When we met up with Don at the 2001 Chryslers at Carlisle event, he was just starting to clean off the 400-plus miles of road grime he accumulated driving to the event. In Don's own words, "Who needs a trailer?" We were sold. This ride is one of the cleanest resto-mod style buildups we've seen, and whether on the showfield or the highway, it's definitely a class act.
Red Alert-Glen Melby's '64 FuryGlen Melby's automotive dream started in the fall of 1963 while he was exiting Beloit Memorial High School at lunchtime. It was then he saw a Ruby Red '64 Plymouth Sport Fury convertible. Over the years he owned many Mopars, including a white '64 Fury two-door hardtop. It just wasn't his dream car.
In October 1991, while reading Hemming's Motor News, he saw an ad for a "'64 Sport Fury convertible partially restored, California car, no rust, some new chrome, new top, complete car but no engine and trans, for sale or trade." His wife Dianne immediately said, "Get it" (she's a keeper, Glen), and a deal was struck. Without seeing the car, a check was mailed to California and the seller lined up transportation to get the car to Glen. However, when Glen called to confirm this, the transport company said they didn't move unfinished cars. He finally found a trucking company in Florida, RE Auto Transporters, that had a truck in L.A. and would bring the car to its new home.
Though solid, the body was in primer with no top, and was full of boxes. The first order of business was to get it up on a rotisserie and media-blast it at Musclecar Restorations. Next, Glen had the shell acid-dipped. Although he had planned on doing things himself, he ran into Rick Phillips, whose '63 Dodge was then being painted by John Balow's crew at Musclecar Restorations. After checking it out, John came to Glen's home to give him an estimate on the car. Dianne just said, "Send it to him" (we're tellin' ya, Glen, it don't get no better than that).
When the body came back, Glen continued to accumulate parts and installed the rear springs and differential. He says he felt overwhelmed by this first attempt at such a massive project. He learned how to powdercoat in his garage and coated every bracket on the car whether it was visible or not.
The 426 wedge motor came out of a '64 Dodge, and the machine work was done at Power Built Engines in Burlington, Wisconsin. The engine was filled with fully floating Ross pistons hung on the stock rods. It also has a stock forged crank, and the rotating assembly has been balanced; Kent Nelson handled the assembly. Muscle Motors "killer street heads" were installed, and an Edelbrock dual quad manifold with two 500-cfm carbs added the visual finishing touch and performance to the motor. The factory high-performance exhaust manifolds were Jet Hot-coated and mated to a complete 211/44-inch stainless exhaust system exiting through stainless Dynomax mufflers. Mike Koehler in Beloit built the 727 transmission. The case was powdercoated and filled with a mild shift kit and stall converter. The factory shifter was chromed and modified for single-cable shifting, eliminating the factory dual-cable setup. An 831/44 Sure Grip rear from a '65 Dodge was filled with 3.55 Richmond gears and The Driveline Shop Inc. of Springfield, Missouri, furnished the polished aluminum driveshaft.
Glen and friend Kent Olsen restored the interior to its factory red and white hue using parts from Legendary Auto Interiors. The stereo was mounted in the glove box with an infrared repeater installed in the face of the existing AM radio. A remote control operates the Eclipse AM/FM/CD even with the glove box door closed. Remote power door locks and an alarm system with a pager were also installed. It's James Bond all the way, baby.