A good friend by the name of Tom George tweaked the Hemi four-speed crash-box, though it was left with standard HD internals (no slick shift mods). Brewers' Performance in Ludlow falls, Ohio, gets the credit for those parts as well as the rest of the driveline pieces. The exhaust work and frame ties were done by Gary Cook at PF&E Race Shop, also in Clinton Township, and Jake's Automotive in Sterling Heights set up the suspension to help the car hook and go straight on those skinny F60-15 PolyGlas tires. Despite the horses and clutch abuse, the 4.10:1 Sure Grip and stock axles remain in the 831/44 rear under the car. You probably can't break it if the tires are smoking, and Dave uses uncanny finesse to let that clutch pedal up.
Now with the car back together and on equal footing with the other "Stock Appearing" cars, the Hemi has consistently been posting the quickest times at every race he has attended. Due to traction woes, most of the competitors are using automatics, yet Dudek is putting them down with a four-speed. As you can see, the car looks showroom stock and idles like a station wagon. With the loud pedal to the metal, Dave's best times on drag radials are unreal 11.40s at 119 mph, and on factory-type F60-15 Goodyear PolyGlas rubber, the car went as fast as 11.92 at 118 mph.
Now, looking for a few more angles, those factory exhaust manifolds have been extrude-honed, and other subtle mods that help the Hemi look stock but run like a screamin' banshee. At the Year One Bristol Bash in Tennessee, where we shot these photos, the Hemi clocked the aforementioned 11.92 (which was the fastest-ever et and mph for a stock-appearing car on OEM-type tires). In good air closer to sea level, Dave fully expects to hit 11.60s. And, by the way, them big-talking GM boys can't seem to be found now when Dudek gets ready to go to the line. King of the Hill? No, how about King of the Factory Stock-Appearing universe!
Secret AgentsLike we said, Dave is playing the game to win, and elected not to tell us everything about his earth-shattering Hemi car. He did, however, point out a few things that would be applicable to many restored/stock car owners who might decide to trip the quarter-mile lights fantastic. Read carefully and quickly, as the information will self-destruct in five seconds...four...three..