The "hideous" interior was finally going to be addressed as Chris, C.W., and Mike began tossing plaid bits and pieces out onto the garage floor. "I figured the best idea was to buy a donor car with black interior instead of buying everything new. What I couldn't find or use, I purchased through YearOne." He found a '72 donor car and was able to use its carpet, headliner, trim pieces, and kick panels, but everything else was recovered or replaced. "What we pulled out of the donor was replaced with the plaid pieces from my car. We painted them black and sold it," he claims. The front seats were found in a Jeg's catalog and are A/R Racing buckets with custom upholstery from Fast Recovery in Spokane, and the steering wheel is a leather-wrapped Tuff wheel. Chris didn't forget the sound system and put in a mixture of Pioneer and Kenwood components, CD player, and subwoofers. The gauge cluster was rebuilt, recalibrated, and resurfaced by AutoInstruments.com.
With the rest of the car out of the way, he could once again give into his healthy obsession-power. A new Mopar Performance 360 Magnum block was given to Brian Rothmund at Shelley's Performance, and was bored .030-over and filled with forged JE Pistons, forged Eagle H-beam rods, and a forged Eagle stroker crankshaft. Final displacement came to 408 inches and was ready for boost. The ProCharger kit was modified and bypasses the intercooler. "When the kit showed up and I picked up the intercooler, I thought it was just too heavy and large. I didn't want to cut the car and put all this weight on the front end. That's when Brian suggested I run a methanol injection kit," Chris says. The methanol would cool the inlet air and also increase his octane rating, allowing him to run pump gas and get away without an intercooler. The kit was sourced from Snow Performance and uses a 1.5-gallon tank mounted in the trunk. Fuel delivery is also key, so Chris didn't skimp there either. An Aeromotive A-1000 pump using a 1/2-inch Mopar Performance sending unit sends the fuel up to a modified Holley 750-cfm carburetor built for boost.
A 408-cubic inch small-block with a ProCharger can get you into a lot of trouble.
The air and fuel are forced into an M-1 single plane intake, then onto ported Magnum R/T heads. A .544/.555-inch lift 232/242-degreee duration Comp Cam on a 114 lobe angle opens the valves and releases the exhaust into tti headers with Dynomax mufflers. Sitting behind the engine is a rebuilt 727 TorqueFlite with a Gear Vendors overdrive, making his 727 a six-speed automatic. A full MSD ignition was installed and then the car was strapped to a dyno for tuning. Without the assistance of the NOS nitrous kit, the Challenger sent 605 hp to the rear wheels. This was enough motivation to propel him to 11.22 at 127 mph at the Mopars at the Strip event in Las Vegas in 2009.
Now that the 15-year project is completed, Chris can sit back and start enjoying his Challenger on the streets of Spokane. "I built the car to do everything well. I wanted it to win car shows, drag race, road race, and autocross. It does just that." At the 2009 MATS in Vegas, Chris took first place in the E-Body Modified class and that got our attention. Chris' Challenger goes to show that not all addictions are bad, especially not ones that involve going fast in a '72 Challenger.