The interior required its fair share of customization and hand-made fabrication too. a carbon-fiber dashpad, gauge cluster, and center console insert were fabricated, along with a one-off rear wing. The end result features Dean's E-Body moniker "Skuza T/A" scribed on the dashpad in almost factory-appearing perfection. all the Auto meter instrumentation makes the dash look more like a jet aircraft than a mere land-dwelling Mopar. John also had his company's "MCR" initials etched into the SSBC master cylinder lid and on each of the four calipers. The tall back buckets were custom wrapped in black leather to match the Legendary Interiors' carpet and Grant steering wheel.
Impressive all the way around, this T/A restomod is no regular pretty-boy concept machine, but a tried-and-true, driven street monster that proves the new Hemi belongs as much under the hood of classic Mopar iron as it does on the new rides.
Fast Facts: '70 Dodge Challenger T/A
Dean Skuza . Broadview Heights, OH
Engine: An '03 truck-grade 5.7-liter Hemi rests comfortably between the inner fenders. A custom pair of Stainless Works stainless steel headers plumbs the fumes out back via a set of T/A-style, Year One-provided exhaust. FAST worked their magic on the little elephant, eking far more potency out of the 348-inch engine. A custom throttle body and computer-control module was used, allowing the Hemi's program to jump from economy to performance with the press of a button. The throaty intake breathes through a massive conical air filter that sucks the air straight in via the T/A hood.
Transmission: TCI was kind enough to drop off one of their bullet-proof gearboxes to the Wisconsin-based restoration shop, Muscle Car Restorations. A 727 TorqueFlite with a 2,500-stall torque converter, the transmission was customized to fit the Hemi bolt pattern, making it a one-of-one bellhousing.
Rearend: The Dana 60 is a little tricky. An ARB air locker system allows Dean to swap between a locker and an open differential with the flip a switch. The 3.55 gears spin the ARB rear, while a small air compressor in the trunk does the change-a-roo between a spool and an independent axle.
Horsepower & Performance: Nobody knows. But since it is owned by a famous NHRA funny car driver, we think this T/A has probably broken its share of highway laws . . . not that we're condoning that.
Suspension: A Magnum Force tubular chrome-moly K-frame replaces the heavy factory engine cradle with a Flaming River manual rack-and-pinion. QA1 coilover shocks and super-stock springs keep the wheels planted. The K-member came replete with tubular upper-and-lower A-arms, which provide nearly 150 pounds in weight savings.
Brakes: Stainless Steel Brakes provided the hefty stopping power a la a set of four-piston front and rear lightweight aluminum calipers with an extra mechanical parking brake. All four vented rotors are 1111/44-inches around, with the front discs providing up to a 20-percent improvement over the stock system.
Wheels: Weld Draglites, 18x8 up front and 18x9 out back.
Rubber: BFGoodrich Comp T/As.
Body: A full rotisserie body lob done in only the way Muscle Car Restorations can-nearly half the car was saved from the ravages of cancerous rust. New quarter-panels were needed, along with new steel in the rockers, doors, and A-arms. Hours were dedicated to making the body perfect. And that's how it is-perfect. So much so, a factory original car isn't this straight.
Paint: Hoisted high above on the rotisserie, the body was treated with a thick gray primer and several coats of PPG EV2 Hemi Orange. The fiberglass T/A hood was kept in semi-gloss black, and the roof was covered in a Year One vinyl top.
Interior: Going with the slightly modified appearance trend, MCR custom fabricated a carbon-fiber dash and gauge bezel and a center console insert. The console, carpet, headliner, package tray, and most of the door panels were all factory replacements provided by Year One. Auto Meter gauges read off all the activity going on underneath the hood. The tall back '70 seats are wrapped in custom-patterned black leather, and the Grant wheel looks close, but isn't quite factory.
This is one of two FAST boxes...
This is one of two FAST boxes that control the engine. The supplied throttle body allows the 5.7 to draw as deeply as needed.
Rock Valley Antique Auto Parts...
Rock Valley Antique Auto Parts built a custom aluminum fuel tank for Dean's Challenger. Fine Lines supplied the high-pressure braided fuel lines.
Magnum Force provided the...
Magnum Force provided the trick tubular K-frame for the front suspension. The Flaming River rack-and-pinion is manually controlled, saving the space normally used up by a fat power steering pump and box.