After the long process, Craig has finally emerged on top as he stands proudly by his creation. "I couldn't have done it without my friends and family," he boasts. "My wife Margaret, daughter Alexandria, and son Nicholas provided all the help they could." When the going got too tough, friends like Bob, Steve Shirk, Mark Caruso, Pat Alissi, and Jeff Lindekugel were there to help.
'72 Dodge Challenger
Craig Tkach, Valparaiso, IN
- Engine: As luck would have it, the original 318 was long gone, giving Craig the freedom to build the 340 the way he preferred. Craig Johnson was commissioned for the rebuild that was loosely factory-based. A set of KB hypereutectic pistons bring compression to 10.26:1 with factory rods and crankshaft holding them in. The camshaft was replaced with a 218-duration .454-inch lift hydraulic Comp Cam which uses Crane ductile iron adjustable rockers to tickle the factory valves on the resurfaced 360 heads. An Edelbrock Performer intake and carburetor increase engine air flow while the original manifolds and Flowmaster 40-series exhaust bring it out. The oiling system was left stock.
- Transmission: Since Craig was building the car his way, the automatic was dropped and a A833 four-speed was installed, which was rebuilt by Craig Johnson. The shifter was rebuilt by Brewer's Performance.
- Rearend: Original 8-3/4 rear with 3.55 gears and Sure Grip.
- Suspension: New bushings were installed as needed while Monroe shocks, thick sway bars, and Mopar Performance .920 Torsion Bars and Espo rear leaf springs help with handling.
- Wheels/Tires: For wheels 15x7 Magnum 500s with front 245/60R15 and rear 255/60R15 BFGs do the trick.
- Paint/Body: Jeff Kubiak was responsible for repairing the body of the weathered '73. Once it was all cleaned up with fresh metal as needed, Jeff rolled the car into the booth, lowered his mask, and shot it with several coats of DuPont Viper Red basecoat followed by clear. A T/A spoiler was added along with side scoops and Rally stripes. Ken of Preferred Glass in Crown Point replaced all the glass and installed the new vinyl top.
- Interior: Inside the blinding white color was restored to new with the help of Legendary Auto Interiors seat covers, ACC carpeting, and Charger Specialties. The Tuff wheel was wrapped in leather and the turn signal levers were shortened. The original seats were recovered and the woodgrain was replaced.