All the interior of the car was removed and the engine and transmission came out again. When I completed fixing the door and the fender, I blocked down the car and this time the car was repainted by Uncle Gary and my dad with another coat of Plum Crazy Purple basecoat/clearcoat. Before the 383 went back in, I thought it was time to add a little more performance to the old stock engine. This time, I completely overhauled it with a set of old Stage 4 Direct Connection heads, a Mopar Performance 284 Purple Shaft cam, and a pair of 500 Edelbrock carbs on a Wieand low-rise intake. Once I put the car back together for the second time, everything looked good and that 383 ran strong and was really street friendly, but the car was still missing something. In my mind, to be the ultimate Mopar, it had to be a Hemi!
We took the car to the 2000 Mopar Nationals with the 383 and won the Most Popular award with it. That same August, I purchased a Hemi from a friend that lived only 10 miles from me, an engine that included all of the important parts to rebuild it properly. I spent my winter months putting the elephant back together. It has a stock Hemi grind hydraulic cam, 12:1 forged Mopar Performance pistons, and a pair of new 650 AFB performance carbs. With the help of a pair of off-the-shelf Schumacher mounts, the engine went in where the 383 had been in a matter of minutes. A new set of tti headers was hooked to my existing Flowmaster mufflers. Though I've done a lot of modifications to the car, I've tried to keep them similar to the options that were offered by Dodge in that era other than the wheels.
This was my first project. My family has had other Mopar cars throughout the years, and I would like to thank my dad for all of his support during the restoration and my uncle Gary for helping to paint it. I had a lot of ambition and willingness to learn while doing the project. If there was something I didn't know how to do, my dad (who has been a professional mechanic for 30 years) would get me started, then I would finish. My goal had been to try to do something different to the car every year, such as changes to its appearance or performance, but now there is only one thing left that I want to change. In my mind, the Hemi image won't be complete without the shaker hood. Since I have most of the parts already, I hope she will be "shaken" at the Nationals 2002!