The original interior was reinstalled once it was recovered in suede and leather charcoal skins. A new front clip was purchased, and then the whole vehicle was sent off to Midwestern Auto in Cincinnati to be repainted in its original grey. The finishing touches were Patriot headers flowing into large carbon-steel chromed side pipes and classic '70 Rallye rims with center caps and beauty rings. An Auto meter tachometer rests atop the gauge cluster on the dashpad with a large yellow-capped shift light.
Bob fancies his little PT project as the "next generation of street rod," and aspires to compete in the SS/GT class next season. We wish him luck and hope to hear of his progress.
Fast Facts: '01 Chrysler PT Cruiser
Bob Klemann * Lawrenceburg, IN
ENGINE: Right out of the catalog from Mopar Performance, Bob ordered an LA 360 small-block rated at 390 hp. With a flat-tappet hydraulic camshaft, the lung is topped with an Edelbrock intake and carburetor. Patriot headers flow into custom carbon-steel side pipes.
Transmission: Built by Tom Kleinberg in Cincinnati, Ohio, the 727 TorqueFlite was rebuilt with a Turbo Action Cheetah SCS shifter, a shift kit, and a Turbo Action 2,800-stall torque converter.
Rearend: A Chrysler 831/44 rear with an Auburn Gear differential and 3.55 gears spin Moser axles.
Horsepower & Performance: The engine is rated at 390 horses out of the box. Other than that, we haven't a clue. It weighs only 3,260 pounds with a full tank, so it's got to be quicker than most enthusiast's similarly powered A-Bodies.
Suspension: Front struts at the nose and a coilover ladder bar setup in back, the PT shares steering components with an '85 Dakota. Front shocks are Chrysler units, while the rears are from Competition Engineering.
Brakes: Factory front discs and rebuilt 10-inch rear drums.
Wheels: Stockton-made 15-inch Rallye rims.
Rubber: Hoosiers with 26x7.5 up front and 29x12.5 out back.
Body: The front of the PT had caught on fire and melted most everything forward of the firewall. The chassis was the platform from which Bob and his team of friends pieced everything together. SBM Conversions provided the conversion kit that made the four-cylinder to V-8 swap possible. The fabrication duties were handled mostly by Dailey Machine. A fiberglass bulkhead and transmission tunnel was made by Bob.
Paint: Before the reassembly could be done, the body was prepped and fitted with a new Chrysler front clip. It was then sent off to Midwestern Auto in Cincinnati, Ohio, where it was painted back in factory silver/grey.
Interior: Except for the tachometer, Turbo Action shifter, and the seats covered in suede and charcoal leather, the interior is all factory original just like any '01 Chrysler PT Cruiser on the streets today.