There are two schools of thought for today's altered-wheelbase Match Bash tribute car builder. One camp follows the lead of those who restore real Max Wedge and A990 factory Super Stockers to give the cars a stone-stock appearance with factory paintwork and no lettering. It is sanitary, but perhaps a bit boring. The other camp says these modern-era altered-wheelbase monsters go several steps beyond the factory Super Stockers and should look it. After all, you've got to remember the vast majority of those original factory built Super Stockers (and FX cars) were given custom paint jobs, lettered-up, and raced within weeks of delivery. The added flash was all about recognition so it would be easier to build a fan base and book more paying match races every week. The lettering also thanked the vital participation of sponsors. This "war paint" was the rule rather than the exception.
After our initial photo shoot, Mister Rich decided to have Bob Thompson of Team Thompson in Pomona, California, apply some period-correct, '60s-style lettering to the Gold Rush Dodge. Notice the lettering isn't a simple rip-off of a famous paint scheme. Rich says there's been too much of that lately, and it insults the legacy of the original cars. he says, "Make the car your own. Allow yourself to pretend its 1966, and ask yourself what you'd like your match racer to look like. Then grab some old issues of Super Stock & Drag Illustrated for inspiration and do it."
Fast Facts: '65 Coronet
Rich LeFebvre * Seattle, Wa
Engine: If you're going to build an A/FX-style car, you better be ready to build the "Big Dog" engine-nothing but a Hemi will do. Making sure his ride ran as strong as it looks, Rich took a 426 block and filled it with a Velasco crankshaft and Ross pistons to yield a street-friendly 10.5:1 compression. Up top, the Hilborn injection has been modified to modern fuel injection. The 511 Hemi gives a rich 600 hp at 6,800 rpm. Not bad for a street ride.
Transmission: The '65 cable-operated, slip-yoke 727 was built by Roy Evers and packs a Hughes 3,500 stall speed torque converter. Shifts are handled via a column shifter.
Rearend: A '65 831/44 with a Sure Grip, filled with 4.56 gears. The custom-length driveshaft measures 4011/42 inches center-to-center.
Horsepower & Performance: 600 hp.