Waiting for things to happen is usually very frustrating. As you compete with your eagerness, your impatience grows until you break down and can't wait any longer, or you continue to bite the bullet. Frank Maynard had to wait nearly 25 years before he could own his dream car.
Frank started his career as a technician at a Chrysler maintenance depot in the late '60s, where he continued his dedication for 43 years. During that time, he never once owned a muscle car because he tells us that he could never afford it. Well, around 1994 Frank said enough was enough and jumped on the exact car that filled his thoughts since late 1969, the '70 Dodge Challenger R/T.
The car he found to begin the project was a dilapidated Top Banana R/T that Frank found locally from a tip given by a friend. It even ran, albeit poorly, and its original 383 and automatic transmission was replaced with a 440 and four-speed. Frank talked the seller down to a modest $500 and drove the Challenger home. It was spitting and sputtering all the way-the car, not Frank. Being a veteran maintenance man, he easily revived the car into running order and started accumulating miles on the odometer.
Not long after, Frank had devised a plan and he decided to turn his dream car into the vision that was rumbling in his head, a blown big-block Challenger with a massive supercharger erupting from the hood. He worked entirely out of his own two-car garage at home. "I did everything on the car except for the front alignment," he says, jokingly. This took the car out of commission for more than four years, but having waited 25 already, he was ready to get started.
Frank began smoothing the car's metal. He took the original hood and set it off to the side so that it may be called upon once again-should he decide to return to stock. Taking its place is an AAR fiberglass hood that was cut to accept the new powerplant. Once he had the bodylines nailed, he closed off one of his garage bays at home and entered the makeshift paint booth ready for business. After a healthy application of primer was dried, several coats of PPG Scarlet Red basecoat were misted onto the car, followed by three coats of clear.
Underneath was entirely rebuilt with mostly stock parts. Frank then installed a set of 2-inch drop spindles and super stock springs to deliver a dropped-to-the-floor profile. Once the new components were in place, a set of Mopar Gas Shocks were bolted in to absorb any road imperfections. To accentuate the stance, Coy's C-5 wheels were bolted on in a staggered fitment of 18-inch fronts and 20-inch rears. Inside, the black interior was restored back to stock but Frank tossed the bench in favor of buckets and a console. A Secret Audio paired to Jensen speakers was wired in to deliver more modern sounds while Frank cruises. A defunct company out of Florida rebuilt the gauges and Ultimate Rides recovered the dashpad.
Originally, Frank rocked the 440 with the Weiand 6-71 blower, but he blew the engine a few times. After that, and the benefit of shock value, a Hemi engine was next to find its way between the shock towers. The burly big-block was treated to a .060-inch over bore to clear the way for 8.5:1 compression Keith Black forged pistons. The slugs are connected to Mopar I-Beam rods and a Mopar forged steel crankshaft. After wiping out two flat-tappet cams, an Isky .524/.507-inch lift 248/248-duration hydraulic roller camshaft was slid in and has proven to be more reliable.
The new Hemi engine has been the last chapter of the build for Frank, and he enjoys taking it out on the roads any chance he gets. "I built the car to drive and cruise and I do just that," he says. It may have taken him a long time to finally settle down and build the car of his dreams, but he has proven it was worth the wait. He built the car for himself, the way he wanted to build it, and he couldn't be happier. Who wouldn't want to cruise around town in a '70 Challenger with a Hemi and giant blower?
1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
Owned by: Frank Maynard
- Engine: Sadly, the level of under hood attrition has been rather high for Frank. When he originally completed the car it had a 440, which he scattered a few times before looking into another form of propulsion. The new engine would be none other than the infamous Hemi with 426 cubic inches of hunger being fed by a 6-71 Weiand Dyer's Supercharger. The appetite for destruction is fended off with a set of 8.5:1 forged Keith Black pistons, Mopar I-Beam rods, and a forged steel Mopar crankshaft. A set of Mopar Performance aluminum heads were then bolted on which feature 2.25-inch intake and 1.94-inch exhaust valves. The assembled heads are given a workout by the Isky .524/.507 248/248 camshaft that opens the valves via 1.7 intake and 1.65 Mopar roller rockers. A pair of Holley 750 Double Pumper carburetors feed the whining Dyer's Blower from Weiand, which has a custom butterfly snorkel to gobble up cool, outside air. The oiling system has remained stock with a stock pan. A set of TTI 2 1/4-inch primary headers merges into 3.5-inch collectors draining into a 3-inch Flowmaster exhaust. Frank performed all engine work and assembly.
- Transmission: A stock 833 with a pistol grip shifter and Mopar clutch. Frank says it doesn't hold the power too well, but he figures that will keep him from breaking more down the line.
- Rearend: An 8 3/4-inch rearend features an aluminum center section with 3.55 gears and an original Sure Grip differential.
- Suspension: Since Frank wanted to get the car a more menacing look he wanted to drop it. He removed roughly 2-inches of ride height with a pair of drop spindles and rear Super Stock springs. Everything else on the car was left stock.
- Brakes: Stock front discs and rear drums.
- Wheels and Tires: Coy's C-5 wheels give this Challenger a look-at-me flash without being too gaudy. They measure 18x8 front and 20x9 rear with 245/40R18 and 275/35R20 BFGoodrich tires.
- Paint/Body: To the best of Frank's knowledge, the body was all original aside from the front right fender which was replaced before he purchased the car. He performed all of the bodywork to bring the car as close to perfect as humanly possible and he then sprayed it with Scarlet Red paint.
- Interior: Inside the Challenger there were some small changes made. First, the bench seat was removed because Frank wanted to go with buckets and a console. He sent his dash pad off to Ultimate Ride to have them expertly restore it while his gauges were sent down to Florida to have them rebuilt.