Craig Sacco overcomes his high school trauma car and steps up to his idolized Challenger
1970 Challenger RT/SE
Owned by: Craig Sacco, Hammonton, New Jersey
- Engine: Joe Robinson in Clayton, New Jersey, rebuilt the engine. It is the original, numbers matching engine to the car. Craig wanted the engine to appear stock on the outside while "having some fun inside." The bores were cleaned up .030-inch over to make room for a set of domed Keith Black hypereutectic pistons with stock rods and crankshaft -- final compression is 10.5:1. The cam is from Comp and it was ground to 228/228 and .500/.500-inch lift with a 112 LSA and uses supporting Comp parts. The factory cast iron heads were treated to a street/strip three-angle valve job, machined guides with Teflon seals, and porting and polishing. All the exhaust is forced out of a set of factory manifolds with a 2.5-inch TTI exhaust with Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers and X-crossover. The fuel is added through a Carter AVS carburetor sitting atop a factory intake manifold. The oiling system uses a stock pan with a Melling standard volume oil pump and the ignition is upgraded with Mopar Performance parts. The combo was good for 443 hp at 5,200rpm and 532 lb/ft of torque at 3,400rpm on an engine dyno. "A longtime friend, Joe, and my brother Brian came through for me when it was time to install the drivetrain," he says.
- Transmission: The original transmission was long gone before Craig found the Challenger but, in its place is a correct, 18-spline Hemi four-speed with stock iron casing. Passon Performance, who rebuilt it, also installed overdrive internals. It features a Hurst shifter and Centerforce clutch.
- Rearend: An original Dana 60 with 3.54 gears and SureGrip differential.
- Suspension: The suspension was restored to original, but the front utilizes polyurethane upper control arm bushings and sway bar bushings up front. The torsion bars are also one size higher at .960-inch. Monroe shocks were installed at all corners to modernize the ride.
- Brakes: Stock power front discs and rear drums.
- Wheels and Tires: Stock, 14x5.5-inch road wheels with 225/70R14 BF Goodrich Radial T/A tires.
- Body: There is a pretty crazy story pertaining to the bodywork, as the first shop didn't live up to its potential. During the restoration process, the shop hit financial troubles and most of the employees were laid off. This delayed the bodywork considerably and Craig even flew down to Texas as an effort to kick start the project. He assisted in the body repair before it was ready for paint.
- Paint: The original shop that did the body repair also painted it back to its original color of Hemi orange with a black vinyl top. Craig wasn't satisfied with the work, and had it reshot by Action Auto Body in Hammonton, New Jersey.
- Interior: Craig decided to test his skills by completing the interior restoration on his own. He sourced new carpet from ECS Automotive Concepts, and new seat covers were also installed with custom leather covers made for the front. The headliner, steering wheel, and dash are all stock.