Not wanting to compromise on the ideal gear ratio in order to maintain some sense of sanity on the highway, MCR installed an aftermarket five-speed transmission conversion. The Dana 60 now only needs to carry a set of 3.73 gears for Michael to be able to make full use of all 600 horses, and still be able to hear his sound system on road trips.

MCR restored the interior back to stock, with the help of YearOne and Auto Instruments, and the latter added a nice touch by coloring the gauge needles to match the PPG Tapestry Red Pearl paint.

So how long will Michael be satisfied with his R/T's performance this time? That's hard to say. I suppose as long as it takes him to find the limits of this one.

Fast Facts:
'69 Dodge Charger R/T
Owned by: Michael Bichl, Wheeling, Illinois

Mopar Power

  • Engine: The factory original 440 was stroked to 493 cubes by Mike Ware of Muscle Motors, who also added a CRE main girdle with all ARP hardware for ultimate reliability. A custom Muscle Motors magic hydraulic cam works the valves in the Indy heads that are fed by an Indy intake and an 850 Speed Demon carb. An Aeromotive pump, fuel lines, and fittings supply the fuel. Spent gasses exit via a complete TTI system with two-inch coated headers and full three-inch pipes with an X-pipe and Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers. A full BeCool system with a Marsh pulley setup and Classic Auto Air keep both the engine and the driver at their optimum performance temperatures.
  • Transmission: A five-speed with a Lakewood bellhousing and a hydraulic clutch is the perfect choice to handle over 600 pounds of torque and still be able to spread it around enough to make full use of it all.
  • Rearend: What could be more bulletproof than a Dana 60 with 3.73 gears?
  • Horsepower and performance: Muscle Motors measured 599 hp at 5,800 and 623 lb-ft at 4,800 rpm. Michael hasn't had a chance to get his R/T to the track yet, but this should be more than enough power to keep him satisfied--at least for a little while.


  • Suspension: Anything you can do to get some weight off of the front of a big-block car will improve handling. A Reilly Motorsports AlterKtion K-member does that and more, with a full power rack and adjustable coils around QA1 shocks. A Flaming River tilt column and wheel provide the directional input. In back, relocated Eaton Detroit leaf springs braced by Cal Tracs traction bars and dampened by another pair of QA1s help keep all that torque aimed in a straight line.
  • Brakes: Nothing improves a guy's nerve with the power pedal like knowing that the brake pedal can bring him back to reality. Master Power Brakes and Baer teamed up here to provide full power four-wheel disc brakes that can dissipate the power as fast as Michael can turn it on.
  • Wheels: American Racing Torq Thrust II wheels, 17x8 inches up front and 18x10 inches in the back present the perfect classic look.
  • Rubber: Nitto Extreme Drag 305/45R18s will attempt to hold tight out back, while Michelin 245/45ZR17s will guide the way.

High Impact

  • Body: Except for the rear quarters and the trunk floor, this is an original '69 Charger unibody car. OK, the rear is mini-tubbed, but if we didn't tell you, you'd never have noticed it.
  • Paint: Michael almost went back to the Charger's factory original F8 dark green, but in the end settled on PPG's Tapestry Red Pearl. The R/T stripe was painted on.
  • Interior: YearOne came through with a complete original interior, this time black instead of green. Auto Instruments rebuilt the dash and even colored the gauge needles to match the paint color. MCR custom built a fairly non-invasive cage so getting in and out will not be a chore. They also fabricated a carbon fiber top console plate that replaces the factory wood grain decal.