It happens to a lot of guys: We purchase a car to build something we can just get in and drive all weekend, not concerned about the hazards of road grime. But somewhere during the time we're fixing those little things, fixing one little thing leads to fixing another little thing, and so on. At least this was the case with Bill Hazes of Jacksonville, Florida. You see, ol' Bill bought this '70 Challenger in 1985, planning to build a fun four-speed car he could enjoy on the weekends. While pursuing this, however, he located a correct date coded Six-Pack engine, and the change toward a full-tilt restification was underway. For the next ten years Bill worked under his carport to bring the first-year E-Body Dodge back to life. The task wasn't a simple one though, since the as-purchased Challenger was in poor condition. The sheetmetal was repaired, and the prepped body was eventually given to Steve Madsen at Rock and Roll Restorations in Palm Bay, Florida, and covered in a flawless shade of EK2 Go Mango accented with an R/T stripe, hood blackout treatment, and a black vinyl top. The cloth-and-vinyl black houndstooth interior was acquired through Legendary Auto Interiors and replaced by Terry Brothers upholstry in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The factory Rallye dash still functions as the factory intended, and the AM/FM radio still supplies the tunes. This high attention to restored detail came from the date-coded engine, which Bill forwarded to Zabaft's Machine, also in Jacksonville. This was deburred and given a .030-inch overbore, with the stock crank and rods being polished and balanced. Mounted to the little end of the rods are TRW forged pistons, while a Comp Cams hydraulic stick operates the valves in the 906 heads that Bill ported himself. All the pieces of this combustion-based engineering puzzle were put together by Bill and friend Chris Depontes.
From the crank, the ponies are trans-ferred to the Pistol Grip rowed 18-spline tranny, branching to the wheels through a Dana 60 rear filled with a Sure Grip and 3.54 gears. To keep this Challenger shuttle firmly on planet earth, 15-inch Rallye wheels are wrapped in O.E. Goodyear PolyGlas tires. With the added accessories of a light package, dual chrome mirrors, and the trunk-mounted luggage rack, this R/T SE was definitely sent through the factory with a lot of check marks on the order form.
So, sure, Bill may have deviated slightly from his original plan, but one thing is certain--this restified cruiser came out to be just what he wanted. Go, man, go!