Chris Carlson's '72 Challenger matures into a blown small-block with some juice.

"I built the car to do everything well. I wanted it to win car shows, drag race, road race, and autocross." - Chris Carlson

Fast Facts: 1972 Dodge Challenger
Car Owner: Chris Carlson Spokane, WA

Mopar Power

  • Engine: The original block was toast, and Chris opted for a 1995 360 Magnum crate engine as his starting point and sent it to Shelley's Performance. To achieve 408-cubic inches, the bore was honed out .030-over and stroke length was increased to 4-inches. Since the path Chris would take on his second engine build would be different, the engine was built to take more punishment than last time. Forged JE pistons attached to forged Eagle H-Beam rods are bolted to a forged Eagle Stroker crankshaft. A ProCharger kit forces air into the modified Holley 750cfm carburetor bolted to the M-1 intake manifold. Cooling and fueling are assisted by a Snow Performance Methanol injection kit. The mixture is then directed into a pair of ported Magnum R/T heads with Crane 1.6 rockers. An off-the-shelf Comp Cams camshaft was slid inside to command the valves. Its grind specs are .544/.555 232/242 on a 114 LSA. Once the mixture is in the chamber a full MSD ignition converts it into energy. It's controlled by an MSD Digital 6 box that incorporates a rev-limiter and an MSD multi-step timing retard selector with different timing settings for the blower and the nitrous. The exhaust is sent into tti headers and an aluminized exhaust with Dynomax mufflers.
  • Transmission: Shelley's Performance rebuilt the 727 transmission and reinstalled the anti-ballooning 3,500-stall converter. A Gear Vendors overdrive adds under/overdrive to keep rpm down on the highway.
  • Differential: Shelley's Performance built a custom 8 3/4-inch housing with Moser axles, 3.55 Motive gears, and a Detroit Tru-Trac differential.

Sure Grip

  • Suspension: All bushings were replaced with polyurethane, and the shocks were replaced with Edelbrock Performance shocks. The front end features a heavy-duty sway bar, heavy duty torsion bars, and CAP Automotive tubular upper and lower control arms. The rear uses big-block springs mounted inboard with a Mopar Performance relocation kit to make room for wider tires. A Firm Feel rear sway bar keeps the Challenger glued through the corners.
  • Brakes: 12-inch Wilwood rotors and 4-piston calipers.

High Impact

  • Paint and Body: The doors and quarters were repaired from rust damage. A T/A-style scoop was added in addition to fiberglass front and rear spoilers. The car was sent to Barton Collision to be stripped and sprayed down in Prowler Flame Orange. After paint, Rallye stripes were applied.
  • Interior: The blue plaid interior is long gone. Black parts from a donor '72 and new parts from YearOne have revamped the interior. A leather wrapped steering wheel, A/R Racing seats and a Pioneer/Kenwood stereo make the interior a bit more comfortable. Auto Instruments rebuilt the gauges and Fast Recovery recovered seats.