There are a lot of project cars that start out with a certain plan, but that plan inevitably gets altered at some point, and many times, the car's owner doesn't even know why. We all have good intentions about following a plan, but when a change thrusts itself upon you, you just have to follow along. Such is the case of Clarence Arnoldussen of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
This car was found and purchased in 2005, from whom Clarence believes to be the second owner. It was located in Saskatchewan, and was running a 440, but was an original 318 car with an automatic transmission. It had minimal rust, and Clarence felt it was a good candidate for a project he had in mind. After owning and driving it for a few years, he decided to build it into a stock-looking Hemi clone. By making it a clone, Clarence could upgrade it with fuel injection, better brakes, and better steering. Besides, if you're building a driver, a clone is definitely the way to go.
The interior is basically...
The interior is basically stock, with the exception of the extra gear markings on the shift indicator, and the silver-faced gauges.
Anyway, when it came time for the rebuild to begin, the car was completely disassembled, and the body was sent out for a chemical dip to remove any paint, previous body work, and rust. Did we mention that Clarence is the owner of Bridge City Chrysler? That means that when the body came back, it was sent to their collision center where the inner fenders and lower quarters were replaced. The guys also modified the stock hood to incorporate a Shaker.
It spent about two years in the body shop, and when the body was completed, it was sent to Shaun Harrison's to make it all come together. Since Chrysler had just released the 6.4 crate motor, Shaun offered the suggestion to Clarence that they install one of them into the car. To do this, the stock K-frame was modified, and an XV Level 1 suspension was installed. According to Clarence, it drastically stiffens the car up and helps the handling.
Overall, the build took the better part of three years, but now Clarence has a real Hemi 'Cuda that he can drive anywhere he wants, and also stop traffic while he does it.
It's a real Hemi 'Cuda, albeit the Hemi is a Gen III Version with fuel injection.
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
- Engine: With the theme being a Hemi 'Cuda Clone, the 392 Gen III Hemi fits the bill nicely. In this case, the part number 5153605 engine is a pick-it-up-and-install-it crate engine. The 525-horsepower fuel-injected 392 Hemi crate engine comes complete with a preprogrammed engine controller and wiring harness. This one however is fitted with an XV intake manifold, and a Mopar Performance throttle body. TTI Headers are used, as well as Dynomax mufflers. The fuel tank is a stock style tank with electric pump installed inside purchased from XV motorsports.
- Transmission: Since he was going with the modern Hemi route, a Keisler automatic transmission was installed behind the Gen III Hemi. The torque converter is a 3,500 stall piece; also from Keisler.
- Rear: Although an automatic-equipped car, Clarence's Hemi sports a Dana. The rear was built by Strange Engineering, and features 3.73 gears, and 35-spline axles.
- Suspension: The front K-frame was modified, and the entire factory suspension was upgraded with suspension parts from XV Motorsports.
- Brakes: Master Power Brakes disc brakes are on all four corners, and feature drilled and slotted rotors.
- Wheels/Tires: Wheel Vintiques Billet Magnum 500's measuring 17 x 8 up front, and 18 x 9-1/2 are wrapped in Nitto 555's, measuring 245/45/17, and 285/40/18 respectively.
- Paint/Body: The sheetmetal was in good shape when Clarence bought the car, but the guys at his dealership's collision shop repaired a few small spots, straightened the metal, and covered it with a fresh coat of Curious Yellow. The rear wing and front spoilers are aftermarket pieces made by First Place Auto Products.
- Interior: The interior was freshened by Shaun Harrison of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, with a new dash pad, leather seat skins, carpet and headliner from Year One. A set of Rallye gauges was sent to Auto Instruments to be rebuilt, and the gauge faces were silkscreened silver. An XV Power window kit was also installed, as well as an A/C system from Classic Auto Air.