Shut Down" debuted as the backside of the Beach Boys single "Surfing U.S.A." in 1963. For those who don't know, "Shut Down" features a street showdown between a fuel-injected Stingray and an intimidating Super Stock ram-induction 413 Dodge.
John Cope's '63 330 might not be an original S/S car, nor does it house the venerable high-performance 413, but rather, he's got an extra 80 cubes-493 ci to be exact. as the owner of several late-'60s musclecars, John wished to give homage to their predecessors by building a clean Super Stock-looking, 330 Dodge with enough firepower to rival the original S/S big-blocks that ruled the 1320 decades ago.
John is the owner of Cope Racing Transmissions out of Cedar Lake, Indiana, and has made his living building hard-shifting, bulletproof automatic transmissions for race and streetcars. Having built transmissions for his own cars, John had what he wanted in mind long before the car was in his hands. A '65 727 trans was slated for the push-button treatment to keep the stock period look, as the internals were thoroughly updated. A fully rollerized gearset with 2.77 first gear ratio, all-aluminum drums, lightened Sun shell, harden pump gears, and a PTC 8-inch, 5,500 stall torque converter were installed along with a quick-release trans-brake. Needless to say, this 727 was designed for excessively hard launches.
Taking the 330 off his friend, Bo Mendez, John insisted on a RB block that could utilize every inch of his over-built transmission. A Mopar RB 440 block was located, bored 4.350, and stroked 4.150-inches. RPM-loving, lightweight 6.760-inch Eagle Rods and JE pistons press the compression to 11.5:1 as they're spun on a stroker crank. A .590 solid lift Mopar Performance camshaft controls the Ferrea valves by the Crane roller rockers, making the most of ported and polished 906 heads.
A Mopar Performance M-1 intake with a colossal Holley 1150 Dominator feeds the thirsty stroker. The Herculean transmission bolted cleanly in, but needed some aesthetic modifications. John knew he was going to drag race this beast, so controlling the shifting with his left hand was out of the question. John altered the push-button configuration to the right hand of the steering wheel underneath the gauge cluster where the heater controls would have been. Strategically placing the transbrake button next to the push buttons made it easy for him to find Second gear when the front end is in the air. Since it was a radio-delete car, John spent a little extra time making the conversion look like the factory could have done it over forty years ago.
Massive silver-faced Auto Meter gauges were mounted to the side of the gauge cluster, along with the amber shift-light indicator. A hefty eight-point chrome-moly cage was fabricated with swing-out bars for easier entry and exit. Aside from all of that, the interior is reasonably stock appearing. The color, pattern, and material are all how the factory had it in 1963.
The year-long build left John with a beautiful Super Stocker that he pulls out on special days for some wheelstand action at Mopar bracket races. John set up the 330 to use every bit of its race-ready parts. Ladder bars and coilovers mount to the heavy-duty Dana, stuffed with such weapons of war as a Strange 4.56 spool and Moser axles. Massive Wilwood discs all the way around slow down the beastly Dodge as it rolls on Bogart 15x3 up front and 15x10 out rear, each with enough Mickey Thompson rubber to undercoat a school bus.