a friend who helped with parts. The cloth-and-vinyl interior was done by Rick Atkins Upholstery. One final change was to the braking system, which has now been upgraded to a dual-reservoir master cylinder and front disc brakes. Rodney is a painter by trade, and he takes a lot of pleasure in the car now that it's back on the road. He gives a lot of thanks to his brother Brian and son Clay, who helped see the project through with elbow grease and encouragement.
In the end, we would have to state that this is a great, all-around street car-upgraded for weekend cruising without getting too exotic, a well-selected driveline combination that should be trouble-free, and a very nice retro appearance. As the original ads for the car proclaimed, Rodney's machine now lives up to its reputation as one of "The Roaring '65s."
Owned by: Rodney Brock
- Engine: A seasoned 400 block received parts from Mopar Performance, Holley, Moroso, Milodon, and Manley. It may not be what some might call a high-horsepower terror, but Rodney leaves those guys behind as he pulls into any gas station to fill 'er up.
- Transmission: A venerable 727 resides behind where the Slant Six used to, although these days a floor-mounted B&M shifter replaces the factory shifter.
- Rearend: If you're looking for dependable, a Dana 60 is about as dependable as they get. Rocky's is filled with 4.10 gears, and a SureGrip.
- Suspension: keeping simple and streetable, the stock suspension was rebuilt and put back in service with the addition of a homemade pinion snubber.
- Brakes: Up front, Rodney added a set of B-Body donated disc brakes, and the Dana features drums.
- Wheels and Tires: Nothing looks as classic as a set of BFG radials on American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels.
- Paint and Body: Although the body was relatively straight, with the help of Chris Watts, a new layer of Aqua Marine Blue and white give it a showroom look.
- Interior: Nothing overly fancy here. The addition of custom door panels and seat skins by Rick Atkins Upholstery add just the right touch.