If Josh Campbell excels in anything, it's showmanship. One of the aforementioned alternates who later joined into the mix, Josh's faux-dual-plugged, tunnel-rammed, A/C-blowing, Hemi-powered, Pro-Street, hoodscoop-sporting '70 Barracuda Grand Coupe nearly stole the show. Josh's father, Bill, approached us the first day of judging wondering, "what's it take to get into the True Street Challenge?" Since we thought we were short a car, we told him to get his son and come join us. Little did we know that Josh's one-out-of-none Grand Coupe would be so personalized.
The Hemi itself is a work of art, starting out as a standard 426, bored .060 over with 10.25:1 pistons, MP aluminum heads, Norris roller rockers, a Milodon internal oiling system, a Weiand tunnel-ram with two 4150 Holleys, and a 150-horse shot of nitrous. The valve covers fool the unwary eye as the dual-plug system is only for show; the second set of wires lead off to nowhere. A high-flow Be Cool radiator and aluminum MP water pump helped Josh's E-Body survive the 22-mile loop out in the Nevada desert as a slight breeze of chilled air blew from the A/C vents. The A/C compressor really couldn't freeze the interior like we hoped, but he still gets accolades for having the only Hemi with air conditioning that we had ever been in.
Josh's Barracuda is layered in coats of Dodge's Amber Fire paint, the same color available on Dakota trucks a few years back. It's a gorgeous color and pleasantly unexpected on a classic clone Hemi car.
Mark Yates of Gilroy, California, sold this '70 Challenger for parts in 1984 to a friend who let the car sit as a shell for twelve years before Mark bought it back for a measly $2,500. Deciding that stock simply wasn't enough, Mark completely modernized this E-Body to the fullest extent. There is nearly nothing stock or untouched on this car. From the customized road handling suspension and sway bars, impressive Boyd Coddington 17-inch rims, super quiet tti and Magnaflow exhaust to the heavy-duty Richmond six-speed transmission, this car was bred to be as classic as its body lines and as modern as a Viper. The Indy top end matched to a full computer-controlled electronic ACCEL fuel-injection system and keeps the 400 Magnum engine fed and happy while either traveling 75 mph on the freeway or passing the traps in the 12s.
The unique paint job might look stock, but upon closer inspection one will notice that the hood decal is not exactly a decal. The blackout was painted on, masking off the "Dodge" lettering on the nose. Mark remarked that his wife oversaw the entire project, demanding that no detail be forgotten. The paint scheme, graphics, interior, and highlights were all double-checked by his wife, and his son pulled out the computer and tuned the EFI system.
Fortune Favors The Brave
Dr. Ralph Carnugi likes to race classic European speedsters and coupes, such as his Aston Martin DB4, Corvette, Porsche, and two Jaguars around his home in Phoenix, Arizona, so when a friend and car builder came to him with an idea for a Super Stock Mopar, Ralph needed some convincing. Ralph's friend, Greg Fernald, had an interest in the legendary Hemi cars that hit the scene in the mid-to-late '60s, building period-correct AF/X and S/S cars for customers. Ralph was quickly schooled on the short history of Mopar's venture into the A-Body S/S racing and ultimately introduced to Greg's potent '68 S/S Dart, and knew he had to have one.